ArcGIS for AutoCAD Meetup | Questions & Answers

Document created by MLamas-esristaff Employee on Jan 12, 2015Last modified by MLamas-esristaff Employee on Jan 29, 2015
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Here are the Questions and Answers from the ArcGIS for AutoCAD Public Works Meetup.

 

  • Q1: Can we edit parcel fabric data with fabric models in AutoCAD with ArcGIS for AutoCAD?
  • A1: You can edit simple features through feature services. Those simple features may participate in parcel fabric datasets or topologies.  The feature service records all transactions, but does not validate edits against the business rules.  All Esri feature service editing clients like ArcGIS for AutoCAD are "simple feature" editors.  Those simple features may participate in more complex data sets.  So yes you can make edits in most cases, but you must keep in mind you are making simple feature edits to the potentially complex datasets, which may be all you need to do.

 

  • Q2: Does ArcGIS for AutoCAD maintain information including all the domains and subtypes when editing data (to and from AutoCAD)?
  • A2: ArcGIS for AutoCAD honors subtypes and domains originating from feature services, either directly editing feature services or data extracted from feature services.

 

  • Q3: Right there, that drop down had to be named or remembered. It was a blue dot. You would have to know the legend under the legend?
  • A3: Please submit more context for this question in the comments below.

 

  • Q4: How do you set it up?
  • A4: Please submit more context for this question in the comments below.

 

  • Q5: Again, CAD folks don’t understand the concept of a feature class or group.
  • A5: Yes, this is often true. For this reason ArcGIS for AutoCAD can be used to define feature classes based on the CAD user's existing CAD standards for their "local feature class" (ArcGIS data stored in the drawing).  This means CAD professionals can be drafting like they normally would and also be generating GIS data.  When editing ArcGIS feature services, we take the liberty of considering that data to be "GIS data" and control which layer it will be read from and written to.  Even then CAD users can easily appreciate that the data has its identity defined directly by which CAD layer it is drawn upon. The fact that the features (entities) can also have extended tabular attributes is a bonus to the CAD user and expected by the GIS user.

 

  • Q6: Yes but you have to get data into the environment. From civil 3d
  • A6: I will take a guess at the context here:  There is no direct link between Civil 3D extended data attributes or parameters and standard AutoCAD entities.  ArcGIS for AutoCAD likewise does not have direct access to the parameters and attributes of Civil 3D custom entities. Work would need to be done, with for example the customization API's of Civil 3D and ArcGIS for AutoCAD to read/write this information.

 

  • Q7: How do you feel about 3rd party GIS tools for Autodesk?
  • A7: I feel that the third party tools from Autodesk are great for what they do. They don't however do as much to interoperate with ArcGIS. If you want some CAD-based GIS functionality in AutoCAD and they work for you then great.  If however your goal is to interoperate with ArcGIS and the ArcGIS Platform, Esri provides the free plug-in to improve that experience.

 

  • Q8: What’s in January?
  • A8: We will be holding our next Meetup on Thursday, January 22nd.

 

  • Q9: So, there are folks that can have permissions and investigate the data for free. No editing allowed for free to mobile devices?
  • A9: In the ArcGIS platform, the permissions for who can edit the data are determined by the publisher of the data on enterprise geodatabases like I used in the demonstrations.  This means that any software client that can edit ArcGIS feature services will be allowed to edit the data regardless if the application is free or not.  An ArcGIS Web App is free and can edit feature services; ArcGIS for AutoCAD is a free application and can edit feature services as just two examples including free apps on mobile devices.

 

  • Q10: What are credits?
  • A10: Credits are a unit of usage for accessing certain processes, data and other services within the ArcGIS Platform by ArcGIS Online Subscription customers.   In my demonstration I did not access any subscription services nor did I login or use any subscription credits for any of the demonstration.  In the future ArcGIS for AutoCAD will give you access to more services through a named user subscription.  For example two of my survey questions were referring to subscriptions services, the hosted feature service and elevation analysis service are two examples of premium subscription services that would require a subscription named user login to access them, and may or may not utilize any "credits". Subscription customers acquire a number of credits as currency to utilize the services.  Many subscription services on ArcGIS online still do not burn any credits.

 

  • Q11: What does BIM mean to Esri?
  • A11: A BIM is a building information model.  Esri views these models as a source of useful data that needs to be incorporated into a building information system.  BIM models can be used as valuable content like other data sources such as 3D CAD or Imagery or LiDAR in the context of an information system like ArcGIS.  ArcGIS is an information system that allows you to get answers to many different questions in a geometric and geographic context that combines all different forms of geographic information including BIM together to make more informed decisions and communicate, the current conditions and future geodesign options.

