How To Rough In a PDF Page To Google Earth and Google Earth Mobile

In the video below we show how to solve a problem posted by a user this morning. Their question was as follows

On Monday I need to go out to a site that I have a PDF plan for, but the plan doesn’t contain any coordinates or reference data that I can use to place it correctly. Can I place it using Google Earth and get it roughly correct, so that I can go on site and use a phone to get my location so I can find some property corners etc.

Also what app can I use on my phone to achieve that?

So currently you can use Google Earth and Google Earth Mobile on your phone. You can load information into Google Earth Mobile in georeferenced image formats (for the PDF page) and the linework in a KML format - both can be generated in TBC.

We will shortly be releasing our own App for phones that also understands alignments and the 3D data and allows positioning on site, recording of notes and images with tags for site management needs on your phone (RPS Site Manager) (Watch this space).

In the video we show the following

  1. How to find the location of your project in Google Earth
  2. Determining a single point on site to use as an anchor point in TBC (a Global Lat, Long, Height coordinate)
  3. Creating a TBC Project in the correct units and with the correct coordinate system
  4. Entering a point using Latitude, Longitude and Height as a Global Coordinate
  5. Turn on the background map / image service in TBC
  6. Import a PDF Page into TBC
  7. Georeference the PDF plan to the background image in TBC
  8. Extract the vector linework for the PDF Plan
  9. Create a georeferenced image with KML sidecar file for use in Google Earth and Google Earth Mobile
  10. Creating the linework output for Google Earth and Google Earth Mobile
  11. Opening the data in Google Earth to check it all works

To see how to load the data into Google Earth Mobile - watch our Training Video on MyRockpile Library as that covers all of the options and how to do that step - apologies that I don’t have time to capture that process here and since we have that as a work process video already on the Library I figured that is OK for now.

Hope that this helps you


Video shows you how

1 Like

I want to be able to do a shift when doing the capture image. I have a shift when exporting to Google Earth which helps when I create a KML for my “MyMaps”. I rather export some colored in plan sheets using the capture image. With not having the right location even when using a coord system, my PDF from capture image is not in the right location. Which i could change the Local Site just for the capture image which I rather not do.

I have been using MyMaps by Google to create a web link for linework that I have exported. I did a test in the field with my ipad and I was right on where I was standing. Giving that my cell service was good. This gives co-workers a chance to go live to the field and see your locations on the project. I do like the how this does show me the properties of the lines such as the name of the line.

I think you can shift the image in Google Earth in the object properties.


The image from the capture image is movable, yet it is not rotated correctly. The one I tested was rotated slightly. Since the capture image KML is an image you can view the properties and move the image as if it was a imported overlay image.

I cant wait to see what the app will do. I was just trying to upload a KML in “MYMAPs” with a image overlay of a cut/fill map. The map does not show up as I think its to file size is to large. Would be sweet to import a surface into the app and walk while you see cut/fill onscreen.