GIS Tech News (#73)

6 Jan, 2009

Good Design Requires Accurate Base Mapsp>

Use AutoCAD Map 3D’s built-in tools to reconcile and clean up disparate data types in preparation for a successful design project.

By Marcia Carrillo and Lucy Kuhns

You have just won the latest infrastructure project and can't wait to get started with the design. But first, you must prepare the existing conditions base map. A complete, accurate base map is critical to the success of your project. The project team will need to research and include the usual existing condition boundaries, easements, and topographic, hydrologic, and infrastructure features. And, with today's safety, environmental, and sustainable design requirements, you will also have a wealth of other robust data that must also be included.

Including all of this often disparate data into your project base map can be a cumbersome experience, and when your base map is constructed with different data types, such as GIS, survey, imagery, tabular, and even legacy hard copy items, this can sometimes take more time than the actual design itself! Today vast amounts of robust data are available for our use. However, most CAD systems are not able to easily consume and directly use these data types in their CAD-based drawings. Many engineering professionals face the challenge of taking a CD full of CAD, GIS, survey, imagery, and miscellaneous project-related data and compiling it in order to get a base map prepared in time for a meeting with only a day's notice.

With the incredible amount of data available today in a variety of formats, the challenge is to get that data into your CAD base map drawing as accurately and easily as possible. Data conversion, coordinate system reprojection, and drawing cleanup can make this task laborious and time consuming. This article outlines how to use AutoCAD Map 3D 2009 to bring disparate data into drawings through its Feature Data Objects (FDO) data connection and how to use Map 3D’s built-in drawing cleanup tools to best prepare data for the design process. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marcia Carrillo is an industry expert, and Lucy Kuhns is a technical solutions specialist, both in the Infrastructure Solutions Division at Autodesk.   

Civil 3D Tutorial:

Grading — Thinking Outside the Box

By Doug Cummings

When it comes to creating a finish-grade surface, we all struggle with finding a way to accomplish it easily. Let's face it, there's definitely no "easy button" for this. Many of us grew up on the Land Desktop grading wizard, and it worked in certain situations. Now we have the Civil 3D version, the AECC Grading object. Again it's somewhat useful, as long as you don't push it too far. Then, of course, there are feature lines, which seem to be very promising, flexible, and stable.

This article describes some outside the box ideas for grading because I think there are some very powerful tools in Civil 3D that get passed over when it's time to create that proposed parking lot or multibay pond. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

Online Training: Working with Cad Data in ArcGIS Desktop
January 21-23, 2009
8:30 a.m. PST
This class from ESRI will teach attendees the fundamentals of using CAD data in ArcGIS Desktop and how to convert CAD data to GIS data. Read more »

International LIDAR Mapping Forum 2009
January 26-28, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana
The ILMF conference and exhibition offers papers and work-in progress reports on all aspects of airborne and bathymetry LIDAR and also includes an entry-level workshop series. Read more »

Cities Revealed Event 2009
February 12-13, 2009
Cambridge, United Kingdom
This ninth annual event, hosted by Training4GIS, brings together spatial data users and industry experts to discuss geoinformation technology and research and management techniques. Read more »

Geomagic Convergence 2009
February 24-26, 2009
Savannah, Georgia
Geomagic's conference will feature presentations on how Geomagic technology can be used to enable digital shape sampling and processing. Read more »

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Our sister Web site,, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.