Exercise 2: Importing a Google Earth Image

In this exercise, you will import an aerial image from Google Earth into AutoCAD Civil 3D.

To provide a useful source image, Google Earth must display the image from directly above. If the image is tilted, it will still be captured by AutoCAD Civil 3D. However, it will not be a useful representation of the surface when it is converted to a render material.

When the Google Earth image is imported into AutoCAD Civil 3D, it appears in the drawing as a gray scale image object. The image is scaled by both the linear units in the drawing and the extents of the latitude/longitude of the image. The image aspect ratio matches that of the image displayed in the Google Earth window. AutoCAD Civil 3D automatically generates a name for the image, using the first three letters of the drawing file name and a unique ID number. The image is saved in the same directory as the drawing file.

When the image is draped on the surface, a new render material is created from the image, and the render material is applied to the surface. If the image is larger than the surface, the image is clipped to the extents of the surface object. If multiple, smaller images are needed to cover a surface, you must combine them into a single image.

TipIf you do not want to get your surface image from Google Earth, you can use Autodesk Raster Design to prepare images from other sources. Using Raster Design, you can
  • combine multiple images into a single image.
  • convert images to a format (such as BMP, DIB, GIF, JPG, PCX, PNG, RLE, TGA, or TIF) that is suitable for use as a render material.
  • orient and scale an image appropriately for a drawing.

For more information, see the AutoCAD Civil 3D Help topic Importing a Google Earth Image to AutoCAD Civil 3D.

This exercise continues from Exercise 1: Publishing Surface Data to Google Earth.

Import a Google Earth image

NoteThis exercise uses Surface-8.dwg with the modifications you made in the previous exercise.
  1. In Google Earth, ensure that the image is viewed from directly above.

    If the Google Earth navigation controls are not visible, hover the cursor over the compass at the upper right-hand corner of the screen:


    Navigation Controls

    • To reset the tilt so that the image is viewed from directly above, double-click . Alternatively, you can press the R key to reset the tilt.
    • To reorient the view so that North is oriented toward the top of the screen, click . Alternatively, you can press the N key to reset the North orientation.
    • To pan back to the view that was originally published, double-click the appropriate link under Temporary Places.
  2. Click Insert tabImport panelGoogle Earth drop-downGoogle Earth Image .
  3. When prompted to select a coordinate system for image location, press Enter to accept the default Coordinate System selection.

    The gray scale Google Earth image appears in the drawing window in the appropriate location under the surface object. The image was placed on the current layer, which is named Image in the current drawing.

To continue this tutorial, go to Exercise 3: Draping an Image on a Surface.