I want to add a map background in MicroStation to use with PhotogeoDGN. Google Earth has been the tool to use in MicroStation when you don’t have access to digital imagery, or if you just want to quickly compose a drawing with a map. But there are limitations with Google Earth and MicroStation – not least of which is that there are several steps and it requires smooth rendering to be turned on.

MicroStation SS3 introduces a connection to Bing Maps. And it’s pretty easy to use once it is set up and configured. Here’s a post on Bentley Communities for setting up Bing Maps for MicroStation.


I chose to create a “Basic Key” for Dev/Test but you may need to invest in an Enterprise key depending on how you plan to use bing maps. Once you have a key, add the configuration variable MS_RASTER_BINGMAP_KEY=bingmapskeygoeshere

To clarify, your key should look similar to this,

But don’t use this key. It has expired and will not work. Go get your own key from Bing Maps.

For test purposes, I added this variable to my untitled.ucf file (default location is C:\ProgramData\Bentley\MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries)\WorkSpace\Users\untitled.ucf). You can edit this file with notepad or your favorite ASCII text editor.

And once you have the key, attaching a map is pretty easy. You do need a coordinates system, but when this is in place you just goto Raster Manager, select File | Attach | Bing Maps.



That’s it! And it’s in color.