For those Civil 3D users that have enjoyed using Google Earth to import images and surfaces, you will probably want to read this. Are you the type of person (I admit, this is me!) that likes to have the latest and greatest version of whatever software that you are using? Hold your horses if you are considering loading the latest version (4.3 Beta) of Google Earth. I have some good and some bad news for you. Let’s discuss the good news first. The good news is that there are some new tools in GE and images still come into Civil 3D as quickly as they did in the past. Great! Now the bad news………..BOO! If you try to import a surface from GE, the progress bar will get to 49% (this seems to be the magic number for everyone that has tried this) and then it starts to hang. It will eventually get to 100% but this could take an hour or longer! Wow! Not good! Because of the time this takes, most users just manually power down Civil 3D and write it off as a crash. Basically, since it takes that long, in my book, it is a crash! Try to avoid getting away from the previous version (4.2) as it still works. I’m not sure what the future holds for the newer release of GE but for now stay away from it. As I find out more info on newer releases I will post that info for you.
Now for some info tidbits on using the version that you have (probably 4.2) with Civil 3D. The first tip you may be aware of but I want to point out is “what do I do if surfaces come in with no “Z” value?” This is as simple as ensuring that “terrain” is checked on in GE. This one will make you feel…….well……not very smart when you see it unchecked? The next tip is what to do if your image is not coming in. Go to your settings tab, expand “surface”, then “commands”. Under commands you will see two commands with “GE”in them. Right click each of these and click “edit command settings”. In the command settings dialog box exapand “google earth options”. The image shows this.