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Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 22, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Jeramey Harding Mar 22, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 22, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Jeramey Harding Mar 25, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Jeramey Harding Mar 25, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 25, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Jeramey Harding Mar 25, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   George Simpson Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Jay Yearwood Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Jay Yearwood Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 28, 2002
Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks   Paul Scipione Mar 05, 2003
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Subject Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 22, 2002 
Message I have a AutoCAD Map 2000 file which contains blocks rotated at various angles. I need to import that data into ArcMap (either shapefile or geodatabase). I can't seem to extract the rotation angle, either from exporting within AutoCAD, or importing from ArcMap. When I add the CAD layer to ArcMap, it just shows regualr points, with no information on the rotation.

thanks 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
  Reducers.dwg (opens in new window)
 
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Jeramey Harding 
Date Mar 22, 2002 
Message I deal with CAD a lot, but I'm not sure what you need. I was able to take the data you attached to your message and bring it into ArcMap showing the little triangles at the same angle as they were being displayed with in AutoCAD. Granted, I'm not able to have the shapes in ArcMap show up with a field in the table showing the rotation angle. If the latter is what you need, my answer is "it's not possible without doing it manually".

If all you want to do is show the triangles pointing in the right direction, then what you need to do is select all of the triangles in AutoCAD, explode them, then save as a DXF and bring it in to ArcView as a Polyline, NOT point file.

Hope this helps.

Jeramey Harding
GIS Landworks 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 22, 2002 
Message Thank you Jeremy for your reply. But I do need more than viewing of these points' rotation angles in ArcMap. I need to convert this data into ArcGIS & get its' rotation into a field to rotate them correctly in ArcMap. I know there has to be many users/organizations out there that have point/block data with angle information & need to convert it into ArcGIS. For instance, lets say I have thousands of blocks in AutoCAD that represent pipe fittings for water pipes. These fittings would be at various angles based on the lines they are connected to. There has to be a way in ArcGIS to get all this data into ArcGIS with its' correct rotation. 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Jeramey Harding 
Date Mar 25, 2002 
Message I guess I'm still not understanding what you need.

"For instance, lets say I have thousands of blocks in AutoCAD that represent pipe fittings for water pipes. These fittings would be at various angles based on the lines they are connected to. There has to be a way in ArcGIS to get all this data into ArcGIS with its' correct rotation. "

If these were being displayed at the correct rotation in AutoCAD, you can bring them into ArcMap with the same rotation angle. What it sounded like in your original post is that you were bringing these pipe fittings in as a point file and then attempting to select a symbol and set a rotation for the symbol based on the attribute table? If you just bring the CAD file in as a polyline, once you explode the data block in AutoCAD first, you can have the fittings come in exactly as they were in AutoCAD.

I took a screenshot of the data I was able to bring in to ArcMap (well, one of the triangles, anyhow).

Sorry if I'm way off tract and am telling you how to make orange juice when all you have is apples :)

Jeramey Harding
GIS Landworks 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Jeramey Harding 
Date Mar 25, 2002 
Message Oops, screenshot didn't come through. Trying again. 
  Screenshot.gif (opens in new window)
 
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 25, 2002 
Message Thanks for the info Jeremy. I'll try to summarize for you what I am trying to do. I have a block in ACAD which represents a pipe fitting. The block is rotated in ACAD. I need to get that block (basically, X,Y, & rotation) into a point layer in ArcGIS. I tried using ACAD's query tools to generate a report with the X,Y, & rotation, but got some funky values for rotation. If I do a list on the block, I would get the rotation based on zero being north, heading counter-clockwise. the exported report gives values all below 10, so maybe it's exporting rotation in a certain format (radians ?). if there was a way i could automatically extract the blocks' attributes into object data in acad, then i coould get what I need too. but all efforts do not work yet. even ESRI can't give me some decent information on acheiving this. 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Jeramey Harding 
Date Mar 25, 2002 
Message Still not sure why you need what you need, but now that I know what you want I can say that it is possible, but it would take some VB programming in order to parse the DXF file to extract the X,Y data along with the rotation value. Not being a VB geek myself, I can't help you. Sorry :) If you can get your hands on a script that will do that, please by all means, post it here :) I'd be very interested in seeing that because I have come across situations where I need similar information from a CAD file that was more or less unobtainable.

Jeramey Harding
GIS Landworks 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author George Simpson 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message Paul, I understand completely. We are starting a project where digitization will be in AutoCAD using polylines, blocks, etc. The plan is to take the CAD drawing and import it to GeoDatabase. Right now, we are also trying to think of a way to store the rotation angles as object data and may look to writing some VBA to do it for us. The problem that arises from storing at as object data is that simply using the CAD to GDB wizard, you cannot use the object data, but only the properties of the entity (i.e. layer, color, etc). To get around this, we have exported from AutoCAD to shapefile and then imported the shapefile to GDB. 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message Hi George,

check the forum board for a post from Jay that explains a fairly easy way to do rotations. I also added a reply to his post that includes more info. You might not need to store the rotation as object data, since the method Jay explains extracts correctly rotation angles of blocks. 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message Hi Jeramey,

