Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting Started with InfraWorks - Part 2: Draping Imagery

Before you read this, you should probably go back and read Getting Started with InfraWorks - Part 1: Building the Existing Terrain because it explains how the data was acquired and how we got Infraworks going.  At this point, we have an InfraWorks project open and it contains terrain data that was acquired from the National Map Viewer.  We also have some aerial imagery but it hasn't been applied to the project yet.

The biggest challenge with getting the data from the National Map Viewer is that each image tile comes in the form of a zip file.  For this example - 72 zip files.  Each one had to be extracted to get to the data within.  Then after that, each file had to be imported into InfraWorks.  With 72 files, I HAD to find a quick way to do this.

First, unzipping the files.  I used 7zip to do this because it let me unzip a bunch of files at once and place them each in their own folders.  Took about 10 minutes but at least I didn't have to right-click and pick unzip 72 times.

After that, I had the challenge of having 72 image files in 72 different folders.  Here I leveraged Windows along with the drag and drop capability of InfraWorks.  I opened the folder containing my raw data and did a search for *.jpg.  Then I simply selected all of the found files and dragged & dropped them into InfraWorks.  

The Configuration dialog came up once and applied my settings to all the images.  Pretty sweet, but please know that it doesn't always happen this way.  The extra files supplied with the images gave InfraWorks the information it needed to know what coordinate system was assigned to the images.  Sometimes you have to simply know this and assign it manually.

Interestingly, the names of all the images are not included in the Data Sources window.  It adopted the name of one of the images and has stored the path to all of them in its Connection String property.

The result, a gorgeous view from the the Grandview Overlook (also known as the Ship Hotel - Google it.).  I've stood here myself many times.

I've also viewed this escarpment from a small airplane.  Didn't get any pictures....but it would have looked something like this:

In part 3 we'll set the Model Extents to make the model perform much snappier.


  1. Good tip Eric. Keep them coming!

  2. Thx Eric. Do you by any chance have an idea how to georeference an image if I only have the image and know the data for georeferencing? I am asking because I cannot add the image to the data sources like this, because I get an error message: "There is no valid data source to import." Even tried adding coordinate information to the image with an online service in the image's EXIF info, but didnt help.