EXPORT from CAD to Google Earth, Shapefiles

What is new in the ‘Professional’ edition (AutoCAD/BricsCAD)

Basically the new edition adds to the existing editions (Basic and Standard), and their importing functionality, the possibility of exporting from AutoCAD or BricsCAD drawings to Google Earth (KML or KMZ), Shapefiles (SHP), Points (many formats), MapInfo, PostGIS, SQL Server, SQLite, and many more geospatial targets (see here the full data provider list)

The new function exports objects from the drawing to spatial files or databases, and saves their Extended Entity Data (EED/XDATA) as data tables using a wizard, which shares some of the steps with the import wizard. In the same way, the user can choose or select the export parameters to define all the target data among a large number of possibilities

There are options for filtering the objects when exporting, and all the geometric operations required to fit the target data format are automatically performed

Moreover this edition adds more possibilities of manipulating databases directly from the application, such as creating new schemas or tables, deleting or renaming schemas and tables, etc.

Now EXPORT from CAD to Google Earth, Shapefiles, etc.

Transformation of coordinates

The application will calculate geometric transformations of the objects in line with the export processes, which will depend on the chosen Coordinate System (CRS) for the source (drawing) and target data

As in the import processes, the user can choose the appropriate CRSs from a complete CRS catalog or from a list which includes the most recent used CRSs

Data providers

The application uses its own data providers in the export processes (as in the import processes) and offers the user a wide range of settings to fit the best configuration for the outgoing data

Export function features

· Select the objects to be exported: choose between exporting the selected objects, the objects in a layer or the whole drawing
· Automatic complex geometric operations: review and editing of the selected objects in order to export geometries accommodated to the target format, such as the polygonal segmentation on curves if required
· Option to treat the closed polylines as polygons: most of the time the closed polylines represent polygonal elements on the target data format and this conversion can be automatic
· Filtering of incompatible objects: there are a few object types not supported by the export processes (such as complex 3D objects), which are automatically filtered. The filter result is displayed before exporting

Some Export function video samples:

· Directly to Google Earth (KML) from your drawing
** AutoCAD: Video 1
** BricsCAD: Video 1
· Coordinates to Excel from your drawing
** AutoCAD: Video 2
** BricsCAD: Video 2
· Import a Shapefile and export it as 3D Google Earth
** AutoCAD: Video 3
** BricsCAD: Video 3
· OpenStreetMap data. Edit and export to Google Earth
** AutoCAD: Video 4
** BricsCAD: Video 4
· Import a Shapefile. Edit & export as Shapefile
** AutoCAD: Video 5
** BricsCAD: Video 5



Create contour lines from Google Earth on AutoCAD with TCX converter

To create contour lines from Google Earth on AutoCAD, first you have to download these software:

TCX CONVERTER: is the critical piece of software you’ve been missing.
With TCX Converter you don’t have any more worries about incompatibilities between files for different outdoor GPS devices and mapping software.
With TCX Converter you can:
-Import TCX, GPX, FITLOG, KML, TRK (and more to come…) files
-Join multiple GPX files into one big course
-Import directly from Garmin GPS via Garmin Communicator Plugin or GPSBabel plugin
-Add or remove Waypoints with a simple mouse click
-Truncate the track at any point you like
-Update altitude data (internet connection needed)
-Change average speed of the course
-Import/Export Waypoints with smart repositioning function

QUIKGRID: is a program which will read in a set of scattered data points (x, y, z) which represents a surface. The program will generate a grid from this data and then display the surface as a contour map, or as a 3d representation. The left mouse button may be used to zoom in and pan about the display. The right mouse button may be used to display information about the generated grid coordinates and data points.



Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD

Recall that the Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD-based products allows you to publish your 3D models from AutoCAD-based products directly into the Google Earth application, import a Google Earth image into AutoCAD, drape a Google Earth image onto a 3D mesh in AutoCAD, and attach time span information to your model. Over the years every once in a while a user has had trouble installing the Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD. So I thought I would go through the steps.

  1. Make sure you have a compatible version of AutoCAD.

    When I say compatible version of AutoCAD, I specifically mean:

    AutoCAD 2011-2012 Family

    • AutoCAD 2011-2012 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • AutoCAD Architecture 2011-2012 (32-bit and 64-bit)
    • AutoCAD Map 3D 2011-2012 (32-bit and 64-bit)

    AutoCAD 2007-2010 Family

    • AutoCAD 2007-2010 (32-bit only)
    • AutoCAD Architecture 2007-2010 (32-bit only)
    • AutoCAD Map 3D 2008-2010 (32-bit only)

    One of the key points here is that the 2011 family is the first one where 64-bit is supported.

