AECWeekly: Will CAD users be able to communicate back to the GIS databases?
Don Kuehne: CAD is already supported as a data type understood by ArcGIS and ArcGIS Server. We are still defining the upcoming functionality, and the need for users to update data and exchange data with other users is something we are very aware of.
AECWeekly: Do you think there will be CAD users who may move into an interest in GIS by their introduction to GIS in this way? This would open up a whole new cadre of users for ESRI!
Don Kuehne: I think you’re hitting the nail right on the head here. At ESRI we do GIS, and we do GIS for all different types of users and user environments. CAD is one of those environments in which our customers work. Their core business may not be GIS, but they can benefit like everyone else from GIS information. You can think of internet mapping as an example; you don’t have to be a GIS professional to benefit from the map and printed directions you get from an online map service that GIS professionals have prepared. GIS has quite a bit to offer the engineer/designer in making better and more informed design choices. Passing the GIS functionality right through to the CAD engineer/designer in this way by-passes the technical differences between the geometry, file types, data constructs and database capabilities of GIS and CAD. CAD users get access to a real GIS from the very start, but in a way that is easy for them to make use of. CAD users get the best of GIS; the results of GIS analysis, the finished cartographic work products, comprehensive up to date enterprise base maps, and they get that information where they need it the most, inside CAD.
We haven’t fully defined, what do CAD users want to do with GIS? Certainly are those who would consider themselves GIS professionals who work inside of CAD but they’re a lot fewer than those people who would just benefit by accessing data, and so that’s what we’re providing them in the first release: here’s the information what do you want to do with it? Is this enough? We’ll be pretty responsive to what people are asking for.
There’s a backlog of technology we could implement without having to do too much that doesn’t already exist in the technology of ArcGIS Server.
With ArcGIS for AutoCAD, CAD users can
- Dynamically interact with live GIS maps, displaying GIS symbology and data structures in CAD.
- Include the results of GIS analysis in their CAD designs.
- Include GIS basemaps in their CAD products.
- Access feature attributes in CAD directly from the underlying GIS databases using the IDENTIFY tool.
ArcGIS for AutoCAD requires ArcGIS Server 9.2 and AutoCAD 2007.
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The ESRI GeoInfo Summit will be held in Dallas, April 23-25. Schedule is as follows: