March 28, 2007

Working with Text: Part 3

The ArcGIS Import CAD Annotation Tool

Spirit Academy’s Lady Warriors enter the California State tournament with an undefeated record of 17-0 in the regular season. A team invited from neighboring Arizona will be their first contest in a seeding game. The seeding game will determine how the teams stack up in the grid going into the tournament. The visiting Arizona team has no game history with the California teams in the tournament, and so there is no frame of reference for how they match up. After they play us the tournament committee will size them up and output the final brackets.

Just like the visiting Arizona team, there is no frame of reference for how CAD text should be displayed in the map-centric scale-dependent environment for which ArcGIS annotation was developed. CAD text traditionally has one size defined in drawing units. Annotation on the other hand has a scale dependent size defined usually in POINTS.

In order to size up the CAD text for display in ArcGIS as geodatabase annotation you need to supply reference scale and a size for that scale. The Import CAD annotation tools prompts for these two values. I have created a sample tool available on ESRI's that helps you understand and calculate the appropriate values to enter into the Import CAD Annotation tool. You might also benefit from a more technical description found in the online help.
Go Warriors!


Blogger Jeff said...

HI again, I asked a question a few weeks back...thanks for answering.
I just put an officemates .dgn file into our SDE 9.2 database thinking he could use the CAD client in Microstation V8 to access it (not edit...yet).
Where is the SDE CAD Client for 9.2? I cant find it anywhere, even on the ArcGIS Server disks. Is what I am telling this guy about accessing his data a lie? Help!!!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Don Kuehne said...

Jeff, There will be a release of ArcSDE CAD Client for ArcGIS 9.2 soon (April 2007?). Look for it on I will likely post a link to it here when it is made available.

The current version for ArcGIS 9.1 is available online at:

12:30 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Hi Don, any word on the release of CAD client 9.2?

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, thank you for this excellent resource; as someone who's an old hand in ArcView but sub-novice in AutoCAD, I find myself getting more useful information from your blog than from ESRI's online help. I also find myself thankful that my employer sprang for a copy of 9.2 on this machine; there are so many excellent tools and features that weren't around in 9.1 that I wonder why they only incremented the version number by .1.

That said:

Is there some way to extract CAD text into a machine-readable attribute? I'd like to be able to color-code pipes by size, for example, without having to hand-enter the data for each pipe segment from the onscreen annotations.

As far as I can make out, CAD annotation labels don't seem to actually contain the data they display in any kind of textual form.

9:19 AM  

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