Import DWG CAD drawing to ArcGIS

57355
16
11-21-2013 06:17 AM
ChrisSlinko
New Contributor II
I'm trying to import a CAD .dwg drawing into ArcMap 10.1. When I added the .dwg to ArcMap it did not show any data.  I spoke to an ESRI rep and they said to explode the drawing, purge and resave the drawing to a different drawing.  I did that and it did not work.  Does anyone have any other suggestions.  Thanks, Chris
Tags (2)
0 Kudos
16 Replies
GastonIzaguirre
New Contributor III
I'm trying to import a CAD .dwg drawing into ArcMap 10.1. When I added the .dwg to ArcMap it did not show any data.  I spoke to an ESRI rep and they said to explode the drawing, purge and resave the drawing to a different drawing.  I did that and it did not work.  Does anyone have any other suggestions.  Thanks, Chris


Check with which version of AutoCAD the DWG file was saved. In General, ArcGIS is not compatible with latest versions of AutoCAD, e.g. 2013, 2014. Try to save the DWG file to an older version, e.g. 2010 and then open this file in ArcMap.
ChrisSlinko
New Contributor II
gizagui Thank for the reply but I just tried to import an older version (2010)  drawing and the same thing happened it imported but non of the lines have drawn in ArcMap.
0 Kudos
michaelcollins1
Occasional Contributor III
Are the layers all imbedded into the DWG or are there xrefs? If there's xrefs, they won't show up.
0 Kudos
AdrienneMiller
New Contributor
I wonder if you have figured out a solution yet. Someone replied regarding xref issues, that may have been the issue, I don't know. Another possibility is that the data you want to see is in some format which will not convey directly.

I have been using Autocad map 3d 2014 to export shapefiles which I can use in ArcGIS. You can do that too, you can get a free trial version for a month. I am lucky to have a lot of years experience using Autcad though, dont know if you have that experience.

I found that I had to also download an object enabler from Autodesk to see some of the AECC objects in Autocad Map, the water line alignments I needed.

Even then, once I could see the AECC objects in Autocad Map, I found that I had to explode them before I could export them as shapefiles, and then I lost information I would have liked to save...such as station numbers and more. 

I am still trying to figure out the best way to export the lines and attributes the way I want to. I am looking at an Autodesk Civil 3d free trial now, to see what export options I get there. It looks like I can export AECC objects, but Civil 3d doesn't provide the tool to export a shapefile..so it's back to Autocad Map for that part of the process.

One of these days I hope I can figure out the best way to do all these things, and perhaps without having to buy so many expensive softwares to do so few functions.

I may have said a lot of things you find unhelpful, but I do know some things about Autocad dwgs, and I am trying to do something similar, so perhaps I can help. For me what is difficult is not knowing much about Civil 3d, but I hope to learn more in the next month.
0 Kudos
AdrienneMiller
New Contributor
just for the heck of it, i just tried loading a cad dwg into arcmap, you might be happy to know i had the same result you did...i dont see anything....and i know there are things in the drawing, alot of things.

There are no objects in the tables ArcMap made for annotation, points, polylines, polygons, multipatch.

at least you know it's not just you. :)

sorry i dont have more time to mess with this perplexity right now, i also don't have any Autocad to use where i am right now.
0 Kudos
JimStrowbridge
New Contributor
I had same problem, it turns out that the some Autocad files can contain an internal coordinate system definition.  If you create a .prj file (projection file of your current ArcGIS dataset)  I just copied one from an existing shape file, renamed it to match the acad file name, apparently this over rules the internal Acad projection.  It worked for me, I instinctly tried purging and saving it as older Acad format with no success....
0 Kudos
AdrienneMiller
New Contributor
that's interesting jstrow, i haven't had a chance to try your routine. Since i have gone the route of exporting shapefiles or sdf files from Autocad Map instead of trying to read dwg files in ArcGIS, i probably won't try it soon either (just too busy with every other basic challenge i have on my plate...it never seems to end).

Something (possibly related) I have noticed in ArcGIS 10.1 is that I have to redefine projection info, ie, the Autocad Map (or Civil 3d) projection info is interpreted by ArcGIS as a "custom" projection (though I am using a standard state plane projection in both softwares and I believe all the parameters are equal), and I have to redefine features to have projection definition designed by/in ARCGIS.
0 Kudos
ThomasTorres1
New Contributor II
Hafa Adai Chris,

Not sure if you have fix yet but u might want to check if any of your layers within cad drawing are locked.  We use Carlson survey
with intellcad.  I have no problems bring .dwg files on the fly into arcmap.  I also convert cad to shape within Carlson at times prior
to importing.

Tom
0 Kudos
MelissaDrake
New Contributor II

Thomas,

How do you convert .dwg in Carlson to ArcGIS? Every time I try and even though I select all the features I want it shows that I didn't select any features when the Export Carlson Entites to SHP file box comes up. 

0 Kudos