The Good (Google) Earth

By Staff April 1, 2006

Many readers have probably heard of Google Earth. But besides being a cool web program to play with, does it offer any professional application for consulting engineers? Yes, says Bentley Systems.

The Exton, Pa.-based CAD software company has debuted a new, and free, visual tool for subscribers of its Microstation Select program. Users can import real images of places from Google Earth into their 2-D or 3-D building models.

The idea, according to Joe Croser, global marketing director, is that you can make more exciting, or at least more realistic, renderings for non-CAD users of how buildings, bridges or power plants will actually look in a placed environment.

Users can create hyperlinks that will take them to more details about a building, such as the CAD drawings of a cladding system. Further, a user could click on the building and then work his way inside to a floor plan view that could similarly lead to details of various M/E/P systems.

Additionally, the presentations are useful for training/commissioning; maintenance instruction; orientation for users new to a campus environment or for owners just looking at possible building sites.

A webinar is available about the program at .

The GIS technology will also be incorporated into the launch of the new Microstation V8 XM set to launch this spring.