InfraWorks and WMS

In this article we will take a look at integrating NearMap server with InfraWorks 360. If you are not familiar with NearMap, they are super high-resolution aerial images.

There is a couple of things to keep in mind when doing this;

  1. You MUST set your model extent to a minimal area. You can use as much area you need, but to get the highest resolution, a small area is indeed what is needed. You will see how this works later in the article.
  2. Check the area you are creating the model in from the NearMap website to ensure there is hi-res imagery for that location.

Keep in mind, NearMap is NOT a free service. I am using my trial version to write this article. 

Create a new model, or open an existing one. In the image below, you can see the aerial background. This aerial was created from using the InfraWorks 360 Model Builder. It’s not a very clear image as you can see. This is downtown Houston, Texas…

We are going to start by going to the Model Properties .

Set the coordinate system that you would like to use. In my case, I’m setting it to Texas State Plane. InfraWorks will convert from the NearMap coordinate system, to your set coordinate system. Click OK.

Next, you will need to open the desired XML file I have attached below. Open in Notepad. In this case, I’m choosing the nearmap_USA_GDAL_parameters.xml.

Toward the bottom, you will need to replace Demo:Demo with your NearMap username:password…

Save the file and go back to InfraWorks.

In your Data Sources click on Raster. Browse to the XML file you just edited.

Double click on the new connection to Configure it. Click on the Raster tab and check the box next to Clip to Model Extent. Click Close & Refresh.

Depending on the size of your area, depends on how long it takes to load the raster file. Mine took about 2 minutes for this small area. Why did it take so long? The resolution of these images are amazing!!

Look at the resolution of the image now…

Also, notice that the imagery was automatically clipped to my model extents.


Are You Using Civil View? You Should Be…

I’m sure many of you have noticed when installing Civil 3D (especially if you have a suite or collection), that there is a plug-in called Civil View. This is a plug-in for 3ds Max. If you’re not using this, YOU SHOULD BE! This is an easy way to present to a client or stakeholder your proposed road design animated with cars, signs, lights, etc. 

The most common phrase I hear is, “I don’t have time to learn 3ds Max”, and “It’s a too convoluted to learn”. This is a big misconception. Reason being, is that you don’t have to learn or know 3ds Max, you just use the Civil View plug-in to do it for you.

In the 20 minute video below, I show you how to create a design road in InfraWorks 360, bring it in to Civil 3D, build a corridor, export it out to 3ds Max, then create an animated presentation. This process literally took me 20 minutes to do. Hopefully this will aid you in starting to use your Infrastructure Design Suite or AEC Collection to it’s full potential.

Once you view the video, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at, or you can call our office at (281) 445-6161.