Configuring Geographic Coordinates and PDF raster attachments

At times it is convenient to produce a PDF containing specific Geographic Coordinate System (GCS) data.  This PDF could be attached later as a raster image (via Raster Manager) which contains that same GCS information.  Here is a step-by-step process to accomplish such a feat:

The first thing that needs to be done is to associate a coordinate system with the design file being used.  To determine whether there is a current coordinate system already associated with a given  design file, you simply need to select the “Tools>Geographic>Select Geographic Coordinate System” option from with MicroStation.   The following dialog will display.  If there is currently no coordinate system associated with your current design file, the “Name” field is set to “<None>”:


If there is a coordinate system already associated with the design file, the dialog would list the name of the coordinate system.

To apply a coordinate system to a design file, select the “From Library” icon (second from left).  A dialog box will appear allowing the user to choose an existing coordinate system from a list:


You could also use the Search option to locate a specific coordinate system.  If you choose the “Search” option, you will be allowed to type in a city, state or country in which you can pick from as follows:


When selecting the coordinate system you want, you may be prompted with the following dialog.  If so, choose the appropriate selection to continue:


Once you define the coordinate system you want to use, you will want to create a PDF which contains this coordinate system data.  By default, the pdf.pltcfg printer driver configuration plot driver automatically captures this information.  To verify that this is the case, edit the pdf.pltcfg printer driver and confirm that the “Enable Georeferencing” option is set to “ON”.  This option is located under the “Base Properties” tab, in the “Driver Properties” section of the printer driver configuration file.


 Once the PDF has been created, open the PDF in Adobe Reader and verify that the PDF contains the coordinate system.  To accomplish this, select the “Tools> Analysis> Geospatial Tool” command from with Adobe. 


At this point, you should be able to move your mouse from side-to-side or up-and-down within the PDF.  You will notice that your PDF contains the coordinate system data which is associated with the design file you produced the PDF from:


Now it’s time to bring this PDF into a design file (which contains no coordinate system) and allow the PDF to populate the design file with its coordinate information.  Using the Raster Manager utility, attach the PDF as you would any raster image.  You will notice that the coordinate system is imported as well.

But first, verify that the design file you want to use does not have a coordinate system associated with it.   Again, using the “Tools>Geographic>Select Geographic Coordinate System” option from within MicroStation will verify this.  If there is no coordinate system associated with the design file you’re in, “<None>” will display in the “Name:” field:


Now use the “File>Raster Manager” command to attach your PDF.  Once successfully attached, you will notice that the coordinate system associated with the PDF will be listed under the “Coordinate System” heading in Raster Manager:


Note: If the “Coordinate System” heading is not listed along with the other headings in Raster Manager, right-click anywhere on the Raster Manager menu bar and choose “Coordinate System” from the list of available options.

You can also use the Element Information command to verify that the coordinate system information successfully transferred from the PDF to your design file: