Integrating CAD data in ArcGIS allows users to perform a variety of tasks on the data. For example, the common tasks that usually performed by users are, converting CAD data to feature class, creating polygons from CAD polylines, importing annotations, and using topology. The following describes some of the best practices when working with CAD data in ArcMap 10.x in different scenarios.
Converting CAD data to feature class
ArcGIS reads geometry types. To convert the drawings faster, the conversion process must be performed with geometry type layers. Use the CAD to Geodatabase tool to convert CAD data to feature class and run the Check Geometry and Repair Geometry tool to fix geometry related issues. Depending on the user’s needs, the feature class can be exported to a shapefile by right-clicking the feature layer in the Table Of Contents > Data > Export Data.
For more information on how to import CAD data to ArcMap using the CAD to Geodatabase tool, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: CAD to Geodatabase
For more information on adding AutoCAD or MicroStation datasets to a map document, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Adding CAD data to a map
Creating polygons from CAD polylines
After importing CAD data to ArcMap, use either the Copy Feature or Feature Class to Feature Class tool to create a copy of the feature class to solve the problems caused during the import process. Although, the Feature Class to Feature Class tool is preferred over the Copy Features tool as it includes a query parameter that is useful in filtering the CAD data to convert. Use the Feature to Polygon tool to generate polygons from the CAD polylines.
For more information on how to use the Feature to Polygon tool, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Feature to Polygon
For more information on how to create polygons from CAD data in more complex scenarios, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Strategies for loading CAD data
To load the CAD annotations to ArcMap, browse to the file instead of dragging and dropping the file to the map. This is because the CAD dataset is a combination of different files, dragging the entire CAD dataset causes ArcMap to read the data as a foreign file. Use the Import CAD Annotation tool to convert a collection of CAD annotation features to geodatabase annotation. For more information on how to use the tool, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Import CAD Annotation
The Import CAD Annotation tool is available with all ArcGIS for Desktop licenses but some of the optional parameters require ArcGIS for Desktop Standard or Advanced license.
Topology enables the geodatabase to more accurately model geometric relationships. Poorly created CAD data may contain overshoots and undershoots that make the data unusable for creating a valid topology. Use editing tools such as Extend Line, Snap, and Trim Line to resolve the overshoot and undershoot issues, then create a topology by using the Create Topology tool. This tool is available with an ArcGIS for Desktop Standard or Advanced license.
For more information on how to use the Create Topology tool, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Create Topology
To understand more about topology rules, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help page: Geodatabase topology rules and topology error fixes