What Do CAD Users Want to Do With GIS?

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.

Top News of the Week

Google is launching My Maps, a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to quickly and easily create custom maps for personal use or sharing through search. With this release, creating maps mashups is now as simple as pointing and clicking.

From chronicling trips, to sharing tips and documenting academic endeavors, My Maps empowers users to create content-rich maps that are relevant to their interests, expertise, or personal needs.

With My Maps users can:
  • Mark locations on a map from a library of icons
  • Draw lines and shapes to highlight paths and areas
  • Add text, photos, or YouTube/Google Videos to a map
  • Add HTML for further personalization
  • View their maps in Google Earth


Intermap Technologies, Corp. and GeoContent GmbH have agreed to provide a bundled solution that meets the geospatial needs of dozens of applications and markets in Germany. The partnership, focused on complementing high-resolution aerial imagery with the most accurate and uniform 3D geometric datasets available of Germany, will pave the way for greater accessibility and savings in German geospatial markets.

MapInfo Corporation announced an extension of its long-standing partnership with Statistics Canada (STC) to provide customers with one of the industry's first location-enhanced demographic solutions. The Census of the Canadian Population was conducted in May 2006 and the data will be provided by Statistics Canada and MapInfo in a series of eight topic based releases which started in March 2007 and extend until June 2008. Armed with this information, companies can better understand their customers' lifestyle preferences and buying patterns as well as the competitive landscape, enabling them to make insightful marketing decisions.

Analytical Surveys, Inc. (ASI) announced it has postponed its annual meeting of shareholders previously scheduled for May 2, 2007. On March 29, 2007, the Company mailed a definitive Proxy Statement and Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which was to be held on May 2, 2007. The Proxy Statement contained a proposal requesting shareholders approve a reverse stock split for the sole purpose of regaining compliance with Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(4), contemplating that such a reverse stock split would help to bring the bid price on the Company's common stock into compliance with the $1.00 minimum required by the Rule. As ASI's common stock is no longer listed on Nasdaq, the Company has decided to postpone the Annual Meeting. Therefore, it is no longer necessary for proxies to be solicited pursuant to the Proxy Statement. The Company will reschedule the Annual Meeting at a later date.

NAVTEQ announced location-based services (LBS) leader deCarta will provide developers on the NAVTEQ Network for Developers(TM) site with access to a comprehensive environment for rapid application development, tools, people and support they need to build the next generation of location-based applications.

Trimble and Rosum Corporation announced that they have signed a technology licensing and distribution agreement to combine Rosum's proprietary TV-positioning technology with Trimble's in-market expertise to develop a customer and application ecosystem for location-aware mobile devices in South Korea. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

TerraGo Technologies, provider of GeoPDF®, the format for distributing geospatial intelligence in PDF files, has partnered with sales and services organizations in the United States, Europe and southeast Asia to help satisfy customer demand for its software products and services. The company has also hired geospatial industry veteran Jaymes Pardue to expand U.S. company presence west of the Rockies and in the Asia Pacific region.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hydrologic Engineering Center and ESRI will cooperate on developing a new generation of geographic information system (GIS) technology for hydrologic engineering and ecological analysis.

The Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC), based in Davis, California, and ESRI, announced the signing of a three-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) that will focus on
Adding a geospatial analysis component to HEC's software that analyzes how an ecosystem (i.e., plants, animals, and soil) reacts to water flow Developing terrain models and terrain representation for hydrologic and hydraulic analyses Publishing HEC's modeling techniques with ArcGIS Server.


GGP Systems, UK provider of geospatial solutions for local government, has received national accreditation for its NGz Gazetteer Management software. The accreditation process tested for the software’s ability to import and export gazetteer data in the new National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG): 2006 Data Transfer format 7.3 through 4 different stages of development. GGP NGz is only the second software package to win accreditation out of 21 considered.

GiveMePower Corporation announced that it has been invited to showcase three of its premier PowerCAD® software technologies in Microsoft's Public Sector Partner Solution Marketplace, a new Microsoft initiative designed to facilitate public organizations in quickly locating vendors who can develop and deploy leading technology solutions.

The ESRI GeoInfo Summit will be held in Dallas, April 23-25. Schedule is as follows:

Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'mxgale'
    I would say that CAD users are looking for GIS to enable the export of spatially adjusted cross sections and profiles of Geo-Data. As we all know, CAD works in the XY coordinate system... GIS uses Lat/Long... and moving from the Lat/Long to a XY coordinate system is not easy!
    Usually diagramming cross sections or profiles of the earth's surface required the export of Geo-Data to CAD... and then starts the laborious task of ensuring that all geo-referenced data is appropriately represented in CAD (a time consuming and laborious task!). In addition to running two different programs, it typically requires multiple passes at the data to adjust things to get it to look right... to get the scale right and even get the diagram to a size that is appropriate for labeling and symbolizing. Handing off or working with projects in this manner can be a real drain on your time . . . not to mention sanity!
    But I'm currently using a great solution to this problem! It's called Crossview for ArcGIS. www.aprimesoftware.com
    It allows you to natively create a cross section directly in ArcGIS yet gives users (CAD or GIS) the flexibility to finish (label, symbolize, etc.) in either GIS or CAD. If you are working with high-end and high-cost geology or hydrology consultants you can create 10s if not hundreds of draft slices of cross sections of your geo-data. Doing this on the fly with a consultant can save time and make the workflow [censored] with scientists. It's pretty slick... check it out. www.aprimesoftware.com

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