Do you need to export just a small part of a satellite image for use in AutoCAD or just so you can work on one small part without loading a huge file in ArcGIS?  Then perhaps this technique is for you!

  1. Create a new rectangle graphic in data layout using the drawing toolbar, over the area you want to export.
  2. Select this rectangle.
  3. Right click on the satellite image that the rectangle is over, then Data then Export Data.
  4. In the export Raster dialog box check Extent: “Selected Graphics (Clipping)”, Spatial Reference: “Data Frame (Current)”
  5. Select a Location
  6. Choose a name for it and a Format
  7. Now click save, it will also ask if you want to add it to your GIS.

That’s it you can then use this smaller satellite image instead.  You can also do the follwing to get it into AutoCAD:

  1. Select the rectangle
  2. In the drawing toolbar menu select “convert graphics to features”.
  3. Save this rectangle as a shapefile.
  4. Open ArcCatalog
  5. Find your new feature rectangle shapefile and right click on it, now click on export to DXF.
  6. Open AutoCAD (I use 2002) and open your new rectangle shapefile.
  7. Select Insert –> Raster Image Refence or type “IMAGEATTACH”
  8. Select your exported satellite image.
  9. Now once you have inserted it you can scale it to fit your dxf rectangle.
  10. Now save this as a dwg file
  11. To test this has worked trace draw a shape in your new autocad file, now go to ArcGIS and add this data to your GIS. It should overlay perfectly!

This doesn’t work with AutoCAD LT unfortunatley as you need the full version to insert images, however once you have done this you can share the dwg file with its satellite image with other people who have AutoCAD LT.

I hope this helps people, if anyone has any suggestions on how to cut out the full version of AutoCAD I’d be interested to hear about it!  


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