SketchUp SKP

GIS File Name



SketchUp 2015


The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Geographic Information System (GIS) City-Wide 3D project provides a detailed three-dimensional model including the terrain, groundplan and buildings of the city. The city-wide model has been cut into one-kilometer squares for exchange with 3D design tools. Each file associated with the tiled 3D model is named with the prefix CAMB3D then the tile name, e.g. G5_, then the name of the dataset.

The Tiled 3D Model is a combination of terrain with a draped basemap with a collection of 3D building models. These layers have been transformed from the city's GIS data into a SketchUp model that is easy to explore and to edit. SketchUp is available free for non-commercial use.


These models are intended to provide designers and others with a ready-made context model for developing design ideas and as a means of getting 3D models from designers and others back into the city's 3D GIS. By swapping alternative basemaps, including a 1947 aerial photo, these models, these models are an interesting way to explore the history of Cambridge neighborhoods in 3D.

Download Layer Data

View 3D Data Download Map


Each SketchUp model is a combination of three datasets, which are in turn created from multiple sources.

BASEMAP_Buildings BASEMAP_Walls BASEMAP_Cemeteries
BASEMAP_ParkingLots BASEMAP_Plazas BASEMAP_Sidewalks
Tiled Terrain Tiled Basemap Tiled Buildings

Background in areas beyond the city limits is covered with roads, openspace and 2003 building data from massGIS.

Coordinate System

Universal Transverse Mercator Projection, Zone 19, WGS84.

Coordinate System Origin shifted to Tile Center

Usage Notes

  • The terrain looks better if you use the Window > Soften / Smooth Edges to soften coplanar edges within 50 Degrees.
  • To skin the terrain with the 2013 or 1946 Aerial photo or a custom basemap image use the Materials > Eye Dropper to select the terrain material, then choose the desired ground plan image in the Edit tab.
  • 3D Swap Materials

  • Warning when working with SketchUp files in Rhino
    Within each SketchUp tile, the groundplan texture is named Terrain_.png. Sketchup does not have a problem with this; but Rhino seems to be ignoring new texture images if it thinks that they already exist in the model.  This will be fixed in our next release.  In the short term, the workaround would be to download the groundplan image for each tile from the download map (Groundplan Maps tab).   Then in Rhino, you should be able to find the Material properties of each terrain mesh, and redirect the image reference to the appropriate image for that tile.