GIS and CAD integration
The Spec Concept
Why do we need specs and standards and how we can increase labor efficiency through embedding a GUI into AutoCAD?
We have to adopt the awareness that AutoCAD, similar to many other software programs we use on a daily basis, participates in a process. A process that is categorized by the fact that there are different contributors and multiple phases to the project up until the drawing, or the job, is completed.
In order to meet the demands of such complexity, it’s recommended to construct a “common language” that will enable the all participants to comprehend their role in relation to the entire process in a seamless effort.
The answer for tackling the obstacles described above is a spec/ standard. This approach ensures all participants in the process will have the knowledge of how to use and navigate all the necessary requirements of the AutoCAD environment. In addition, there are many times when AutoCAD users contribute their data for wider implementation, such as uploading data into GIS. GIS requires its data to be structured according to its own set of specifications (in it’s own language, which is less universally conversant than the spec/ standard protocol). Meeting the GIS demands for a cycled job saves valuable time (and headaches!) when integrating the data at a future date.
What is contained in the spec we refer to?
A basic AutoCAD spec we deal with contains the definitions described in:
The layers properties
The attributes attached to each block.
The symbology definition assigned to each layer or block as well.
These definitions can be saved as a template file to be reused for future projects or to be accessed by other users.
There are a few disadvantages to this method:
1. The block may contain a field that is derived from a lookup table, which
natively is not supported by AutoCAD. Therefore, the user uses Alpha Numeric value as a placeholder to represent the real value. This should then be connected to the proper table in the environment for its future conversion.
2. A block assigned to define a polyline or a polygon should be placed on the line or in the polygon. In order to implement it, the user has to run the process very delicately.
3. In many cases there is a need to show values derived from the blocks and position with the best visibility/ positioning in the drawing. It’s a tedious job that requires many hours per file.
4. Hard to maintain a holistic implementation in an organization with many users.
GIS-WIZ offers a solution that tackles all the points above buy imposing a methodology for both the Spec construction and a GUI for its implementation in the AutoCAD or similar solutions in the CAD market.
Keeping the methodology consistent as provided in our SmarterCAD solution ensures a smoother and more efficient work environment, which ultimately leads to a faster ROI