Thursday, November 15, 2007

Earth Connector for Revit: Updated

We hadn't originally planned on another update to Earth Connector for Revit (connecting your Revit BIM model to Google Earth) - primarily because Autodesk has released their version of this tool.

The Autodesk tool, however, seems like it is in pretty limited release - I still haven't been able to find it on the subscription site.

Recently, we released the Avatech Revit Utilities - a set of productivity tools for Revit users - and we thought that we might give Earth Connector a little enhancement.

Some time since our last release of Earth Connector for Revit happened, a small but powerful change happened with Google Earth - the TimeSpan feature, which had been limited to the Professional version - moved down into the basic (free) version. That's when it hit us - why not incorporate the building phases into our Google Earth KML file as a TimeSpan.

When a KML/KMZ file has a TimeSpan, it adds the Timeline slider to the upper right, as shown above.

For now, because Revit phases don't natively have dates and times on them - we're doing a fairly arbitrary job of transferring phases into the calendar... but we figure that this will get people interested and talking about how we might improve from here.

Below is a sample of a building with 7-8 Revit phases. Who knew that Google Earth could be a 4-D construction tool!?!


P.S. The newest Earth Connector Revit is available only on the Revit Utilities page.


Mike Sealander said...

I just downloaded the Earth Connector for Revit. Is there a way to modify the kmz file to change, for instance, north orientation or insertion point?
Right now I've been having to run the Earth Connector inside Revit and triangulate my way toward proper insertion location and rotation relative to north.

Matt Mason said...


Unfortunately not - KMZ files have the exact Lat/Long of every piece of content. You can't rotate or move them.

The best workflow I'm aware of is:

1. Determine your origin point in Revit. There is a new function during the Earth Connector where you can place a marker there.

2. You can move the marker to a more identifiable place (ie corner of building, etc).

3. Inside of Google Earth, put a Placemark (Pushpin) at that location. Export it as KML.

4. Run Earth Connector - for the model origin, choose to import the KML.

5. Optional: if you don't know the Project North, then use a second Placemark in Google Earth to determine "up"?

Good Luck,