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Google Earth Connections Frequently Asked Questions



What is Google 3D Warehouse?

Google 3D Warehouse is a web site that lets you search, share, and store 3D models. Anyone may search and download models, but to submit your own, you'll need to log in using your Google Account.

The models in the 3D Warehouse include everything for your 3D world: buildings, houses, bridges, statues, sculptures, couches, cars, people, pets, and much more.

If the model has a location on earth, for example, a building located in Boulder, Colorado, you can download it and view it in Google Earth.

What is Google Earth?

Google Earth is a free-of-charge, downloadable virtual globe program. It maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe.

What is SketchUp?

SketchUp is a 3D modeling program designed for professional architects, civil engineers, filmmakers, game developers, and related professions. It was designed to be intuitive, fun and flexible, allowing designers to play with their designs, unlike most other 3D CAD software.

How Do I Create a Google Account?

To create a Google Account, go to http://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount, enter your current email address and choose a password. Once you've finished registering, you'll receive a verification email. Clicking the link in that email will complete the account creation process.

How Do I Create a Model Preview Image for the Google 3D Warehouse?

Google Earth Connections automatically creates a preview image for Google 3D Warehouse out of the current viewpoint.

How Do I Revise My Model in the 3D Warehouse?

The current Google 3D Warehouse Connection package can’t upload a revised model version to Google 3D Warehouse. Therefore, you should first manually delete the outdated model version from the Google 3D Warehouse (see the How can I delete my model from Google 3D Warehouse? section) and upload the new revision from ArchiCAD (see the Uploading models into Google 3D Warehouse section).

How Do I Delete My Model from Google 3D Warehouse?

  1. Open the http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse page in your Internet browser.
  2. In the 3D Warehouse browser, click “Sign In,” and sign into the Google 3D Warehouse with your Google Account.
  3. In the 3D Warehouse browser, click “My Models.”
  4. Find the model you want to remove.
  5. Click “remove.”
  6. A message asks you if you're sure you want to remove the model.

How Do I Edit a Model's Information in the 3D Warehouse?

You can only edit the information (title, description, tags, and so on) for your own models. To edit the information for one of your models:

  1. Open the http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse page in your Internet browser.
  2. In the 3D Warehouse browser, click “Sign In,” and sign into the Google 3D Warehouse with your Google Account.
  3. In the 3D Warehouse browser, click “My Models.”
  4. Find the model you want to change, and then click “edit.”
  5. Make your changes. You can change:
    • The title.
    • The description.
    • If the model has a location (in other words, it was created on a Google Earth terrain image)
    • The address. You can use any format for the address. The address is used to index the model so that users searching on address terms will be able to find it.
    • The URL for additional information.
    • The tags.
  6. When you have finished making your changes, click “Update.”

How Can I Identify the Problematic Elements That Slow Down Google Earth?

Check your model with the Polycount utility. This tool (available from GRAPHISOFT’s website at http://www.graphisoft.com/support/archicad/downloads/ac16/INT.html) helps you control the number of 3D polygons in your ArchiCAD models. Polycount can display the number of 3D polygons grouped by element types (walls, slabs doors, windows, objects etc.) and also compute their percentage of the complete model size. The add-on also allows you to change the 3D detail level of library parts in your projects.

Which Other Techniques are Available to Reduce the Number of Polygons in my ArchiCAD Model?

Make layer combinations. They allow you to show only those elements of the Virtual Building model that you currently need to see in the active 3D window. This way, you can easily turn off all elements located in the building’s interior, which are thus invisible.

Control the objects’ level of detail. Most library parts in the ArchiCAD library have parameters for 3D detail level (simple, detailed, off) and curve resolution. Set these parameters to the minimum required for the 3D view.

Avoid using memory-intensive library part options. Some optional elements of ArchiCAD objects can generate a significant number of 3D polygons without producing noticeable differences on the final drawings. Please be careful using the following parameters:

How Do I Find Locations in Google Earth where 3D Models are Available?

To find locations in Google Earth where 3D models are available, download the 3D Warehouse Network Link (http://earth.google.com/3d.html). Warehouse Network link is a KMZ file used by Google Earth. Once you've downloaded the file and opened Google Earth, you'll see special house-shaped markers that indicate where 3D models are located.