Importing terrain profiles using Google Maps for landscaping design and how to bring even more realism to your architectural projects. A practical BIM design tool, capable of acquiring the contour lines of a terrain area and overlaying its satellite imagery too.

One of the main features of a BIM software is that it allows designers to develop projects which are increasingly faithful to reality. The more realistic a project is, the more beneficial it will turn out to be for both designers and clients.

Clients, on the one hand, will have a clear idea of what designers are developing in order to have an immersive feel and lifelike perception of the surrounding spaces and environments.

Designers, on the other hand, will be able to work on a precise virtual model allowing them to make efficient, time saving design choices.

It goes without doubt that one of the most challenging modelling aspects regards terrain modelling and spaces organisation. In this post we’ll take a look at how this task is completely overcome by means of the Google Maps terrain elevation map import feature which is part of the Edificius BIM integration tools.

Importing terrain morphology from Google Maps

Edificius completely solves this issue by seamlessly connecting to the Google maps API allowing the user to import a terrain morphology and even overlay the relating area map satellite imagery. Let’s see how.

In Edificius, with the Terrain environment active, start off by selecting the ‘Terrain [perimeter]’ tool from the objects menu. We’ll then do a first click on our ‘Survey’ level drawing area and choose ‘Import from Google Maps’ from the menu.

In Google Maps, once we have found the area of interest, all we need to do is trace a selection rectangle that includes the terrain area data that we need to import and confirm by clicking on ‘Capture’.

Selecting the area to import from Google Maps_Edificius

Terrain area selection in Google Maps

Let’s proceed with import.

Importing the area from-Google-with-Edificius

Terrain area import from Google Maps with Edificius

Edificius will now show a dialog showing the terrain’s coordinates and dimensions. By confirming, we can immediately import the terrain’s morphology and imagery and the relating contour lines.

Edificius dialog with the selected area's perimeter-and-contour-lines-Edificius

Edificius Terrain modelling environment with the selected area perimeter and resulting contour lines

Here’s one of the many video examples that shows how to proceed with Google Maps import procedure using Edificius.

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