From CAD User AEC Magazine Vol 20 No 05 - MAY/JUNE 2007
Graphisoft provides a bi-directional connection between ArchiCAD 11, Google Earth and Google 3D
Have you noticed that your Google Earth connection appears to be slowing down
a trifle? I seem to remember being able to close in on a region pretty fast
- but now I have to wait a little while longer whilst the data streams in. Is
it just the inevitable result of so many people now accessing the site, or the
fact that there is so much more detailed information available - or am I becoming
Google Earth has certainly caught the public's imagination, and there are few
computer users now who have never heard of it. It is a fabulous tool for exploring
the planet - for planning holidays, geography lessons, of just plain general
interest. And, of course, it is an ideal tool for house builders, developers
and civil engineers, not only to research the bit of ground they are going to
place their projects on, but also to bring alive their presentations to the
public - to help them gain acceptance for their projects.
This is why architectural CAD developers like Graphisoft are providing links
from their own software to Google Earth, enabling users to download their virtual
3D models onto Google Earth, so that they can be viewed by anyone, anywhere.
These can be anything from simple 3D shapes to textured models, ideal for making
compelling presentations to clients. The bi-directional link will be made available
from Graphisoft's website with ArchiCAD 11, the latest version of their virtual
modelling software (featured in the previous article).
ArchiCAD 11 users will be able to import terrain and coordinate information
from Google Earth to assist them in the early stages of their designs. Using
Google Earth connections, a snapshot can be taken of terrain and imagery data,
enabling them to visualise how it will look in location. They will also have
access to the Google 3D Warehouse, a site that contains thousands of real world
buildings and manufacturers building products, to use them in their designs.
Users can search for the item they need in the warehouse and download it straight
into ArchiCAD 11. 3D Warehouse is the source for 3D buildings for Google Earth.
Architects can share designs, if they so wish, with millions of viewers worldwide.
Google Earth is changing the way people view and access information about any
particular place, or superimposed object. The link with architectural CAD software
is just the start.
If you are going to present your designs on Google Earth then why not accompany
it with a virtual tour or a couple of snapshots of the finished product - landscaped
and populated with some charming alpha males and females! Link it to local information
- some demographic data about the local area - the best pubs and restaurants,
the quality of local schools, the frequency of the region’s public transport?
The tools are already there to add the information - it's up to developers to
Graphisoft is well aware of the potential of the site, as explained by Miklos
Szovenyi-Lux, Director of ArchiCAD product Management. "Readily available
content that complements a great design is of high value to our users. Google
is the perfect place to turn to get a large library of content and, of course,
to contribute models for the rest of the ArchiCAD community. Coordination with
Google Earth adds another positive dimension to design decisions."
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