Integrating CAD+GIS for Facilities Management

I’ve focused on GIS for IoT and big data processing the past few years.  Just got the call to help out now with GIS for facilities management.   I’m building this CAD + GIS resource list for my own reference and to share with CAD and GIS operators I’ll be working with.

CAD-GIS Overview

A quick tour of working with CAD data
[ArcGIS Help]

CAD Integration Community

Georeferencing CAD

Overlaying CAD Data into ArcGIS – [ArcGIS Help]

Lining up CAD Data in ArcGIS
[ UC 2017 presentation by Margaret Maher, author of the book.]

  • CAD and ArcGIS approaches
  • Reasons why data might not align, and visual examples
  • Details on how to modify the PRJ
    • The Scale Factor parameter
    • How it affects false Easting and Northing
  • What to request from the CAD operator (AutoCAD & Microstation)
  • List of deep-dive resources on projection

Using GIS inside CAD

Exporting features to CAD drawings
Design projects in CAD can begin with base data generated from a GIS. Export feature classes and shapefiles to AutoCAD and MicroStation formats.

A quick tour of ArcGIS for AutoCAD

CAD-GIS Data Integration

Strategies for migrating CAD to a Geodatabase – [ArcGIS Help]

Standardizing CAD for Importing into Geodatabases – Lessons Learned
[Esri UC 2017 presentation by city of Aurora, CO]

  • The city’s CAD data submittal standards
  • CAD terminology, AutoCAD and Civil 3D
  • CAD Batch Standards Checker
  • FME Workbench
  • Understanding the technology strengths and weaknesses
  • Engaging stakeholders




A Window on Your Public Geodatabase — Really Fast

At San Mateo County (Calif.) GIS, we adapted Esri’s Public Map Gallery template into a County Geodata Catalog.  The purpose of the Catalog was to get county geodatabase layers out to the public as quickly as possible.  (SMC GIS published a separate Public Map Gallery to share published maps authored for specific audiences.)

The Geodata Catalog put a lot of data into the hands of more experienced geodata users out in the public domain.  To quickly publish the Catalog, we took advantage of the county’s ArcGIS Server and some less well-known features at ArcGIS Online.

Here’s how county geodatabase layers went public in a matter of hours:

1.  Serve up some Metadata Lite – We authored map services each that contained one to a dozen geodatabase layers.  We used a standard template for “metadata lite” — descriptive information that appears in the map service REST catalog.  (See my post about deciding how many map layers to combine into one service.)

2.  Create an ArcGIS Online Group – Once the service were published on the county’s ArcGIS Server, we created a San Mateo County Public Geodata Catalog group at ArcGIS Online.

3.  “Register” Map Services – With the group in place, we rapidly added maps to the group by using the “Add Item” button

When you paste in the URL for your ArcGIS map servicie hit “tab”, the Title and Tags fields are auto-filled with the fielded content from your “metadata lite” in the REST catalog page for this service:
Shining a light on County geodata
At San Mateo County (Calif.) GIS last summer, we wanted to get as many of the county’s geodatabase layers as possible into the hands of the public and of developers of location-based services.  To  do this quickly and at very low cost, we combined the Esri Map Gallery template with some less-known functions at ArcGIS Online to create a San Mateo County Geodata Catalog.
Most of the county’s geodata had never been seen by the public.  Although many of the data sets were available through FTP or by email request , you had to be a GIS expert to find and understand the data description in the County’s online metadata catalog, then obtain, import, and view the data  in desktop GIS software.  The Geodata Gallery put each data layer into a simple web map for the firs time, so that the data was easy to visualize geographically, to evaluate for a given purpose, and to combine with other data.
Same Map Gallery but different
The San Mateo County Geodata Catalog looks like the Esri map gallery.  But there are key differences in its implementation and use.  First, we made sure that our geodatabase layers were documented in each ArcGIS map document properties fields that appear in the published ArcGIS Server REST catalog.  (See my post about publishing “Metadata Lite”.)  Once the map services were published, we “registered” each map service at ArcGIS Online.   This allowed us to rapidly produce dozens of web maps for all of the county’s map services literally in minutes. 
“Registering” map services – What you do  you don’t
Although the default published web maps are not 
it’s really designed for the County’s more GIS-savvy partners and stakeholders, rather than for the general public.
Authoring the Map Service
The Geodata Catalog points the user to all map services published by the County.  Each map service  contains one or more layers from the County geodatabase.  GIS server resources were limited, so we reduced the number of map services by combining geodatabase layers that are topically similar, or that contain polygons that don’t overlap each other within a single map service. 
Why be careful about overlapping polygons?   Because San Mateo County GIS has centered its web map publishing at ArcGIS Online.  AGO’s web map authoring tools allow layer manipulation (e.g. transparency, position above/below other layers) only for the entire map service, but not for individual layers in the map service.  So all polygons in a map service end up with the same transparency and other settings.  We keep large polygons in separate map services to avoid interference.
Keywords and Tags
To publish each map service for the Geodata Catalog, we started with an ArcMap document (.mxd) template that has properties fields pre-filled with SMC GIS standard text.  We paid close attention to location and topic keywords in the map document fields, because these keywords get imported as-is when you “register”  the map service with ArcGIS Online.  Good tags give better results when you search for layers to add to ArcGIS Online maps. 
Registering map services at ArcGIS Online
 “Registering the map service” is a specific process that Esri has set up to ensure that ArcGIS Server map services are easy to find and add to maps at ArcGIS Online.  Here are the steps register each service so that it also populates the SMC Geodata Catalog (map picker):
Cont here
When logged in to AGO at  My Content, navigate to the Geodata Catalog folder (Public or Intranet).
 Click Add Item > ArcGIS Server web service > [REST URL] ; paste in the REST URL for the SMC map service.
Tab through the other fields, and AGO autofills the tags and description that already appear in the published map service.
For this project, we have changed the auth-filled title to a standard title = “[map service name without hyphens ] – San Mateo County”.  (We appended “(Intranet)” while we were still publishing these to the dev server.)
Once the map service app is saved at AGO, click the “Share”button to share with “Everyone” plus only one AGO group (Public or Intranet Geodata Catalog)
You can edit the thumbnail by snapping a screenshot of the zoomed in map service displayed in the map.    Optimum file size is 200×133 pixels.
Update the SMC Map Service Publishing Log, if it is to be used to manage map service workflows and/or the Excel file will be used to generate the optional SMC Map Services Dashboard.