TBC - Managing Images and Image Map Layers

Images Tab

The images tab dialog looks as follows

TBC will be used to import aerial imagery in the form of .ecw files that are created in the North Azimuth coordinate system. You will use the transformation process to convert the images from North Azimuth to South Azimuth coordinate system, before capturing the images using this command to upload them to the CIS Earthworks system as a Map Layer.

The images created will be georeferenced images in either PNG (transparency supported) or JPG (no transparency supported). The files created will also include a PGW or JGW world file and a KML file that makes the images compatible with Google Earth and the CIS Earthworks system. The individual files are created in the TBC Project’s folder and a zip file containing the three files is created to upload a package to the CIS Earthworks system.

The image capture process can also be used to capture other types of visuals for use in the CIS Earthworks system including Georeferenced Plans, Cut Fill Maps, Schematic Mine Plans and Overlays etc.

Image name:

Enter the name of the image that you wish to create - this is used to create the image files and the zip file for the CIS Earthworks system.

Image date:

Select the image date from the calendar pop up accessed using the calendar icon

Create transparent image checkbox:

If you check this checkbox, the image created will be a .PNG file image data set that supports transparency (a white background or black background will be converted as transparent pixels. If you leave this unchecked then the image will be generated as a JPG file image data set that has no transparency - the white or black background will be passed as white or black pixels.


We recommend that you use a Plotbox to define the area for the image to be created. A plotbox in TBC is a rectangular area that has a plottable size in terms of a width and height at a defined scale to cover a geographic area. For example you may define the plot scale as 5000 scale (1:5000) and a width of 1200mm and a height of 900mm. These parameters will create a box on screen that is 6000m x 4500m. The plot box has properties that can be adjusted including these values if you decide that you need to cover a larger or smaller area. The plotbox once created has CAD Grips that you can use to move it on screen into its final position.

For a South Azimuth project by default a Plotbox will be rotated 180 degrees and will have its origin in the top right hand corner of the plotbox. To move a plotbox you can use the CTRL key plus the grip in the top right hand corner. To resize a plotbox change the Height, Width or Scale properties of the plotbox.

When the image is created, the command reviews the plotbox size and scale as well as the image type selected for the output and computes the best DPI resolution for the image output automatically to maximize the quality of the image within the constraints of the image formats supported. If you find that the image resolution is insufficient for your needs, then you may need to create multiple images from multiple plotboxes for a single image data set to achieve the desired results. The Map layer control in CIS Earthworks system supports one or multiple images in a data set as needed to handle this requirement. In our tests from the provided imagery, the command delivers high quality images for the entire site images provided using this approach.

The maximum image resolution for a PNG or JPG type output file is 15000 pixels along the longest axis of the plotbox. The length of the plotbox in inches / 15000 will give the DPI setting for the resulting image. so if the plotbox is 1000mm wide (39.37") then the DPI will be 15000/39.37 = 381 DPI.

You can create Plotboxes for the site once and then use them over and over for each set of images that you process, you do not need to create new plotboxes for each set of imagery. You can also resize the plotboxes as needed for each image set being processed - once the images have been created there is no long term link between the images and the plotbox.

We recommend defining a single plotbox over an area that is likely to cover all operations on the site for the foreseeable future and using that same plotbox to generate all image outputs for the CIS Earthworks system. A DPI greater than 300 DPI should provide good resolution imagery for CIS Earthworks purposes. Having a single plotbox with the same corner locations used over and over for each survey image you want to upload, will provide good consistency of location for all images that you load into the system.


You can select one of four resolutions for the image creation process

  • Full is the maximum resolution possible based on the size of the plotbox defined and the maximum number of pixels allowed in the image which is 15000 pixels in either the X or Y direction of the image.
  • High is 75% of the maximum resolution
  • Medium is 50% of the maximum resolution
  • Low is 25% of the maximum resolution
    If you are having issues with graphics memory on your computer, or the ability to upload the full resolution imagery use this option to dial down the resolution / image size and try again.

Save Image button:

Click this button to create the image. Note that the image is created using TBC graphics elements that fall within the selected plotbox area, so if you only want the image data in the image created you should turn off all other data. If you want to capture Cut Fill Maps or PDF Drawings that have been georeferenced or any other georeferenced schematic of the mine, turn on those objects prior to clicking Save Image.

The saved images will be shown in the list of images. Each image has the name, the date of the image and the date that the image was created by TBC and then the date that the image was uploaded as a Map Layer to the CIS Earthworks system.

If you double click on an image in the list of images it will open the image in your windows image viewer (whatever viewer is associated with the file type of the image selected).

Map Layers

The second step is to upload the created images to the CIS Earthworks system. The Map Layers of the CIS Earthworks System have a data structure including the following elements. Images are uploaded to the Sub Layer level of the data structure.


The Folder is the top level name for a group of layers and sub layers that will be created. For Aerial Images you may have a folder called Aerial Images - 2021 or Aerial Images - 2022 for example.


The Layer is the second level in the data structure. For Aerial images you may have a Layer called January 2021 for example.

Sub Layer:

The Sub Layer is the third level in the data structure and is the location that you will upload the image(s) to. You can load a single or multiple images at the sub layer level. Once loaded. the images can be turned on and off as a Layer or at the Sub Layer level - so if you loaded 4 images covering the entire site in the NW,NE,SW and SE quadrants of the site, you could turn off each months survey images or just individual images e.g. the NE and SE quadrants if all you wanted to see were the NW and SW quadrants for that months survey etc.

In the Map Layers area of the dialog, you can right click in the Map Layers area and open a context dialog to create a New Folder. New Layer or New Sub Layer. Remember that you have to create a Sub Layer for the images to be uploaded. The tree of Folders, Layers and Sub Layers can be expanded and collapsed to expose the tree levels required.

Upload Image button:

To upload an image, first select the image in the images list, then select the sub layer that you wish to place the image on and then click Upload Image to complete the process.


The image upload or image creation process is tracked and the process success or failure is displayed in the Results pane.

Command Tips:

The command tips provide hints to you as a user on how to use the command where tips are useful. The tips are supplemented by pressing the F1 key to access this help document and video.

Video Demonstration:

The following video shows you how to use the Images tab of the Earthworks Work Order command

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