  2. Make sure you have the compatible version of Google Earth.

    The Google Earth Extension is compatible with Google Earth 5.x or 6.x.

  3. Get the installers from the Labs web site.
    1. Navigate to http://labs.autodesk.com.
    2. Click on Sign-In to login with your Autodesk Single Sign-on user name and password.
    3. Navigate tohttp://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/google_earth_extension_beta/.
    4. Click on Download Now.
    5. Understand that installing the technology preview means that you will need to accept an end user license agreement and click on DOWNLOAD.
    6. Save PublishDWGtoGE.zip to your computer.

    You now have all of the installers for the various versions of AutoCAD.

  4. Run the installer that matches your version of AutoCAD.
    1. I happen to have AutoCAD 2011 on a 64-bit machine running Windows 7.
    2. As such, I select the C:\Users\sheppas\Documents\PublishDWGtoGE_32_64.zip\PublishDWGtoGE\2011\64-bit folder.
    3. I drag and drop DwgPublishToGEX64Installer.msi to my My Documents folder.
    4. In My Documents folder, I double click on the msi file to run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. Even though I am the only one who uses my laptop, I install the technology preview so that it is available to all users of this computer. Make sure you install this local to your computer. It will not work if you install it on a network mapped drive.

    If you repeat these steps as appropriate for your system, you now have the technology preview installed.

  5. If you are having problems, check that your install went well.

    The following commands should work from the command line.

    • GETIME

    The following files should be in your AutoCAD folder:


    One of the wish list items was to make the technology preview compatible with the ribbon interface.

  6. Ensure you have admin rights to your machine.

    If not, some people who were not admins were able to be successful with the “Run as Administrator” option.


How To: Add a Google Earth Satellite Image Into ArcMap

ArcMap 10 now allows you to bring in Bing Maps imagery as baselayers to your project.  However, this requires a robust network connection because you are constantly feeding in live data from their servers.  As an alternative method to bring in satellite imagery into ArcMap, the following tutorial guides you through the steps of bringing in selected screenshots from Google Earth into ArcMap.  One huge advantage of using Google Earth imagery is that you will be able to bring in historical data that is now available.


You will navigate to the location in Google Earth that you want to bring in to ArcMap.  Then, you will add 4 control points on each corner of the image, record their latitude/longitude coordinates, and export the image as a jpg file.

  1. Open Google Earth
  2. In the Layers panel, turn everything off
  3. Go to Tools -> Options, and change the “Show Lat/Long” option to “Decimal Degrees”
  4. Navigate to the area and extent that you want to use in ArcMap
  5. Press “r” on your keyboard.  This will reset the view angle to be “top down” and rotates the map so that it is “north up”
  6. Press F11 to make your map go full screen
  7. Click on the “add placemark” button   
  8. Move the icon from the middle of the screen to the top left corner of the map
  9. Rename the icon “Top-left”
  10. Click the button to change the icon
  11. Jot down (or copy and paste) the latitude and longitude coordinates somewhere you can access later
  12. Repeat the process and add icons for “Top-right”, “Bottom-left” and “Bottom-right”
  13. Now it’s time to export the image.  Go to File -> Save -> Save Image and save your file


Now you will import your google earth image, and georeference it based on the 4 control points you created.

  1. Open ArcMap
  2. Go to View -> Data Frame Properties and select the Coordinate System tab
  3. Choose Predefined -> Geographic Coordinate Systems -> World -> WGS 1984
  4. Go to Customize -> Toolbars -> Georeferencing
  5. Add the image file from Google to ArcMap.  If it prompts you to build pyramids, click ok
  6. Zoom into the top left corner of your satellite image
  7. From the georeferencing toolbar, click the “add control points” button
    add control points button
  8. Hover over the exact center of the top left icon you created, and LEFT click once
  9. Now, RIGHT click once and click on “Input X and Y…”
    input x y
  10. Add the correct coordinates for your Top-left control pointWARNING:   Remember that “X” is LONGITUDE and “Y” is LATITUDE
  11. Repeat the process for the remaining 3 control points.  If the map has disappeared from your view port, just right click on the layer, and select “zoom to layer”
  12. To finish your georeferencing, click on the “Georeferencing” menu item from the toolbar, and select “update georeferencing”
    complete georeferencing task

You should now be able to overlay additional layers on top of the satellite image.  Below is an example of a landuse layer on top of a Google Earth image.

