AutoCAD Annotation to ArcGIS

A very long numbered list related to ArcGIS
The trouble with displaying or importing annotation from CAD to ArcGIS is that my carefully placed text in autocad moves when I place it in ArcGIS.
After a bit of searching I have found some solutions like this one here: http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=1728&t=131939 (ESRI Support pages)
I thought I’d elaborate and do a step by step process, mainly so I don’t forget!

  1. First open ArcCatalog
  2. Open the ArcToolBox
  3. Find under “Conversion Tools” the “Import from CAD” tool
  4. Double Click on this “Import from CAD tool”
  5. Select your AutoCad file (the whole file not just parts)
  6. Then choose where you want the new Geodatabase file you are creating will go.
  7. Click Ok
  8. Now open up ArcMap
  9. Add the point layer under the “CAD Staging” Feature Dataset
  10. Notice that the points you have added are in the location you want your text to be in, (there are also points from other parts of your CAD drawing here as well, we’ll clean this up in a bit)
  11. Right Click on your newly added point layer and select Joins and Relates  Join.
  12. The field we will be linking is the EntID field.
  13. Now select the File Geodatabase Table called “Entity”, this is located with your newly exported CAD file in the Geodatabase.
  14. You will also be using the “EntID” field, Keep all records and click OK.
  15. Now for clarity I tend to switch off from view those fields I don’t need, right click on your point layer and select Properties.  Select the Fields tab and then go through the list switching off all the fields, except for : Point.OBJECTID, Entity.Layer and Entity.RefName.  Click Apply and then OK.
  16. Now right click on your point layer again and Open the Attribute Table, voila!  You should have your text matched to your point data (if you notice funny code around your text, relating to font and size, don’t worry I will deal with this, so keep reading).   It’s up to you how you clear up the data now, however I shall continue this so you get an idea of what can be done.
  17. I want a nice clean layer so, right click your point layer and select export data.  Now I would select only the items I want to label (remember the point layer is a consolidated file of ALL your point data from AutoCAD not just text!)
  18. Choose a location to save this new file and select okay, and click ‘yes’ to add this new data.
  19. When looking at my text stored in the RefName field I can see that it has brought through some extra information like this: “{\fVerdana|b1|i0|c0|p34;QUARTER 1}”.
  20. Start an edit session.
  21. Open the point file’s attribute table.
  22. We want to get rid of first the front part of this code, so select one of the fields and select the first part of the code like this “{\fVerdana|b1|i0|c0|p34;” once selected either right click and copy, or press “Control+C” on the keyboard.
  23. Select the RefName Column so the whole column is selected
  24. Now click on options and then Find and Replace.
  25. In find place the copied text “{\fVerdana|b1|i0|c0|p34;” (or whatever text you have)
  26. And leave the Replace with blank.
  27. Now click “Replace All”
  28. You should now be left with something like this in your fields: “QUARTER 1}”.
  29. Now select and copy (or just type) the last bit of this data and repeat the process (“}”).
  30. So now stop editing (making sure you have saved it).
  31. Now right click on your point layer and select properties, now click on the labels tab.
  32. Check the label features in this layer box.
  33. Now click on the Placement Properties button, here I tend to choose “Place Label on top of the Point”, click OK.
  34. I would also effectively switch off the point symbol by making it 1pt transparent with no outline.

Phew, I hope that made some sense if I can clarify something please let me know!

New Template thanks to Artisteer 2.3

As I mentioned in a previous post (website template design) Artisteer is a great way of creating a template without getting involved in the underlying code.   Really it’s a clever template wizard rather than a template editor, but I’ve found it very easy to use and quick!

Artisteer is now on version 2.3 and you can use it to design templates for Blogger sites like this one.  If you have a blogger site and want to change its template easily I suggest you give it a try.    One feature I really like is its ability to automatically upload your created template directly to your blogger site.  No manual uploading and fiddling with HTML and XML files required!

ArcGIS layers to AutoCAD Layers (mapping field names to AutoCAD layers)

Confusing title I know but I think it describes this process correctly. Okay here goes:

In ArcCatalog, open the ArcToolBox.
Now double-click on the “Set Cad Alias” tool under Conversion Tools –> To CAD
Now in the input table select the data layer (input feature) you want to convert to AutoCAD.
The Field Info box should now be populated with field names.
Select the field that you want to use as the layer names for your AutoCAD file.
Now under the Alias Name select the field type you want (in this case Layer)

Now Click OK, making sure you’vc not got this file opened in a ArcMap document.

Next double-click on the “Export to CAD” tool under Conversion Tools –> To CAD in the ArcToolbox
Select you data layer(s) (input feature).
Make sure you’ve select the correct Output Type (I tend to use DWG_R2000)
And make sure you’ve chosen a suitable Output file name and location.
Now Click OK

Open it up in AutoCAD to make sure its worked.

The Google Wave

I got my invite for Google Wave a while back now.  However it’s only recently that I’ve started to use it.  Why?  Well you need people you know on Wave to make it a viable communication method  (use those invites wisely).   If you have a google mail account already it will look in your contacts and see if anyone you know has a wave account.   This has so far shown me one friend, that’s the nature of invite only betas.. 

I’ve just spent a good half hour talking and interacting with my Cousin in the USA on it.   So what’s my verdict?

I can see it has potential once you have a number of friends/colleagues/people you know on it.  The ability to see what someone is typing and to interact and edit everyone’s text it certainly makes it interesting (think IRC if anyone remembers that).   If you like social networking (facebook etc..) but don’t like adverts (so far no ads that I could see) this could be for you!  I can also see this being useful if you are part of a work group, but then doesn’t google docs do this as well?

All in all, this is interesting, but one of its weaknesses is that you have to login to wave to check for new messages!  I already have several email accounts I don’t need all this work to check for new messages, oh and the wave seems to slow my computer down.  Fortunatley someone has written something called a robot for notifying you of new wave content (I’m not down with the terminology yet!!).  Anyway add this email address to your contacts wave-email-notifications@appspot.com” and configure it to email your main account when thing happen…