Having trouble exporting contour feature class from ArcMap 10.3 to CAD

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06-06-2015 08:59 AM
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New Contributor

I am working in ArcMap 10.3, and am trying to use ArcMap to create contours from a raster for use in an AutoCAD drawing .  I created a contour shapefile from a raster, and the elevations are successfully created and can be viewed in the attribute table.  Then I used the "Export to CAD" tool to create a CAD .dwg file (version 2007) .  I can open the .dwg file in CAD but all of the contour objects have zero elevations.  The contour elevation values are not transferring to the CAD file.  Need help please.

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8 Replies
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Frequent Contributor

Hi Shannon, I believe you need to use the Add CAD Fields tool first, and then calculate the field values from your existing fields as necessary. See the help file for more details: ArcGIS Help 10.1

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New Contributor

Took me a while b/c I've never used the CAD Fields Tool.  Once I found it, I ran it then used the Field Calculator to calculate the values in the Elevations field to equal the CONTOUR field that was created when the contours were created.  Then I exported to CAD, opened the CAD dwg and the Z values were assigned.  Not sure if that's the exact process you were trying to convey, but it worked.

I am not sure why I had to do all of this.  I've been used ArcMap to export contours to CAD dwgs many times over the past 2-3 years and have never had to go thru these last couple of steps.  But I have not exported contours since I've upgraded to Arcmap 10.3.  May have something to do with that.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!

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Occasional Contributor III

Glad you found a solution...another thing you could have done was simply create an alias on the "CONTOUR" field to match the "ELEVATION" field name.

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Regular Contributor

This is going back more than a few versions but I would imagine the same concept would apply.

First create your elevations and store them in a file gdb.

Then with the contours featureclass within a file gdb export to CAD and it should maintain your Z values.

Back in the 9.1 days this was an issue. We could not export directly from SDE featureclass to CAD or Shapefile because it would not maintain the Z Value. The workaround or methodology was to export to a PGDB first then to CAD and it would maintain the Z Value.

Hope this helps! Have not heard of this issue in quite a few versions but things like this have a tendency to creep back into later releases.

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New Contributor

I tried you what you said but couldn't get very far - probably b/c I don't fully understand how geodatabases and other file structures work.  I could not even get past the first step.  Thank for you for trying to help me though.

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Frequent Contributor

Hey Shannon, making a file geodatabase is easy. Simply right click in the ArcCatalog window, and choose new-->file geodatabse, and then name it as you would any other folder. You can import your shapefiles and rasters into there by right clicking them and choosing export, and you can save the results of tools or geoprocessing into it by navigating to it in the tool dialog, or setting it as your default workspace in your geoprocessing environment settings. I have no idea if it would have solved this particular issue, but storing your data layers in a file geodatabase will improve certain functionality, so it's a good practice to get into.

By the way, if your question is in fact answered, do you mind marking an answer as correct? It helps future users with similar problems to find the answer. Thanks!

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New Contributor

How do you mark as correct?

Shannon Wells

Sent from my iPhone

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Frequent Contributor

There should be a green star under each post, and it says "correct answer" next to it. You can click the star to mark the correct answer. You can also click the helpful "Yes" button under an answer if it was helpful to you. Thanks, and have a good one!

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