Learn how to display Surpac Data in Google Earth


Sometimes there is a need for displaying Surpac data (.str) in Google Earth and vice versa. To support this, I took the opportunity to develop a dedicated macro, which is downloadable here.

The Macro is simple to use but currently only works for zones 31 to 60. If you are working in MGA you can convert back and forth using the MGA option.

The options panel allows you to create slightly different effects in google earth depending on what you are trying to achieve.




The image below shows a string file converted to kml using orange lines and flatten z values checked.




Below shows a string file using the option to not flatten z values




The second macro allows you to digitise any area on google earth and then save it as a .kml file. You can then take the .kml file and turn it into a string file for use in Surpac.

The first step is to digitise an area on Google Earth. I use the ruler function for this and then save it.




Find the saved file in the Google Earth panel and right click on it.  Choose “Save Place As”




Ensure the “Save as type” is set to kml and not kmz




In Surpac, find the .kml file and run the second macro, kml to str.



This will create a string file in the Surpac navigator which has the same name as the kml file. In this example it is road.str




You can extend this functionality by digitising boundaries in Google Earth and taking screen shots using the boundary as a reference.

The boundary can then be used in Surpac for draping images over dtm’s giving you the effect below.




Please note: Before running the macros ensure your string files are in text format and not binary!  From Surpac 6.9 onwards everything is saved in binary by default. (This can be changed using plugin preferences in the customise tab)




Ash Colton

Ash Colton

Mining Knowledge Consultant, GEOVIA at Dassault Systèmes
Ash Colton is a qualified Mining and Engineering Surveyor with over 14 years' experience. Ash has worked on a number of mine sites (open cut and underground) and specializes in GEOVIA Surpac, MineSched and Macros. Ash is based in Perth, Australia.