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:

Classification-fase
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??_?

Mapping-faseMapping-fase
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.

Migration-fase
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.

AutoCAD Map/FDO ESRI ArcSDE vs AutoCAD Map/FDO Oracle Spatial

AutoCAD Map/FDO <=> ESRI ArcSDE
Before AutoCAD Map can make an FDO-connection into ESRI ArcSDE server, there have to be 3 so called DLL’s ( pe.dll, sde.dll and sg.dll ) copied into the “AutoCAD Map software”/FDO/bin-folder.

Using “Map Display Manager => Data => Connect to Data” to add an ArcSDE connection in the Data Connect UI. In this connection screen the server name and instance needs to be entered and after that the username/password of a registered ArcSDE-user.

Map will research, with the ArcSDE-credentials of that user, which feature-tables are available and analyse those tables to determine the correct structure. Note: if the ArcSDE-user has full access to the database, than this analyse will take longer – take care that the user has restricted credentials only for the desired tables for a better performance.

After this analyse the list with available features will be displayed and the user can select one or mutiple tables to connect to the Map-session. Next the data is displayed, with the option to filter on location and/or attributes.

AutoCAD Map/FDO <=> Oracle Spatial
Before AutoCAD Map can make an FDO-connecton into an Oracle 9i or 10g Spatial server, there have to be an Oracle 10g Client ( or an Instant Client ) installed on the Map-machine. Besides that Map needs Oracle Workspace Manager to be installed on the Oracle server – this is used for Long Transactions and Versioning.

Using “Map Display Manager => Data => Connect to Data” to add an Oracle connection in the Data Connect UI. In this connection screen the service name needs to be entered and after that the username/password of a registered Oracle-user.

Map will search by default for FDO-schema’s ( tables with FDO-metadata ) and display these in the DataStore overview. Map can analyse also schema’s without FDO-metadata en determine the structure ( comparable with the description above for ArcSDE ).

After this the list with available features will be displayed and the user can select one or mutiple tables to connect to the Map-session. Next the data is displayed, with the option to filter on location and/or attributes.

see also: Direct access to Spatial Data using FDO-technology

ArcGIS for AutoCAD vs AutoCAD Map/FDO

ArcGIS for AutoCADArcGIS for AutoCAD is a free of charge downloadable plugin from ESRI, currently available for AutoCAD 2007, 2008 and 2009.
With this functionality AutoCAD users have access to the ArcGIS Server Map Services and the desired map will be shown as an image behind the CAD-data.
The styling of the map is done by the server and the user can get info about the GIS-attributes.
This functionality is view only and doesn’t allow editting of the ArcGIS-data by AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Map/FDO is functionality to connect directly to for example an ESRI ArcSDE server and is available for AutoCAD Map 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
With this functionality AutoCAD Map users can make a selection of the GIS-feature classes they would like to connect to in their CAD-environment. These are not displayed as an image, but as vector data. That makes it possible to “snap” to them in drawing mode.
The styling of the map can be done by using AutoCAD Map Display Manager. The GIS-attributes are available in a so called Data Table, where you can select a record to highlight the corresponding object in the map ( and vise versa ).
This functionality allows you also to edit the ArcGIS-data by AutoCAD Map.

see also: Direct access to Spatial Data using FDO-technology