There are times when it can be convenient to incorporate satellite images taken from Google Earth into landscape drawings. The Insert Google Maps/Images tool is designed to make the process simple and straightforward. 

Movie Google maps and gCADPlus Movie  Here is a short movie showing how the Google maps feature in gCADPlus can be used to capture a site and prepare a base map. A step-by-step explanation is given below.

The Insert Google Maps/Images tool is found on the gCADPlus drop down menu. 

Insert map

Provided that you are connected to the internet, it enables Raster information from Google maps and Satellite images to become part of the drawing environment. Select the tool and the dialog window shown below will appear. Type the address of your site (or type latitude and longitude separated by a comma) and select Go.

Google dialog

Hit go and a zoomed out view of your site will appear in Google maps.

Sydney opera house

If you want a terrain view, select satellite. The hybrid view shows both maps and satellite image together.


Zoom to get your desired zoom factor. The scale option can be used to generate a more detailed image file (more pixels for the same area).

Select ok and save the image file (.png) into your system.

Sydney File

Hit save and gCADPlus stores the image locally and the Insert Raster feature is automatically activated. You can place the image now, or wait till later.


Paste the image - either into a layout space or into model space. We suggest using model space if you want to scale the image to math the real world unist that you are using for a site.

Tip: it can be useful to paste the image onto its own layer. That layer can then be turned off if image display is not required.

Image loaded

 The tool is most commonly used by gCADPlus users to create a location map guide in a (nonsense) layout as shown below. We placed the image in model space and created a layout with two floating viewports; one contains the design and the other the Google image. We have set the colour of the viewport window to 255 (white) so it is not seen on a white (sheet) background.

Location plan

Other users (especially in the environmental mapping and farm management fields) will add vector information and perhaps extended entity information. The figure below shows extra information added to a circle representing a Canary Date palm.

Extended data

Tip: Use the STORDATA command to link to a URL for extra (Internet based) information.


Extended data 2

If you have enough information about x and y coordinates and latitude and longitude, it is possible to register the Google satellite image with vector data that you add thus creating another type of hybrid image.


The hybrid image can then be displayed in layout view along with other details on layout sheets.

Google image

Lock Park


An example from Oregon, USA

Suppose that you were operating a landscape business in the environs of Eugene, Oregon and had prepared a design for a site in a road known as Fair Oaks Drive. You may want to include a location plan in your design. The Google Maps tool can be called up from  the gCADPlus drop down menu. The address is typed in the box as shown below.

Step 1

Select go and you (metaphorically speaking) fly to the site with the image centered on the nominated street name.

Step 2

The +/- tools in Google maps can be used to adjust the zoom factor. This view (or a zoomed out view) may be all that's required. However it is possible to collect a number of different views.

Step 3

At that point, you may wish to turn the satellite image on. The option to collect double the normal density of pixels has been turned on. In the example below, the 45 degree angle view has been turned on.

Step 5

Maybe zoom in one step mote and turn the 45 degree view off.

Step 5

The next step is to select ok. You are then given the opportunity to save the image file (as a PNG file). Tip: give the file a meaningful name.

step 6

The image is automatically passed to the InsertRaster command in gCAD+

Step 7

Choose insert and place into the drawing editor - we recommend pasting into model space, but layout space could be used.

step 8

A new floating viewport could then be used to display the image in layout.

step 9

Here is an example showing roads and paths along the coastline on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia





Use Google Maps/Earth