February 18, 2015

CAD In ArcGIS Pro 1.0

The new desktop application includes some exciting new possibilities for CAD.  The 3D/2D side by side capability can really bring the 3D data to life in a map.

There are some significant and some subtle differences between support for CAD in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.  Here are some insights into these differences:

  • ArcGIS Pro treats CAD files more like any other GIS data set of features.  CAD feature layers are supported as Simple Feature Layers rather than as the specific CAD Feature Layer type in ArcMap.  This one fact makes working with CAD data for GIS users exactly like any other data set.  
  • In ArcGIS Pro the Annotation feature class is another POINT feature class.  To see my text I set my point symbol for this layer to be a hollow symbol with a minimum point size and then I label the points, and include the txtAngle property to define the text angle for labeling.
  • ArcGIS Pro will honor the .WLD file or .PRJ file used to georeference my CAD file, but if I want to create a new .WLD file to locate my CAD drawn in some local coordinate system I will do that in my ArcMap.  
  • There is no way to georeference a CAD file in the first release of ArcGIS Pro.  You should use the georeferencing toolbar in ArcMap or convert the data and use the spatial adjustment tools if needed.

February 09, 2015

High Resolution Maps In AutoCAD

Map Service Bonus Tools in ArcGIS for AutoCAD
The ability to access map services and imagery from my ArcGIS sources is one of the primary values of Esri's free ArcGIS for AutoCAD plug-in to AutoCAD .  I see the ArcGIS maps and imagery properly located in my AutoCAD drawings.  The default dynamic redraw behavior allows me to pan and zoom around the drawing and see the correctly positioned ArcGIS maps/imagery for the current view that I am looking at.  I see more detail the more I zoom in.  The resolution of the maps are optimized for performance of the current view that I am looking at.   If I zoom out over a larger view area I see the same high performant image resolution as when I zoom into a smaller area, but when I zoom in I see more detail.
Sometimes I want to see more detail over a larger area, especially when I am printing larger format drawings.  I can set the redraw property of maps to be on-demand and when I pan and zoom the last view stays until I request the map service to be drawn with the current view area for my active viewport.
I can also add multiple references to the same map/image service and set both references to draw on-demand. This way I can see two different higher resolution views of the same map service over a larger area.  The latest collection of ArcGIS for AutoCAD bonus tools includes a command to automatically generate a matrix or map mosaic of these on-demand, multiple reference style services. 
Here is a video that shows the commands in action. 
You can download the free sample bonus tools here. 
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