Google Earth Pro and CAD Data

Upgrade to Google Earth PRO .. now for free!

Most people have probably used Google Earth, or at least Street View on the online maps.

But Google have a PRO version of Google Earth that extends the functionality and quality of the experience. It used to cost $399 for the PRO version .. not any more!

Additional features include:

  • more advanced measuring tools (areas, heights, view sheds);
  • printing with higher resolution aerial photography;
  • import GIS data (bring in and overlay your CAD data!);
  • create premium animations;
  • map making tool.

Easy enough to get started you will need a Google Earth Pro Key – that is easy – apply here.

Once armed with your key – you will need the actual programme – download here.

Be sure to talk to us about using your spatial data in Google Earth .. we can save survey data straight to KML/Z files for use within Earth – so you can see your lease outlines in Earth, you can even link to documents like the PDF lease plan from within Earth, giving your documents a spatial index or context.

For an example on using Earth for spatial access to documents – check out a previous blog post titled “Using Google Earth on the Government Precinct Redevelopment project“.

Detail on a Volumetric Easement

Using Google Earth on the Government Precinct Redevelopment project

The Queensland Government Redevelopment Precinct covers and area of over 175,000 square metres, involves over a dozen buildings and several roads in Brisbane’s CDB.

Bennett and Francis was engaged by the Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning to carry out a detail and level survey of the area as well as an investigation into the underlying cadastre, easements, ownership, heritage register and any other pertinent registers as a kind of “due diligence” report.

The detail and level survey was presented in both CAD and “fair-drawn” PDF format (both plane coordinates and MGA).

The “investigation however was another matter. Traditionally we would present this form of report as a “written” PDF – noting encroachments and other issues, a full description of improvements, attached copies of titles, survey plans and much more.

Given the extensive nature of the site and the number of parcels involved, we consulted our internal Information Technology team to come up with something a little smarter to help the client and consultants visualise the site and to be able to quickly drill into important documents in a user-friendly manner.

We turned to Google Earth. A custom Earth file (kmz) was authored to present the information in a graphical format that users could explore. It proved very easy to use – even being given to proponents to assist with the various bidding processes.

We also created a layer of over hundreds over photos taken with a Canon EOS 1X with the GPS module. This allowed us to position the photos on maps where they were taken, including location, orientation and altitude.


Overview of Site
Figure – overview of site in Google Earth

   Detail on a Volumetric Easement
Figure – sample screen of a volumetric (3D) easement
with matching documents