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Grzeg - Export Buildings From Google Earth

About Export Buildings From Google Earth

Previous Entry Export Buildings From Google Earth Dec. 30th, 2006 @ 08:36 am Next Entry

I found this technique of extracting buildings from Google Earth for use in any 3D modeling programs on http://forum.sketchup.com/showthread.php?t=74242.

By following the instructions, installing the freeware applications, putting the right system files and overwrites where they need to be in Google Earth folder (all available on at the forum), going in Google Earth and extracting the buildings from a city, opening the .obj file in Rhino, and exporting it as a .dwg, you can have basic polygonal solids of whatever cities that are available on Google Earth. Japan has a lot now in Google Earth; here’s some renders of the Omotesandō site given for the Tokyo House project, as well as some of Manhattan that I used for the skyscraper work:

I’ve copied the relevant text from the forum for how to do this here:

 

<“This particular technique only works, as far as I know, with a PC, and you will need the applications GLIntercept and OGLE:

http://glintercept.nutty.org/download.html
http://ogle.eyebeamresearch.org/download

What you do with these programs is literally to intercept the OpenGL instructions to your video card from Google Earth, and then convert them to a standard mesh. Obviously, for this to work you have to have Google Earth running in OpenGL mode, not DirectX. Also, as noted in the OGLE instructions:

"Some applications do not seem to want to function (i.e. they crash!) with GLIntercept if the real OpenGL32.dll is in the system location. If you are having weird problems, try the following:


1. Copy the sytem dll (most likely C:\WINDOWS\system32\opengl32.dll) to your app's directory (name it opengl32.orig.dll or some such)
2. Set GLSystemLib = "opengl32.orig.dll"; in your gliConfig.ini file."

Google Earth is one of the applications that require that procedure; if you don't copy the system .dll into the GE directory, GE will simply not work at all (if you have placed the GLIntercept files in the GE directory). Follow this and the other directions with GLintercept and OGLE very carefully. The end result will be an .obj file that includes what was visible in your screen in GE, along with some odd artifacts. To get this file into SketchUp, you'll have to translate the .obj into something SU opens. Some modelers seem to have difficulty with .obj files created by OGLE, notably 3DS Max. But I have been able to open them just fine with Rhino (and re-export them as .dwg files to SU), and you might try any of the various free translators floating around on the web.

Several things to consider: first, when you intercept OpenGL from GE, you should be looking straight down onto the GE location you want; otherwise your resultant model will not be aligned to the real z-axis. Also, the intercepted model will not have any scale related to real world distances. The way I get around this is to place in Google Earth, prior to using OGLE, a cube of known dimensions (like 100' x 100' x 100') somewhere close to the area I want to capture. When I finally get my captured mesh file into SketchUp, I use that cube to reset the model's scale to reality.

It seems to me that problems of this kind can unfortunately be specific to individual Windows systems and their configurations, but I was able to get GLintercept and Ogle to work by carefully following that warning in the OGLE instructions:

(quote) In using GLIntercept, the author has noticed some problems you may also encounter:

* Some applications do not seem to want to function (i.e. they crash!) with GLIntercept if the real OpenGL32.dll is in the system location. If you are having weird problems, try the following:
1. Copy the sytem dll (most likely C:\WINDOWS\system32\opengl32.dll) to your app's directory (name it opengl32.orig.dll or some such)
2. Set GLSystemLib = "opengl32.orig.dll"; in your gliConfig.ini file.
* The Error Checking functionality of GLIntercept can cause applications to run very slowly. Typically we set all of the Error Checking flags (GLErrorChecking, ThreadChecking, BreakOnError, LogOnError, ExtendedErrorLog, DebuggerErrorLog) to False.
* Same goes for Frame(Buffer) logging. We highly recommend setting FrameLog::LogEnabled to False.
* Same also goes for per-frame function call logging. We highly recommend setting LogPerFrame::Enabled to True so that GLIntercept only logs when you tell it to, not throughout the whole run of your application. (end quote)

I imagine that the problem is probably with GLIntercept, as it was for me. To save you time, I'll attach the two files ("opengl32.orig.dll" and "glConfig.ini") that work on my computer. Unzip them and try dropping them into the Google Earth directory and overwriting the glConfig.ini that GLIntercept installed. They are already configured for OGLE and and I changed the hotkey for initiating the OpenGL intercept function to something that isn't already used in Google Earth: CTRL+` (that's that accent mark below the tilde symbol on the upper left of your keyboard, generally below the Esc key).

Also, make sure that Google Earth is using OpenGL and NOT DirectX for rendering, under Google Earth options. At least for my system, SketchUp will not pull a textured mesh file from GE if GE is using OpenGL, and I am always forgetting to reset GE to OpenGL when I decided to do an intercept using OGLE.

Incidentally, I've received some notes from other people who have had OGLE successfully create the .obj file, but have had difficulty in getting anything to open it and show any content. The only thing on my computer that will open this file properly is Rhino 3, and for unknown reasons I found that the best way to get it from Rhino to SketchUp was an export as a .dwg file (.3ds export produced a million "white" material textures, one for every surface, which made the SU file very large indeed).

Hope that helps.

Lewis

OGLE_GE_files.zip (275.9 KB, 24 views)”>

Leave a comment
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 15th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC)

ogle

(Link)
Hi-
Will you please share with me the OGLE_GE_files.zip. I try to configure them but i get lost somewhere
my mail is jorge.iko@gmail.com
thanks in advance

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