Converting CAD Files and Propagation Model Output into GIS Format using ArcGIS Pro

This article describes how to use ArcGIS Pro to convert CAD DWG/DXF files into four GIS spatial data formats: Shapefile, GDB, GeoJSON, and GeoPackage.  It also describes how to convert propagation model raster output into vector data format. 

Note: ArcGIS Pro accepts data generated by AutoCAD and MicroStation-based applications and other applications that use the DGN and DWG and DXF file formats. 

 

CAD to Shapefile (Feature Layer) 

  • Note: Before CAD data can be used in ArcGIS Pro, it must have a defined coordinate location. CAD files may require an optional coordinate transformation information (WLD file) to identify how the coordinates in the CAD data should be positioned on the earth's surface. 
  • In order to define a spatial reference, in the Geoprocessing pane, open the Define Projection tool (Data Management Tools->Projections and Transformations->Define Projection, or alternatively search “Define Projection” in the search box in the Geoprocessing Pane). 
  1. Open ArcGIS Pro, in the Geoprocessing pane, open the Feature Class to Feature Class tool (Conversion Tools->To Geodatabase 
    ->CAD to Geodatabase, or alternatively search “CAD to Geodatabase” in the search box in the Geoprocessing Pane). 
  2. In the Input Features field, navigate to the DWG/DXF/DGN file and select the feature class to be converted (Annotation, MulitPatch, Point, Polygon, Polyline). 
  3. Navigate to the Output Location where the feature class is to be saved. 
  4. Name the feature class to be saved in the Output Name field. 
  5. Optionally, select the error next to Fields or Geodatabase Settings, and modify any applicable fields/geodatabase settings. 
  6. Click Run to execute the tool. 
     

CAD to GeoDatabase  

 

  • Note: The input features must be a CAD file.  The CAD file will contain all the available homogeneous geometries. 
  • Note: The input parameter will accept CAD data from multiple formats (DWG, DXF, and DGN) in one operation. 
  • Note: All inputs are combined into a single output CAD dataset, which will contain the standard point, line, and polygon feature classes, in addition to any CAD-defined feature classes that may exist. 
  • Note: Feature class names must be unique for the entire geodatabase or the tool will fail. 

 

 

  1. Open ArcGIS Pro, in the Geoprocessing pane, open the CAD to Geodatabase tool (Conversion Tools->To Geodatabase->CAD to Geodatabase, or alternatively search “CAD to Geodatabase” in the search box in the Geoprocessing Pane). 
  2. In the Input CAD Datasets field, navigate to the DWG/DXF/DGN file to be converted. 
  3. In the Output Geodatabase field, navigate to the output geodatabase for which the feature classes are to be stored. 
  4. In the Dataset field, type the desired name for the output dataset. 
  5. In the Reference Scale field, unless otherwise necessary to alter, accept the default reference scale. 
  6. In the Spatial Reference field, unless otherwise necessary to alter, accept the default spatial reference. If a projection file exists for the input CAD file, it will pre-populate this field. 
  7. Click Run to execute the tool. 
     

CAD to GeoJSON  

 

  • Note: CAD data must first be converted into a feature layer using the steps outlined in the “CAD to Shapefile” section. 
  1. Open ArcGIS Pro, in the Geoprocessing pane, open the CAD to Geodatabase tool (Conversion Tools 
    ->JSON->Features to JSON, or alternatively search “Features to JSON” in the search box in the Geoprocessing Pane). 
  2. In the Input Features field, navigate to and select the shapefile/feature class that was created as a result of the CAD to Shapefile geoprocessing section. 
  3. In the Output JSON field, navigate to the location and name the output JSON file to be created. 
  4. Put a checkmark in the Output to GeoJSON and Project to WGS_1984 boxes (Note: The Project to WGS_1984 box will dynamically appear once the Output to GeoJSON box is checked). 
  5. Click Run to execute the tool. 
     

CAD to GeoPackage  

 

  • Note: CAD data must first be converted into a feature layer using the steps outlined in the “CAD to Shapefile” section. 

 

  1. Open ArcGIS Pro, in the Geoprocessing pane, open the Create SQLite Database tool (Data Management Tools->Workspace 
    ->Create SQLite Database, or alternatively search “Create SQLite Database” in the search box in the Geoprocessing Pane). 
  2. In the Output Database Name field, name the output database. 
  3. Using the Spatial Type dropdown, select GeoPackage (Equivelant to GeoPackage 1.3). 
  4. Click Run to execute the tool. 
  5. In the Catalog pane, right-click Databases, Select Add Database, and navigate to the newly created GeoPackage file. 
  6. Right-click the GeoPackage in the Catalog pane, select Import, then select Feature Class. 
  7. In the Input Features field, navigate to the feature to be imported into the GeoPackage. 
  8. In the Output location, ensure the newly created GeoPackage field is populated. 
  9. In the Output Name field, name the feature to be imported. 
  10. Optionally, modify any of the field mapping necessary in the Field section. 
  11. Click Run to execute the tool. 
     

Propagation Model Output 

 

Propagation modeling software may produce data in different formats. Here we describe how to convert raster output from the software into a vector format using ArcMap.  The BDC system accepts four vector GIS formats: Shapefile, GDB, GeoPackage, and GeoJSON. 

 

Note: For BDC, the raster data output from the propagation model software must be 100m resolution or finer.  The maximum size of the raster bins is 100m by 100m. 

 

  1. Open ArcGIS Pro, in the Geoprocessing pane, open the Raster to Polygon tool (Conversion Tools 
    ->From Raster->Raster to Polygon, or alternatively search “Raster to Polygon” in the search box in the Geoprocessing Pane). 
  2. In the Input Raster field, navigate to the raster to be converted to a feature class. 
  3. Optionally, denote the Field used to assign values from the input raster to the polygons in the output dataset. This can be an integer or string field. 
  4. In the Output Polygon Features field, navigate to the desired output location and name the output file. 
  5. Uncheck Simplify Polygons 
  6. Optionally, check the Create multipart feature box to create multipart features based on polygons that have the same value. 
  7. Optionally, in the Maximum vertices per polygon feature field, specify the vertex limit used to subdivide a polygon into smaller polygons 
  8. Click Run to execute the tool. 

 

For more information, see: 

 

 

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