I regularly receive files from a service authority in DWF format, which shows the location of their assets in there area. I note that there is no option to have the data in an alternate format as it is automatically generated.

I can't seem to convert this file into an alternate format for import into QGIS (for example DXF). I note that it can be opened in Autodesk Design Review but this cannot convert the data (other than printing to a PDF).

How do others incorporate this data format into their work?

  • According to Wikipedia the AutoDesk DWF format (Design Web Format) is an open spec, essentially an XML inside a Zip container - rename to .zip, open and have a look inside, there should be an XML file (may not have the right extension). There are viewers and libraries available for download that may be able to convert to a usable format but may not contain georeference information like a standard PDF of a map. – Michael Stimson Aug 15 '14 at 3:24
  • Hi Michael, I tried this but unfortunately I don't think it is a straightforward zip and xml. I tried this but didn't identify anything legible. – boberdorf Aug 15 '14 at 5:18
  • Try the AutoDesk site, there are viewers and converters there usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/…. I think the converter is cloud-based. – Michael Stimson Aug 15 '14 at 5:31

I have spent a lot of fruitless time on these endeavours in the past. I recommend you consider buying some software or making do with the free trial period on something like BricsCAD or FME (but it takes a lot time to learn as well). See an earlier thread on this;

Importing DWG into QGIS project?

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I believe that there are a few programs available to convert DWF to DWG/DWG formats. I trialed one and it did a reasonable job. However the problem I encountered was that the Coordinate Reference System is not included in the DWF, and hence it required scaling and translation.

In view of this I believe the following options are best:

  1. Obtain the data in an alternate format.
  2. Utilise a third party program and convert to DXF. If the datum is available, Coordinate Reference System transform it.
  3. Print the file to a raster file and geoference it. Then digitise the data.

I don't believe that Trueview or Bricscad can convert DWF directly, and that Autodesk products can view the files.

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