Archview GIS file format -- PowerCADD

What is the procedure, Kenneth?

Posted by  Andre Kolber on February 19, 2002 at 07:48:45:

I am trying to import Archiveiw GIS files into PowerCADD. However, thus far no luck.

The options on Archview GIS exporting are:

Placeable WMF
Windows Metafile
Postscript New (EPS)
Post Script (EPS)
Adobe Illustrator
CGM Character
CGM Clear text

Does anyone know what are the steps in importing views (contour lines, street info, orthophotos) from Archview GIS into PowerCADD.

Posted by  Phil Loheed on February 19, 2002 at 09:27:00:

We have had minimal problems using the Illustrator route.

From GIS we have requested or exported Illustrator 6.0 files -- since that is the version of Illustrator we still use.

In Illustrator, we have saved the file as Illustrator 88 which PowerCADD has no trouble opening.
It may be possible to export from GIS to Illustrator 88 format directly, but we have not tried this.

For larger files, set up, or request, the export for as large a page size as possible to avoid "postage stamp" effects requiring extreme scaling. Include or request a scale bar as part of the image/layer collection from GIS.

Once opened in PowerCADD, use the MagicWand and other selection techniques to move different types of information onto separate layers.

We have been able to recieve GIS files from operators by email as Illustrator 6, translate, color, reformat, and use the information in a few hours.

Text information is somewhat tricky in this process, so we have often opted to create our own after translation - if there is not a lot of it. If there is a lot of text, you may need to experiment with larger page size set-ups in Illustrator to get things to come through "in scale" with the drawing.

Illustrator 88 format is the key. Hope this helps.

Incidently, having/exporting the file in Illustrator format also may help when you have to send the image to PC's who are often using the PC version of Illustrator to "doll up" their ugly AutoCad creations -- and to combine them with GIS info. If this is in the cards, you will need to limit your font choices and use of gradients to those that Illustrator 88 supports, which will mean that your PowerCADD drawings will always look better...

Posted by  Jeffrey Jakucyk on February 19, 2002 at 16:06:41:

I have an ArcView script that can export directly to a DXF file (link below). It's not perfect, because it puts all objects on the same layer and makes them all black, even if they're coming from different themes. However, it still exports smooth arcs and clean lines which may not happen with the EPS export or printing to a PDF file and then converting it in Illustrator.

To use the script, just open up your ArcView file, then select the objects from the theme you want to export.

I recommend exporting separately each theme you want to be on a separate layer, then put them back together in PowerCADD.

You'll need to create some sort of reference point so you can line them all up again though.

Go to the Finder and double-click on the script.

A window with a bunch of text will open up in ArcView.

Click on the run button in the toolbar, it looks like a man running (duh).

An error may come up asking you to define the map units, do that and click the run button again.

Click ok and save the file to wherever you want it.

When you open up the file in PowerCADD, everything will be invisible, just select all and change the pen color, then it should all appear.

I hope this proves useful to you. This method allowed me to create the map at my Cincinnati Streetcars and Interurbans web site at The roads are from an ArcView GIS file of Hamilton County, and in PowerCADD it's only about 30MB. If I had gone through Illustrator, it could have easily been over 100MB.

* Shape To DXF Script: .sit file  or .zip file

corrections? other tips? send 'em in