New Version of Butterfly – Google Maps and more

Project Butterfly has gone through a major upgrade last week. We have released a new version with new features and tweaks:

  • Large raster support
  • Google Maps integration
  • New Collaboration widget
  • Measure tools

Project Butterfly, Meet Google Maps

You can now overlay your design on a Google Map from within Butterfly, and you can use this to present your plans and to make drafting on terrain much easier.

Using maps in Butterfly can be useful to a variety of fields, such as residential, environmental and governmental. A few examples include planning infrastructure design, urban planning, or just placing your house plans on the site.

More than a drafting tool, overlaying designs on maps makes a powerful presentation tool. Drawings come to life, and can be understood in the context of their surroundings.

With the map in the background of your drawing, you can collaborate on the drawing. Share it, review it, co-edit it, or even publish a link to it – it all works with the map or image that you’ve chosen.

Large Raster Image Support

You can now import a drawing with a large raster image background that you setup in AutoCAD.

Butterfly now supports over 20 popular image formats to serve as background to your drawing. We support all formats natively interpreted by the GDAL library.

Project Butterfly’s support of large images enables drawing over older drawings which are only available in printed or scanned form or over satellite and aerial imagery of the site.

Just like with Google Maps in Butterfly, you can share and collaborate on drawings with raster underlays.

Streamlining the Collaboration Process

We have made it easier for users to start collaborating on their drawings. Starting now, you only have one place to look for if you want to collaborate – whather its sharing your drawing, co-editing, or starting a design review. Each collaboration option has description text next to it, so you can easily find the right option for the task at hand.

You can find this window by clicking the large “Share and Collaborate” button.

Measurement Tools Added

Another addition to the latest version of Butterfly is the Measure tool also found in AutoCAD.You can now measure distances and areas in addition to drawing persistent dimensions.

We’d love to hear feedback from you. Write to us in the comments below, or use the Feedback link in the application.

Campus map courtesy of Duke University. There is no affiliation or endorsement between Autodesk and Duke University.


  1. Posted March 28, 2010 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    That’s just great! G-Maps under a drawing is a great help.

  2. Posted March 29, 2010 at 2:29 AM | Permalink

    The option of integrating google maps is very good. We work hard in the studio with orthophotos, but sometimes we do not have google maps and ince great help but to have it built, the better.
    I wish it integrated into the next desktop version of Autocad.
    Thanks for your work.

  3. Posted March 29, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    Worked great out of the box. I exported my architectural drawing from Revit, imported and georeferenced it to the map within 5 minutes no problem. I exported as a PNG and got a small glitch where it misplaced the drawing, but the second time it worked fine.

    Glad you mentioned GDAL. For those new to it, it’s a powerful set of data access libraries (and conversion tools!) from

    Any chance of having direct image upload to Butterfly, without having to associate them with drawing files instead? e.g. upload a GDAL support format and use it as a background instead, or even georeference it? 🙂

    Well done, and thanks for the email blast notice of these new features.

  4. Posted March 30, 2010 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    Great work!

    If you can add the possibility to insert dwg with geographical coordinates and scale…
    Like 1/1000 and Lambert 2 expanded.
    That will be perfect.

  5. Butterfly
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for all the compliments, guys!

    Tyler – We want to be able to underlay the rasters on directly in Butterfly, but that might take us a few months.

    Damien – We’re not sure yet when we’ll be able to implement that. Stay in touch with me via email and I’ll let you know –


  6. Posted April 10, 2010 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    very interesting stuff…thanks for the great blog

  7. ilag
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    Do you work with GoogleMaps/GoogleEarth team ?
    Can you imagine a complete and acurate model of the Earth from which each project will be drawn (more waste of time collecting data to redraw the background, all will be already there) and also modeled in 3D (Google Maps now includes a EarthView ).
    In words, we will get it a numerical model of the Earth’s exploitable and continuously updated by each architecture team. Exciting isn’t it?

    (Excuse my bad English … I’m French).

    • Butterfly
      Posted April 27, 2010 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

      Hi, ilag.
      We do not work with the Google Maps or Earth team. Their product provides us with an API – an interface, through which we combine data from their service into our application.

      Your vision sounds like the direction the software world is heading onto, but that’s only thoughts and imagination right now.

  8. Posted December 16, 2010 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

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4 Trackbacks

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  2. […] and other features (Large raster support, New Collaboration widget, Measure tools), read this excellent post from the Autodesk Project Butterfly […]

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  4. […] been learning the Autodesk Revit Architecture software, so was keen to try it out along with the latest Butterfly geospatial features – georeferencing to a Google Map background. It worked well for me and a tutorial drawing I […]

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