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MicroSurvey CAD and Raster Imagery

MicroSurvey CAD and Raster Imagery

MicroSurvey CAD offers a wide range of options for displaying imagery (typically aerial photos) as a backdrop to your CAD drawing. We'd like to help you understand your options:

1. Insert Raster Imagery

MicroSurvey CAD includes the standard CAD functionality that allows you to attach raster imagery. It can read a positioning file if you have a georeferenced image, or you can manually transform the image to control points if you have a non-georeferenced image.

See this movie on inserting a georeferenced image:

See this movie on placing a non-georeferenced image:

2. Globalmapper

Global Mapper is another component in MicroSurvey CAD that allows you to access a wide variety of online sources as well as a variety of formats for images not supported by the regular "Image Attach" function discussed above.

Global Mapper allows you to insert geospatial data and imagery from local files or online web-based services, using the built-in Global Mapper™ SDK.

Click here to review the article which explains this topic

3. HxIP Imagery

The Hexagon Imagery Program (HxIP) is a cloud hosted service offering high quality, accurate geo-referenced and ortho-rectified imagery. This imagery can be accessed in MicroSurvey CAD using the Global Mapper SDK. You can access the Valtus store to purchase high quality imagery.

Click here to review the article which explains this topic

4. Bing Maps Mapping service

MicroSurvey CAD 2017 and newer has the fantastic Bing Maps™ mapping service feature that allows you to plull geo referenced images into your drawing from the Microsoft Bing maps online server. There is no charge to you except that you must own a MicroSurvey CAD license.

Click here to view a movie showing how you can access Bing Imagery

5. Georeferenced Images for FieldGenius

If you have a georeferenced image that works in MicroSurvey CAD, there is a good chance it will work in FieldGenius. FieldGenius will display georeferenced tif and jpg files of modest size. If you have MicroSurvey CAD and you DON't happen to have a georeferenced image, you can use the Bing Maps feature to import one! There is a Lisp routine to export a World file for a selected raster image in MicroSurvey CAD

Click on this link to download the lisp file

Click here to watch a video which explains the process

6. Other Sources for Georeferenced Imagery:


TerraServer-USA is run by Microsoft and the US Geological Survey, and is used as a component of Microsoft's Virtual Earth application. Images from the USA (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) can be downloaded just by zooming and panning to the desired image, entering lat/long coordinates, or searching by city or address. Available images vary in quality from high-resolution color ortho images in metropolitan areas to lower-resolution black and white images in rural areas, and topographic maps are also available.

Google Earth

I think just about everyone has used Google Earth to find their house, the pyramids of Egypt, Area-51, and other sites. While Google Earth can save a JPEG image file, it can not save a JGW world file on its own. However, there are several third-party applications that can be used in conjunction with Google Earth to get both the JPEG and JWG files. Below are a couple, but a web-search will find more.

Stitch Maps works in conjunction with Google Earth (that fun little program that you've tried to find Area-51 with) and allows you to save image files with world files by navigating through the standard Google Earth interface. There is a free trial version that you can download from the link above, but you must purchase the program to be able to save the world files. Costs about $35 - $50. I have not used this myself, but have heard from users who do use it.

MapWindow is a free GIS program that, along with the Shape2Earth Plugin (which costs about $30 but has a free fully-functional demo), can be used to generate both the JPEG and JWG files from Google Earth. The following website explains the details:

USGS Seamless Map Server

This site is hosted by the US Geological Survey, and can be used to create digital images throughout the world. The server seemed really slow, and the interface wasn't all that intuitive so I didn't actually spend much time trying it out and never got to the point of exportng any images. However there is a built-in tutorial which I would recommend going through instead of trying to stumble blindly through it like i did. It seems like it also includes GIS type data such as highways, borders, rivers, etc. Give it a try, you may have success.

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  1. Brian Sloman

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