ArcGIS for AutoCAD
Here is something else new to try… as seen at the ESRI Federal User Group Conference in Washington DC this past December, the ArcGIS for AutoCAD application from ESRI is now available for download just incase you missed the ArcNews Article.
ArcGIS for AutoCAD is a no-cost ESRI application that loads on top of AutoCAD 2007 and gives me the ability to add one or more ESRI Map Service view(s) to my AutoCAD drafting environment. The coordinates of the ArcGIS Map Service and the AutoCAD view are fused together. With this new ESRI technology I have direct access to every GIS data format without conversion and without translation inside AutoCAD through ArcGIS Server. I as an AutoCAD user see what the GIS professional sees; finished high quality cartographic representations of complex GIS data structures, stored in a wide variety of different, raster, grid, image and vector formats. I see the results of high-end cartography and sophisticated spatial analysis as represented by the finished map, served with ArcGIS server. Arguably I get the most benefit… the results, without ever having to concern myself with what data types I am working with, where the data is stored or how I should display the map content. I can work directly with ArcGIS Map Services to add full GIS context to my AutoCAD session.
ArcGIS for AutoCAD introduces a new form of CAD Interoperability, by passing GIS right through CAD rather than relying on special data connections, translation or conversion. I need not concern myself with what GIS data types I can or cannot read in AutoCAD. I need not worry about setting up ways to recreate the symbology of GIS Maps. I see the GIS map as created by the GIS professional. I have direct access to the attribute records stored in the spatial databases where ever they may be stored. The GIS functionality is simply passed back and forth between the GIS server from requests I make in CAD. You can download the software from ESRI here. It requires access to ArcGIS Server 9.2 map services and AutoCAD 2007.