New in MicroStation CONNECT Edition Update 7 – Bing Map Background Map

Previously, you required a Microsoft Bing authentication key to attach Microsoft Bing Maps as rasters. In Update 7, this is no longer required.  If you are a CONNECTED User, you can display the Microsoft Bing Maps imagery from the View Attributes dialog itself. Another reason to get CONNECTED  

The technology is based on that developed for ConceptStation in the DgnDb/iModel environment, adapted for use in PowerPlatform. Currently, we are planning on using Microsoft Bing maps for the background data, but the software architecture is such that we could use other providers, such as MapBox or HERE, if that proves desirable.

Let us see how this works. Just sign in from the CONNECTION Client and attach a Geographic Coordinate System (GCS) to your 2D or 3D design model. In the View Attributes dialog, you will see a new section called Background Map.

To view the Bing Map imagery, from the Background Map drop-down, select one of the following options:

  • Street Map – a cartographic type map with roads and place names
  • Aerial –  aerial photograph of the earth
  • Hybrid - a hybrid of aerial photography and roads and place names

The Elevation Offset field defines the distance above or below the Z=0 plane at which the background data is drawn. The default of -1.0 works well for 2D data. For 3D data, it depends on the elevation of the data in the model.

The Transparency option is provided to set the transparency of the background data.

A sample background map below.

Few more things to know –

  • The background map settings are saved to the view undo buffer, so the View Previous and View Next tools work for the maps.
  • The background map settings are saved to saved views, and applied when a saved view is applied.
  • When a background map is displayed in a view, the reset pop-up menu contains the Show Background Map Providers option. Selecting it opens an information window displaying the imagery providers.
  • As the background map begins to draw, it may take a few seconds or more, depending on the speed and latency of your internet connection.
  • If you zoom in or out or pan the view, more map tiles will have to be downloaded, so again you might see some lag between view movement and complete background map display.
  • Key-In - SET BACKGROUNDMAP NONE|STREET|AERIAL|HYBRID [zOffset,[transparency,[viewNumber]]]

Finally, when a background map is being displayed in any view, the right click menu has an entry to display the imagery providers: