Below is the lenghty explanation but simply put my question is: How can I project a 3D DXF file (vertical cross section) into a "plan view projection" for use in ArcMap?

I am using Target (by Geosoft) software to visualize drillhole data in order to produce cross-sections, 3D views, etc. of sub-surface exploration data. The software is capable of all kinds of things a traditional GIS such as ArcGIS simply cannot do but unfortunately the final output is not very polished. There is very limited control over what I can do with the layout, labels, graphics... Unfortunately, there isn't a way to export the finished cross section into a vector PDF which would allow me to tweak the output in Illustrator or CorelDRAW. (Using Print to PDF converts to image pdf)

I can only export the cross section into a 3D DXF which, when loaded into CorelDRAW for example, does not display the text annotations.

When I view the DXF in ArcScene it displays fine but it is "correctly" vertically projected and again lacking text annotations due to ArcScene limitations. When I open the file in ArcMap, the section does contain the annotations but it is "correctly" viewed in "plan view".

Bellow is the original section as it appears in Target as well as screen captures showing how the exported 3D DXF is handled byt the various other applications I have at my disposal (ArcScene, ArcMap and CorelDRAW) I also have Leapfrog Mining but have just installed it so I am not up to speed with this software yet but if anyone knows of a way to utilize Leapfrog please feel free to provide suggestions.

Original Section in Target: enter image description here

Exported DXF in ArcScene: enter image description here

Exported DXF in ArcMap (You are basically seeing the section plan view): enter image description here

And finally DXF in CorelDraw (would be usable but not perfect as it would require a lot of manual work. and.. if it included text): enter image description here

  • 1
    I don't know anything about this software, but this page says Target for ArcGIS 10 supports layer packages -- might give that a shot if you can.
    – blah238
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 2:33
  • @blah238 - the software does not really matter, the output is a 3D DXF which i would basically like to "flip" on its side. As for Target, the "Target for ArcGIS" is an ArcMap extension which I evaluated but decided not to purchase as it is not as feature rich as the actual standalone version. The full version actually suppose to save the whole output into an ArcMap document (mxd) but when I open it it has a bunch of dataframes with no data. (will be contacting support about that) Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 11:57
  • What about what I suggested below Jakub? Query out the layers you want more control over, work on them in ArcMap (which will allow you to maintain the spatial component). Then export back to .dxf, and bring it in to your CorelDraw Environment. At least you can control the behavior of entire layers instead of doing it one object at a time. You should run a quick test with just a few components and see if it works well. I am actually curious.
    – Dano
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 12:59
  • @Dano - That's exactly what I can't do because the DXF is in 3D. (See above what it looks like when opened in ArcMap - a line with a cluster of labels because it is correctly displaying the section in plan view) Thanks though. I found a way to export unprojected files in various formats from Target. Still overcoming the learning curve of the strange layout and nomenclature in this application. (Field in a table is called "channel" for example, etc. very strange) Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 13:18
  • hmmm ... sorry I couldn't help Jakub. Good luck with that new software. I'm sure you'll sort it out quickly enough!!
    – Dano
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 13:28

2 Answers 2


Crisis Avoided. I went trough the application again and found a way to export to flat, unprotected Shapefile (Albeit with no attributes), DXF (no 3D) with atributes but no polygon fills, SVG with everything I need to tweak the figure in CorelDRAW/ Illustrator.


I don't know if I can be of much assistance Jakub, but I do have a thought. If you query out the features you want to tweak using ArcGIS (ie- annotation and grid) and export them to shapefile format, it will give you control over each grouping in the ArcMap environment. You could pretty them up in there (where you're more comfortable) and pull them in to another platform that's conducive to accomplishing the level of aesthetics you're after. This way, you also maintain the spatial accuracy of the attribution, grid, etc. I would personally try AutoCAD (but I recall that you don't use it - correct?).

If you target the annotation layer then use a "select by attributes query", then double-click "layer" --- choose "=" --- then hit "get unique values", all the structured layers of annotation should be listed there (or any other respective layer you exported - assuming they're grouped in categories).

I don't know if this helps at all. but that's all I could think of on this one. If this sounds feasible, let me know. If I can be of any assistance I'll certainly try to help.

Good luck

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