GIS Tech News (#90)

17 Nov, 2009 By: Cadalyst Staff

Geospatial Analysis with AutoCAD Map 3D, Part 2

Find patterns — and answers — in your data by creating subsets and identifying features and objects.

By Michael Schlosser

Geospatial queries are at the heart of geospatial analysis; they are used to retrieve a subset of objects or features by attribute, location, or both. Queries help create subsets of the data, identify objects and features based on specific criteria, and reveal patterns in the data. Queries have two primary components: attribute conditions (e.g., Zone= "Industrial") and/or geographic conditions (e.g., number of water meters within a specific area). Queries are used to answer questions such as:

    •  "How many municipalities are in the state of Georgia?"
    •  "What is the total length of 8-inch PVC water main within city boundaries?"
    •  "Where are all the land parcels that are zoned industrial?"

AutoCAD Map 3D software supports the ability to query both CAD data and feature data. CAD data is typified by geometric data such as points, lines, text, and other CAD entities stored in DWG files. Features, on the other hand, are spatial representations of real-world entities such as hydrants, power lines, and land parcels. Feature data is typically stored in geospatial files and databases including ESRI SHP files, SDF, Oracle, PostGIS, and ESRI ArcSDE managed databases, as well as other formats. This article focuses on the feature data query capabilities in AutoCAD Map 3D. Read more »
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Michael Schlosser (P.Eng, GISP) is an Autodesk Technical Specialist with more than 20 years' experience in the geospatial industry.


Army Corps Mitigates Hurricane Impact with GIS

The Philadelphia and Baltimore Districts use mapping and analysis to help the Northeast prepare for — and recover from — big storms.

By JoAnne Castagna, Ed.D.

The 2009 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season is winding down — it officially ends November 30 — but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works year-round to safeguard coastal states in the Northeast from storm events.

The devastating power of big storms was on display in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel's powerful winds and rough waves bombarded the Atlantic Coast. Isabel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane that year, taking the lives of 51 people and costing taxpayers $4.22 billion, according to 2009 figures.

To help protect states in the Northeast, the Army Corps' Philadelphia and Baltimore Districts are relying on GIS — a computer application and tool that enables operators to capture, store, analyze, and display localized information. GIS combines layers of information from various sources, such as aerial photographs and electronic data, to perform analysis. The system produces electronic maps, reports, and charts that agencies like the Army Corps can use to perform missions and solve complex problems.

Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events


Autodesk University Virtual
December 1–4, 2009
Various times
Autodesk University (AU) Virtual will bring portions of AU to your desktop, offering a way to obtain practical skills, industry knowledge, and professional contacts without traveling to Las Vegas. Read more

2010 ESRI User Group Conference
February 3–4, 2010
Redlands, California
Professionals from California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands are invited to connect with peers, colleagues, and ESRI contacts at this forum. Read more 

Be Together: The Be Communities "Live" Conference
May 17–20, 2010
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This conference, intended for architectural, engineering, construction, and geospatial professionals, will focus on increasing the skill sets of Bentley users through hands-on technology sessions. Read more 

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff