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Online Data Sources

MicroSurvey CAD 2014 and STAR*NET 7.2 feature a new ability to stream data from online sources into your network plot.  Online imagery sources can vary significantly, with anything from high-resolution aerial photography, low-resolution satellite imagery, Street and Topographic Maps, GIS data, and more.

Preconfigured Online Data Sources

Many pre-configured online data sources are available, including the following plus many others:

World Imagery is a free ESRI ArcGIS base map showing high-resolution imagery where available, and low-resolution satellite imagery otherwise; click here for additional details.

World Street Map is a free ESRI ArcGIS base map showing highways, major and minor roads, railways, water features, administrative boundaries, cities, parks and landmarks, overlaid on shaded relief, with building outlines in some areas; click here for additional details.

World Topo Map is a free ESRI ArcGIS base map showing administrative boundaries, cities, water features, physiographic features, parks, landmarks, highways, roads, railways, airports, and buildings overlaid on land cover and shaded relief for added context; click here for additional details.

LandSat7 Global Imagery Mosaic is a free NASA JPL project combining more than 8200 individual natural- or pseudo-colored Landsat7 satellite images (maximum 15m/50ft-resolution) collected worldwide during 1999-2003; click here for additional details.

MapMart On Demand is a commercial service which you can use to purchase aerial photography, satellite imagery, digital elevation models, topo maps, street maps, and more; click here for additional details.

Custom Online Data Sources

You can add additional data sources from any WMS (Web Mapping Service), WCS (Web Coverage Service), TMS (Tile Map Service Tiles), OSM (OpenStreetMap Tiles), or Google Maps Tiles servers that you come across, just use “Add new source”, pick the appropriate format, and enter the server’s “Get Capabilities” URL.

(Regarding “Google Maps Tiles” source data, please note that this refers not to using imagery from Google Maps or Google Earth, but a server specification for third-party developers to stream additional data into Google Maps.  In fact, the “World Imagery”, "World Street Map" and "World Topo Map" sources described above are all Google Maps Tiles servers hosted by ESRI.)

A google search like "WMS YourCity" or "WMS YourState" etc should get you started.

Commercial, subscription-based services are also available in different regions.  In Canada, First Base Solutions is one example that offers WMS-based high-resolution aerial photography for many regions, with extensive coverage especially in Ontario.

Free, public services are also available, often from various levels of government.  Here are a few websites that list several in British Columbia, Canada. Please feel free to take a look just to see what sort of data might be available in your own geographic region.

And here is a free source operated by the Canadian Government (NRC):

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  1. Brian Sloman

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