Autodesk Civil 3D – Adding GIS Data using ArcGIS Online

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by David Crowther



How do you add GIS data into Autodesk Civil 3D?


As a ‘Geographer in CAD World’  I have spent a lot of my time at Cadline looking to better integrate the CAD and GIS world, so it’s a great question to want to know how best to add GIS data into Autodesk Civils.

The answer really depends on where your GIS data is stored?

Is it in an Open Source GeoSpatial environment e.g. a PostGIS database? And as WMS Layers in GeoServer? If yes then I would recommend the following blog as a starting point to learn how to access GIS data in Civils, Map3D etc…

However if your GIS data is stored in an ESRI ArcGIS Online environment, then these two blogs below are just for you…

This blog details how to use the ArcGIS for AutoCAD Plugin within any Autodesk product e.g. CAD, Map3D and Civil 3D to then allow you to connect to your ESRI ArcGIS Online Account.

This blog provides full details of the integration below CAD and GIS using ArcGIS Online Services.

In this example we may want to access the GIS datasets from our ArcGIS Online account within an Autodesk Civil 3D project.

To do this, simply load Autodesk Civil 3D and from the HOME Ribbon choose the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS button.


You will then be asked to login to your ESRI ArcGIS Online Account:



Once you have logged into ArcGIS Online the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS window will open:


Firstly, in the Search box type the location you where you are working, in this example we are in Shrewsbury UK. Now draw an Area Of Interest around that location and the relevant CONTENT will be shown on the left.


Choose to add GIS data either from the ESRI Living Atlas (Public shared data) or from your own data store (My Content). Here we have chosen to add the Planning Apps layer:


Having selected the GIS layer to add, choose the button - Add to my design project - and the layer is added into the Civil 3D map canvas and listed in the Layer Contents window:


You can now view and edit this GIS data layer and then synchronise changes back to the ArcGIS Online Data Store so all other projects and applications e.g. InfraWorks using the same data are also updated.

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