INTEGRATION OF CAD AND GIS
The integration of GIS and computer-aided design/drafting (CAD) have operated as largely separate types of software, where CAD is used by the design, engineering, and architecture communities, although spatial relationships and components are often critical for this software.
An example of a truly integrated system, where CAD components and software concepts work with GIS data and structure is AutoCAD Map 3D. File structures in CAD, such as DWG files that store design data, can interoperate with GIS files, such as SHP files. Raster data, such as GIS data created from satellite imagery, including DEM files, are used to create realistic terrain for CAD designed structures. Other commercial software includes Esri’s AutoCAD plug-in, which can allow AutoCAD, a common CAD tool, users to directly use GIS files without having to leave their CAD environment.
With increased interoperability, standards have now been created to facilitate use of each software seamlessly. For instance, one issue that arises is one creates or designs a crane. If that crane is placed in a location that might have unstable terrain or could create a problem based on information with a GIS, then that information needs to be sent and indicated seamlessly without the user having to have too much input.