Bing Maps in MicroStation

A picture is worth a thousand words may be an old idiom, but it applies to our design projects as well.

Have you ever had a need to have your project, your designs displayed within the context of a map or aerial image? In many cases you may not have dedicated imagery and are needing something to convey a bit more meaning of the projects true location. A backdrop of Bing Maps can be displayed whether you are viewing the entire project or are zoomed into a specific project area.  Bing Maps is a web mapping service provided by Microsoft.  Bing Maps has complete coverage in North America, Australia and most of Europe.

How is this done? Well the short answer for both the MicroStation CONNECT Edition and MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 4, are the following steps;

  1. Obtain a Bing Maps License.

  2. You may need to see your CADD Manager for this next step. Configure MicroStation with a new configuration variable, MS_RASTER_BINGMAP_KEY= Bing Maps Key.

    For the MicroStation CONNECT Edition, edit the Workset’s CFG file or Standards.CFG (to set this at an organizational level). Add the following line with your or your companies Bing Map Key, “MS_RASTER_BINGMAP_KEY= Bing Maps Key”. Note this can also be set at the User level from the Configuration Variables dialog.

    For MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 4), you will enter the same configuration variable by editing the project’s PCF. It can also be set on a Site or User level as well.

  3. Restart MicroStation.

  4. Assign the correct Geographic Coordinate System for your Active Model.

  5. Open the Raster Manager dialog and then select File > Attach > Bing Maps.

  6. Select the desired Bing Maps Layers type and click Attach. There are three types.

    Road: a cartographic type map with roads and place names.
    Aerial: aerial photography of the earth.
    Aerial with labels: a hybrid of aerial photography, roads and place names.

Once Bing Maps is attached, you can change the layer from the Raster Manager dialog or from the "Bing Maps Layers" pane in Element Information.

For more information on Bing Maps in MicroStation, sign into the LEARN Server at, from there you can view a video at or step through the matching step by step exercise, Bing Maps Integration at

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