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Mapping out GIS data with CAD & BIM

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ASt provides Integrated Workplace Management Solutions (IWMS), Computer-Aided Facility Management systems (CAFM) and Autodesk AEC solutions that help professionals deliver better customer service, significantly reduce costs and improve the productivity of their entire organisation.

Interest in integrating process that involve both GIS and BIM is on the rise. The reasons relate to the desire to use more BIM information as a more complete data sources for operations and maintenance, where typically this information is needed in the context of everything around it.

A traditional view of GIS and BIM has a GIS managing capital portfolios while BIM processes are used for delivering capital projects. To deliver more and better with less, the industry needs to think about things differently.

We see benefits by bringing the two together because in essence GIS informs BIM and BIM in turn fuels GIS.The understanding of an infrastructure asset within the larger contextual environment enables better-informed and smarter decision-making, improved stakeholder engagement, accelerated project timelines and  reduced costs.


This creates a cycle that improves outcomes: Using integrated GIS and BIM optimizes the performance of assets within systems, which feeds back into the ongoing planning of new and more sustainable projects.

There is also a growing recognition of the value of different types of geospatial data that are being maintained. Organizations are understanding the importance of giving more people access to the information necessary to do their jobs.

The connection points of BIM and GIS together, is the recognition that geography provides a common language for collaborating throughout the lifecycle of assets.Looking at the full lifecycle, planning, designing, building and managing is best done in context.

GIS data and workflows provide necessary location intelligence.Not only helps to visually represent data, whether in 2D or 3D , but also uses maps to communicate.

One such example is by determining locations that meet specific criteria such as

  • -Hot spot analysis
  • -Identifying suitable locations based on defined factors
  • -Identifying geographic patterns


Whether it is a master plan, project plan or coordination of both, location adds context that will help mitigate risks, manage costs and understand impact on what is nearby.  Considerations are as such;

  • -Site selection based on specific criteria
  • -Community demographics and needs
  • -Proximity to and relationship with other projects & key infrastructure
  • -Costs
  • -Insights to impacts
  • -Transit impacts
  • -Road closures
  • -Environmental
  • Economic

GIS and BIM are the two data sources most infrastructure owners are looking to together because processes that take advantage of these technologies are already in place in many cases. Next step is to integrate the processes.



Our first BIM+GIS product integration focuses at workflow improvements that will benefit preliminary design and engineering by providing a connection between GIS and Autodesk InfraWorks.

Autodesk InfraWorks has the power to bring together many different types of data, including data that is categorized as GIS, BIM, Reality Capture and IoT, to name a few. Three-dimensional, existing conditions models created in an engineering tool like InfraWorks can become the basis for planning, analysis and simulation, sustainability, visualization and other emerging things, like machine learning and generative design, all important aspects of BIM processes.

Laser scanned information in InfraWorks becomes a valuable 3D data source. InfraWorks has automated ways to extract intelligence from point clouds. Extracting terrain and even point and linear features to helps to create a more robust existing conditions model. The more automated extraction methods make it easier to use the data.




AutoCAD Map 3D enriches your map data, making it more visual and intelligent. With AutoCAD 2021, the Map 3D toolset is included as well,  bringing an intelligent geographic information system (GIS) to  AutoCAD drawings, with these offerings;

  • -Incorporate GIS and CAD data to support planning, design, and data management.
  • -Access spatial data stored in files, databases and web services.

By linking CAD and GIS, it bridges the gap between engineering design and geography.


Mapping and 3D visualization

The key difference is that AutoCAD Map 3D gives functionality to build thematic maps and layouts. It’s not only in 2D. But it offers 3D viewing, short descriptions as such;

THEMATIC MAPS: You can stylize basic thematic maps and raster color ramps. But you don’t get a good variety of map types to pick from.

MAPBOOKS: Based on a grid index, you can create mapbooks. Then, each tile represents a page in your report with a key map.

COORDINATE SYSTEMS: On top of this, you get to work in coordinate systems using EPSG codes. By assigning coordinate systems to data, it allows you to project your map in two dimensions.

SURFACE MAPS: It has support for LiDAR point clouds. For example, you can create 2D and 3D visualization or TIN display overlays with shapefiles.


Data analysis and management

You get more value from your data with geospatial analysis. When you use AutoCAD Map 3D, it has assistive tools.

For example, buffers set a distance around a feature. If you want to know how many houses are within a 100-meter buffet distance of a pipeline, run a buffer.

If you want to identify pipeline material, you can run a query in your dataset. These are examples of how you can get the best from both CAD & GIS.


Editing and Georeferencing

The editing tools allow you to create points, lines and polygons using the traditional AutoCAD tools. For example, you can create arcs, lines and shapes – also in  AutoCAD 3D Map.If you want to place an image into real world space, you can use the georeference and rubbersheeting tools in AutoCAD Map 3D. Users consider this feature to be uncomplicated to do.

Other blow your hair back features worthy for georeferencing are;

  • -Networks, topology and coordinate geometry (COGO)
  • -Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS allows you to directly connect to ArcGIS Online
  • -Aerial, hybrid and road online maps for background and reference


Although you get a solid set of tools, by no means is it an exhaustive list. Here are examples of further tools available for use in AutoCAD MAP 3D:

  • -Buffer
  • -Intersect
  • -Dissolve
  • -Split features
  • -Merge
  • -Erase
  • -Union
  • -Identity
  • -Clip
  • -Symmetrical difference


Like to purchase Autodesk BIM, CAD & GIS products?

Get a quote from us by emaining or call 1300 672 888


Tai Nguyen

Tai Nguyen

Managing Director at Advanced Spatial Technologies

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About Us

ASt is an award winning company with over 24 years experience in software & hardware solutions. Specialising in design, collaboration & facility management solutions with Autodesk, Bluebeam PDF & FMSystems. We also offer trusted HP, Dell & Lenovo hardware, professionally customised to your work needs. Our professional services team offers support, training, configuration & CAD drafting. Contact us on 1300 672 888 or for more info.

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