I have a CAD file with tree data I need to put into ArcMap. I need the species information of each tree point. When I open up the .dwg file in Autodesk TrueView 2018, all the necessary shows up as can be seen in this image: enter image description here

When I import them into ArcMap as a .dwg file (without converting into a geodatabase format) I don't see the annotations (as can be seen in the following image). Also, these points ended up becoming one huge conjoined polyline rather than individual polylines or points, and there's no species attributes attached to the layer. enter image description here

So I thought I just had to convert it with the "CAD to geodatabase" tool. However, when I did that what I got was different from the .dwg file, with 98% of my tree data missing except for a few random polygons here and there. enter image description here

ArcMap did warn me of some errors while the tool was executing. Does this have anything to do with why my annotations are not appearing? enter image description here

I am able to extract every tree point from that one conjoined polyline. What I'm having trouble with is getting the annotation over each tree point so that I can identify each tree.

1 Answer 1


When you add a dwg in arcmap you should get a group Layer with 5 layer in it : Annotation, Point, Polyline, Polygon and MultiPatch (all object from the dwg are placed in one or more of these five layer for exemple a block get the insertion point in the Point layer, the line get in the Polyline layer and if there are closed line they form a polygon in the polygon layer (so closed line are in two layer as line AND as polygon)).

If the text you want is an annotation it will be placed in the annotation layer and the text is in the "Text" field of the attribute table. Arcmap should display that text I don't know why it's not the case for you.

If you don't see the annotation you could try to see if the tree where added as block. If so you should be able to extract the info need like this :

  • Open the point layer attribute table of the dwg you will get all the point in the drawing, including the insertion point of the tree block, to isolate the insertion point of the tree block filter on the "Insert" attribute in the "Entity" field.
  • After that it depend on how the dwg has been set up, either the different tree species are on specific layer (look a the layer field), or the different species are different block with different name (look at the "RefName" field to get the block name) or the tree block has a species attribute (you fill find all block attribute as field after the classic autocad field).
  • When you have identified how you could get the tree name it's just a matter of exporting the relevant data to a GIS format, eventually creating a new field and filling it with the tree species and using this field to label your new tree layer

(By default ArcMap hide most of the field of dwg attribute table, you may need to go to the dwg layer properties and check the field you need)

  • thank you SO much!! the problem was that it was added as a block. it was much easier for the architects to separate the block into its individual entities in AutoCAD instead of trying what you recommended in ArcMap. Jan 6, 2020 at 1:22

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