Sometimes there is need to get pure AutoCAD objects (e.g. polylines) from geospatial features coming from external sources like SHP or SDF. Both AutoCAD Civil 3D and Map 3D provide instruments for this but hardly anyone knows alternative ways how to achieve this.The thing is that these external data files are brought into Civil/Map environment mostly through
Data Connect utility (Fig. 01) and then edited/styled like external (connected) geospatial features. The recommended procedure (in the purpose of converting onto simple .dwg files) is
Save as AutoCAD drawing from
Taskpane > Display Manager menu (Fig. 02). Okay, it works, but:
- You will lost some object/descriptive data present in shapefile format (expected regarding the nature of “vanilla” AutoCAD objects)
- You will lost some geometry – e.g. elevation of contour lines. Final .dwg objects are “flattened” into zero height.
I was surprised about little knowledge of
MAPIMPORT command (both Civil 3D and Map 3D, Fig. 03) importing impressive number of various formats (.shp; .dgn; SDTS; SQLite Spatial and more…) and converting them into native .dwg objects along with no loss of the geometric information – in the case of elevation contours above, they are converted into polylines with respective elevation.
Figs. 01 – 03 from left to right.