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A case for a universal browser based collaboration Earth.
How can the following be managed in a collaborative way?

So if I wanted to build a Hypertunnel across the country...
How do I get the existing conditions mapped out?
This is not a "do it on my desktop machine" project.


"you cannot manage what you have not measured"




Edited by digitalcarbon
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Or...if I wanted to build 700 1GWh Liquid fluoride thorium reactors, and I first need to find 700 locations that best blend into everything that already exists...How do I do it?


While also collaborating with ~100 other experts.


Projects of these scales, if not a cloud based live system, would be buried under the weight of information management as in import/export and making pdfs...

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  • 1 month later...

ok so I spoke with the people at Cityzenith...they want $20k a year for subscription....so apparently its not really ready for general market...also they still cannot do simple things...yet....I was told that they are working on it....so it sounds like its a start-up with potential....


Another company is Project Atlas (just got bought out by Bluebeam Revu) the have one video on youtube and at the end of the 16min video they show how to place a floor plan on a type of Google earth thing they made and also add in a drone flyover map....


things are starting to gel in the mind...


Onshape & openBOM to manage the fabrication components of a project..


then VW is the universal collection/assembly tool for a facility/bldg...(also links to OpenBOM)


cEarth would be where these facilities/buildings get referenced to for others to see how it all fits in with the big picture.

(civil engineers would terraform right in cEarth and see impact to surrounding infrastructure)  


so when you got a project you wold work it backwards from above.


cEarth for existing data & massings LOD 1


then reference the needed geometry from cEarth to VW for LOD 2,3+


BimObjects to VW for content 


then Onshape for fabricated content & models to VW


all cloud based...

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  • 3 weeks later...

all collaborators on the browser based cEarth would work off the same UTM grid...so models from VW, Revit etc would ref in their building grid and maybe a 3d foundation and 3d structural to line up with the UTM grid so the civil guys can do their thing...which would be to terraform the DTM around the site right in cEarth...



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A bit unclear about Cearth vision and your vision for accepting everyone’s digital stuff. Is C another big GPS map, or a 3d georeferenced DTM ? Is it already filled in with 3d existing terrain, utilities, roads, buildings, etc eg from digital scans? Or is it filling in via crowd sourcing by CAD nuts like us (OpenStreetMap style but 3d)? Is there a translation to common format to get my stuff into my browser or their browser? Maybe that $20k buys access to the translator and the big georef MegaVerse?  Pretty cool stuff for those wanting to play on the big stage!



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5 hours ago, Benson Shaw said:

A bit unclear about Cearth


while it would be great to have it start off with a type of Google Earth look...i would be happy to have a plain globe with outlines of countries, states, towns (with UTM)....then after marking the spot you want to work on, you purchase the needed information on that spot....starting off with the basics, then adding more as the project takes shape...


also you can ""order" a drone fly over of the area by just selecting the area and requesting a drone fly over...this will send out a push notification of all the people in the area who have purchased the special drone mapping apps and then ask them for a price. (Uber like?)


then they uploaded the drone map to the cEarth and it overlays your area...replacing any older info.


also, you can do push notification to any surveyor in the area...invite them in so they can see the area of interest and any of the mark-ups that you have placed on the site for the surveyor to focus on...then, they upload the 3d points and it turns into a DTM...the the drone images can drape over the DTM


all the while the UTM grid drapes over the terrain or hovers just above it so it does not get washed out with the image & DTM


I want to keep the perspective fly around look like Google earth because the flat mapping apps that are full of dialogue boxes are quite uninspiring...needs  to have a "gaming" feel to it...(the flat maps apps are like DOS, Google Earth is like GUI)

Edited by digitalcarbon
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so they (VW, AllPlan, Archicad) could develop this cEarth so as to tie in those 3...this would create a massive collaboration environment...then start with other file systems...


Keep in mind that you would not need to reference in (not import) the whole model of the building but just enough for the civil people to do their thing.

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you can also send push notification to any regulators (inviting them into cEarth)...telling them your intentions and asking for help in identifying any applicable rules & regulations for the area...(a polygon outlining the area of interest) then they drop pins that have hyper links.


so all towns would use this to keep an eye on what is going on in their town, district, state & country... construction wise or disaster preparedness


Edited by digitalcarbon
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Just blowing smoke here


1.  Your mockups in vwx are fantastic. Maybe a network of drafting a data nerds could accomplish the same service and get paid. I hope you continue to show us your collaboration issues, suggestions and solutions! Many thanks.


