Convert a feature class to a DGN with Shared Cells

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to convert a feature class into a DGN with Shared Cells based on an attribute in the feature class.


Import the feature classes that are to be converted into a new File Geodatabase, as the entire geodatabase is set as the input for the conversion.

  1. Start ArcCatalog and navigate to Tools > Extensions. Make sure that the Data Interoperability extension is checked. Click OK.
  2. Right-click on the ArcToolbox icon in ArcToolbox and select New Toolbox. Name the toolbox 'DGNwithCells' (without quotes). Right-click on the new toolbox DGNwithCells and navigate to New > Spatial ETL tool.
  3. In the Spatial ETL Wizard, click the ellipsis button to launch the Formats Gallery. Select 'ESRI Geodatabase (File-Based)'. Click OK. Click Next. Navigate to the file geodatabase containing the feature classes to be converted. Click Next.
  4. In the Select Destination Format, click the ellipsis button to launch the Formats Gallery. Select MicroStation Design. Click OK. Click Next.
  5. In the Destination Settings, click Settings. Click the ellipsis next to Cell Library and navigate to C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Data Interoperability Extension\design\default.cel.

    Browse and enter a custom .cel, if desired.

    Click Open. Click OK. Click Next. Click Finish.
  6. This opens the Spatial ETL workspace. In the Table of Contents on the left, click the unnamed destination database.
    [O-Image] Destination database
    Expand the Parameters and then click Destination Design File. Click the ellipsis next to the Destination Design File and navigate to the desired DGN output location. Name it with a .dgn file extension.
  7. In the Spatial ETL Workspace, click the Gallery tab at the bottom of the Table of Contents on the left. In the search box, enter 'AttributeFilter' (without quotes). Select the AttributeFilter transformer from the gallery and drag it into the workspace.
  8. Delete the connection between the Source and Destination in the Spatial ETL tool. Connect the yellow arrow on the right side of the source to the red arrow of the input of the Attribute filter transformer.
    [O-Image] Example of Connection Setup
  9. Click the red button on the AttributeFilter transformer to open the Properties dialog box for the transformer.
  10. In the transformer parameters, click the 'Attribute to filter by' drop-down list and select the field to base the Shared Cells on. Click Import. Make sure that the correct source dataset is the default. Click Next three times. Click Finish. The Properties are now populated with all of the possible attributes in the field. Click OK.
  11. Click the ellipsis on the destination to open the Properties dialog box. Click the Format Attributes tab. Check the Exposed boxes for igds_cell_name, igds_cell_size, igds_color, and igds_type. Click OK.
  12. In the Gallery tab of the Table of Contents on the left, enter 'AttributeCreator' (without quotes) into the Search. Drag the AttributeCreator transformer into the workspace.
  13. Click the Properties of the AttributeCreator. Enter the following (without quotes). They are case sensitive:
    · 'igds_cell_size' into the first attribute line.
    · 'igds_color' into the second attribute line.
    · 'igds_cell_name' into the third attribute line.
    [O-Image] AttributeCreator Properties
  14. Determine the color and size for each cell. Enter in a cell size next to igds_cell_size, for example, 400. Enter in a color number next to igds_color, for example, 2. Enter in a name for the cell.

    Keep in mind that this cell must exist in the cell library file (.cel) or it will create an empty output.

    If using the default.cel, enter 'STRLIT' (without quotes). Click OK.
  15. Right-click the AttributeCreator and select Duplicate. Create a copy of the AttributeCreator for each unique cell from the attributes in the AttributeFilter.
  16. Click the properties of each of the AttributeCreator transformers and enter in their unique size, color, and name.
  17. Connect the yellow arrow from each attribute in the AttributeFilter to the Input arrow of its own AttributeCreator.
  18. Connect all of the yellow arrows for the outputs of the AttributeCreator transformers to the single destination input arrow. Click the plus sign (+) on the destination to verify that igds_cell_size, igds_color, and igds_cell_name are all green, and the rest of the properties are red.
    [O-Image] Layout after connecting multiple AttributeCreators to Destination
  19. In the destination, right-click igds_type and select Set Constant Value. Enter 'igds_cell' (without quotes); this is case sensitive.
    [O-Image] Full model
  20. Navigate to File > Save. Click Run.

Article ID:000010081

  • ArcMap 9 x

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