This tutorial shows how to import imagery along a corridor in AutoCAD or BricsCAD with Plex-Earth. This feature can be fully utilized in long construction projects such as roads, bridges, railroads, pipelines, etc.
Usually, when importing imagery by selecting a rectangular area, like for the road project below, Plex-Earth will generate tiles for the whole area, even though many of them might not be useful. For example, it will import 45 tiles in order to cover the totality of the north/southbound road.
However, by following the methods below, for importing imagery along a corridor, the tiles required will be greatly reduced to almost half.
This procedure, which basically imports imagery along a polyline path and its area, is also more time-efficient, as opposed to importing imagery by selecting a rectangular area because it will prevent unnecessary tiles to be calculated.
This tutorial will present two alternative ways how this can be done.
Note: Make sure your drawing is always georeferenced first before importing imagery.
Import Aerial and Satellite Imagery along the whole length of your project
Case 1: Along the Path of an Axis (Polyline)
This is the fastest and easiest way to import imagery with the least amount of tiles required to import imagery.
Step 1. Defining your Axis
Set an axis (polyline) that will be the basis of the path of the imagery.
It can be the centerline of the project or any existing polyline preferred.
For this example, the centerline of the road will be selected as the path of imagery.
Step 2. Importing the Imagery
Click on Import Mosaic Imagery from the Imagery Panel of Plex-Earth ribbon.
Plex-Earth will then ask how to specify imagery coverage area. Before proceeding with choosing from the methods displayed, select the preferred imagery provider and quality. For this tutorial, Google Maps is chosen as the Basemap imagery provider and the quality will be customized.
Click on Specify in drawing to specify the axis in the drawing
In the command line of AutoCAD, click on Polyline. Then, select the polyline on the drawing, which is the centerline of the road.
A pop-up window will be displayed to customize the quality of the image to be imported. Zoom level 19 is selected for this tutorial and with this zoom level, the specified will be covered with 22 tiles. Click Select to proceed.
Now, Plex-Earth asks if one is ready to capture the imagery. Before capturing the images, take a preview of the tiles covering the area, if preferred, by closing the window. If no preview is needed, proceed with capturing the images.
The tiles calculated will be displayed as shown (left) as well as the imported imagery along the axis (right).
Case 2: By Polyline around Corridor Area
This method can be used if one prefers to import imagery to cover a band with specified width along each side of the axis path.
Step 1. Defining your Axis
Define the axis just like in Step 1 of the previous case. The same centerline will be selected for this case.
Step 2. Creating the Boundaries of the Corridor Area
Use the offset command of AutoCAD to create two polylines on each side of the centerline which will be the boundary of the imagery to import.
Click on the centerline and type "O" on the command line and hit enter to trigger the offset command (or click the offset command found on Home > Modify > click on Offset icon).
Specify the width of the corridor for each side by typing it on the command line.
For this example, it is set to 100. Click on either the left or right side of the centerline and create the offset.
Once one side is done, repeat the process on the other one.
Connect the two polylines created, by making another line at the top and bottom of the road.
These two will serve as an upper and lower boundary and will delimit our area.
Select all of the lines and join them by typing "J" on the command line. Hit enter and the lines will be joined into one polyline.
Step 3. Importing the Imagery
You may now proceed with importing the mosaic imagery similar to Step 2 of the previous case, but instead of selecting the centerline polyline, we will select the joined polylines created from the offsets.
This method will require 28 tiles and needs more tiles compared to the previous method however, it can cover certain areas that the previous method could not, and the imagery imported should look like the below.
Notice that a clipping was automatically applied to the mosaic. If there is a need to remove the clipping, go the Mosaic Editor -> Edit -> Clippings -> Clear (in the command line).
Designing is a very demanding process. The engineers many times do not have the luxury to make big imports or create heavy AutoCAD or BricsCAD drawings. Large-scale construction projects can be a real struggle actually. However, Plex-Earth offers great freedom on how to handle imagery imports, and with the correct workflow, it can be a real-time saver for the designers.
We hope that you have found this tutorial on how to import imagery along a corridor, helpful. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may still have.
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