Sunday, September 13, 2015

Combining Google Maps, Photogrammetry and Pointcloud Data into Revit 2016

Arne Folkestad Bjelland's Tutorial

Here is a video that I stumbled upon, by Arne Folkestad Bjelland, while trying to figure out how to get 3D building information from google earth into Revit. In the past there have been far more complicated ways to do this, and to save the confusion we're just going to forget about those old ways, and stick with this! Below is a recording of my take on the process!

On Arne's blog he explains the simple process as so:

"I guess I have a hang up on photogrammetry lately. But I enjoy the way you can move data quickly in an effortless operation.
Google Maps is getting better and better, and to be honest I am really amazed how you can view an entire city in great detail. We use Google Maps in our office to investigate exciting sites and surroundings, and I have thought that it would have been valuable to import this information into Revit.
And guess what, by using photogrammetry I made it happen:)
In short:
  • open google maps in full screen and find your building site
  • rotate the view around your site meanwhile you press «print screen» as often as you wish
  • with dropbox installed, the «print screens» should be perfectly downloaded automatically
  • you should crop your photos to get rid of unwanted text/labels. You can do this by making an «action» in Photoshop and then choose «File» – «Scripts» – «Image Processor» to crop every photos in a folder
  • then you make a mesh in Memento with your cropped photos and export it in RCP
  • import it into Revit and enjoy
PS! For fun, I also tried to do photogrammetry with Google Streetview. It was not successful but I will try again later. I do have some ideas:)"

Thank you Arne Folkestad Bjelland this is brilliant!

I also had never used Momento before, but here is a link for you all to check it out. It's another great Autodesk product that's currently in beta!

Some additional features coming soon and news about Memento!

Here's a link to his blog, and his absolutely brilliant approach.


I have ran two image processes thus far, and it is confirmed that you can use Google Earth Pro, or any images for that matter! Have fun exploring!

Note 09/14/2015:

Amr Kamal, BSc., EIT, PMP

Sent me this wonderful tip, in case anyone else was wondering how to take the screenshots in a more convenient way!

Hi Brian,
Thank you for the video that you posted, i have a small suggestion, 
If you use Google earth you have the option to record a tour and then if you make a movie of that tour in Google earth and export that movie into images you will have hundreds of high quality images from google earth without pressing any print screen.


18 images before processing, and processed with Google Earth Browser Edition

100 images before processing, and processed with Google Earth Pro

Final Image Composed of Downtown Core

The Revit Import

Revit Point Cloud Section - Downtown Bozeman, Montana


  1. That's interesting, particularly the ability to convert it to points. I would like to tell two quick stories and then tie them together to this.

    Several years ago when this technology first came available I used it to recreate Wrigley Field in Chicago based off of a trip I took to the stadium. But it's been refined quite a bit since then and I'm glad you showed what it can do today. Then last year I used Recap to clean up a large pointcloud scan and then import it into Navisworks. Then I brought my Revit model into Navisworks as well and rendered a 2 minute long animation over the course of about 45 minutes.

    To combine those two stories together with what you have done, a complete process could be to generate a Pointcloud based off of Google Earth, add to Recap for fine tuning, import everyone's files into Navisworks for easy animations/renderings/material assignment, and then save it as a .AVI that can be run by anyone or posted on the web. Assuming the Revit work was already complete, you could do everything over the course of a morning and that includes refining materials and camera positions in the walk-thru.

    1. I should add that it would take much longer to create a fully rendered animation using my method, but to conceptually create a quick animation to illustrate a design concept? It works great.

    2. Thanks for this information Brian. I'm glad you like this method! :) I like your thoughts of how to use these methodologies as well!

  2. Panoramio is only site you can explore the world with photos and maps

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  4. how i import that point cloud on google earth?

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