Import from google earth

With Lands Design -
1- Is it possible to import from Google Earth not just the Terrain,
but other objects like roads, buildings etc as well ?
2- Is it possible to control the size of the area which is imported?


Hi Rachel
your question intrigued me so i went googling, i found this, which seems to be what youre looking for(i hope), hope it is.

Hi Rachel,

  1. The Lands command to scan and import a Google Earth terrrain imports it as contour curves and a textured mesh, Turn the Rendered Display mode On to see the terrain image on the imported mesh, which will help you to reference the roads, green areas or buildings on the map.
  2. You can control the size of the scanned area zooming in and out in the Google Earth image until you get the desired terrain extension to be scanned. If you choose the option to import the terrain by entering the Terrain coordinate origin geolocation, the scale of the imported are will be determined by the Altitude value.
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Thank you very much !! :slight_smile:

Is it possible to get the teraain image from Google map as flat picture,
so that I can make curves over it and project them to the 3D one?

@rachel, the image used as a texture for the imported mesh is stored in the following folder, inside the Windows Public Files: (In windows 8: C:\Users\Public\Documents\Lands).
You can insert it using the _PictureFrame command, taking the mesh limits as the picture frame size. In any case, if you work from the Top viewport in Renderd mode, with the “Project” snap point on, you can draw the curves on the construction plane, and later on project them on any surface with the _Project command, or on a Lands terrain with the _laElevateToTerrain command.

Interesting topic, but I wonder, is there a way to import google earth map using a freeware program?
Both of those (sketchup,land design) cost to much for me.

@Czort, Lands Design is a Beta program right now, and it is free. But of course you still need Rhino, which is not.

Thank you @fsalla
I will try it out then. I have Rhino. Can I use Land Design for Comercial uses? I dont know how Beta License works.

@Czort, yes you can use Lands Design for commercial purposes. Each Beta version lasts for 90 days approximately. Then we release a new Beta with bugs fixed and new features. This process will go on like this until we decide to launch the first commercial version.

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@fsalla, much thanks.

Still on the Google Earth import: when I run the laGoogleEarthScan command, I get the message “Google Earth is not installed in this machine.”

I have Google Earth Pro installed.

@ledisnomad the command to scan and import G.Earth terrain data only works with certain versions of G.Earth. In this post you can find more information and a link to download a compatible G.Earth version:

@fsalla thank you for the quick response! I will give it a try!

Any information on when the new google earth version will be supported? Unfortunately the one with which Lands works only has very primitive terrain for the area that i’m interested in, and the new is superdetailed…

@d.wirth.j I regret to say that unless G.Earth allows third party programs free access to G.Earth API, it won’t be possible by Lands Design to scan and import G.Earth terrain data as you can do with former G.Earth versions.

Are there any other terrain data sets which are exposed? (paid or otherwise)

I’ve used Gismo, are there any others? paid or otherwise?

It is possible to import terrain to Rhino via Sketchup Pro.

Is it possible to increase the mesh resolution for the google earth import, i.e. increased sample size, mesh vertex every 1m etc.?

@Wesley_Lamberson The scan from the Google E. Import takes up to 5000 points, whatever the eye distance to the ground is, and generates a mesh out of them. In order to import more detailed terrains, repeat the command and zoom in the area to scan.

To scan a large terrain area in a higher detail, import the terrain data from different scans and later on put them together. (Remember to restart Google Earth every time you run the laGoogleEarthScan command.

If you generate a terrain from the imported contour curves (laTerrain command), you can later on increase the mesh detail by defining a smaller cell size: