I am trying to setup an AutoCAD Template that will be easy to import into an ArcGIS geodatabase.

Is there a way I can setup a template where the data tables are already attached so a Tech can just select a PVC 150mm BluBrute Pipe and draw it in, then maybe select a 19mm Copper Service Lateral and draw that in?

The only other way I can see doing this is to make each pipe of any given combination of attributes it's own layer. I don't like this because the layer schema to keep track of it starts getting complicated and convoluted.

  • Subtypes? resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//…
    – Mapperz
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:06
  • I cannot see how Subtypes will help me; the issue is the CAD Data has no attributes the GIS Data does. When I add new features to our GIS from the CAD Drawings I have to search for the pipe info. Trying to get some ideas on how I can setup the CAD Template to have fields that can be populated from within CAD. So when I import it the pipe info is right there in the data table, I just need to map it to the right right Attribute Field during an amend process.
    – MrKingsley
    Jun 26, 2015 at 15:56
  • I use FME (DGN/DWG,DXF) to do this would suggest you at least get a trial version for evaluation will improve your work flow can be automated.
    – Mapperz
    Jun 26, 2015 at 16:10
  • Already there on the FME lol, it has limited use right now because none of the CAD files are to any standard, they are the "Wild West" of the Utility. Setting up and implementing a standard is sort of the first step in a FME Workflow direction. I am also planning to experiment with FDO Connections through CAD to a Database that is accessible via both GIS and CAD, but again need to start with a standard setup in order for it to work. Our FME distributer said they would work with me to setup the standard but my budget is tapped till 2016. Had to buy new CAD and Esri software this year.
    – MrKingsley
    Jun 26, 2015 at 16:31
  • Are you aware of AutoCAD Map 3D Industry Models (instead of using DWG files)? You can store your data (geometry and attributes) in several databases (e.g. in Oracle, SQLServer, SQLite).
    – Jens
    Jan 13, 2016 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


The only thing I managed to do using AutoCAD Map3D 2014 and 2015 was to setup a standard based on my shape files and their attributes. Remove all the attributes that were our responsibility, add CAD fields with the Add CAD Fields Arc Tool, and setup a DWG with all the drawing layers for the standard and join our infrastructure layers to their respective SHP. This allows editing in CAD with the ability to attribute the features. I don't know if this would work for consultants running vanilla CAD though. It was the only solution I could find.

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