A popular request is to export geometry in a Civil3D drawing to Google Earth in a KML/KMZ format.  This post  contains details on how to do it, with a step-by-step procedure for Civil3D.  For recent versions of Civil3D, you will want to use the EXPORTKML command because it will support the most object types (including AECC objects).  However it has some quirks and this procedure may help iron them out.

  1. Obviously the first step is opening the drawing you wish to export.  Thaw the desired layers and consider a zoom extents.  If your drawing disappears, you have some stray geometry outside your working area you will need to correct or remove.
  2. If you haven’t done so, you will need to assign a coordinate system to current drawing.  Choose the Settings tab of the ToolSpace panel, right click the drawing name at the top, choose Edit Drawing Settings (or you can use the Map ADESETCRDSYS command).
  3. The EXPORTKML command may be somewhere on the ribbon, but it doesn’t appear in the Export section of the Output tab where you would expect (Quirk One).  So simply type it in, which is quicker anyway.
  4. Change any options desired on the first panel (not likely) then click [Next].
  5. If you want specific objects, choose the second radio button, then click the [+] button to select them in the drawing.  Change any other options then click [Next].
  6. Confirm your assigned coordinate system is to be used at the top of the dialog, then click [Next].
  7. The Nudge panel is important.  Most things going to GE you will want to drape on the ground since they are at elevation 0.0.  However, if you have 3dFaces or 3dSolids at specific elevations, be sure the “Elevation relative to sea level” button is filled and the elevation value at the top is 0.0 (Quirk Two).  You may have to experiment with this tab to achieve the desired results.  Finally click [Next].
  8. The default is a compressed KMZ file format.  If your project is large this is best.  If you have a small project and/or want to see the contents of the output, click the […] button and change to KML  Then click [Export].
  9. Click the [View] button to display the KML/KMZ file in the default application (likely GE).

Additional Notes:

  • Civil3D’s EXPORTKML content tends to cause GE to zoom to the moon (less than optimal).  In Google Earth expand the tree under your project in the Places panel, then expand Model, then double click on the first object under model to zoom to the output (Quirk Three).
  • A KMZ file is simply a ZIP file.  You can change the extension and open it to examine it’s contents.

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