May 08, 2013

Microstation and the ArcGIS Platform

The rabbit died.  Well one of the rabbits died... (moment of silence).  I guess that phrase used to have multiple meanings, now it only means one thing…  an evening of tears from my daughter when we break the news to her that Mathew the bunny has moved on to a better place. 

On a brighter note… ArcGIS  with AutoCAD and Microstation interoperability are still alive and kicking.  I interoperate between ArcGIS and Microstation in a number of different ways.  I can simply edit Esri shapefiles within Microstation, which just works.  I can also export to shapefiles from various Bentley ad-on products like Bentley Map that ArcGIS can obviously read with all of its attributes.   For most cases adhering to my CAD standard in Microstation and making good use of element tags can get me most of what I want when I use my .DGN files inside ArcMap without any data conversion.  With ArcGIS geoprocessing tools good work can be accomplished to filter push and pull the data into how I need to see it, or when I migrate data from the CAD file to the geodatabase with tools like MERGE, FEATURE CLASS TO FEATURECLASS, APPEND etc...  I use the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension to do heavy lifting and to automate the migration of lots of data from the .DGN format to ArcGIS where I want more "magic" to happen

Adding ArcGIS Server to the mix (maybe not even my ArcGIS Server, maybe someone else's ) can be pretty interesting.   In Microstation I can use ArcGIS Server for imagery, utility maps, land use maps, road networks, or my campus floor plans.  All these maps can be easily accessed when my ArcGIS Server administrator checks the box for OGC WMS (Web Map Service) as one of the serving capabilities for these maps I choose to serve out. 

Since I have access to Bentley's Bentley Map ad-on to Microstation I can also get read/only access to WFS (Web Feature Service) services from the same map by checking that capabilities box when publishing my data with ArcGIS Server.  With the OGC WMS feature service I get access to the attributed vector features as elements in my Microstation session that I can query and snap to.  Here is a portion of a demo from the recent GIS-T conference where I do just that. 

From the same server I can simultaneously serve out WMS, WFS, ArcGIS Feature Services, WMS Feature Services, ArcGIS Image Services, and KML from the same authored map.  Which means if  I make a change in Esri's ArcGIS for AutoCAD to the entities of an editable ArcGIS feature service, then the WebMap on my Android device, the field guy's IPAD, the Director's Executive dashboard app, the Microstation WMS view, the ArcMap editing station, and my brother looking at the data on Google earth, all see my changes when I make them. 

Here is a copy of this same demo on my YouTube channel that should be higher resolution.  
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