Back in 2012 Google sold SketchUp, the excellent 3D modeling tool that was used to make most of the older 3D models found in Google Earth. In October 2013, Google stopped importing models from the SketchUp 3D Warehouse, and now solely rely on automatic generation methods for 3D imagery.
Earlier this year the 3D Warehouse was completely revamped by new owner Trimble. Also, at some point, the URL for the warehouse has changed from the Google domain (sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/) to a the sketchup.com domain (3dwarehouse.sketchup.com).
Google has implemented redirects on the former URLs, but they are not all working correctly. The result is that links that we created in the past to KML/KMZs of models in the 3D Warehouse no longer work correctly. Instead of being redirected to the download of the KML/KMZ, they get redirected to the SketchUp model (.skp) download instead.
Also, it seems most of the links within Google Earth relating to 3D models are broken. If you click on a 3D model, a popup shows more information about the model. It used to display a small picture of the model on the right, but now there is just a question mark. In addition, almost all the links in the popup are supposed to direct you to the 3D warehouse, but most of them do not work correctly.
If you have links to KML/KMZ files on your website then it is not difficult to correct them. Each model has a unique ID that has not changed. A typical old URL will look like this:
To fix it:
- Copy the unique ID shown in bold above.
- Search for it in the Sketchup 3D Warehouse.
- Click on the ‘Download’ button, and you should see two options, the Sketchup model and the KML/KMZ file.
- Right click on the KML/KMZ link and select ‘copy link address’ (or your browser’s equivalent).
- Replace your old link with this URL.
The new link should look something like this:
Although the ‘report a problem’ link on the 3D building popup does not work correctly, we did use Google Earths ‘report a problem’ feature to let Google know about this issue.