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Google Earth/Site Plan


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By David in Fort Lewis, WA on 7/5/2006


Just wanted to pass on a recommendation to anyone trying to plan their building site. Try Google Earth. It is a free download and in my case was instrumental in helping me to orient my house on our 20 acres. It helped that Pierce County, WA has a tool on their website that will overlay your plat onto the imagery in Google Earth. I then downloaded another free program from Google called SketchUp, which allowed me to build a 3-D model of my house and import it onto the aerial imagery and move it around so I could determine best where to place my house on the lot.


I am now using the same programs to develop my site plan that I will turn in with my building permit application to show where the driveway, septic, well, and house will go in relation to lot boundaries and designated wetland buffer zones. Much better and easier than a scale drawing. Helped to determine best route for utilities and clearing for lawns also.

 


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By Rob in Ottawa, ON on 7/6/2006


The other great thing about Google's SketchUp tools is its ability to take a location from Google Earth and use that to model the sun position at any time in the year as a light source.  We are trying to design a house to benefit from passive solar heating and this was a great way of seeing just how much sun we would get into the interior in the middle of winter vs. the summer and how the surrounding features would interfere.
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