In November last year I did an evaluation Of the 1 version of PlexEarth Tools for AutoCAD, that among its innovations includes the interaction of AutoCAD with Google Earth. On this topic there are developments like Stitchmaps, Kmler, CounturingGE, Kml2kml, The case of Plex, in my opinion, one of the best developments I've seen on both platforms, not to lose the optics of taking advantage of the well-known features of AutoCAD and fill in the gaps that GoogleEarth has.
I just got the beta test of the 2.0 version, which will soon be coming onto the market. From the outset, we see a very interesting development, here I leave my first impressions.
This release comes with AutoCAD 2010, and is ready to run on AutoCAD 2011 that it was about time Include transparency. It is clear, that it runs on Civil3D or another application of the 2010 version, I am not sure if on 2009 and definitely, it does not run on any other previous version as its legacy did.
The development, once installed is automatically activated as a new tab of the ribbon, With the obvious advantages of this belt, which allows to turn off or light panels in a practical way.
The design of panels is made on "the obvious", Separated in a fairly practical logic, such that this version I have tried without manual or release notes and almost by intuition to what I hoped to advance, I have managed to understand what the buttons are for.
- Coordinate system. Here, without much return, it allows to choose the country and UTM zone.
- Images. Here are the options to create a mosaic of images, you can also extract from an existing polygon, drawn on the fly, along a path, creating the mosaic according to the established approach.
- Camera. Here are the functions for focus and synchronization, either from Google Earth based on AutoCAD deployment or in reverse. In this it has certain similarity to what it does Microstation But he falls short.
- Create. This is new and very renewed to what I was doing before. You can create points, routes, polygons, with all the law in AutoCAD and will be automatically updated to kml. You even have the option to generate styles of points based on AutoCAD symbols, Google Earth and even an html path.
Basically this function is to draw on Google Earth, with the precision of AutoCAD. Well at the end of the operation nothing is left in the dwg, only in Google Earth, plus the satisfaction of having done it on AutoCAD.
- Scan. This is a picket, it allows to draw on Google Earth, points, polylines and 3D polylines that will be stored in the dwg. Inclusive Supports snap! on Google Earth, and what is drawn is created on the dwg.
This digitizing mask is super-interesting, once it starts the command it freezes the zoom in both programs to ensure consistency. A right button allows you to switch between functions or refreshing that has surely freed you from a headache because of the trick these friends have smoked.
In the background, is the inverse of Create, is to draw on a dwg, by clicking on Google Earth. In the end, the object is only drawn in the dwg, nothing about Google Earth.
- Export to Google Earth. Here you can send objects to kml, and also send images. The latter is great, to export georeferenced images in AutoCAD; few (very few) tools do this.
- Land and Surfaces. Here they smoked it green, because they added functions to create digital model of terrain, surface and contour lines drawn from not only Google Earth data.
You can import from Google Earth, generating a grid, but it also supports terrain models made by other programs (such as civil 3D), Objects made on CAD (points, 3D polylines, breaklines, polyface mesh, outer / inner boundaries, etc.), giving you the potential of simple AutoCAD that can only be done with Land or Civil.
You can calculate volumes between surfaces, create points from Parseo Text, label contours ... you have to see it! Because it sure has more.
- Services. Here you have to configure general parameters, such as the path where the images are stored, Google stream timeout, license activation, etc.
When and how much does it cost
for now I am testing the beta version, although in my opinion it is ready to be used. It has many intelligent functions already incorporated, such as:
- When the image is to be captured, if the terrain is active, it automatically deactivates it with an accept / reject message.
- On the other hand, if you want to import a digital model from Google Earth, it notifies you if the terrain is not active, allowing you to accept or reject the change.
- I suppose that when launching the stable version, the manual will be available, and it would not hurt if the Spanish language were activated, because I feel that this tool, although born in Greece, can have a good reception in our Hispanic environment; considering that Google Earth has come to solve the lack of data in many territories.
- I do not know the price yet, nor do I believe that they go by the previous licensing based on transactions, which seems to me little functional in some environments. I would expect them to leave for a permanent license, in this regard I ask:
- How much should an application like this be worth?
This article talks about the News from PlexEarth 2.5