I researched this more, there seems to be some discrepancies in the Google Permissions.
See this page first
Those answers lead me to believe, like Michael stated, Earth Pro is required to use the imagery. However, there is no mention of using Earth Pro exclusively in the Geo Permissions. Click on the Geo Permissions link http://www.google.com/permissions/geoguidelines.ht
It seems as if the Geo Permissions state, if you site the image as described you can use them.
What do you guys think?
I want to be legit, and have no problem purchasing Earth Pro, but it seems unclear whether or not we are required to do so simply for vicinity and aerial images.
If you're "Map" savvy, you can access the US 2009 Census information for free from the geocommunities GIS Data Depot (GeoComm.com) and use the display manager to label street names at varying scales. I would use this second to any DOT-based information - the DOT's usually give more information on functional class (local/county/state) versus the census lines. From the Census data, look for "all edges" and then you want to get the data with "roadflg=Y" so you don't get the streams/rivers/railroads, and such. Then you just have to label the road features based on the field "FULLNAME"
You can also bring in free Digital Orthophotos from the national seamless map server, 1m resolution (typically) directly into C3D.
I'd be happy to show anyone interested - toddhATctcivilDOTcom.
Since no one mentioned it, don't forget that with C3D we can use WMS (Web Mapping Services). This allows you to connect to a service that has pre-made base maps and display them in your drawing. There are thousands of such servers out there. ESRI hosts several and you can connect to the National Map as well. Google Earth and Google Maps may have services now but I don't know if they impose restrictions on thier use.
The downside is the graphics are not embedded in your drawing so if you lose connection to the service the maps will not load. Still you could use a capture utility to create an image and insert that. Once you find a service that you like you will always have ready access to vicinity maps.
The TxDOT urban files (county road maps), in DGN format from the TNRIS website.
The site has a ton of other free data.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a website that subscription members could log on to, zoom to the area they needed then do a capture to paste that image right into their project?
Hint-hint....... you need anyone to oversee that project?
Why limit it to a subscription service? Can we have a screen capture tool to bring any image right into our dwg? How about capturing WMS images?