Note from Brian: I wrote up an article showing an alternative way to bring in free surface and image data (at least for those in the United States) HERE. Go take a look at it and tell me what you think.
More new information: Check out Project Basejump now available from Autodesk Labs. “With Project Basejump, AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Civil 3D software users can access Microsoft Bing data including aerial imagery, road, traffic, and other information within an AutoCAD environment.”
Even more new information: Project Basejump is no longer available but in AutoCAD 2015, you can bring in the Bing imagery and plot it too. Read about it HERE.
So, there is a lot of talk about the cool new features in Civil 3D 2013 but, there is something I’m very bummed about. Do you like to have access to free data for preliminary design? Do you like to show your client where you project is in relationship to the world? How do you do this? Well, you use Google Earth. Unfortunately, in Civil 3D 2013 there is no longer the option to import from or export to Google Earth.
Here’s an image showing not only the ribbon where the import command should exist but also the surface settings showing where the command settings for these tools would be. As you can see, they are not there:
On the Output tab, you’ll also so that the commands to export to Google Earth are missing as well:
Why were these tools removed from Civil 3D? I honestly have no idea why they were removed. Perhaps someone in the know will comment and let us know why. Here’s my guess and yes, this is truly a guess; Autodesk was contacted by the Google legal team and was told not to include the functionality.
Anyways, I hate talking about the bad but if you use Google Earth regularly, you might want to hang onto Civil 3D 2012 a little longer.
I’m going to close comments on this topic. Also, I’m going to remove all approved comments with the exception of Dave’s. If you would like to discuss it, head over to the discussion forum where there is a thread with this topic. You can find it HERE.
Looks like it’s not limited to just Civil 3D. The Google Earth extension for AutoCAD in labs has “graduated”. Not sure what that means. Thanks to Juan Soto @Civil3d_Jedi for this info.