Archive for Map

Map Skills for Engineers Tutorials

I plan on continuing my series in practical Map 3D / GIS skills for Engineers using Civil 3D over the next few weeks and months, but I found something today that I had never noticed before. It’s included in your Civil 3D install, but just not in your standard workspace, so you might have missed it. There are a series of tutorials called “GIS Skills for Engineers” that you can use to get up to speed along with my posts.

Find you where to find it after the jump.

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Use a Theme to Stylize Your Map

Yesterday, I used a theme to annotate the map (and somehow tonight I destroyed that post- I will redo it later- so sorry!)  Today, we will apply that same idea to automatically color some polylines representing road centerlines. This is the same technique I used in my AU class to automatically hatch my final overlay topology. Grab the paper here and watch the screencast here.

Find out more after the jump.

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Make an Annotation Template for Labeling Map Object Data

imageNow that you have seen how to bring Map data into your drawing using Map>Tools>Import (see this post for detailed instructions), you might ask “How can I made a label that ‘reads’ the object data fields?”. Special text that reads the object data (and many other properties if you’d like) is called an “annotation”. It is similar to a Civil 3D label because it is semi-dynamic and reads some information from the object itself, but it is really just a beefed up attributed block.

In this example, we will label a road with its name. This particular batch of GIS data has a field called “STREET”. Yours might be called something different. Be sure to read the metadata or talk to the person who created the dataset if you are unsure which one to use.

Read how to do this after the jump.

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Civil 3D Fundamentals: Import an ESRI Shapefile (.shp) into Civil 3D

I am working on a series of posts to follow up on my AU Class. During the class, I made heavy use of Map 3D Tools (Civil 3D is built on Map 3D). Since Map 3D tools are often new to Civil 3D users, I’d like to take the time to get you “caught up”.

One of the first tasks you will probably run into as a civil firm is importing publicly available GIS data such as ESRI shapefiles (.shp), ArcInfo Exports (.e00) or similar.

In this post, I will explain how to import the file as AutoCAD entities. If you are interested in learning an alternative way to use this data through something called the FDO, read this article I wrote last year: Can You Do That In CAD?

Read more about importing shapefiles into your drawing after the jump:

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I’m a Happy Mapper in 2008

Though I am a big fan of the FDO data connection that came around in Map 2007 (which of course, Civil 3D 2007 was built on), I do sometimes like to import map data the old fashioned way through the Map>Tools>Import.

In 2007 and below, I always had to manually assign the input coordinate systems.  Map didn’t seem to want to automatically find the .PRJ (projection) files for me like the FDO did.  This was a bit tedious, especially when importing a collection of .SHP files that each had a different coordinate system.

Click more to find out what I discovered in 2008.

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