Microstation V8 not reading correctly in ArcMap

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04-19-2013 12:08 PM
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Occasional Contributor III
When I add a MicroStation V8 dgn to ArcMap 10.0 SP3, Arc does something very odd with it.  Everything seems to be mixed up.  When I compare the the the Layer field in Arc to the Level field in MicroStation the particular feature is incorrectly named and grouped.  For example in MicroStation calls the level Name: P_ALI_20_Sta and Number 1522.  In Arc in the Attribute Table it comes across as Layer P_ALI_20_Sta Level 19, but it is not the correct features in the layer/level. So in Arc P_Ali_20_Sta contains what should be P_DRN_Insulation's features, P_Ali_20_Sta should be annotation not a line feature, and the Annotation Layer for dgn in Arc says that the annotation is P_SIG not P_Ali_20_Sta like it should be. There are also what I take to be point features lumped in with the annotation layer in ArcMap, that are not in that level in MicroStation.  There are 64 levels in ArcMaps for the dgn, but only 30 levels are actually used in Microstation.

I believe what is happening is similar to this post: http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=1149&t=172604

This makes it hard to just read in the dgn and select only certain features to show.  Am I doing something wrong?  Any solutions?  Attached is PNG to help illustrate what is going on.
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Data Interoperability does seem to do a better job with discerning level names in the current release.  Without seeing the data, I really couldn't say for sure. 

Thanks Karen,

So if I understood what you posted, ArcGIS is having a hard time differentiating between features in Microstation and while the feature shows up in ArcGIS, it might be associated with the incorrect level and group incorrectly? Would using the Data Interoperability Extension work better for reading the DGN than just directly reading the DGN through the add data feature?  Or would I still have the same issue where a line in Microstation is say it on the curb line level, but in ArcGIS it tells me that it sewer line and is grouped with a different level like the insulation layer?

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I'm not sure I completely understand your question, but  I do have some information for you.

Microstation does some strange things with levels and unfortunately ArcGIS doesn't always accurate get level names correct for some drawings.  The good news for you is that it is consistent.  Microstation may report the level name is "AA", but ArcGIS says it is "BB".  ArcGIS isn't actually wrong--the level table in Microstation is reporting both BB and AA to ArcGIS.  It is just that ArcGIS can't figure out which one is right, so it uses "BB".  (This is a known problem in ArcGIS.)  The next time you open the DGN in ArcMap, it will still report them as "BB".  So if you want to define MapLayers with queries, you can depend on the features being on "BB".  Microstation always includes 64 levels.  ArcMap will show you all of them...whether or not they are used.

Some of this is improved in the upcoming release of ArcGIS--it still isn't perfect, but it is better.

It isn't that you're doing anything wrong...it is a flaw in the software.  The only solution is to explore this particular DGN in ArcMap and not try to compare it to the layers reported in Microstation.  Create your layer queries based on the level numbers or based on the level names you see in ArcMap.

I know this isn't much help, but at least you know you're doing all the right things.

When I add a MicroStation V8 dgn to ArcMap 10.0 SP3, Arc does something very odd with it.  Everything seems to be mixed up.  When I compare the the the Layer field in Arc to the Level field in MicroStation the particular feature is incorrectly named and grouped.  For example in MicroStation calls the level Name: P_ALI_20_Sta and Number 1522.  In Arc in the Attribute Table it comes across as Layer P_ALI_20_Sta Level 19, but it is not the correct features in the layer/level. So in Arc P_Ali_20_Sta contains what should be P_DRN_Insulation's features, P_Ali_20_Sta should be annotation not a line feature, and the Annotation Layer for dgn in Arc says that the annotation is P_SIG not P_Ali_20_Sta like it should be. There are also what I take to be point features lumped in with the annotation layer in ArcMap, that are not in that level in MicroStation.  There are 64 levels in ArcMaps for the dgn, but only 30 levels are actually used in Microstation.

I believe what is happening is similar to this post: http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=1149&t=172604

This makes it hard to just read in the dgn and select only certain features to show.  Am I doing something wrong?  Any solutions?  Attached is PNG to help illustrate what is going on.
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Occasional Contributor III
Thanks Karen,

So if I understood what you posted, ArcGIS is having a hard time differentiating between features in Microstation and while the feature shows up in ArcGIS, it might be associated with the incorrect level and group incorrectly? Would using the Data Interoperability Extension work better for reading the DGN than just directly reading the DGN through the add data feature?  Or would I still have the same issue where a line in Microstation is say it on the curb line level, but in ArcGIS it tells me that it sewer line and is grouped with a different level like the insulation layer?
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Highlighted
Occasional Contributor III
Data Interoperability does seem to do a better job with discerning level names in the current release.  Without seeing the data, I really couldn't say for sure. 

Thanks Karen,

So if I understood what you posted, ArcGIS is having a hard time differentiating between features in Microstation and while the feature shows up in ArcGIS, it might be associated with the incorrect level and group incorrectly? Would using the Data Interoperability Extension work better for reading the DGN than just directly reading the DGN through the add data feature?  Or would I still have the same issue where a line in Microstation is say it on the curb line level, but in ArcGIS it tells me that it sewer line and is grouped with a different level like the insulation layer?

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