March 01, 2013

Using Esri Data Models In CAD: BISDM

My sister-in-law was upset, and she went on to share that her trauma was caused from the slow deliberate disapproving head-wag from another driver because she had mistakenly entered an unfamiliar one-way driveway in the wrong direction.   We could feel the weight of this heartless condemnation as we all practiced in unison the gesture while listening to her story.  Then just last week  I was dropping off my daughter for music lessons and drove into an unusual one-way portion of a parking lot that essentially formed an alleyway.  I turned into the path and was met with the thin-faced scowl and accompanying head-wag of another driver already confidently committed head-on in the other direction.  I was stripped bare of all person-hood as the driver slowly and contemptuously passed judgment with unyielding eye contact.   Because of my recent awareness of this exact situation, I was nervously amused at the scene, I responded with my best I'm-really-sorry-try-to-have-a-nice-day-anyway smile I could muster.   It wasn't till I picked up my daughter an hour later that I notice the bright white arrow that I had driven over… that completely vindicated me from any wrong doing!  The same white arrow that pointed back at my accuser once she passed my car, after I had to back up to let her pass.

Sometimes there is not a bold white painted arrow to point the way.  And even then sometimes I miss it.  One thing that helps me create quality GIS data in CAD are the standard Esri Industry data-models.

Recently I needed to create some GIS-Ready data for managing building interior spaces.  

I can generate AutoCAD drawings that contains any of my project's GIS data schema for use in ArcGIS for AutoCAD by employing the ArcGIS Desktop geoprocessing tool EXPORT TO CAD (not just Esri Industry Models).   I can export a small sample data set or even a blank selection set of any GIS data I like, and the resulting AutoCAD file will contain a schema of data that can be used and populated by data using ArcGIS for AutoCAD.  

I save this information in a template file which ensures that whenever I generate this kind of GIS data in AutoCAD I will be using the same schema used by the GIS folks in my project.  I downloaded some sample data on's data model pages and then exported it to an AutoCAD drawing using my copy of ArcMap.  Now I have the BISDM data model I can use in AutoCAD to create floor plan data for managing interior spaces that I know will work great with the existing GIS data.  I've done the same thing for the Esri water model.

Here is a short video of the process.  

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