Summary: Export and SaveAs from Rhino 4.0 to .KML and .KMZ formats
In Rhino V4, we've added tools to the Rhino core that allow you to anchor your model to a specific location on the earth. The goal it to make sure the Rhino core has everything that's needed to support GIS, mapping, architectural, and various applications.
We constantly endeavor to make Rhino the most precise modeler available. When Rhino maps model space (3D Cartesian coordinates) to earth latitude, longitude, and elevation, it takes into account the fact the earth is not round (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_radius).
To test and demonstrate these Rhino 4.0 capabilities, we added a simple Google Earth export plug-in. The idea is to export any Rhino model to a .KML or .KMZ file that can then be posted on a website, or emailed to someone so they can view the model in Google Earth.
We may also provide a way to import .KML and .KMZ files into Rhino. (Keep in mind that most KML/KMZ files don't have any 3D geometry.)
The Google Earth 3D file format is .KML (uncompressed) or .KMZ (compressed). The .KMZ file format is simply a .KML file zipped up with the extension changed from .ZIP to .KMZ.
For more details on the .KML file format and other useful links, see:
Export, Save, etc.
Select KML from the Save as type drop down. Select a file name and location. This will create a .KML file that can be converted to a .KMZ file by zipping and renaming form .ZIP to .KMZ.
Publishing KML or KMZ files on your website
KML and KMZ files can be published like an other web compatible file type (html, jpg, gif, etc.) but your web server needs to be aware of KML and KMZ files. For details, see: http://www.keyhole.com/kml/kml_tut.html#kml_server
Tips for making Google Earth Models.
The V4 command, EarthAnchorPoint, sets up the anchor point. (This command is for supplying information that any GIS or mapping application will require; it is not specific to Google Earth.)
The command asks you to supply three sets of information.
For example, the earth anchor point for the Seattle headquarters of McNeel and Associates might contain this information:
Given that a minute of longitude is roughly 6,000 feet, then a second would be about 100', and a hundredth of second, about a foot.
Note: We need to know from our users if it is worthwhile to tune up the plug-in. Rhino might be an easy way to export many different file formats and complex shapes to Google Earth for presentation. But… the Google Earth file format is every simple so the model will not look great.
Is this useful to anyone? If so, why?
Not yet for my type of business, but when I see Manhattan New York at Google Earth, I think there's a potential, even when it is quick and dirty because that's also the quality of the buildings to be seen at Google Earth.
Yes – We do a lot of work for State DOT's and this would be especially useful in the civil-structural arena where everyone wants to get a sense of scale for the project.
Reverse the idea and you have something just as interesting… Any way to export 3D building data from Google Earth into Rhino?
It would help if picture files which have been mapped to surfaces could be exported as well. Our current workaround is to export the building geometry to SketchUp via an SKP file, texture the model there using pictures of the building, then place it in GE.
Yes this is extremely useful. I need to import kml files into Rhino for large site models.