 

  • Q12: Why do you provide ArcGIS plugin for AutoCAD when AutoDESK has their own capabilities in Map 3D for working with geospatial data? What extra capabilities are you providing above and beyond Map 3D (their own GIS?)
  • A12: The capabilities of Map 3D tools from Autodesk are great for what they do.  They don't however do as much to interoperate with ArcGIS.  If you want some CAD-based GIS functionality in AutoCAD and they work for you then great.  If however your goal is to interoperate with ArcGIS and the ArcGIS Platform, Esri provides the free plug-in to improve that experience.

 

  • Q13: What about other CAD systems? MicroStation for example
  • A13: ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services.  Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo.Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.be. When transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry).  Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q14: Map 3D already has interoperability capability with Esri services - Why do I need this?
  • A14: Map 3D does not have interoperability capabilities with ArcGIS Web Services, nor does it support ArcGIS local feature classes, nor does AutoCAD or ArcGIS desktop have the ability to read the custom data objects of Map 3D features in a DWG file.  Map 3D can provide an FDO connection to ArcSDE databases and if that is working for you within your organization then perhaps you don't need the free plug-in.   ArcGIS for AutoCAD was created to provide the best practice interoperability experience between AutoCAD and the ArcGIS platform, now and moving forward.  There is a wealth of information and services within the ArcGIS community in the form of ArcGIS maps and services that are opened up for you with the free plug-in, which is enough reason for many to take advantage of ArcGIS for AutoCAD.

 

  • Q15: Can we create an annotation feature class from text on a .dwg?
  • A15: Yes, I did that with the LOT TEXT in a Local Feature Class that I opened in ArcMap and used as the label features for the FEATURE TO POLYGON geoprocessing tool in my demonstration. There is however currently no ArcGIS Annotation Feature Service.

 

  • Q16: How do you export AutoCAD symbol blocks as representations in ArcGIS?
  • A16: If I take your question literally, then the answer is there currently is no way to create ArcGIS symbols from AutoCAD blocks. The best way I can think of doing that would include either creating bitmap versions of the block or a true-type library from the blocks, neither of which can be done with AutoCAD or ArcGIS to my knowledge. Nor is there a way to generate AutoCAD blocks from Esri ArcMap representation symbols.  However using the EXPORT TO CAD tool I can indicate and "existing" block reference name to replace the default AutoCAD POINT entity that will be generated and instead call out which block I want to create instead.  To do this I must include and AutoCAD template (seed file) that already contains the block definitions.  I would then be calling out these blocks by name from attributes in the output POINT feature class.  When accessing POINTS from a web feature services, ArcGIS for AutoCAD will automatically look for an AutoCAD block named with the same name as the feature layer, and if it finds a match it will populate the feature in the drawing using that block rather than the default POINT entity.  If I want to use my block symbol I would need to rename it and make a copy so that when ArcGIS for AutoCAD draws the point feature the block that it uses is one that I designed for that kind of feature.

 

  • Q17: What is the elevation service?
  • A17: Is a new ArcGIS Online Analysis service that provides a number of different capabilities to generate surfaces, profiles and elevation summaries based on a global terrain model of the world. Here is a description from what they are: applications like ArcGIS for AutoCAD could be taught how to use them, for example you draw a line in AutoCAD and it gives you back a 3D line of the profile over the ground.  You specify and area and it creates a 3D surface of the existing ground.

 

  • Q18: What version of AutoCAD are you using?
  • A18: I was using AutoCAD 2014 and 2015.  The current version of ArcGIS for AutoCAD 350 supports 32bit and 64bit AutoCAD versions 2013-2015.

 

 

  • Q20: I've never been able to import an AutoCAD file into ArcGIS and get it in the correct projection. Does this plugin help with that?
  • A20: Sure, identifying the coordinate system you are using with the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in ensures that your data will line up correctly throughout the ArcGIS Platform. Using feature services and map services requires you to identify the coordinate system you are using. Existing maps and feature services are an excellent way to ensure that you are drawing in the right place. If you have existing drawings in relative coordinate systems, you can use commands like the AutoCAD ALIGN tool to move things into place. I have created a sample AutoLISP routine to execute the ALIGN command in combination with ArcGIS web feature or map services to assist you in georeferencing your drawing to real world coordinates. Here is a video on that:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3VjP1XRoyo&list=PLHTg8zWG0OunfoXfgWWSTvU0UTCFs6ebl&index=2

 

 

  • Q21: How do you make sure the CAD is in the right coordinate system?
  • A21: One of the best ways is to connect to a map or feature service. The process requires that you identify your coordinate system and after you do everything should line up correctly.  If it doesn't you may need to make some adjustments, or perhaps you identified the wrong coordinate system.   If you have existing drawings in relative coordinate systems, you can use commands like the AutoCAD ALIGN tool to move things into place.  I have created a sample AutoLISP routine to execute the ALIGN command in combination with ArcGIS web feature or map services to assist you in georeferencing your drawing to real world coordinates. Here is a video on that:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3VjP1XRoyo&list=PLHTg8zWG0OunfoXfgWWSTvU0UTCFs6ebl&index=2

