shrug-l: AutoCAD Civil 3D to Feature Class

Tripp Corbin tcorbin at
Wed Jun 18 17:34:45 EDT 2008


True Civil 3D objects will only be displayed as proxy objects in ArcMap
or even in AutoCAD Map 3D. I do not even believe the extension will
convert true Civil 3D objects such as profiles to ArcGIS friendly
features. Civil 3D objects are stored as part of the proprietary data in
an AutoCAD DWG which Autodesk does not share with others. You have to
convert those objects to simple AutoCAD features using the Civil 3D

Both Civil and Map 3D do allow users to assign projections to their
drawing files. This, like a prj file, tells the software what the
coordinate values saved in the drawing mean. This too is not stored in
the open part of a drawing and cannot be accessed in ArcGIS.  However if
a drawing is in a real world coordinate system, it will display in the
correct location in ArcMap assuming the Map is in the same projection as
the drawing. When you add a drawing as a layer in ArcMap it will say a
projection has not been assigned because ArcMap cannot read the embedded
coordinate system assigned to the drawing. You have to create a prj file
in ArcCatalog for the drawing in order for ArcMap to know what
projection the drawing is in.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. We work with CAD data a
lot here as you know.  

Tripp Corbin, MCP, CFM, GISP
Vice President, GIS/IT
ESRI Authorized Instructor
Keck & Wood, Inc. <> 
(678) 417-4013
(678) 417-8785 fax

ESRI Business Partner

Adapx Premier Capturx Digital Pen Reseller


From: shrug-l-bounces at
[mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Holli Brandt
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 5:15 PM
To: shrug-l at
Subject: shrug-l: AutoCAD Civil 3D to Feature Class


Hello Everyone -


We soon may need to bring a bunch of DWG data from AutoCAD Civil 3D
eventually into our Feature Classes.  We have ESRI's Data
Interoperability extension in order to bring the data in but also are
considering other options.  From what I understand is that Civil 3D does
contain a world file and in theory will display in the correct location
within ArcMap.  


I just thought I would poll the group to see if anyone has had a similar
experience and can offer some tips and tricks/advice on the subject.


Thanks - Holli 





Holli M. Brandt

DWW GIS Data Maintenance Lead

Seattle Public Utilities

Information Technology Division

Holli.Brandt at Seattle.Gov

(206) 684-8533 


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