Landuse over imported Google Earth image

Hot Tip:  Historical Imagery

You can also import historical satellite imagery from Google.  This could be useful to see temporal changes in the landscape of your project areas.

  1. Go to View -> Historical Imagery, or just click on the historical imagery icon from the toolbar
  2. You can then slide the time bar handle to display imagery for available times
    google image timebar


Georeferencing Google Earth images

Story Map Kyparissi, Lakonias, Peloponessos

A story map of Kyparissi

Kyparissi is the kind of holiday place that if you know about it, you only tell your closest friends because you are afraid of spoiling it. But really it would be a hard place to spoil just because of the difficulties in getting here. You could tell the whole world about your holiday in the land of the Hunzas but only about one person in 25 million is going to visit there because not everyone wants to cross icy mountain peaks riding on a yak to visit some place you told them was nice. Kyparissi is sort of like that. Even though it has been written up in many Greek magazines, and featured in the book The Most Beautiful Villages of Greece, and is the favorite destination of George H Bush, Prince Charles and may have been the last place Princess Diana visited before her ill-fated trip to Paris, getting to Kyparissi is a formidable task to anyone who does not have access to a high-powered yacht with a helicopter.


Kyparissi was an ancient sanctuary of Asclepius and used to be known as Kyfanta. At some point in its history the people of this lush valley of olive trees, pine and carob left the coast and moved to a highpoint where the village was hidden from the sea and the pirates who raided the coast. This did not help them when some very determined  pirates climbed the mountain and slaughtered most of the villagers and threw their bodies in a well. Many of the survivors went to Sfakia, Crete which was one of the few unconquerable places left in Greece. The people who inhabit the region now are the descendants of those who stayed and the Mavromichalis clan. Kyparissi is actually three villages. Vrissi is the first village you come to, the highest of the three on the slopes of the mountain range that surrounds the valley. It is rich in water with a spring running through the town. Everyone has beautiful gardens, orchards and olive trees.



Story map tour of Kiparissi with the use of Esri

In this map is being presented the Village Kiparissi if the prefecture of Lakonia, Greece. You can tour within the village and see all the tourist facilities that are avalaible. (Hotels, Restaurants and Seaside Resorts). View it on the following Link.



Story maps use geography as a means of organizing and presenting information. They tell the story of a place, event, issue, trend, or pattern in a geographic context. They combine interactive maps with other rich content—text, photos, video, and audio—within user experiences that are basic and intuitive.

Who Are Story Maps Designed For?

For the most part, story maps are designed for general, non-technical audiences. Many story maps are aimed at everyone, that is, anyone with access to the Internet and a curiosity about the world. However, story maps can also serve highly specialized audiences. They can summarize issues for managers and decision makers. They can help departments or teams within organizations to communicate with their colleagues.

Although story maps can incorporate analytical tasks, they are not intended to do the heavy lifting of geographic information systems. They use the tools of GIS, and often present the results of spatial analysis, but don’t require their users to have any special knowledge or skills in GIS.

What Are the Elements of a Story Map?

Story maps use interactive web maps created with ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based mapping and GIS system. ArcGIS web maps let you combine your own data, including spreadsheets and GIS data, with authoritative content and thematic maps from Esri and the GIS community, on top of our beautiful basemaps. The web maps support visualization, queries, analytics, and pop-ups for map features with rich content including photos and graphs.

ArcGIS users can use any of the story map web apps to publish their web maps. Some of the story map apps are also built directly into ArcGIS Online. Photos, videos, and text are referenced by the map features or incorporated during the publishing process.


Creating 3D Sketchup Models from GIS Data

The first sketchup tutorial, Sketchup 101 covered many of the basic elements of organizing geometry in sketchup, including how to begin a model with a georeferenced base model captured from Google’s web-based, world-wide coverage of aerial imagery and terrain models. We shouldn’t complain about such a cool, free resource. But still, it would be neat if we could download higher resolution images and finer terrain models and also the buildings! And as it happens, we can, do this if we have access to a gigital elevation model and a buildings layer in GIS.

The Sample Dataset

Right-click here to download the sample datasset and unzip it in the temp folder of your computer. You can open the arcmap map document, Map-Docs/compilation.mxd. You wil lfind the buildings layer in the GSD Metromodel group layer. If you don;t know anythign about GIS, you may want to take a look at the beginning GIS tutorial.


Training with 3ds Max.