 

 

  • Q22: Is it just .wms that can view with this tool, or can you link data using SDE or File geodatabases as well?
  • A22: This tool does not access WMS at all. Instead it accesses the more performant and richer data content of ArcGIS Web Map and Feature Services.  These services are served out by ArcGIS for Server, yours or ours or someone else's.  In order to serve out feature services the data you are using must be managed by enterprise ArcSDE that is accessible to ArcGIS for Server.  This means your existing ArcSDE data is already easily severed out, however you would need to migrate your file geodatabase data into ArcSDE before it could be served out as ArcGIS feature services and then in turn be accessed by ArcGIS for AutoCAD.

 

  • Q23: Can we use feature services from a secure federated Arc Server?
  • A23: Yes, ArcGIS for AutoCAD uses feature services from enterprise ArcGIS for Server implementations.

 

  • Q24: Does AutoCAD layers need to match Feature names when features are brought into CAD?
  • A24: The layer names need to match when you ADD data from a feature services for editing.  There is no such requirement for local feature services that live in the drawing or have been extracted from a feature service or exported from ArcMap.

 

  • Q25: Could you explain how to get correct symbols/blocks in CAD when features are brought in?
  • A25: It is automatic when there exists a block definition in the drawing that matches the layer name for that feature services "ESRI_<feature layer name>".  You would create or rename the block you want to see for those features and name it according to the anticipated layer name for that feature service or subtype.  ArcGIS for AutoCAD will use the block instead of the POINT entity when it draws those features.  If you have saved the drawing, the block will also be utilized by the place feature tool palette.  Although you will like need to update the tool image on the tool palette to see it there. Here is a video on the subject:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qpLfxYTkpE&index=6&list=PLHTg8zWG0OumaZbvl_jjuYguyJ-VpUfIs. Here is a blog post on a more advance treatment of the subject: http://giscadblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/arcgis-data-and-blocks-afablocktofc.html  and a video:

 

  • Q26: Is there a limit on number of features?
  • A26: Only the practical limit of your machine and usability/performance.

 

  • Q27: Is there an automated workflow to get pipe & structure attributes from Civil 3D to ESRI
  • A27: No, not that I know of.  Exporting to Shapefile is probably your best bet, since AutoCAD and likewise ArcMap cannot read the custom objects.

 

  • Q29: When working with the services to edit data can we leverage the ArcGIS Server Security to manage editing in services?
  • A29: Yes, you are controlling the capabilities of the service that you create when you publish and from server manager.  There is nothing special on the client side. All software clients including ArcGIS for AutoCAD would be presented with the same feature services and the required credentials to access them.

 

  • Q30: Will this support long transactions, edit version management, conflict detection?
  • A30: ArcGIS for AutoCAD supports a long transaction. Version are controlled at the publishing level so, yes but not really relevant you publish a map based on a version and then feature service edits are applied against that version.  There are no conflict detection tools within the feature service editing model.  Edits are process in a last in, wins strategy.

 

 

  • Q31: Most of the drawings used for presentation are already Geo referenced etc. How does one work with a legacy CAD drawing that is drawn in 2D 'vanilla' Cad and is out of scale and not georeferenced or orientated? Maybe you have a demo that is already recorded?
  • A31: One of the best ways is to connect to a map or feature service.  The process requires that you identify your coordinate system and after you do everything should line up correctly.  If it doesn't you may need to make some adjustments, or perhaps you identified the wrong coordinate system.   If you have existing drawings in relative coordinate systems, you can use commands like the AutoCAD ALIGN tool to move things into place.  I have created a sample AutoLISP routine to execute the ALIGN command in combination with ArcGIS web feature or map services to assist you in georeferencing your drawing to real world coordinates. Here is a video on that:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3VjP1XRoyo&list=PLHTg8zWG0OunfoXfgWWSTvU0UTCFs6ebl&index=2

 

 

  • Q33: What's the tool in CAD that you demonstrated where you pushed the CAD layer into the unique CAD layer that we saw when you loaded CAD into ArcMap?
  • A33: I was using the Add Feature Class capability of the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in to define the membership of AutoCAD entities within a feature class.   I didn't really "push" the entities into a feature class as much as I defined which entities in the drawing qualified as feature classes that were later recognized in ArcMap.  The location and characteristics of the CAD entities remained unchanged, however the definition, like a query filter, was added to the drawing so that when new entities were added as normal in CAD they too qualified as belonging because they were simply drawn the same way.