2.  I like the collaborative and informational vision you are describing.  We sort of have it now in the form of localized GIS data and consumer level software which can manipulate, augment and customize the available info. GIS is normally presented as 2d maps with database including 3d data points. Currently, in my limited experience, these accessible GIS elements only become visually 3d when combined into user 3d software such as vwx.  And, that needs translators/converters to work with the base data, then reverse translators to publish into common display or collaboration environments.  Therefore, I see some advantage in developing a  gateway source such as Cearth. I hope to see it or something like it up and running.  But I also kinda like the public access provided by the various GIS sources.  I'm guessing the current distributed and publicly available GIS data sets (cities, counties, regionals, states, nationals) will naturally evolve into a virtual 3d space with common formats which can accept the models we work with in our evolving software - BIM,CAD, etc.


3. Currently, some access to spacial data is intentionally withheld.  Sports, transport and performance spaces could provide more detailed 3d info (view ways, etc) but many withhold the data for security.  Not sure how that plays out with Cearth type services. Some things will be proprietary to projects during collaboration and will be dissolved or concealed rather than included in the megaverse. Security among Cearth and project members might be an issue. Permissions to recover hidden data could also be a problem after 20 or 30 years or several centuries.  Digital records have a way of being ignored for a long time (have we opened any of our old collections of flash drives, hard drives, data disks, etc? No!), then falling past the readability horizon as equipment and software evolves away from them, then, finally being discarded. Maybe those paper sheets are worth the effort after all?



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as to security...the cEarth browser based system would actually be more secure in that a City would never hand over files to the project team...The City or Utilities would just allow access to some critical infrastructure needed for team members and then when the project is over just restrict access...


the above method is more secure then handing out files of critical infrastructure and then asking everyone to delete them when project is done...


Also...as to security...while all activity is private (unless you make it public) activity alerts will show up to others who have interest in the area...they won't know what you are doing but they will get a notification that you are doing work in the area....So If I'm planing an event (good or bad) the city, utilities etc in that area will get notified and they can contact me..


so this means that in the worst case such as a team of terrorists are trying to use cEarth to blow up something,  the utilities, city etc will see that planed activity is being orchestrated and will then they will contact the group planning the activity...if they find out that its legit then the event planners would be happy to include someone from the utilities or city...

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  • 1 month later...

so apparently this information already exists....this was handed me 2 months after we started the project...if we had a universal cEarth then as soon as a project started I would pull up cEarth and start with my design layout...then Invite in others who are part of the team (clients, engineers)  as the project got more traction then invite others...


What is happening is that I started out as a simple modeler for one company...but over the years I have expanded into doing more for a given project...lost control a few times dealing with civil engineers ...so now Im slowly getting involved with fitting things to the UTM grid then saying "you can't move it unless you run it by me."  never worried about that before...now I do. 


Also lost control with fabricators...but thats another story.  (using Onshape to control that)


So now I will be looking for this information up front without a cEarth...but still I'm working in a silo.

I'm not asked to do this type of work, but when I get things 2 months later and it changes the model but the deadline does not then I start to feel the need to get this information myself up front.  I'm becoming a civil to fabrication modeling firm...not really what I had in mind...but its providing a unique perspective.  





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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok...so I was asked to provide a .shp file...have not done one of those in a long while...


I thought the civil firm originally sent me the site in UTM in the beginning because that is what i said and everyone agreed but they did not tell that to their cad person...


They were working in feet and the surveyors coordinate but I was in UTM.... to confirm that we were both in the same spot we needed to convert.

They needed to take their surveyors coordinate and convert to Lat and Long then convert that to the UTM


this all took about 4hrs


So a cEarth collaboration browser would at least keep everyone in the same spot on the planet...I was in South America for the first 2 hrs then up near Greenland for the 3rd finally I ended up in California where the project was.


all while trying to hit a deadline.




Edited by digitalcarbon
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  • 1 month later...

Invited team members to start to turn on (GIS data) or add their things...

UTM grid turned on.

wet lands 

traffic patterns 

fly zones

the list is endless depending on the project..

request drone mapping by mark up the area for any survey with a "survey" polygon..this would then send push notifications to anyone who has the survey app on their drone & request a quote. 


layout your geometry (that IS already in sync with the earth)

then start your massing & programing requirements (LOD1) ...data can be floating in 3d off on the side in a type of "plan" view


then flip to a:



LOD 3.5



4D BIM etc would all work off this cEarth.


when you hand off to the owner...you simply make them the "owner" of the information...no files transfer...


if they do an addition in the future then the owners just invite you back in...





Edited by digitalcarbon
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also if there was a tornado strike in the area then the government (Fed) and local could coordinate all relief work thru this cloud based system...

you could request drone maps every 4 hrs for overlay image updates...


in emergencies it would track all cell phone movement on the map to better coordinate relief efforts...


then you could send messages to all cell phones that enter the area saying "relief supplies found at...go here or there"


this means that ANY cell phone that enters a zone of damage would get a message..even if you are out of state...






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