check the forum board for a post from Jay that explains a fairly easy way to do rotations (extract roation angle from ACAD). I also added a reply to his post that includes more info. thanks for your help. 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Jay Yearwood 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message I think I have been doing what you are looking for. This is the way I have done it. I make a dxf of my features and then use the dxf to coverage wizard. When you convert your AutoCAD dxf data remember to join the xcode file to the PAT, this will give you all of your attributes from AutoCAD. From there, add your new point theme to ArcMap, right-click on the layer name and choose properties, click on the symbology tab, click the advanced button and choose rotation. In the rotation box that pops up choose the field that represents the rotation, for AutoCAD files it will be dxf-angle, and your symbols will be properly rotated. If you don't want all the dxf-* items, create a new field, we use rotation, and calc the value of rotation equal to dxf-angle and then you can delete all the other items not needed.

Hope this helped. 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message Thanks Jay. This helped alot. I did create a DXF file, then import using the DXF to coverage wizard. I went through it twice, but saw nothing in the wizard to join the PAT with XCODE, so I'm assuming you meant creating a join in ArcMap, which is what I did. I found that my points in ACAD used zero degrees as north, while my closest option for roation in ArcMap was 90 degrees as north. SO I chose this, added a field called rotation, & set it equal to DXF-ANGLE + 90, & got my correct angle. I found out alot has to do with the particular symbol you use to symbolize the points to. Symbols can face north, east, west, or south (i'm dealing with triangle symbols here), so you have to adjust the symbol rotation in properties to reflect the setting you used for zero, namely east. I hope I explained that clearly. anyway, I was able to achieve my goal fairly easily, so thank you very much. 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Jay Yearwood 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message Paul-
Sorry, I forgot that some blocks did that. I have had to do that as well, which is another reason we created the rotation field. As for joining the XCODE file to the PAT, in the Wizard, on the first screen, choose "Some layers and some entities" rather that "all layers and every entity" even if you are doing everything, that way on one of the last screens you get the option of joining XCODE and ACODE files. 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 28, 2002 
Message No problem Jay. I tried the method you mentioned, but never got the option of joining xcode to acode. after selecting the layers, it prompts me through a screen for each layer in case I want to explode the blocks. then I get the screen for the output coverage name/dir, then the last screen is to process/save as aml. oh well, maybe it's something in the DXF that prompts different forms ? I'm using ArcToolbox 8.1 (build 671). thanks for your help. you answered my question when ESRI tech support couldn't !!! 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com 
   
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Subject Re: Importing AutoCAD blocks 
Author Paul Scipione 
Date Mar 05, 2003 
Message In response to requests for clarification on the
steps needed to Import AutoCAD blocks into ArcGIS,
I have written a brief step-by-step document that
should make it easier for anyone to perform this
task. Below is the text of this document, as well
as an attached Word document with the same info. 
 
IMPORTING AUTOCAD BLOCKS INTO ARCGIS

1.Open either a new AutoCAD drawing file.

2.Attach the DWG file that contains the block data
you want to import into ArcGIS.

3.Define a query to extract the data using
properties such as block and/or layer.  If this
query might be used again in the future, you may
want to save your query either to an external
query file, or within a DWG file that you will use
as a ‘template extract’ file.  For instance you
can create a DWG that contains categories for type
of features such as Mains, Fittings, etc.  Then
create queries for different types of Mains,
Fittings, etc. 

4.Detach the DWG file that contains the block data
you want to import into ArcGIS.

5.Save the DWG file as AutoCAD 2000 DXF format.

6.In ArcToolbox, use the DXF to Coverage Wizard
located under Conversion Tools -> Import To
Coverage.

7.If all the entities within the DXF are to be
imported, then use the default option “All Layers
& Every Entity”.  At the last step under the
heading of “Summary Of Your Input”, choose the
option “Save To AML” if you plan to repeat this
DXF import again in the future.

8.Open ArcMap & add the coverage layer.

9.Right-click on the coverage layer in the table
of contents & select Joins & Relates -> Joins.  In
item 1, select the FID field from your coverage.
In item 2 select the <coveragename>.xcode table,
which will be located in the same directory as the
coverage you created.  Finally, in item 3 select
the <coveragename>-ID field.

10.Right click on the coverage layer in the table
of contents & select Data -> Export Data, & export
to a shapefile.

11.Add a field to your shapefile called ROTATION
with a datatype of Float.

12.Calculate the ROTATION field to be [DXF-ANGLE]
+ 90.

13.Under the Symbology tab of the shapefile,
select Advanced -> Rotation.  Select the ROTATION
field & the Rotation Style of “Arithmetic”.

14.Depending on the default orientation of your
ArcMap symbol, you may have to adjust the
calculation in #12.  It’s best for simplicity to
have the default orientation of all point features
that will be rotated the same, so that the import
& symbolization can be standardized.  Add any
other additional fields needed to extract & parse
the needed attributes from the remaining DXF
fields.
 
  Paul J. Scipione
GIS Database Administrator
APS
602-371-7091
paul.scipione@aps.com