 

  • Q34: Can we create polygons directly as a feature class in AutoCAD or does this step need to be done in ArcGIS?
  • A34: Yes, you can just create and draw polygons as a POLYGON feature class.  ArcGIS for AutoCAD supports: POLYLINE, POLYGON, ANNOTATION, MULTIPATCH and POINT feature class types. To create a polygon in recognized by ArcGIS for AutoCAD it needs to be a closed polyline, circle, ellipse 3DFace, etc.

 

  • Q35: I use Civil 3D which Map is built in.  We connect to .shp files through Map space or drag and drop.  We can adjust coordinates and edit shape files.  Is the plug in 'ArcGIS' for plain AutoCAD along the same format as what I currently work with?
  • A35: ArcGIS for AutoCAD does not interact with Shapefiles. Instead a few years back we defined a method of storing ArcGIS feature classes directly within the DWG.  These attributed feature classes are created and read by both ArcGIS desktop and ArcGIS for AutoCAD.  The coordinate system definitions are inherent in these drawings and there is no need to read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q36: Is there ArcGIS plugin available for Civil 3D?
  • A36: ArcGIS for AutoCAD works with the AutoCAD under AutoCAD Civil 3D or Map 3D.  The current version will work with the AutoCAD in these bundles.

 

  • Q37: One of the problems we see is exporting GIS data for Engineers.  Not all of the Attribute data is transferred in the .dwg or .dxf.  Is there something we are doing wrong?
  • A37: All of the attributes and feature class organization is in the DWG by default when you use the EXPORT TO CAD geoprocessing tool. If they download and install the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in they would be able to see and use it.

 

 

  • Q39: Can you only use Esri geocode service or can we use our in house geocoding web services?
  • A39: Currently you can only use the single line world geocoder provided.

 

  • Q40: What version of AutoCAD and ArcGIS Desktop are supported to work with each other?
  • A40: ArcGIS for Desktop supports AutoCAD files back to R12 -2015.   Storing ArcGIS feature classes inside AutoCAD .DWG files started with AutoCAD 2007. The current version of ArcGIS for AutoCAD 350 works with AutoCAD 2013-2015.  ArcGIS for AutoCAD 300 is still available for those working with AutoCAD 2010-2012.

 

  • Q41: Is there support for AEC objects on 3D object?
  • A41: No ArcGIS for AutoCAD and ArcGIS desktop understand standard AutoCAD objects only at this time.

 

  • Q42: Is there support for hosted services like those available in ArcGIS for Server or ArcGIS for Organizations?
  • A42: No. ArcGIS for AutoCAD does not currently support hosted services.

 

  • Q43: Can a CAD user clip aerial imagery for offline use?
  • A43: Terms of use vary for different data sets.  You can of course clip your own imagery always, using the EXTRACT image capability from the ribbon or context menus.

 

  • Q44: So, approximately how many points or service credits would this exercise cost?
  • A44: This demonstration did not cost any credits, nor did it even require a named user subscription login.

 

  • Q45: I have pulled in ArcGIS Online basemaps inside CAD but the refresh is terrible when panning around. From the demonstration, services are pulling in much quicker than mine. Are there optimization techniques?
  • A45: I have found time of day, and network conditions are variable…  you can choose to set the map service to on-demand and only request the image when you get to where you will be working at a good resolution.  The imagery comes in asynchronously so you should be able to continue to work if it does take a little time.   You might also try changing your image type to .JPG instead of PNG in the map service properties.  Some users report improvements in drawing speed by AutoCAD.  I am not sure I see much difference, although the ArcGIS Online maps look much better in JPG than PNG when using a dark AutoCAD background.

 

  • Q46: Is the service shared publicly?
  • A46:  I had attempted at the end of my demo to allow you to co-edit the data with me as the service was supposed to have been shared publicly on my ArcGIS Server in the Cloud. I had failed to open up the 6080 port so I could access it but you couldn't.  I may turn it back on an invite everyone to finish the demo another time.

 

  • Q47: Are there plans support access to the AutoCAD Object Data model to mine information stored there?
  • A47: We can certainly consider it.  You could also do it using the provided API's in the mean time

 

 

  • Q49: Does the ArcGIS for AutoCAD tool work throughout the AutoCAD vertical line - base AutoCAD, Map, Civil?
  • A49: ArcGIS for AutoCAD works with any application that contains a full version of AutoCAD.  AutoCAD LT does not contain full AutoCAD, but AutoCAD Civil 3D for example does.

 

  • Q50: Doesn't that CAD drawing already have to be georeference to create those feature classes?
  • A50: ArcGIS for AutoCAD doesn't require you to define a spatial reference for local feature classes but it is best practice to ALWAYS do so.  When accessing ArcGIS web services with ArcGIS for AutoCAD we force you to specify a coordinate system, if you don't it will assign the spatial reference of the service to be the drawing's coordinate system.  This may be the coordinate system you want, or it may not.

