Exporting Shapefiles from AutoCAD Question ...

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08-22-2013 09:20 AM
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Working with a community of surveyors to meet a requirement for recording a subdivision plats.
DWG files are being provided, which in turn are exported to file geodatabase feature classes
for review processes.  In some cases AutoCAD software version and ArcGIS software versions
are not compatible.  To get around this problem one thought was to require submission of a
shapefile instead of DWG files; most firms do not seem to be GIS savvy.  Which AutoCAD versions
have the ability to export Shapefiles? and is this ability part of the basic AutoCAD version or must
an extension be purchased?
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Occasional Contributor III
Unless something has changed, plain AutoCAD does not have a command to export a shapefile. In order to export from AutoCAD, you probably want the mapexport command. That comes with AutoCAD Map 3D and probably with AutoCAD Civil 3D. If you can get Map without Civil 3D (assuming you don't need Civil), that's the way to go.

If the surveys you wish to export use arcs, you may want to use ArcGIS Desktop to export the CAD data into a geodatabase. Sounds like you have done this already. I say 'export' but this is confusing because ArcGIS Desktop reads CAD files directly. Arcs are not supported in shapefiles. The arcs are mimicked with short little line segments (tessellated curves?).

Paul Lohr
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You'll need a custom geoprocessing task on the server side to convert the AutoCAD file to a shapefile. From there, you could probably look here to make that shapefile appear on your map.
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