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Mindsightstudios PlaceMaker - SketchUp Plugin

SketchUp plugins for Professionals
mind.sight.studios is a small software company located near the city of Saskatoon in Canada founded by Dale Martens. Dale has been one of the most prominent SketchUp Extension Developers since 2006. In 2016, he founded mind.sight.studios, left his career as a structural engineer, and became a full-time Software Developer.

mind.sight.studios has created many of the most well known and successful SketchUp extensions including Artisan, Skimp, Profile Builder, Quantifier Pro, SketchPlus, Bevel, and PlaceMaker. They are committed to delivering top quality extensions that are also easy to use.

Add the Missing Tools to SketchUp Pro!

Stop wasting your project budget on creating site context. PlaceMaker automates the creation of your site model with a simple mouse stroke!

Features Include:

  • Import High resolution aerial imagery from Mapbox, Hexagon, and Nearmap
  • Import Terrain from Cesium ION
  • Import OpenStreetMap 3D roads, walks, paths, water, rails, and 3D building massing models
  • Imagery, roads, paths, water and buildings can be imported directly onto terrain. Navigate your model using Google Street View

PlaceMaker Imports Rich 3D and 2D Models and Data Like these Examples…

Aerial Imagery

High Resolution Aerials

One of PlaceMaker’s most popular features are the High resolution aerials from Mapbox and Nearmap. Get unprecedented imagery quality for many locations around the world. Mapbox provides global coverage, with sharp imagery for most major world cities. Nearmap’s almost 3.5cm resolution and recency is a game changer for modeling and presentation.

Terrain by Cesium

High Quality Terrain

PlaceMaker now offers access to high quality terrain from Cesium. The high quality terrain adds a new level of accuracy and granularity to terrain models. Terrain resolution varies by location. The coverage is global and the results detailed.

You can even drape aerials, 3D buildings, roads and other infrastructure onto the terrain surfaces.

PlaceMaker Denver Map

3D Cities and Infrastructure

40 hours of work in 4 minutes! Quick, full of detail and easy to use, the popular PlaceMaker Extension for SketchUp lets you import 3D building massings, road and walk surfaces, high resolution aerials, trees, water and more.

It’s global data for cities and towns AROUND the WORLD.

Ecopia map

Ai Generated Surveys

Digitizing the world with Artificial Intelligence. PlaceMaker is happy to bring you SmartSite; top of the class, next generation vector data. Using AI, SmartSite takes high-resolution aerials and transforms them into accurate site plans that include roads, walks, paths, sports fields, parking areas, bridges, highways, lawns, open spaces and much more.

Available in SketchUp and DWG (CAD) formats. Does not require the purchase of the PlaceMaker Plugin.

NearMap 3D Mesh

3D Mesh Cities

Google Earth’s 3D models and mesh envy no more! Created by Nearmap – high resolution 3D Mesh and Textures of Cities and Towns across the United States and Canada for a super low cost!

Available in SketchUp and FBX Formats. Does not require the purchase of the PlaceMaker plugin.

Download 15 Day Trial!

How to Access Google Earth 3D Tiles in SketchUp

You'll need the following:

  • An active PlaceMaker subscription for SketchUp.

  • SketchUp Pro 2022 or newer

  • PlaceMaker 3.3.0 beta

  • Google Maps API key (requires Google Account and Credit Card*)

*Google provides a generous free tier for their data, but a payment method is required in case you consume data in excess of the free tier.


  1. Click here to Download PlaceMaker 3.3.0 Beta.

  2. Install the beta RBZ file using the SketchUp Extension Manager. Always restart SketchUp after installing.

  3. Setup your API key This part is a bit complicated, but we've got a detailed tutorial and support article to walk you through it. You only have to do this once.

  4. Open the PlaceMaker dialog and make sure the 3D Earth import type is selected.

  5. Select a geolocated surface in your model.

  6. Choose the level of detail and click the 'Import 3D Earth' button.

  7. Once the 3D tiles have been imported, you can select any number of imported tiles and then click the 'Refine Selected 3D Tiles' button to replace them with the next higher level of detail.

3D Earth in the PlaceMaker Dialog


  • You can go to Google Earth online to check if 3D data is available at your desired location. To see 3D coverage, enable the 3D coverage layer.

  • Even if 3D buildings for a particular location are not available, the Google Earth Terrain and imagery data is typically available and is very high quality. The Google Earth terrain and imagery data will be imported automatically if there are no 3D buildings available.

  • If you are importing a large area, we recommend choosing low detail so it will import faster. You can always refine it later using the 'Refine Selected 3D Tiles' feature.

  • If the import is extremely large and it times out, try breaking the import up into smaller sections.

  • We are working on videos to show how to best work with these data sets in SketchUp and Lumion. Stay tuned!

For best performance and stability, it is recommended to limit the imports to only the area and level of detail needed.

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