Help with Overlay Workflow

I would like to overlay a DWG site plan over an exported DD ortho map. or vice versa. Can someone point me in the direction of some instruction. I’m not quite sure what best export options to use, questions of that nature. Thank you in advance

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Are you wanting the overlay in DroneDeploy or as a file outside?

Michael, I would prefer outside. If that is as efficient.

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Michael, I have Autocad, Revit, Planswift and Architect PDF7> I am a business client of DD

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I do mine in Bluebeam. I’ll have to look at Plangrid, but I think they force your overlay colors as it was meant for comparing plan sheets. Bluebeam allows you to maintain the visual of the documents. I use the DWG to PDF “printer” out of CAD.

You can align that PDF into DroneDeploy, but their system is only a 2-point alignment show it does an ok job, but it is not as accurate as the 3-point alignment in Bluebeam, you lose overlay resolution and the output PDF that you can export from them is terrible.

If you have AutoCAD you should trying bringing the ortho into CAD and then you can do whatever you want with it. I am not sure what version of CAD you have and if it has the capability, but if it does then I would do that before purchasing Bluebeam. Do you know if it can work with coordinate systems in the Drawing Setup?

I would still encourage you to look at Bluebeam though. It is like Acrobat on steroids and is designed specifically for AEC functionality.

What DD export option is best for importing into either autocad or blue beam.? Just for context I am flying the P4 RTK with D-RTK2. Not sure if that makes a difference. I’m in Connecticut and see that DD has an export option for our cs system. Do I need to use that option. Is there any documentation on this whole subject? Michael how did you learn this stuff?

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Do you know what version of AutoCAD your have? Is it base AutoCAD or maybe Civil 3D?

If you don’t have the ability to import a georeferenced tif (geotiff) into CAD then it doesn’t really matter whether it is in your CRS or not. You can still import and manually align it. It does not matter in Bluebeam either way because it’s just a background to overlay additional data on to.

In both instances though the quality that you will be able to import will be dependent on the size of your site. Most of ours are around 50-100 acres and I have found that 4in/px is good enough quality do do most of what we need to do and definitely good enough for simple overlays. I try to keep the ortho size less than 500MB if possible, but sometimes it’s not so there are some other methods that can come into play. If you can do it in CAD then exporting the tiles is a good option. On the other hand tiles won’t work in a non-georeferenced platform.

Another very good option is QGIS. You can open even larger (several GB’s) geotiff’s more effectively and you can also turn your CAD linework into DXF’s for import, but this requires everything to be georeferenced and does not work with PDF’s. You can see that there are several directions to go.

Bottom line is that if you just want exhibits and don’t really need georeferencing then Bluebeam or something like it is the way to go. I just don’t know of anything that isn’t uber expensive that can do what we are doing with Bluebeam.

I’m sure that if you scour the internet that you could find small tutorials of different parts of these workflows, but honestly I don’t know anyone else who is doing the entire workflow like we are so I had to just learn it by doing it. It didn’t hurt that I have been in surveying, CAD and GPS for almost 20 years. The data and how I exhibit it is all the same to me.

Can I change the size of PDF that is exported from DD, from 17x11 to 24x36?

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Michael, I have a 30 day trial for bluebeam. I was able to use the Overlay function. Is there a way to keep the ortho pdf looking realistic while overlaying it? I cant open Tiff’s? Should be able to.

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You can’t change the size or the orientation of the PDF export in DroneDeploy. Pretty much useless unless you’ve got a very small site that fits a landscape image…

In Bluebeam you choose the extra drop-down to open other file types or just right-click on the file and “Open With” Revu.

To preserve the visual you have to click the color box for each layer and select no color.