 

  • Q51: How can you georeference a .DWG that has already been created???
  • A51: Simply choose the assign coordinate system tool from the Ribbon or connect to an ArcGIS web service that has the coordinate system you need to use, like your organization's base map etc.

 

  • Q52: Are there any constraints with plotting in ArcGIS for AutoCAD?
  • A52: No. You are dealing with AutoCAD entities in your drawing that you can plot.  Depending on the view scale of included Map and Image Services you may not be happy with the plotted resolution.  The resolution of the map and image services are optimized for view performance and not plot quality.  To improve plot quality of images I sometimes extract a set of tiles at higher resolution to cover a larger area I want to plot.

 

 

  • Q54: By adding GIS data to your .DWG file, what does that do to the file size of the .DWG?
  • A54: The geometry is stored as simple AutoCAD entities, so nothing is added over the entity itself for the geometry. Attribute information is stored as XRECORDS which adds some but not much extra to the drawing.  It is a pretty efficient storage model.

 

  • Q55: What Esri software is needed for this CAD interaction – to be able to edit within either platform?  It looks like ArcGIS server or an ArcGIS online subscription is needed to create a service to the GIS data.  If the client just has ArcGIS for Desktop and AutoCAD, is this workflow available?
  • A55: For my demonstration to edit my ArcGIS Geodatabase information, I required an ArcSDE enterprise managed geodatabase, mine was SQL Server underneath.  I needed to be able to serve out that information.  I used ArcMap to author a map that was based on my enterprise geodatabase.  I published that map to ArcGIS for Server and enabled the feature service editing capability. From there any Esri software client that can edit feature services could edit my data.  I did not require a subscription to access my enterprise server, nor would you have needed a subscription access my server (which I intended to allow you to do during the demo but I misconfigured the port settings) to edit the data in AutoCAD I would need to download and install the free ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in and connect to the feature service to edit.

 

  • Q56: What level of AutoCAD do you need to view GIS files?
  • A56: I need a full version of 32bit or 64bit Windows AutoCAD 2013-2015 to view the ArcGIS data using ArcGIS for AutoCAD version 350. There is a previous version ArcGIS for AutoCAD 300 SP1 available for AutoCAD users 2010-2012.

 

  • Q57: How does this work with regard to styles in Civil3D?
  • A57: ArcGIS for AutoCAD does not directly interact with styles.  I’d be interested to follow up with you on how you would like it to work?

 

  • Q58: Does this work with Parcels in Civil3D?
  • A58: ArcGIS for AutoCAD works with standard AutoCAD entities.

 

  • Q59: I would like to find a way of port C3D data to Layer/Feature Class.
  • A59: Exporting to Shapefile is one way to retain the attribute information, but you will lose curve information.  You can convert the data to standard AutoCAD entities but you lose the attributes but retain the curves.

 

  • Q60: How does the software work with NAD83 projection to Ground Level distance?
  • A60: It uses the coordinate system definition that you select and does not make any specific distance corrections.

 

  • Q61: With the ArcGIS for AutoCAD, 1 feature class to 1 AutoCAD layer or can 1 layer contain multi-feature class?
  • A61: In the case of web feature services the correlation is one layer to one feature service layer.  For local feature classes stored in the DWG file you can define your feature class to span multiple layer or as in the case in my demo where I wanted only a certain color of text on one layer I might have multiple feature classes on one layer.  I can also define supersets and subsets of features using entity property based feature class definitions.  Local feature classes are based on a property based filtering criteria, feature services are required to live on a single layer.  Local feature classes can be very flexible/complex, but just because you can do it doesn't mean you should

 

  • Q62: How can you limit access to specific extent, we want to provided access but not complete access to entire dataset?
  • A62: You can set the extent of data you access from services in ArcGIS for AutoCAD and take the default extent from the service, but you can also override that extent.  The key would be to limit the extent of the data you publish to the CAD users.  This might require that you publish just the extent you want to make available as a separate map.  I think the key here is to focus on what you are publishing.

 

  • Q63: Can you export from ArcMap feature to Esri MCS DWG file?
  • A63: Yes, by default when you use the EXPORT TO CAD geoprocessing tools in ArcMap any GIS data set by default will be created as attributed feature classes in the resultant DWG or DXF file.  When viewed in AutoCAD the CAD users will see the geometry of those features as standard AutoCAD entities.  If they have ArcGIS for AutoCAD loaded then they will be able to interact with the attributed feature classed that are there by default.

 

  • Q64: Can ArcMaps upload "as built surveys" like CAD can? If not, can CAD send those to ArcMaps?
  • A64: —I would have to understand exactly what you mean when you say "as built surveys", but I think I clearly demonstrated the way information can be sent back and forth between ArcGIS and AutoCAD using both the exchange of DWG files and through ArcGIS Web Services.

 

  • Q65: Our Engineering Dept. is using ArcGIS for AutoCAD to access 2 feature services that I have published.  While they are able to add or extract most of the data into their AutoCAD projects, there are about 7 feature classes (point, lines, and polygons) that repeatedly fail.  Error messages include ""Error in Query Feature Data." Any idea why certain layers would fail- while some of the layers have many records, some are quite simple point and line feature classes.
  • A65: No I don’t know why, contact me Don Kuehne and or support directly and we’ll find out.

 

  • Q66: Is ArcGIS for AutoCAD aware of AutoCAD Map FDO features?
  • A66: No, ArcGIS for AutoCAD is only aware of FDO features as so far as they are standard AutoCAD entities in the drawing.

 

  • Q67: As a GIS person I would be interested in a lot polygons (aka Parcel Fabric) with attributes.  Are there polygon features in AutoCAD dwg that represent polygons?
  • A67: Yes, ArcGIS for AutoCAD has an understanding of POINT, POLYLINE, POLYGON, MULTIPATCH and ANNOTATION feature classes as AutoCAD entities in the drawing.  Polygons in ArcGIS for AutoCAD are closed polyline entities, circles, ellipses etc.

 

  • Q68: Can a new feature class created in AutoCAD be based on a template?
  • A68: Yes, it is smart to create feature class definitions for you drawings and store them as AutoCAD template files for others to take advantage of without having to recreate them. Connecting to feature services and Extracting feature services is another way to quickly build feature class definitions in your new AutoCAD drawing. Find free training videos here: https://community.esri.com/videos/1692

 

  • Q69: Will there be an ArcGIS for MicroStation?
  • A69: There is currently no ArcGIS for Microstation under development. ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services.  Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the Esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo. Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.be. When transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry).  Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q70: Will this plugin work with Microstation files as well?
  • A70:  No, the plugin is designed to work within AutoCAD. ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services. Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the Esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo. Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.beWhen transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry). Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q71: Will ArcGIS for AutoCAD work with AUD (Autodesk Utility Design) objects
  • A71: No ArcGIS for AutoCAD and ArcGIS desktop understand standard AutoCAD objects only at this time.

 

  • Q72: What are the drawbacks of using AutoCAD as the front end to edit a feature service?
  • A72: —Feature services support simple feature editing. This means there is not direct support for thing like relationship classes.  Although you can edit the points and lines that participate in a network data set, business rules on will only fire upon commitment to the database, where as in ArcMap you see those changes while they happen.  There is an extra layer of publishing that may or may not be considered a drawback. I could be considered a benefit in that it provides a more deliberate focused workflow about what is being edited.  The fundamental answer is that feature services provide simple feature editing and if that is what is needed they are just what you need.

 

  • Q73: Can you view symbology you have created in arc map in your AutoCAD drawing
  • A73: The symbols of a map service are symbolized by ArcMap/ArcGIS Server so you get the exact symbology of the GIS as a backdrop in you AutoCAD drawing.  However if you want to use the bitmap or true-type vector symbols of ArcGIS as entities in your AutoCAD drawing, there is no straight forward way to do that that I know of.  I wrote a complicated way to do it in a blog post a few years back but know it is not … straight forward:  http://giscadblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/gis-and-cad-signs-symbols-and-fonts.html

 

  • Q74: Does ArcGIS read the AutoCAD Map coordinate system variable?
  • A74: No, ArcGIS for AutoCAD and ArcGIS for Desktop rely on the Esri description of the coordinate system.  AutoCAD map only supports a sub-set of the possible Esri coordinate systems, but it is a good suggestion for the future.

 

  • Q75: Does Esri have plans to provide a Microstation version of the ArcGIS for AutoCAD?
  • A75: There is currently no ArcGIS for Microstation under development.  ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services.  Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo. Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.be. When transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry).  Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q76: What version of AutoCAD is what you showed today written against?  What's the strategy for supporting future versions of AutoCAD?  We stopped using the previous ArcGIS for AutoCAD because it didn't keep up with the new versions.
  • A76: I was using a combination of AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD 2014 in the demos I showed.  The Esri strategy is to make it a priority to publish a working version of ArcGIS for AutoCAD on the latest version of AutoCAD as a priority over new features.  Our plan is to halt development when AutoCAD 2016 is released and get out a version as soon as possible.  Generally AutoCAD versions are compatible for plug-ins like ours for 3 consecutive versions. AutoCAD 2015 required some additional unforeseen changes.  AutoCAD 2016 will likely require its own version as hopefully the first in a series of its next three compatible versions.  This is only based on history and we won't know for sure until we certify each version of AutoCAD.

 

  • Q77: Is there one build of ArcGIS for AutoCAD that works for all AutoCAD versions (i.e., for 2009 AutoCAD MAP and for 2014 Civil 3D)?  Or are different versions of ArcGIS for AutoCAD needed for different AutoCAD versions/years?
  • A77: ArcGIS for AutoCAD versions typically work in groups of three compatible version of AutoCAD.  Historically this has been true with 2007-2009, 2010-2012 and 2013-2015.

