ArcMap: Import data from Microstation Geographics

At some point we talked about that since Geographics can be exported /to import data with ESRI, creating shp files.  Data interoperability arcgisBut if you have ArcGIS installed, the interoperability extension has very good features, let's take a look:

1. Activate the extension.

This is done with tools> extensions And here the extension is activated Data Interoperability.

The tool is in ArcCatalog, But in case the extension is not active or not licensed, the system will notify (I am using ArcGIS 9.3)

2. Import data

Once the Quick Import, a panel is displayed that basically asks for two topics: What are we going to import and where are we going to store it. In this case, I want to import data from a Geographics project, Stored in an Access database, with which attributes were created in a dgn file and which I wish to remain within a geodatabase.

Imput Dataset. Credit must be given that with this ArcGIS extension you can read and process CAD / GIS data from more than 115 formats supported by FME of Safe Software. Among them, AutoDesk, CityGML, GeoJSON, GeoRSS, Google Earth, IDRISI, Geomedia, LandXML, MapInfo, PostGIS, PostgreSQL, Trimble JobXML, TIGER, WFS, etc.

Data interoperability arcgis In the case of Bentley, there is an option to import a simple vector and also from a Geographics project (It does not yet do it with xfm data from Bentley Map). Be careful that dgn files can be called with many extensions, such as .cat, .hid, .adm, .cad, etc. To do this, you must activate the option in tools> options> CAD, if it is not done, it will only recognize the dgn extension files. 

Source.  HereData interoperability arcgis The spatial data source is identified, in this case we choose Bentley Microstation GeoGraphics, like Format. Then in dataset We choose the file that contains the spatial link, we must take into account that the file extension should be the one indicated in the Geographics project, and registered as the association of the Mslink builds on it.

You must establish the coordinate system that has the map, in this case, Projected, UTM, Datum WGS84 and Zone 16N.

Data interoperability arcgis You must configure the connection parameters on the button Settings. In this case:

  • ODBC-type connection, from the database named Project_local.mdb
  • Enter the user and password defined in the project
  • Then we select the attributes that we hope will be imported. For example purposes, I am interested in the block boundaries, which means that I would bring from that map, the vectors that have this attribute assigned.
  • Additionally, it is possible to establish if we want the cells (blocks) to be kept as grouped objects. Also if the units format will be primary or secondary (Master or sub).
  • It is configured, we wait with the Complex Strings, Those objects that contain curves, grouped lines, and shapes multiple. These can be ungrouped (drop) Or propagate the links with links of each object to a single field in the table (several to one).
  • Finally, if we expect multiple line texts to separate.
  • Output Staging Geodatabase
  • Unless something different is established, ArcGIS creates a Geodatabase With the name of the dgn file, where all the data will be entered.
  • Data interoperability arcgisThe console starts its process and warns if something could not be achieved, and when it reaches the records, it indicates how many are entering the database. Also in that directory a file is created containing the log Of what happened in the importation.

3. The result

There they have it, the edges of apple like Featureclass Within the database, in the same way different attributes can be imported, which in case of having associated tables inside the mdb will come as attributes of the shape.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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  1. Well, I think you're busy installing the Interoperability extension

  2. Very interesting, as always ...

    I've been testing, but the first difficulty I find is that with an arcGIS 9.3 I don't have sources (only gml and wfs) and the option to create new is disabled, I only have the ability to import. Look for info on the esri website to see if these interchange formats (.fds files) could be downloaded. Especially because I'm interested in postgreSQL / postgis ...

    Do you know that you can go wrong?

    Greetings and thanks for advanced !!


  3. Hello,

    I came across this document by chance, it really gives me a very complete explanation for the first (and not so basic) geographic implementations. Very complete and very good, well explained.

    Thank you very much for sharing the information, especially for someone who is starting out on these issues.

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