Surveyors and Google Earth Leaving Maps Behind

SAGE 2006 - A DXF to KML converter†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† M Leach, S Lim

Google Earth


The implementation of Google Earth in the spatial industry has brought with it new possibilities for visualisation. This created the opportunity for surveyors to explain spatial concepts to the non-spatially aware. Currently, surveyors display their information for clients with maps and two dimensional images, either on paper or digitally. If there was a way for these two dimensional images and drawings to be shown in three dimensions, with an understandable backdrop such as Google Earth, then surveyors would have greater opportunities to advance understanding for their clients.

One method is to create a converter, SAGE (Surveyors and Google Earth) 2006, able to convert DXF into KML. This file converter will convert the format of a file, allowing it to be read by other programs. SAGE 2006 was written in Visual Basic and will convert DXF files to KML files. DXF is a CAD data file format and KML is the language understood by Google Earth. SAGE 2006 will be a stand-alone program running without the need of CAD or GIS software. In effect, it will be a tool giving the surveyor the ability to view DXF files using Google Earth.


What is Google Earth?

Google Earth is a product which allows the user to see the earth in 3D. It also has the ability to zoom in to a level where it is possible to see pasted satellite, aerial and GIS images.

For more information follow the link:-


DXF and KML explained

DXF is a CAD data file format designed by Autodesk© , which closely resembles AutoCADís native file format, DWG. It was designed to allow data understanding between AutoCAD and other design programs.

KML is an XML grammar and file format and is used by Google Earth to manage 3D geospatial data. The coding has a tagged based structure, with names and attributes that specify basic descriptions of the intended image in Google Earth.

For more information, follow the links:-

DXF Reference

Google Earth KML 2.0

Extensible Markup Language (XML)



Mitchell Leach

In conjunction with:

Dr Samsung Lim

School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems