16 июл. 2006 г.

Bentley Strengthens Connections to Google Earth and Google SketchUp


Bentley has increased its connections to Google SketchUp and Google Earth in recent days. As the leading vendor of design and engineering tools for large construction and geospatial projects, Bentley’s continued investment is one more proof of the professional value of Google’s GIS and AEC products and the need for mainstream CAD and GIS vendors to support the Google line.

Users of Bentley’s MicroStation XM and the current version of Bentley Architecture can now import Google SketchUp 3D designs. In addition, Bentley has established a direct connection to the Google 3D Warehouse, enabling users easy access from within MicroStation to thousands of SketchUp models.

Bentley users can also read SketchUp files (SKP) in MicroStation and then save them as MicroStation DGN files. For example, this would allow a user to work in SketchUp on a conceptual massing model of a building, and then open that same model for further refinement with the more discipline-specific Bentley Architecture. In addition, the SKP file can be referenced into MicroStation in its native format without translation. (MicroStation also does this for AutoCAD DWG files.) For example, a user could view a building design created in MicroStation in the context of city surroundings modeled in SketchUp—all without converting the SKP file to DGN. Once the SketchUp model is attached as a reference file within MicroStation, the user has full control over it and is able to turn the model’s layers on or off.

Bentley says it will support the ability to export data from MicroStation to SketchUp in the near future.

To use Google 3D Warehouse from within MicroStation, a user can drag a model from the website to the appropriate location in a DGN file. The user can work on the SketchUp model as if it were native MicroStation data. For example, a user could run a radiosity rendering on a model imported from Google 3D Warehouse.

The second version of Bentley’s Google Earth Tools for MicroStation is now out for beta testing. In addition to fixing a few bugs discovered in the first release, the new version features the ability to capture terrain and imagery from Google Earth Version 4 for use in MicroStation, and allows playback of MicroStation camera animations in Google Earth. Regarding the animation support, Bentley’s release notes comment: “We’re hopeful that sometime in the near future Google Earth will have native animation support, but in the interim, this tool combined with the Google Earth Professional Movie Maker module can be used to create effective presentation aids.”

The new Google Earth support is only compatible with the commercial release of MicroStation XM.