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Thread: How do you convert a Google Terrain to a Revit toposurface?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Stets's Avatar
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    How do you convert a Google Terrain to a Revit toposurface?

    Hi All,
    I'm new to the forum and new to Revit. I've been lurking here for about a week and like what I see. I like Revit too, so far, and have a set of drawings well underway already. To start my project I imported a Google Maps Terrain (Import Symbol) and started laying out a house on a rather steep site. Basically, the lowest level has a full height wall above grade on the downhill side and a full-height retaining wall on the uphill side. I wasn't able to figure out an easy way to convert the Google Terrain triangular grid to a Revit toposurface. I searched the forum but if there is an answer here already I couldn't find it. I want to end up with contour lines at 2' intervals. What's the easiest way to do this?

    Thanks
    Jim

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    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stets View Post
    Hi All,
    I'm new to the forum and new to Revit. I've been lurking here for about a week and like what I see. I like Revit too, so far, and have a set of drawings well underway already. To start my project I imported a Google Maps Terrain (Import Symbol) and started laying out a house on a rather steep site. Basically, the lowest level has a full height wall above grade on the downhill side and a full-height retaining wall on the uphill side. I wasn't able to figure out an easy way to convert the Google Terrain triangular grid to a Revit toposurface. I searched the forum but if there is an answer here already I couldn't find it. I want to end up with contour lines at 2' intervals. What's the easiest way to do this?

    Thanks
    Jim

    Welcome to the forum Stets!

    I've never done this with a google terrain but i have done it with a 3d DWG like this - Select >massing & site tab > topography button. whilst in create topo mode there is a 'create from import' button/dropdown on the contextual modify menu, here you can choose to select (by clicking) your imported geometry or specify points.
    I've attached a screen shot showing exactly what i mean.
    If this won't work for your google terrain you may need to try something else or convert your geometry to be more revit friendly. possibly import it into a family first. As i said ive never worked with google terrain, so someone else may have a better workflow.

    Your contour lines can be controlled by - Massing & Site tabModel Site panel.
    this was taken directly from
    http://wikihelp.autodesk.com/Revit/enu/2012/Help/Revit_User's_Guide/0140-Prelimin140/0175-Site_Des175/0176-Site_Set176/0177-Defining177
    which automatically opened for me when i typed "contour lines" into the search box in the revit (2012) menu bar
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do you convert a Google Terrain to a Revit toposurface?-untitled.png  
    Last edited by elton williams; June 16th, 2011 at 05:37 AM. Reason: changed 'import points file' to 'specify points'

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    Member Ben-May's Avatar
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    I have had good success with the LABS Google Earth AutoCAD link, and then into Revit

    http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/g...xtension_beta/

    It is only really worthwhile though if you have a large site, as the accuracy isnt that great

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    Junior Member Stets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elton williams View Post
    Welcome to the forum Stets!
    I've never done this with a google terrain but i have done it with a 3d DWG like this...
    Thanks Elton, I'll give that a try.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Stets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben-May View Post
    I have had good success with the LABS Google Earth AutoCAD link, and then into Revit
    It is only really worthwhile though if you have a large site, as the accuracy isnt that great
    Thanks Ben, its good to know things like this are out there just in case. I've got to learn to do it with vanilla Revit first, then I'll get going with the add-ons.

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    most the google earth topo has its origin from SRTM Shuttle flights. http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/
    the grid size is 1 arc-second (30 meters) for US and 3 arc-second (90 meters) for most of the rest of the world.

    you could check if in Google Earth the "Terrain Quality" in "Tools->Options->View" has an impact on the exported terrain model.

    -rpict

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    Junior Member Stets's Avatar
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    Success!

    I tried applying the method described in the manual over and over without joy. In desperation, I exported my Google terrain as DWG. Opened it in CAD to make sure it was all there and verified which layers I wanted, then imported it to an empty Revit file. Then I applied the steps described above by Elton. Bingo! It worked perfectly.

    Then I went back to my actual file and did the same thing. But still no joy. The two imported models were perfectly superimposed so after importing the DWG I wasn't able to click-select it for the 'Create from Import' step. The DWG was 'behind' the Google terrain. It didn't work until I deleted the original Google terrain (imported from Sketchup) and then imported the fresh model from the DWG file so I could make a clean selection without interference.

    Well I've certainly got a lot of practice using the 'Create from Import' routine. Thanks for the help on this.

    Jim

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    Moderator DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stets View Post
    The DWG was 'behind' the Google terrain.
    Since you've admitted that you are a bit of a rookie, I'll let you in on one of the Revit secret handshakes.
    The TAB key is your best friend in Revit.
    When things overlap, TAB will let you cycle between them. Hover your mouse over a line and press the TAB key.
    You will see which item is "pre-selected" both on the Status Bar in the lower left corner of your screen and, after a brief pause, on a ToolTip.
    Once you have the correct item highlighted - WITHOUT MOVING THE MOUSE - click on it.

    I once did a topic for MNRUG I called "Little Things". I ended up with 17 different things the TAB key does!

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    Moderator DaveP's Avatar
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    Found my hand-out. I guess I only had 8 TAB ideas, or we would have been there all night.
    1. When you are just getting started, it can take some getting used to the sequence of to TAB & when to Ctrl (and to not move). For instance, to select multiple items, you’ll need to pick the first one, then move your mouse to the second one. TAB until you highlight the item you want, then hold down the Ctrl key, and left-click on your mouse. If you move your mouse between the TAB and the left-click, you will lose the highlight.
    2. Don’t forget Ctrl-click (adds) & Shift-click (removes). When you are selecting items, if you can’t use a window, you can hold down the Ctrl key and left-click to add items to your selection set. If you select too much, Shift-click will remove an item.
    3. Use Tab to select chained items (Walls & Lines) if you want to select, say all the exterior walls on a building, hover over one wall, then TAB until you see all the connected wall highlight. Then left-click to select them all.
    4. Tab is the only way to get to Curtain Panels. When you are editing Curtain Wall Panels – for example to change a Panel to a Door, TAB is the only way you can get to the Panels. Watch the Status Bar (lower left corner) to see what item is currently ready to select.
    5. Use in Dimensioning to get to Wall Face/Centerline. When placing a Dimension, you’ll often need to get to another face of the wall. Within the Dimension command, as you hold your mouse over the wall, TAB will switch between the Inside face, the Center line, and the Exterior face of the wall.
    6. Cycles through all 4 directions when placing Interior Elevations. When you are placing an Elevation, especially an Interior Elevation, it can sometimes be difficult to have the Elevation Symbol point towards the correct wall. Move the Elevation bubble to the location you want, then press TAB to cycle between the four directions.
    7. Cycles through Object Snaps. When you are drawing, for instance, a Wall, as you drag the end of the wall towards another wall, you can use the TAB to cycle through the Object Snaps (Endpoint, Intersection, Perpendicular)

  10. #10
    Junior Member Stets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    Found my hand-out. I guess I only had 8 TAB ideas, or we would have been there all night...
    Thanks Dave,
    This is very useful. A good understanding of navigation and selection techniques is vital to keeping one's sanity when learning an a new program.
    Jim

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