Integrating Nearmap Imagery into Bentley MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 3) Using WMS

These instructions apply to Bentley® MicroStation® V8i (SELECTseries 3) and describe how to load georeferenced Nearmap imagery using Web Map Service (WMS).

Rather than import a single image of a small area, WMS allows MicroStation to request the imagery directly from the Nearmap server in a variety of map projections.


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. Upon opening MicroStation, create a new drawing by clicking the New tool.

  2. Choose a filename to create.

  3. Select your file and click Open to open the newly-created file.

  4. Select Raster Manager from the File menu.

  5. In the Raster Manager window, select File -> New -> WMS.

  6. In the WMS Map Editor - Creating new map window, click the Servers...button.

  7. In the Servers Manager window, click the Add WMS Server URL button.

  8. In the Create Server Definition window, paste the WMS URL your copied to your clipboard earlier.

    Click Ok.

  9. Do not enter any username and password in the window that appears. Click Ok.

  10. A list of available WMS layers should appear in the WMS Map Editor - Creating new mapwindow. Some layers are nationwide, others cover single states or cities. It's best to choose a single state or city because locally optimal map projections are not available for nationwide survey layers. Selecting the top state or city layer for your area of interest will always give you the most recent imagery for your chosen location.

    For this example we'll select the broad NearMap latest layer.

    In the Map Definition section, select image/jpeg for the Format. This will hugely improve performance and reduce data usage compared with image/png, at a very small cost to image quality.

    Next, you will usually want to change the map projection provided by the WMS server by clicking the ... button on the Coordinate System field.

  11. In the Select Coordinate System window, choose which projection you would like your imagery in and click Ok.

  12. In the WMS Map Editor - Creating new map window, click Add to map and then click Save and Attach...

  13. Select a filename for the new map and click Save.

  14. If the Raster Attachment Options dialog appears, just click Attach.

  15. The WMS should now appear in the Raster Manager. The coordinate system for this WMS raster will automatically be set for the projection that the WMS server is providing.

  16. To see the whole image region in the View window, click the Fit View button.

At this point you should be good to go and can stop here.

However, If you need to reproject the WMS (and every other raster that is loaded) into a coordinate system not offered by the Nearmap WMS server, click Tools -> Geographic -> Select Geographic Coordinate System. Note this is different from changing the coordinate system used to interpret the WMS raster; there's a coordinate system for the import, and a different coordinate system for how the imported rasters are projected onto your drawing space.


  1. In the Geographic Coordinate System window, click the From Library icon.

  2. In the Select Geographic Coordinate System window, search for and select the map projection you prefer, then click Ok.

  3. You are now working with Nearmap imagery in the projection you selected. This should appear in the Geographic Coordinate System window.