 

  • Q78: How in sync will the release for the plugin be with the AutoCAD release?
  • A78: Our goal is within a couple months or sooner.

 

  • Q79: Will this work with versioning for the edits?
  • A79: Feature services are published on a specific version. So the answer is yes, but only because your feature service is based off of a version.

 

  • Q80: Does this plugin work with AutoCAD pipe networks?
  • A80: No not specifically.  The plug-in will work with the AutoCAD data in so far as it is comprised of standard AutoCAD entities. You can perform simple feature service edits on data that participates in ArcGIS networks.  You have to keep in mind that if you have business editing rules those will not fire until they hit the database upon synchronize.   For network datasets a feature service must be published and edited in the same coordinate system.

 

  • Q81: Do you have a step by step for Georeferencing from ArcGIS into CAD
  • A81: In ArcGIS georeferencing from GIS to CAD is Automatic from both ArcMap to a DWG file using the EXPORT TO CAD tool and when connecting to ArcGIS web services.  The coordinate system is Automatiically included when the data is added to the drawing.    You can assign a coordinate system in advance in which case all data and maps added to the drawing by Esri technology will project that data to the correct position on the fly. For CAD into GIS workflows, watch the Georeferencing CAD Dataset video here where Esri staff demonstrate how to georeference CAD datasets in ArcMap.

 

  • Q82: Does the CAD data and GIS data have to be in the same coordinate system? IE, NAD83LL in GIS vs CAVF83 California state plane
  • A82: No once the Esri coordinate system is defined in the drawing ArcGIS for AutoCAD, as well as ArcMap will position the drawing correctly no matter what coordinate system the new information has been stored or published in.

 

  • Q83: Can we validate the topology with AutoCAD, on ArcGIS Data? What about domains? Subtypes?
  • A83: Topology will be validated back on the ArcGIS side after simple feature edits are made.  Feature service edits are geodatabase aware so your validation tools will be able to see those changes in order to validate them.  Domains and subtypes are automatically included when adding or extracting ArcGIS features from web feature services.

 

  • Q84: Is it possible to work with or to create Domains by ArcGIS for Autocad?
  • A84: Domains and subtypes can only be created in local feature classes by extracting a feature service layer from a feature service. Domains and Subtypes are automatically supported when adding feature services. I believe this is covered in the second training video:  https://community.esri.com/videos/1684

 

  • Q85: How does this work with AutoCAD Civil 3D? Are polylines needed or will objects work?
  • A85: ArcGIS for AutoCAD works with the standard AutoCAD entities. Custom objects are not supported.

 

  • Q86: What AutoCAD Version that can be used for ArcGIS for AutoCAD?
  • A86: I need a full version of 32bit or 64bit Windows AutoCAD 2013-2015 to view the ArcGIS data using ArcGIS for AutoCAD version 350. There is a previous version ArcGIS for AutoCAD 300 SP1 available for AutoCAD users 2010-2012.

 

  • Q87: A lot of our contractors use Bentley Microstation to create the engineering drawings.  Is there a tool similar to this one available for MicroStation?
  • A87: There is currently no ArcGIS for Microstation under development.  ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services.  Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the Esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo. Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.be. When transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry).  Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q88: Texas DOT has standardized on Microstation. So, as a local government within the State of Texas, we predominantly use Microstation and Bentley products. Are there plans to develop a suite of tools targeted specifically at that platform?
  • A88: There is currently no ArcGIS for Microstation under development.  ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services.  Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the Esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo. Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.be. When transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry).  Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q89: What versions of AutoCAD does this work in?
  • A89: I need a full version of 32bit or 64bit Windows AutoCAD 2013-2015 to view the ArcGIS data using ArcGIS for AutoCAD version 350. There is a previous version ArcGIS for AutoCAD 300 SP1 available for AutoCAD users 2010-2012.

 

  • Q90: Why do some of the features in an export dwg file not show up for example elevation of polylines?
  • A90: I am not familiar with any problems with exporting features to DWG files.  If you are having any problems let's talk with tech support and we'll get them resolved for you.

 

  • Q91: Can AutoCAD add data from surveys instead of heads up digitizing like in the demo?
  • A91: Any way you can get the AutoCAD entities drawn in your drawing is all the better for you.  Third party apps, customization whatever will create the entities is part of the value of being inside AutoCAD, you have lots of choices.

