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TBC Does That: Georeference Images to Create Basemap for Survey Workflows

What TBC does

TBC can georeference any image (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .png, and .tif image files) for you to use as a basemap during survey field work. In TBC, you can select your area of interest, set the resolution, and send the image to a field crew to use in the Data Collector on a Trimble Access tablet. You can also georeference an image to an existing CAD file and overlay the vector layer on the image.

How this helps you

When doing field work, it can be very helpful to use a georeferenced image as a basemap to better understand the lay of the land and to visually inspect points to ensure they closely match the paper plan or aerial/satellite imagery. Field crews can do a sanity check on a few locations and make sure settings are correct before investing too much time in the survey. This avoids rework, saves time and reduces the chance of errors. Overlaying a vector layer on top of an image helps you visualize the site and can help detect potential problems.

How it works

  • Bring the image into TBC with a simple drag and drop or import command.
  • From the CAD tab select Images group, then click Georeference image and select Add.
  • Select two or three points or enter a coordinate for two or three points that are clearly visible on both the image and the plan to more easily match lat/long information or northing easting coordinates.

Pro tip: A minimum of two points is required to georeference an image; however, three points will return better results. TBC aligns a 2D pixel with a 3D coordinate and rotates and scales the point automatically with three point-pairs. 

For more details about using TBC to georeference images, go to Tip of the Week #49.


The “TBC Does That” series, written by the Trimble Business Center (TBC) Team, focuses on the broad range of functionality that TBC delivers to you. Periodically we will release information to help you improve productivity by making the most of TBC’s built-in tools.