Working as a sub-contractor for Autodesk Consulting France

Autodesk Consulting France is working on a project for the Assemblée Nationale to migrate 164 facility management drawings into an Oracle database. vdPConsulting is involved in the project as sub-contractor because of their extended knowledge of AcClassify.

These drawings are interior maps of buildings, where the offices, meeting rooms, hallways, restrooms, etc. are displayed as closed polylines on a certain layer. Within such a space a block is drawn, in which attributes like for example roomnumbers are stored.

AcClassify identifies these areas and finds the containing blocks & attributes, then these areas are written to the database as polygon objects. The information from the attributes are stored as properties of these polygons. In addition, all other lines, blocks and texts are stored as lines and points to be used as background information in the new drawings. These new drawings will be displayed in a web viewer.

AcClassify Workflow utility ( update )

AcClassify Workflow utilityAt one of the migration projects where I am involved, the source data is managed in AutoCAD Map and there must be a regular update of the data posted into an Oracle Spatial database. From this Oracle database the large scale data is shared with the GIS-department and used for web-applications. To support this migration process I have developed an AcClassify Workflow utility.

The customer – a Dutch province – has stored their large scale basemaps in DWG-files into a very detailed folder structure on a fileserver. For each provincial road there is a sub-folder, with topografie but also other sub-folders with DWG’s for the theme’s like roadsigns and green management etc.

The Workflow utility – a C# application, that runs inside AutoCAD Map – gives in the UI the possibility to select the roadnumber, the option to delete old data from that roadnumber from Oracle and to upload the new data into Oracle using AcClassify.

If this is an update, than de utility will remove the old data from that roadnumber from their respective feature tables ( for roads, water, buildings etc. ) using SQL Delete statements. Next the utility creates the necessary AcClassify config XML-files ( adding roadnumber, Oracle schema-name etc. ). Than the AcClassify process is started using API-functionality.

With this the workprocess, with a lot of manual action, is reduced to a userfriendly AcClassify Workflow utility.

New : there is an update of this utility that starts the AcClassify process using API-functionality

working with Features

In the Feature-concept, data will not be stored as CAD-entities ( a line with a linetype on a layer with a color ), but as classified objects. Features are so called Real World Objects; a combination of geometry and attribute-data, like for example roads, parcels, buildings, cables, pipes etc.etc.

this diagram illustrates the Feature-conceptIn contrast with previous versions of AutoCAD Map, geometies are no longer imported from SDF, Shape-files or Oracle-tables. We work directly on the files and databasetables in their own native format, without translation by import/export. Multiple users can connect to the same data at the same time, that is a big advantage and solves problems due to copies and different versions floating around.

Every layer in Map’s Display Manager refers to a single feature-class. These are not the traditional CAD-layers on the AutoCAD way, but “geospatial” layer, to display features thematically and in the proper display order.

Attribute-data or so called properties are part of the feature-definitions. These properties, together with the geometries stored in the same source, can be viewed and directly edited using the Data Table editor. Because we work with connected data, these modifications are directly commited into the source-data.

These attributes can be used as so called labels on the map. No static text, like in CAD, but dynamic labels, positioned by the software in the correct text height and rotation, fit for the scale in which the map is currently displayed.

AcClassify Enterprise

Classification-faseAcClassify – an AutoCAD Map utility from Autodesk Consulting – developed to leverage expertise around the AutoCAD Map drawing-structure saving this into migration-profiles.

Working with AcClassify distinguish the following fases:

Herewith we define features, how are they represented in the drawing and which specific requirements should they have to become such a feature.
for example the feature “building” consist of lineair objects with the layernamen = “B??_?

Herewith we connect the CAD-properties ( the input ) with the feature-properties in the database ( the output ), optionally “translating” for example colors into diameters.
AcClassify can create the schema-definition of the feature-tables in this fase, or an existing database-schema can be imported.

In this fase the current drawing will be migrated into the database.

There is also a command to migrate a complete folder of equal drawings with the same migration-profile.

CAD-data => AcClassify => GIS-data

CAD-data is in general structured according to a layer-model, where color, linetypes and blocknames can be used to make more difference.

GIS-data is in general structured according to a feature-model, where objects from the same kind resides in the same feature-table provided with their specific attributes.

what if John retires ... AcClassify – an AutoCAD Map utility from Autodesk Consulting – can filter CAD-data, based on various CAD-properties. AcClassify can “recognize” for example pipes of a certain type. After that AcClassify can migrate those CAD-entities into their corresponding GIS-features and optionally “tanslate” for example color-codes into diameters or linetypes into materials.

The major challenge encountered during this process is due to the lack of rigid attribute association with an AutoCAD DWG. AcClassify is designed to collect expertise around these DWG-entities to create a migration-schema which “maps” the unbound attributes to columns in a table, such as found in GIS database-tables.

AcClassify is a modular migration tool which is designed to work on a variety of input sources and output targets. It archives this by de-coupling the input and output phases from the classification engine with modules called adapters, configured in XML-config files.