I have a metro map in jpeg format and I want to georeference it. My goal is to find GPS location of the metro stops and visualize them on google maps. Probably, the first step is to overlay the map over google maps area of interest to find the correct bounding box values. I was wondering, does anybody know a tool (web-based or standalone) for this.

Thanks, -A

4 Answers 4


You could also try http://www.georeferencer.org/

  • Is there anything I can upload the metro map image ? GeoReferencer needs a URL. I tried it with file://... on safari and I received an error.
    – Ali Salehi
    Apr 11, 2011 at 13:08
  • You can upload it to any of the free image hosters like imgur.com
    – relet
    Apr 11, 2011 at 13:14

Metro maps are often schematic. If your map is schematic it will need to be wrapped quite a lot to be georeferenced correctly. If it is not schematic but don't use the same projection as google maps it will still need to be wrapped (but not so much).

You might try MapCruncher von Microsoft: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/mapcruncher/

With this tool you can click points on your map and the corresponding points on aerial pictures (from Bing Maps). Mapcruncher will then wrap the map for you and cut it in tiles that can be displayed on top of Bing Maps. Google use the same tiles (they have different names through, so it might be some work to remane them correctly)

  • I was wondering, do you know any similar tool for Mac or Linux ?
    – Ali Salehi
    Apr 11, 2011 at 13:05
  • Maptiler (maptiler.org) but you need first to georeference your image with some other tool. If you map is a real map (not schematic) you might try to use the "world file" generated by georeferencer.org as georeference. I haven't try it, but I imagine that it could work, as MapTiler is based on GDAL, which supports world files.
    – Name
    Apr 12, 2011 at 9:36

Here is an instruction set on georeferencing images using google earth: http://geochalkboard.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/using-the-image-overlay-tool-in-google-earth/

  • Actually, IMHO, using google earth for projection is difficult. Google Maps like interface (using map view) is much easier. Unfortunately, Google earth doesn't support map view (AFAIK).
    – Ali Salehi
    Apr 11, 2011 at 13:04

As someone else alluded, georeferencing a schematic is futile. If it's a schematic like the London tube map, you're better of digitizing each stop manually.

If it is a map with the stops in geographic relative location, you can use open-source tools like QGIS and GDAL or GRASS.

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