How to Place the Built-In Bing Imagery in Surface Coordinates


I had a customer call yesterday wanting to place an aerial image into the drawing. After logging into his machine and showing them how to use the built-in Bing imagery, I noticed that his drawing was in surface coordinates. The Bing imagery is in grid coordinates. If you have every tried to scale the imagery, then you have noticed it doesn’t work.

We came up with a workaround that seems to work pretty good.

Basically what you are going to do is perform a SAVEAS. Save the drawing somewhere and rename it. Your surveyor should supply you with a scale factor. Scale the entire drawing using the basepoint of 0,0 and entering the scale factor provided to you. 

Now, turn on the Aerial image from the built-in Bing Imagery. NOTE: You must be signed into A360 and a coordinate system set in your drawing settings. Now, capture an area. Once the area is captured, turn off the Aerial. Click on the area you captured and in the ribbon change from Optimal to Very Fine. This resamples the image for better clarity.

Next, close and save the drawing. Open up the original drawing. Once there, XREF in the other drawing. Now you can scale the XREF’d image. Scale it from basepoint 0,0 with the opposing scale factor (1 / Scale Factor).

A big thanks to John Guajardo with JAG Engineering for providing the data to create the instructional video below…

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3 thoughts on “How to Place the Built-In Bing Imagery in Surface Coordinates

  1. An easier way to accomplish this is to add the grid scale factor in the Transformation tab of the drawing settings in the original drawing. Also make sure that the Reference point and rotation angles are set to 0. The bing map overlay will then scale in the original drawing to the correct location and there is no need to create an xref. You will probably have to regen the drawing to see the map in the correct location after closing the dialog box.

  2. I haven’t watched the video yet due to network restrictions, but I’m assuming what you me by surface coordinates is like a unique local project coordinate system. Thus a known survey point is given say E 10000, N 50000? If this is the case I’m using a Helmert file to translate between the two systems. My question is can C3D / M3D be used to make this transition on the fly, thus set up it’s own unique “local” system to enable the transition to happen automatically.

    1. Some people call surface coordinates “ground” coordinates, hence the term grid to ground/ground to grid. Yes, C3D is capable of doing this. There are some workarounds out there for Map 3D.

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