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ArcVIEW contours to AutoCAD

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#1
Sofia Zander

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Hi there - new member here struggling with ArcVIEW/AutoCAD and looking for some guidance.

I'm trying to get contour lines from ArcVIEW to AutoCAD with elevation. We could use either: a TIN that's useable in AutoCAD C3D -or- polylines at elevation.

I work for a mid-sized agency with CAD users and ArcView users, but no one who does both (I'm one of the CAD users). We've been able to do rudamentary conversions from ArcView to CAD, but we've only been able to get linework and text to come across - and everything comes across at 0 (zero) elevation.

Some background:
We're using AutoCAD Civil3D 2009 (which includes MAP 3D)
GIS is using ArcGIS 9.3 (with access to 3D Analyst)
Right now the contour lines are coming from the following types of files: .gdbtable .gdbindexes .freelist .spx
Our GIS folks create a shape file for us, which we open in MAP 3D and save as a .dwg.

If anyone has ideas, resources, or thoughts to share, they'd be greatly appreciated! I've searched on here (and elsewhere) and haven't found exactly what we're looking for, but I've seen so many helpful and knowledgeable users that I'm hoping someone can help us out.

Thanks in advanced,
Sofia

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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Hi Sofia,

One thing you can consider is FME, and specifically the FME for ESRI edition. This will greatly enhance your abilities to move data between the two platforms. Using FME, you can take the contour lines from Arc and turn them into either 3D polylines or a TIN.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#3
dsl

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Unfortunately TINs won't go from ArcGIS to Map3D. Unless they added a LandXML export feature in version 9.3 (and Civil 3D still has the import feature). You might also be able to export a raster surface as a DEM. A DEM is less accurate than a TIN however. Anyway, that's all moot, because if you have shapefiles with the elevation as an attribute then you can you can bring those in easily using Map 3d. It requires importing the shapefile, attaching the elevation as object data, and then querying the contours to assign the object data to the elevation property. I did this back when Land Desktop was still around, but should still be the same. Here is the exact steps:

From autodesk.

This looked like a more detailed explanation, but I didn't look at it thoroughly.

#4
jrat

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Another option would be to have your GIS folks (need ArcInfo License) export the contours to cad rather than making a shapefile and bringing it in from map 3D. Also if you have the contours in a geodatabase you can use AutoCad map to open the feature class directly from a connection to the database.

#5
Sofia Zander

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great responses! we'll give these a try today. I think dsl's method is most likely to work. Exporting the contours from GIS seemed to still give us lines at "0" - although perhaps we did it wrong? And everywhere I looked seemed to indicate that the geodatabase was in a proprietary ESRI format that AutoDesk products can't read.
Finally - what is FME?
Thanks for the help and I'll post back what we find out!

#6
Bridge

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Hi,

Try using Mapimport command from autocad.There you can select & dwg with data.

Then save the dwg & close.

Take new window
add dwg from the map menu(as given below)
MAP---Drawings---define/modify drawing set---attach.
Then
Map---query---define query
query type:location:all
query mode:draw
Alter properties
select elevation option then go to expression there you can select z value from your tabel then add that to query
Then it return to main dialog box.There select execute query.
Then it draws lines with z values.

Please ensure before the shape data having z value or not.

Regards,
Prabhakar.B

#7
Hans van der Maarel

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Finally - what is FME?


FME is an all-round "Spatial ETL tool", or as I like to call it, a magic GIS box. It's used to transform (geo)data in every conceivable way.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#8
dsl

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I think there are ways to connect to a geodatabase from esri in Map 3D. Search the augi forums, and I think you will find an explanation.

Cheers,
David

#9
Sofia Zander

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We had the best luck following the Autodesk instructions linked to by dsl. They were very detailed, although to us there seemed to be a few moments of "blind faith" (because part of the translation involves linking to the data, but never actually seeing it visually represented on the screen). And, best of all, they worked.

Again, a big *thank you* to all of you for taking the time out to help us! And maybe this will even help someone else.

Sofia




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