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CAD-to-GIS:How an integral data transfert process can be useful ?

In the world of infrastructure management, most As-Built and Design documents are typically done in CAD. An ecosystem of CAD Design specialists, engineers, surveyors and CAD technicians have a work cycle that usually ends in the creation of CAD drawings, representing the location of new existing infrastructure, and identifying infrastructure that now no longer exists. These As-Built drawings can be produced by the organization’s internal CAD team or by an outside firm.

The life cycle of this information does not, however end at this stage. New infrastructure must be incorporated into Asset Management and GIS systems, which inventory all infrastructure assets and track their status through time.

A timely GIS and Asset management system serves the purpose of:

  • Providing an accurate picture of existing infrastructure (status);
  • Supporting financial decision making and investment planning;
  • Provides the backbone of new infrastructure projects and the beginning of the design cycle.

Currently, moving CAD data into GIS can be a manual and inefficient process. GIS technicians often redraw infrastructure geometry, which is a redundant process and prone to error.  The typical processes currently in place often require GIS Technicians to re-digitize the CAD data coming from As-Built plans. This creates redundancy and duplication, lending itself to data loss and inefficiency.

Streamlining the CAD to GIS workflow often involves automating the extraction of data from the CAD drawing to the GIS system. The following is a depiction of a CAD to GIS workflow:

  • Reduce duplication of work;
  • Improve internal CAD staff productivity: The linework and geometries produced by CAD personnel would be more re-useable;
  • Infrastructure GIS data would be updated in a timelier manner;
  • Improve the design process: Design professionals (internal or external) can extract reliable data to start new design projects;
  • Improve the planning process: Reliable GIS data means that budget and planning decisions are based on a better picture of the current situation;
  • Free GIS resource’s time: GIS staff will have more time to perform analytical and reporting tasks as well as develop other services;
  • Improve efficiency working with external developers and design professionals: clear expectations mean faster project approval and a better return in terms of information for the organization.

Want to discuss your data transfert needs ? 

Contact an expert in geomatics for a free consultation !

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