shrug-l: RE: GIS to CAD

Tripp Corbin tcorbin at
Wed Dec 30 09:24:48 EST 2009


Exporting from GIS to CAD maintaining Symbology is not easy because the
two programs do not handle symbology the same way. However it is not
impossible if you have access to both programs. It just takes planning
and prep ahead of time.  I am more proficient with AutoCAD than
Microstation. The last version of Microstation I used with regularity
was Microstation 95 so some of what I tell you below may be a little
dated but the general process still applies. 


What you need to do is create a seed file in Microstation which will
have all the display setting predefined. This seed file will contain the
levels (Microstation's version of layers) and cells needed to mimic the
GIS Symbology. Each level you create you assign color, line weight
(thickness), line type, and so on so that it most closely resembles the
GIS symbology. Cells are what Microstation uses for point symbols (They
are called blocks in AutoCAD). Cells are mini-drawings inside of the
larger drawing.  You will need to create a cell for each symbol you use
in the GIS. If you are using some standard symbology, you might get
lucky and find a preexisting cell library you can use. If not you will
need to work with a CAD person to create the ones you need. Once you
have created your seed file you can use it as part of your export in the
export to CAD tool in ArcToolbox. Also you can use the Add CAD Fields
tool to further improve your export results. 


I hope this helps. 


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


From: shrug-l-bounces at
[mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Weatherby,
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 9:00 AM
To: shrug-l at
Subject: GIS to CAD 


Good morning,


I am looking for some suggestions on the most efficient way to convert
GIS data to a CAD format (Microstation .dgn) while maintaining the
symbology.  I am able to convert the data itself, but would like some
suggestions on how to maintain the symbology.  I am operating on ArcInfo
9.3.1 and Microstation V8 or XM.





Shannon R. Weatherby

Florida Department of Transportation

Surveying & Mapping Office

1211 Governor's Square Blvd

Tallahassee, FL 32301

Phone: 850/245-1570

e-mail: shannon.weatherby at


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the SHRUG-L mailing list