Note: ARCHICAD 17 was the last version to which the Google Earth Connection (GEC) Add-on was released. ARCHICAD now has a fully integrated SketchUp connection right out of the box. There is no need to download and install additional plugins.
The Google Earth Connection (GEC) Add-On package enables integration between ArchiCAD,
Google Earth, SketchUp and 3D Warehouse through .kmz and .skp file formats.
This capability moves users past the Building Information Model to the virtual world.
ArchiCAD 16 is the last release of ArchiCAD to support Windows XP and any 32-bit operating system. The next major release of ArchiCAD will be 64-bit only, and will support only 64-bit Operating Systems, including Windows 7 and Windows 8: Discontinued32BitSupport
Some features of the Google Earth Connections Add-On are 32-bit only, therefore these functionalities are not available in the 64-bit version of ArchiCAD. These are:
- Import snapshot from Google Earth to ArchiCAD
- Direct upload from ArchiCAD to Google Warehouse
- Direct download from Google Warehouse to ArchiCAD
All other functions of the Google Earth Connections Add-on are available on 64-bit, and will be integrated in the next version of ArchiCAD:
- Import and export in SKP format
- Import and export of KMZ format
- Direct upload of model from ArchiCAD to Google Earth
The following table shows the summary of features by Operating System.
|GEC Add-On||ArchiCAD 17|
|Win 32||Win 64||Mac OS X||Win 64||Mac OS X|
|Import .skp file format|
|Open or merge SketchUp‘s native file format.|
|Export .skp file format|
|Save SketchUp‘s native file format.|
|Import .kmz file format|
|Open or merge Google Earth’s native file format.|
|Export .kmz file format|
|Save Google Earth’s native file format.|
|Import Google Earth Snapshot||*||*||*||*|
|Import terrain and coordinate information from Google Earth|
|Evaluate ArchiCAD designs in real environment in Google Earth|
|Provide architectural context for your project, accessing hundreds of models from Google 3D Warehouse|
|Direct upload to 3D Warehouse||*||*||*||*|
|Share your model with others by uploading it to Google 3D Warehouse|
* The automated data exchange is not available on this Operating System. Please find the manual communication workflow here
- Be sure you have access to the Internet through a broadband connection (at least 512 Kbits/sec download).
- When installing the Add-On, you must be logged on as a member of the Administrator Group.
- Download the Google Earth program (version 5 or newer) onto your computer and install it.
- Download the Google Earth Connections Add-On.
- Extract the downloaded executable file (on Windows only).
- The installer wizard will guide you through the rest of the installation.
The installed Google Earth Connections Add-On sub-menu can be found in ArchiCAD’s File menu/ Google Earth Connections by default
- After installing Google Earth Connections add-on properly, the Product Manual can be opened from ArchiCAD by using the File/ Google Earth Connections/ Help command
- Product Manual for Google Earth Connections Add-On
- FAQ about Google Earth Connections
Import terrain and coordinate information from Google Earth (on Win 32-bit only)
- Launch Google Earth
- Enter your destination
- Zoom into the destination
- Start ArchiCAD 16
- File menu/Google Earth Connections/Place Google Earth Snapshot
- Click on the Floor Plan to fix the point
Evaluate ArchiCAD designs in real environment
After setting up the terrain, you can import a 3D model into your ArchiCAD project
- File menu/ Google Earth Connections/ Import Model from 3D Warehouse
- In 3D Warehouse search for the 3D object you need
- Press “Get Model” to start the download process
- In ArchiCAD choose “Place relative” option to place the model
Note: Objects from Google 3D Warehouse can contain large number of polygons. With the help of the Polygon Counting Tool you can control the number of 3D polygons in your ArchiCAD models. The Polygon Counting Tool can be downloaded from Help/ArchiCAD [version number] Downloads » Goodies.
Import 3D buildings and objects from the Google 3D Warehouse (on Win 32-bit only)
- Open your ArchiCAD model
- Import the appropriate terrain from Google Earth (see above)
- Position your building on the Floor Plan
- File menu/ Google Earth Connections/ Send Virtual Building Model to Google Earth
Publish ArchiCAD designs to the Google 3D Warehouse (on Win 32-bit only)
- Open your ArchiCAD model
- File menu/ Google Earth Connections/ Upload Model to 3D Warehouse
- In “3D Warehouse Upload Options” window select the elements and layers to upload
- In the appearing Google Earth Warehouse window the registered users can upload the model
- Go to Google Earth Warehouse to see your uploaded model