Sunday, April 04, 2010

Earthing Google...

Again, Am_Fet writes:

Well, again it looks like I will be carrying the hopes and dreams of this blog, unless Kiwibonds can get some time of from trying to take over the world (or at least large chunks of it). The Head Druff and his good wife passed through for lunch today, picking up a J5 and confirming the mystery guest photographed this week.....and to say I was envious......

Anyway, onto todays post: Actually using Google Earth for something...well, useful really. My planned Patea layout will feature the old Cheese Store complex as its view block on the right hand end. Its a massive collection of crumbling, decaying old buildings....and its gorgeous. But how to work out how big this sucker was going to be?

Thanks to the genius inherent in the design of Google Earth, it actually wasnt too bad. The first thing was to actually find the cheese store and zoom in on it. Level of Difficulty? about 0.00001.

Next, select "Show Ruler" from across the top toolbar:

Now, just click between two points on your building and read off the distance (you may have to set it to kilometres). Sure, you will need to do some conversion to the correct units, but its hassles. As you can see, the complex here (including wharf) worked out to around 120 metres.

Now for the calculations. True to scale, the complex would be a metre long (thats 120m / 120 = 1.) Now, I never build things true scale unless I've got an aircraft hangar to put things, but I've settled on only foreshortening items by a third. So, a third of a metre is 660mm. From here , I can load the image into Autocad, scale it to 660mm long, then run dimensions off it to suit. (in fact, on this one I went a bit bigger to retain the length, plus I designed the layout to be able to accept it like that).

Dont think you need AutoCAD to achieve such trickery either. It can also be done with a drawing board, a ruler, calculator and some clear logical thinking (i.e not after a few glasses of alcoholic punch!)

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