Map 3D 2013 – Top 5 New Features

Display Styles per Viewport with Dynamic Legends, North Arrows & Scales

Previously, AutoCAD Map 3D was limited to a single display style at a time in a drawing.  If you wanted a blow-up of an area to appear differently within the same layout, tough luck using FDO.  Your display style was your display style, so you’d often end up redrawing things in AutoCAD.  Map 3D 2013 lets you apply pre-defined Display Maps to each viewport, so you can show an aerial photo in the background of one viewport, while not showing it in another.  Not only that, but you can link a north arrow, scale bar, and legend to that viewport and Display Map.  Its seems simple, but its pretty cool to be able to rotate the north arrow and have your viewport rotate as well, or change the scale in the scale bar and have the viewport zoom in or out.  It’s very intuitive.  See the Autodesk video here for more information.

Symbol Editing

It’s now much easier to edit symbols for Map 3D.  Symbols are specifically separated from blocks, but can be edited within the block editor.  Previously, there was no means of editing a symbol within a drawing.  You would have to edit the block in a separate drawing and reimport the block.  Now changes can be made on the fly and the map updates with the changes.  This also makes it easier to manage your Map 3D layers and keep the drawings that you use for Display Model symbols more organized.  For more information on Map 3D 2013 symbols watch the Autodesk video here.

Topobase Functionality on SQL Server

Map 3D (Formerly Topobase/Enterprise) works great on Oracle.  Oracle provides a very robust geometry engine for Topobase to use.  Unfortunately, Oracle is sometimes too large of an overhead for some organizations.  Last year the alternative was to use the Topobase data embedded into a DWG file.  This was prohibitively restrictive in a multi-user environment.  This year, you can use the Industry Models on Microsoft SQL Server.  SQL Server is much more accessible for many organizations.  The largest downsides of using SQL Server over Oracle are that you lose native support for arcs and that you lose the ability to work with Jobs.

Convert to Industry Model

One of our favorite GIS tools at CAD Masters is FME Desktop.  The map bulk copy tool is similar to this.  It lets you move data from one format to another while maintaining the geometry.  This new command lets your import data to an Industry Model from a number of data sources that you may already have available such as sdf, shp, or dwg.  Make sure that you’re in an industry model environment before running this command or you may find that it tells you MAPCONVERTOMODEL is an unknown command.

Edit Set

When you’re working in the field, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to have internet connection, even if you do have a wireless card or tether to your phone. In case you cannot access your GIS server, you’re now able to use an Edit Set to save your modifications to synchronize back to your server when you do have an internet connection.  This even handles conflict resolution when multiple people try to edit the same feature.  For more information, see the Autodesk help topic here.

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