Thursday, May 23, 2013

Importing Shape Files

For some reason I’m supposed to be really happy about Civil 3D. I don’t quite get it since even doing simple tasks is a pain. Take for instance Importing Shape Files.


Do you see the option in the Insert Shape Files in the  ribbon above? I don’t. You will find the option to import the information from the Planning and Analysis Workspace. But I just want to import a Shape file.


Guess where I need to go? I see three places where it’s possible from the Planning and Analysis Workspace. Well I don’t know it from looking at the ribbon options under data. You’ll need a PhD in Ribbonology to figure out which button you’ll want to use. Thankfully Autodesk has made this really hard in finding how to import a ShapeFile. You’ll notice the file type isn’t listed in the Import From Files. If you look under the Connect you will see the option for a SHP file, but good luck trying to figure out how to attach the data from that sparsely confusing user interface. It always takes me a good 2 to 200,000 thousand million tries to get it to work.

So if you want to import a SHP file. Type MapImport at the command line. Select the SHP file some misguided GIS technician sent you with the assumption that you’ll know how to deal with it.


Press OK.

So now you are presented with a dialog box. Of course your importing in a shape file, the last thing you’ll want to do is attach object data to it so Autodesk will turn that off by default. Select the Import polygons as closed polylines if you so choose. Don’t forget you’ll need to do a super dupper clean up job on imported parcels, if that’s what you are importing. Autodesk Parcel programmer’s can’t seem to filter duplicate objects out for you. After all you weren’t supposed to find this feature anyways.


Then in this dialog box select Create Object Data, the table you want to use and then any of the data you want to import using the Select Fields button.


Then press Ok, up to three times, to get the shape file to import. That's it.


Anonymous said...

I know you know this Chris, but for the benefit of your readers... if you just need a quick view of the data, you can drag+drop the SHP file into the AutoCAD editor and it will display as some funky MAP object, but it will display...

Unknown said...

mapimport at command line gets you to the dialog box without switching workspaces. Doesn't fix the issues with the dialog box.

Anonymous said...

Or, go to the P & A workspace once. Find the icon you need to import a shapefile on the ribbon, right click and add the icon to your Quick Access Toolbar. Return to the C3D workspace and the newly-placed icon remains. I do this with many Map commands so I don't have to switch. Use the interface as it was designed to do!

Tom Kelleher said...

Handy little tutorial, thanks!

I also like the hint about adding icons to QAT. I knew about it, but it's good to be reminded.

Elizabeth said...

Hysterical! I feel the same way...thanks for the tip at least.

Andy Warner said...

I love you man!

Anonymous said...

Perfect solution.....why they make it so difficult is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Great solution, totally agree with your thoughts. Autodesk needed to simplify things.


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