 

  • Q92: Are there BIM standards that GIS group can provide to AutoCAD contractors so that their deliverables will come in already georeferenced to our State Plane coordinates?  Is there a seed file or something that we need to provide to them to get started?  How can the same coordinates for a building be shared between contractors?
  • A92: Seed files that contain your desired schema and coordinate system is a great way to improve interoperability and add value within the workflow.  It is smart to create feature class definitions for you drawings and store them as AutoCAD template files for others to take advantage of without having to recreate them.    Connecting to feature services and EXTRACTing feature services is another way to quickly build feature class definitions in your new AutoCAD drawing. There are free training videos on Esri.com go through some of these techniques. As far as a "BIM" standard, you can use whatever schema you deem best.  You might take a look at the BISDM (Building Interior Spaces Data Model) as one place to start.  The Esri Campus Data Model might be another.

 

  • Q93: Are there instructions that we can send to our CAD users?
  • A93: There is the help system, as well as videos and blogs to get your people up to speed.  This demonstrations and user conference presentations are also available.

 

  • Q94: Is there an Esri training on Auto CAD that can educate GIS users communicate with CAD users without having to learn all about AutoCAD?
  • A94: You can find a free five part training series here when you search for ‘ArcGIS for AutoCAD training.’

 

  • Q95: Can the DXF format hold features the way you are saying DWG can?
  • A95: Yes, it is the same.

 

  • Q96: Will direct connection to geodatabase be available again once ArcGIS goes to 64bit?
  • A96: If you are referring to Autodesk FDO technology from them or one of their partners I don't have any insights on that.  As far as the ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in or other Esri technology, we are focusing on working with ArcGIS web services at this time. A technology like the old ArcSDE CAD Client is possible but not on the radar right now.

 

 

  • Q98: Can you hit the high points of how this extension is different from utilizing the native direct connect to SDE in AutoCAD?
  • A98: The main difference is the ArcGIS web Services themselves.  They are part of the ArcGIS Platform that all Esri tools can access them, desktop, mobile and web.  It is easier to find connect and use ArcGIS web services.  They are accessible over the Web, rather via internal networks. There is a huge community sharing this form of data connection that you can leverage outside your organization. The technology is supported directly through Esri so compatibility is ensured moving forward.

 

  • Q99: Will this work with AutoCAD LT?
  • A99: Unfortunately, no, there is no programing interface in LT to hook our tool into.

 

  • Q100: What are the differences between ArcMap & ArcGIS, and do they interact in a similar way with CAD?
  • A100: ArcMap is the name of desktop mapping application of ArcGIS.  ArcGIS for Desktop is ArcMap and ArcCatalog.  ArcGIS is also the name of the entire product stack from Esri.  So ArcGIS for AutoCAD is one interface to the ArcGIS system, ArcGIS for Server is the server component that facilitates the publishing and editing of content throughout the ArcGIS System.  What is consistent about CAD in the ArcGIS system is that you can be inside AutoCAD an access ArcGIS web services and create ArcGIS datasets within an AutoCAD DWG file.  ArcMap can read and write the same type of DWG file with these attributed feature classes. So either by exchanging file or through web services you can interoperate between CAD and GIS.

 

  • Q101: Are there training videos on georeferencing CAD?
  • A101: Watch the Georeferencing CAD Dataset video here where Esri staff demonstrate how to georeference CAD datasets in ArcMap.

 

  • Q102: Most of my public works are MicroStation users. Can you make some mention of Esri & Microstation?
  • A102: ArcGIS for Server can serve our OGC WMS map services and WFS feature services. Microstation can use WMS map services and with Bentley Map you can access read-only feature services through the OGC WFS service served out from ArcGIS for Server.   This is not quite the same as the Esri ArcGIS for AutoCAD functionality you saw in the demo. Here is a short video I put together a while back that uses some of these techniques in Microstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rak2djTu4Ik&feature=youtu.be. When transferring files, ArcMap can read and write DGN files (just geometry). Microstation with Bentley Map can read and write Shapefiles.

 

  • Q103: Suppose my AutoCAD users want to access ArcGIS map services, hosted on our ArcGIS server.  What do they need to do?  Download a plugin for their AutoCAD (is the plugin free?)?  Have a specific version of AutoCAD?
  • A103: Yes, download and install the app on their 32bit or 64bit AutoCAD 2013-2014.  Older version are supported through previous version of ArcGIS for AutoCAD.

 

  • Q104: What will the AutoCAD users have to do, to load a map service that is in Web Mercator??
  • A104: Connect to the service URL and push the ADD button. For Esri hosted maps web Mercator is the default projection.  If you assign a different coordinate system all data will be positioned correctly and projected on the fly.  If you publish your maps I a different projection than web Mercator then the CAD user can assign the Web Mercator projection by connecting to an Esri Map first or assigning the Web Mercator projection using the Assign Coordinate system tool on the ribbon.

 

  • Q105: Does ArcGIS for AutoCAD also works for an AutoCAD Map 3D client?
  • A105: Yes it works on the AutoCAD included with AutoCAD Map 3D.

 

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