January 05, 2009

MSD: A Good Defense is a Good Offense

You can be successful in a workflow without necessarily understanding why or how it works. The lady warriors have been playing pretty good defense during their recent pre-season basketball games. In their first regular season game they won by over twenty points. Their defensive success comes from effort, but also by adherence to audible calls from the bench that help orchestrate their actions. Their understanding of why they are moving from one spot on the floor to another is less clear. The coaches need constant attention and oversight to assure quality and control. I for one am hoping to move beyond that and teach the girls how they can be more successful on their own. The girls need to own their individual responsibilities, so that we the coaches can concentrate on the bigger picture of strategy and the overall flow of the game.

GIS and CAD interoperability is similar in a lot of ways where CAD standards and ad-hoc workflows are put in place to be competitive and get the job done. However without constant attention to quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) things can go bad especually when working with outside organizations. This needed attention is often a distraction of resources that could be utilized to do more strategic and profitable work. The introduction of the Mapping Specification for Drawings (MSD) and the new tools being distributed in the next version of ArcGIS for AutoCAD (more about that soon) are designed to provide a huge benefit to the overall GIS and CAD interoperability workflow and free up resources that would otherwise be focused on creating and maintaining ad-hoc workflows back and forth between GIS and CAD. And this is important, it is free and it will not change most people’s existing GIS or CAD workflows.


Blogger Codie said...

Hi Don,
Thank you for your blogging on this subject, it's easily the most thourough resource out there. Which brings me to my problem.

I am trying to export a personal geodatabase (several different layers) to AutoCAD (dwg). I have used both the Export to CAD and Data Interoperability Quick Export tools. Each give me some anno-related problems as described below:

When running Export to CAD, all of the stacked text Anno comes over to CAD in single line Anno Entities (separated by 2 boxes). I need the text to maintain the stacked text properties from the PGDB.

When running Data Interoperability Quick Export, all of the annotation comes over to CAD unformatted. It is important that I maintain the formatting (font, justification, color, size) that is used in the geodatabase Anno.

I have had a bear of a time finding resources addressing this problem. Could you point me in the right direction.

And thanks again,
Codie, Madison WI

6:43 AM  
Blogger Don Kuehne said...

The Export to CAD tool does not support advanced Annotation placement, like stacked text when you export geodatabase annotation. Arguably it should. That said, to get stacked text I define a block with attributes to create stacked text in the form of block attributes. You need to get the annotation as a point feature class, and the attribute fields neeed to match the AutoCAD block attribute tags, and you need to have the block definition in the seed file or AutoCAD file you are appending too. Furthermore you need to override the default point creation by having a field in the exported points feature class called EntType set to "INSERT" and a field called "REFName" that has the name of your block, that has the block and stacked attributes the way you like them.


10:41 AM  

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