Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Tools: Export To CAD

The ArcToolbox application for ArcGIS contains countless little known tools that can be extremely helpful in data manipulation, general visualization, and analysis. One such tool is "Export to CAD", which is now available under the ArcView license. (Prior to ArcGIS 9.3, the tool required the ArcInfo license, making it unavailable to many users.)  If you are interested in learning how to export your GIS data into a native CAD format, follow the directions outlined below.
  1. Click on the ArcToolbox icon.
  2. Double-click on Conversion Tools --> To CAD and double-click on the Export to CAD tool.
  3. From the Input Feature drop down menu, select your input file. From the Output Type drop down menu, select your desired CAD file type. Under Output File, input your file destination and name.
  4. Click OK.
It is important to note that, when exporting documents into CAD, most of the attributes associated with your data may be lost. In the case of an export of contour lines, you will lose elevation information, colors, and labels, retaining only the physical lines themselves. There are a variety of ArcToolbox tools within the “To CAD” toolset that may help with the retention of such information. Visit the ESRI help page for more information and assistance using these tools.