3D modeling, animation, and rendering software

3ds Max® 3D modeling software provides a comprehensive modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering solution for games, film, and motion graphics artists. 3ds Max delivers efficient new tools, accelerated performance, and streamlined workflows to help increase overall productivity for working with complex, high-resolution assets.

3D modeling and texturing


  • OpenSubdiv support

    Create complex topology more quickly.

  • Enhanced ShaderFX*

    Create and exchange advanced shaders more easily.

  • Point Cloud support

    Create models from point cloud data.

  • ShaderFX

    Intuitively create advanced HLSL shaders.

  • Placement tools

    Easily position and orient content.

  • Quad chamfer

    Create a chamfer between quad surfaces.

  • Mesh and surface modeling

    Efficiently create parametric and organic objects.

  • Texture assignment and editing

    Explore an advanced texturing toolset.

  • Shading and material design

         Quickly design and edit shading hierarchies.

3D rendering


  • Improved ActiveShade rendering

    Iterate faster with interactive rendering.

  • Accelerated viewport performance

    Interact more fluidly with your scene.

  • Integrated rendering options

    Use NVIDIA iray rendering technology.

  • Render pass system

    Segment scenes for downstream compositing.

  • Nitrous accelerated graphics core

    Accelerate your workflow with Nitrous.

  • Slate Compositing Editor

    Wire together composites in Slate.

    UI, workflow & pipeline


  • Design Workspace

    Easily discover the main features of 3ds Max.

  • Easier Revit and SketchUp imports**

    Import data from Revit up to 10 times more quickly.

  • Template system

    New startup configurations speed scene creation.

  • Alembic support*

    View massive datasets in the Nitrous Viewport.

  • Enhanced scene management

    New nested layers in Scene Explorers.

  • Configurable user interface

    Access multiple views with tabbed layouts.

  • Flexible camera matching

    Place CG elements into photo backgrounds.

  • Compositing integration

    Choose from compositing options in 3ds Max.

  • Collaborative workflows with Containers

    Use containers to override object properties.

  • Comprehensive 3ds Max SDK

    Extend and customize 3ds Max with the SDK.


Practise with 3dsmax, free tutorials


Top 10 Greenest Cities in the World

1.  Copenhagen. Rated one of the world’s most livable cities, the metropolis of nearly two million people is known for advanced environmental policies and planning, with its goal to be carbon-neutral by 2025 and Cleantech Cluster of more than 500 companies. City infrastructure is designed to be conducive to bicycling and walking rather than cars.


2. Amsterdam. Everyone rides bicycles in Amsterdam and has been doing it for decades. It’s one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, due in part to its compactness and flatness, as well as its bike infrastructure, including protected paths, racks and parking. The city has more bicycles than people.

images (1)

3. Stockholm. Stockholm was the EU’s first city to win the European Green Capital Award. With coordinated environmental planning that began in the ’70s, ample green space and a goal to be fossil fuel-free by 2050, it’s one of the cleanest cities in the world.stockholmpanorama

4. Vancouver. Vancouver is densely populated and expensive but its moderate climate makes it a highly desirable place to live. So does the fact that it’s the cleanest city in Canada and one of the cleanest in the world.

English_Bay,_Vancouver,_BC (1)

5. London. One might night think of foggy Londontown as a green city but the town has actively worked to leave its bleak, early Industrial Revolution image behind it, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more green spaces.


6. Berlin. Coming in first on the European main continent, Berlin’s Environmental Zone in its city core allows only vehicles that have a sticker indicating that it meets certain emissions standards.


7. New York. New York is, perhaps surprisingly to some, the greenest large city in the U.S. Its greenhouse gas emissions are low for a city its size and its population relies heavily on its extensive public transportation system. The city itself has put in place a green buildinginitiative.

Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate Drops In Second Quarter

8. Singapore. After industrialization brought heavy pollution, Asia’s greenest city tackled the problem head on, creating its first Singapore Green Plan in 1992 to tackle clean water, clean air and clean land. It aims to have zero waste in landfills by the mid 21st century.


9. Helsinki. Like many Scandinavian cities, Finland’s capital encourages bicycle use and public transportation. The city has been working toward sustainability since the late ’50s with energy efficiency programs and an aggressive Sustainability Action Plan adopted in 1992.


10. Oslo. Norway’s capital rounds out the four Scandinavian cities in the top ten. The city government has its Strategy for Sustainable Development which includes an aggressive program to protect its natural surroundings. Its Green Belt Boundary protects wild areas from development.