These instructions apply to Autodesk® InfraWorks® and describe how to load in imagery directly from the Nearmap server as a raster image. Autodesk offers a free trial of this package on their website.

Important note: It is critical to set your model extent in step 4 to a small area. Infraworks will download whatever you request via WMS, so if you request a whole town or city, the download may be several thousand MB. Also, it's best to ensure that we have high-resolution imagery for a location by checking the location on our MapBrowser first; otherwise you may receive an error. 


To consume Nearmap imagery via WMS, you must first create a Simple or Custom WMS Service, which generates a URL for you to copy to your computer's clipboard. Once you have done that, you can conveniently paste it into your application as required.

For more information, check out the WMS 2.0 Integration documentation.

Loading Imagery

  1. Open a new or existing Model.

  2. Click the Settings and Utilities icon and select Model Properties.

  3. Uncheck Use Entire Model unless your model is already loaded and limited to a small region.

  4. There are multiple ways to determine your model extent. With any of them, you need to choose a small area (ideally less than 300 m / 1000 ft on a side) because importing high-resolution imagery for a larger area can take a very long time, lots of data, and in some cases exceed your computer's capabilities:

    1. You can Load Extent From File using a georeferenced file. Georeferenced JPG/JGW pairs downloaded from the Nearmap MapBrowser can be used for this if you select the WGS84.PseudoMercator system when prompted. Note that the JPG and JGW filenames need to match for this to work - choose the JPG and the JGW should be loaded automatically.

    2. You can manually set the bounding coordinates. Set the UCS to the coordinate system they are in. Then enter both X and Y coordinate pairs. Be certain this is a small area.

    3. If you have a model loaded already, you can also Define Interactively and select your area of interest on the 3D map itself.

  5. Once complete, enter the coordinate system you would like to use going forward. Infraworks will conveniently convert your bounding coordinates for you as you change the selected UCS. The system selected does not need to match the one that will be downloaded from the Nearmap WMS server; it just determines which type of coordinates to display in the status bar. It does not affect how data is stored in the GIS database or displayed in the 3D model (since you don't need 2D map projections for a 3D model).

  6. Click OK.

  7. In a text editor, open the xml file attached to this document:

    USA and Canada: Nearmap_USA_Canada_GDAL_parameters.xml
    Australia & New ZealandNearmap_Australia_GDAL_parameters.xml

  8. In the xml file, you'll see a line that contains the <serverURL> tag, and a WMS URL. In the WMS URL, paste the WMS URL that you copied to your clipboard earlier.

  9. Advanced users can modify the other parameters in the file to import differently if desired. Note that the model extent in Infraworks limits the area that is imported, so the X and Y limits do not usually have to be changed in the file.

  10. Save the file.

  11. In Infraworks, if the Data Sources window is hidden, click the orange button, select Create and manage your model and click Data Sources.

  12. In the Data Sources window, click the data import dropdown and select Raster.

  13. Select the XML file you edited.

  14. Once the Adding Data Sources popup disappears, right-click the imported data source and click Configure...

  15. Switch to the Raster tab, make sure Clip to Model Extent is checked, and click OK.

  16. Right-click the raster image and select Refresh. Depending how much imagery you're importing, this could take seconds, minutes, or even hours.

  17. Click Application Options.

  18. Select 3D Graphics.

  19. Set Display Detail to its highest setting, and click OK. If necessary, you can lower this setting to improve performance, but it will reduce the clarity of the aerial imagery shown at lower zoom levels.

  20. The Nearmap imagery should now be fully integrated into your model.