Tip - Creating ESRI shapefiles from MSCAD drawings.

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Tip - Creating ESRI shapefiles from MSCAD drawings.

Postby B. K. Lemons » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:19 pm

Here is the easiest and best way I know of to create ESRI shapefiles from MSCAD drawings.

1. Go to this Deneba website and download a free, 15-day trial to Canvas X with GIS (the very best illustration software I've ever found). All you need is an email address. After the first 15 days of use, with just a click of the mouse you can easily extend the trial license for another 15 days for a total of 30 days.

http://www.deneba.com/support-canvas/ca ... vas-x.html

2. Install the Canvas X with GIS software.

3. Open your MSCAD drawing with Canvas. Canvas reads MSCAD drawings and preserves all of your original layers.

4. Pick the layer you are interested in saving, and assign coordinates to your drawing objects.

5. Save the individual line or point layer as an ESRI shapefile. To do this:

File > Save As

Next window, click Save Layer radio button, then select SHP in the pull-down menu, then Save button.

Next window, click the box button to the left of the layer to be saved, then click OK.

B. K.
B. K. Lemons
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Nacogdoches, Texas


Postby Richard Sands » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:11 pm

I have a full version of 'CanvasX with GIS'. Whilst as B.K. says it does create shp files from dwg's I'd caution others from rushing into a purchase of Canvas. Yes its very good but dont expect a lot of support - if youre used to Microsuvey type support then its a rather rude shock. I'd suggest a better way would be purchase Manifold - Its a fully fledged and proven GIS package that will import dwgs, dxf's or ASCII files and export in many different formats. Canvas GIS is a graphics package with ability to import dwgs in the native coordinate system and retain them. Manifold is first and foremost a GIS program and one I'd recommend. You cant download a freeby though, but its cheap to begin with and much cheaper than Canvas. That said if its only a one off for 30 days, then go Canvas - you can have some fun aside from the GIS stuff.
regards Richard
Richard Sands
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:10 pm
Location: Tasmania

Postby B. K. Lemons » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:56 am

The suggestion was not to buy Canvas, but to use the fully-functional trial version for occasional file conversions as needed.

I've been using Canvas for 16 years. The interface is so good and it is so easy to use that there isn't much need for tech support. I've had need for tech support only a handful of times over the years.

Just like MSCAD, ArcView and other software packages, it is limited in its uses. Perhaps someday one of these companies will provide some truly one-package-fits-all-uses software: GIS, cogo, surveying, and drafting/illustration all in one.

B. K.
B. K. Lemons
Posts: 96
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Nacogdoches, Texas

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