Google Earth   2 comments

View your cave maps on Google Earth

Posted on May 6, 2007 by Hubert

WinCaps is a cave mapping program available at: has an export feature to save the cave map in dxf format. Google Sketch has an import feature for dxf files and can place them on Google Earth. The only problem is that caves are under the ground and do not show up when you zoom in on the location. However, you can easily raise the cave to the surface for study in 3D to compare with the surrounding terrain.

If you have a cave map created with WinCaps or any other cave mapping software that can export to dxf, then here are the easy steps to place the cave on Google Earth.

With WinCaps:

1. Create sides

Select all except survey data

Select North Arrow and Scale, this will help in positioning onto Google Sketch.

2. Select File and Export

Select type as dxf and choose a directory to save the file.

With Google Earth:

1. Find the entrance of the cave.

With Google Sketch:

1. Click on “Get Current View” of the cave location. Google Earth must be open on your computer with the cave entrance place marked.

2. Select File and Import your cave dxf file.

3. Select View and X-Ray so that you will be able to see through the ground and view your cave.

4. Use the Rotate/Move tool to position the entrance at the place mark of the cave.

5. Select “Place Model” and the cave map will be transferred to Google Earth. The view will now switch to Google Earth.

With Google Earth:

1. On the side bar look at “Your Temporary Places,” you should see a place mark labeled SuPreview2 created with Google Sketch. Right click on this and rename it the name of the cave. I added the work “Map” at the end of the name so I would know that it is hidden under ground.

2. Right click on the name again and click on “Properties.”

3. Go to “Altitude” and move the slider to raise the cave above the ground level. Don’t move it too far as it will go out into space.

4. Click “OK” and view the cave as it relates to the terrain. As you move the terrain around on the screen, the area of the cave that is in the center of the screen will position correctly with the terrain. This is due the fact that you have the cave above the ground and you are looking at a 3D image. The closer to the ground the more accurate the position will be.

Posted February 17, 2014 by caverhubert

2 responses to “Google Earth

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  1. Tony Furnell says:
    October 20, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Hi Hubert,
    This is a brilliant discovery! I’ve just recently been getting into applying scanned cave survey overlays onto Google Earth; I’d only started wondering yesterday about the (future) possibilities of adding 3D views of caves into GE to be able to move right around them alongside the terrain environment. Must petition Google to start supporting semi-transparent ground detail (and some way to avoid the “camera” clipping the ground so you can get underground to the cave)
    I don’t suppose you’d have any examples of .KMZ files that I could check out, to see the results


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