Working shape files with AutoCAD

The shape files, known as .shp files, will be Quaternary formats in a matter of technology but we cannot avoid that they have been popularized as much as ArcView 3x was. This is the reason why they are still widely used, to the extent that most geospatial platforms have developed routines to operate with them. Inclusive GvSIG can Read and edit them.

An alternative widely used before was to export from ESRI to dxf, with the disadvantage of losing the tabular data. In this case, we will see how to interact with these Velociraptors using AutoCAD AutoCAD Map, I learned about this process through a gentle response from Txus in the Cartesia forum.

1. Not just any AutoCAD

A shape file consists of a geometry, contained in the .shp extension file, then the tabular data contained in the .dbf file and the index that links it to the .shx.

To read a file of these is required AutoCAD Map, or Civil 3D; It is also worth clarifying that unlike Bentley Map GvSIG It is not possible to read the file natively but it is viable via an FDO connection.

The example I'm doing with AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008.

2. Importing .shp files

Import shp with autocadTo do this you have to do it in the menu:

"map / tools / import", it allows you to choose both .shp and E00 files and even coverages of the initial ArcInfo workstation.

It also allows importing from programs such as Mapinfo (.mif .tab) and Microstation Geographics (.dgn). It seems to me a good opening of AutoCAD to foreign formats, because when importing from a dgn in this way it is possible to capture the mslink and other customizations such as exploiting complex objects and converting cells to blocks at once.

The panel then requests to be assigned projection and the possibility of importing only one zone.

Import shp with autocad

It is also possible to specify whether polygons are to be converted to closed polylines.

3. Exporting .shp 

To export the process is similar, "map / tools / export", then the export must be done separately, the lines, points, polygons and texts. The selection can be done manually, by layers or by feature classes and if you have defined topologies, the better.Export shp autocad civil map 3d

It is also necessary to define the attributes of the objects that will construct the dbf columns, the projection of the output file and the conversion of closed polylines to polygons.

In this to import and export exists the alternative to create a profile to not be defining conditions every time, this would be saved as a .ipf file that can be loaded every time the process will be done.

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. Good afternoon, I have a question.

    I have opened an .shp file in AutoCad Civil 2008, which is from a large area with many different parcels.

    1.- If I want to know the surface of a plot, Civil throws it to me without problem, but if I select two or more, the surface appears to me as * VARIOUS *. Is there a way for Cad to do the sum?

    2.- Within these plots, in most cases there is more than one type of crop inside (vine and almond tree for example). Is there any way of being able to subdivide that plot into enclosures and to give me back the surface of those enclosures?

  2. Negative. You can not edit a shape with AutoCAD map, just link it. You can edit it with any qgis or arcgis, they are just as easy to operate.

  3. Hello ai
    I would like to know if Autocad Map allows joining two shapes (that have the same table fields) into one. The join command adds the cells of the table, but duplicates them even though they are called the same ...
    Regards and thanks in advance


  5. Anyone know if there is any command if a dwg file is in 3d, can it be exported to shape and is it in 3d too ?? If this operation is done with the normal export command to sig, it projects all the lines up to the 0 dimension.

    Regards and thanks in advance

  6. Hello,
    I'm looking for a way to export from Autocad Map, Kosmo or GvSig some tags so they can be seen in normal Autocad.
    Thank you

  7. I think the task of explaining some very interesting subjects to which we do not know is great, thank you for your time and wisdom.

  8. Hello
    Although I constantly visit this website, I had not noticed this post ... so a year 3 months later I comment, although I think you should already know this point 😀
    Good with the import/export in AutoCAD Map... but the "correct" thing is to work with the shp in NATIVE FORMAT, that is... NO MATTER!...
    From the AutoCAD Map Task Pane (from version 2007 upwards) you have the possibility to connect directly to various data repositories (wms, oracle, wfs, raster and [oh!] Shp) ...
    Just go to Data / Connect to data and that's it! Respects as the original shp file, it is possible to consult, analyze, edit And everything is still in shp format..
    Here an image of the command in question
    Lima Peru

  9. You should cross Autocad, and use Autocad map (Civil 3D is built on it)

    And you could also refer to the FDO connection, which although I do not usually use it, I understand that it works on the native shp file, and it is not necessary to import it

  10. Hehe you are bad

    Thanks for the information. I have already placed the credit.

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