Monday, September 28, 2009

Dispelling the Myths of CAD/GIS Integration

Psst - it's no secret! CAD and GIS technologies have advanced considerably in the last couple of decades. However, in spite of these advancements, there is still an outdated view of GIS software that is closely integrated with CAD technology. Myths regarding the integration of these two technologies also continue to exist. Unfortunately, the perpetuation of these myths can negatively impact data quality, process efficiency and ultimately an organization’s bottom line.

During the last several months, I tweeted using my Twitter name
@engis about the top myths which I feel continue to prevail about today’s CAD in spite of many technological advancements. I have collected these tweets (modified slightly for improved readability) below.

How many of these myths are still prevalent or being perpetuated in your organization?

  • Myth: CAD cannot do geospatial topology.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports both CAD and GIS topologies including node, network and polygon topology and analysis.

  • Myth: You can’t query a CAD drawing.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports geospatial queries including both geographic and attribute based filters.

  • Myth: CAD doesn’t do geospatial analysis.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports topology analysis including overlays, dissolves, buffering, tracing and more.

  • Myth: CAD doesn’t do thematic maps.
    Reality: Today’s CAD does support theming. Stylize points, lines, polygons, text without affecting source data.

  • Myth: CAD only supports simple points, lines and text.
    Reality: Today’s CAD also supports complex GIS features (eg networks, nested polygons, surfaces and more).

  • Myth: CAD is single file, single user.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports multi-file, multiuser access; object locking; databases; long transactions and more.

  • Myth: CAD doesn’t do 3D surfaces.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports flood plain analysis, slope analysis, volume calculations, draping, overlays and more.

  • Myth: CAD data is file based.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports storing data in files, SQL databases and external GIS data repositories like Oracle.

  • Myth: CAD is for creating paper drawings.
    Reality: Today’s CAD merges design and GIS data with outputs to paper, desktop, Internet and mobile.

  • Myth: CAD does not support raster.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports raster/vector overlays, vectorization, image processing and GIS analysis.

  • Myth: CAD doesn’t understand geographic coordinates.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports thousands of datum, projection and coordinate systems.

  • Myth: CAD requires you to import/convert other CAD and GIS data.
    Reality: Today’s CAD supports connection to many data formats without import/export and conversion.

Avoid being a secret agent. Please check-out AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Civil 3D for more information about the reality of today's CAD and it's ability to integrate CAD and GIS data and workflows. Spread the word.


1 comment:

outofhere said...

I think when people think "CAD" and say that "CAD can't do this or that" they are referring to typical desktop platforms that architects use like AutoCAD LT. I don't think it would surprise people to know that AutoCAD Map 3d does geospatial analysis.