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How to import G.I.S. terrain data

Not applicable
Hello All:

Sorry is this is in the wrong forum and if it is please move it to the correct one. I am currently developing a new club house for a golf course but the land where the building is supposed to sit is not flat. It is important that I can see the levels/grade of the land where it will sit as it will dictate the location of various entries into the building. I tried using the Google Earth/Sketchup techniques outlined in the Archicad Help site but it did not work. Please note that I did not have any "building" models to save in Sketchup, just the terrain/picture which was saved as a sketchup file. I have Google Earth Pro but it would not allow me to save the location (the view I was located at) except for as a picture. I have done the opposite of sending a building done in Archicad to Google Earth without any issues other than the elevations don't appear correct. If I can't get the elevation data from Google Earth I will have to get it from my city's GIS department. But even then I still need to import that data into Archicad. Any assistance is greatly welcomed.

Not applicable
you really need to get a proper survey undertaken, the data from GIS systems and from Google will not be of sufficient accuracy to do what you want.

The surveyor can then provide you with the site data in CAD format which you can import, or better still an xyz file which can be readily converted to an ArchiCAD mesh object


Not applicable
Thanks Scott:
While I agree with getting a proper survey done at this point in time we are in the concept stage and looking at different architectural styles. On top of that nobody seems willing to take on the expense of a survey at this time thus my desire to use Google Earth or GIS data. The funny things is that I have played this course for over 30 years and probably could sketch a close representation of the layout and terrain from memory but it just won't be close enough. If anyone can think of another way other than a true survey I am open to suggestions. Thanks in advance.

I often have to ask clients to obtain topographical surveys before I can start design. It is necessary for complex terrains.

That being said I have had some moderate success using my Garmin E-Trex taking spot elevations on sloping lots. The conversion of the data into AutoCad & then into Archicad is difficult at best since the scales are way off. Once you find a scale that matches the lot information, you have a cm accurate survey - providing you spend lots of time at each spot to get accurate readings. It won't match real-time elevations and may be off by meters but it will be all relative. If the first point is off then all the rest will be too. Its relative.

Other times, I have enough experience in my 40 years in construction/inspection/design to estimate the general slope of a lot by walking it. This is the simplist method.

Finally, you might want to get familiar with basic surveying techniques. On occasion I have gone out and taken my own shots relative to a known benchmark near the site. It doesn't have any use contractually since I'm not a surveyor, but it offers a way of capturing key features of the topography for design purposes. However, before the contract drawings are finalized, I would still insist that the client undertake a proper metes and bounds and topographical survey to make sure the elevations around and placement of the the building are properly represented.

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