AutoCAD® Map 3D software provides direct access to data needed for infrastructure planning, design, and management activities. AutoCAD Map 3D helps engineers, planners, surveyors, and GIS professionals working on transportation, land development, water, and power projects to create better designs, enhance productivity, and improve data quality. AutoCAD Map 3D enables users to more easily aggregate cadastral, utility, topographic, environmental, image, LIDAR, and asset data; better visualize and evaluate existing conditions; improve decision making by performing corridor, network, and site analysis; and exchange information with government agencies, utilities, and contractors in both CAD and GIS data formats.

In case you have not heard, the newest version of AutoCAD MAP 3D has been released. By now all subscription members should have it available for download from their subscription site. For those that have not or have not had a chance to install and dig around with it I will show a few of new features.

The Grid and Graticules feature allows you to create a grid references system in paper space. It uses the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) and updates as the model space changes.

You need to assign a coordinate system to your map before using it but once you create the grid you can edit the labels, they are plain mtext objects so if you need to use large text for certain labels you can. The grid also works with map books to use it just create the grid in your map book layout template file.

Speaking of grids and coordinate systems the new version of Map 3D now allows you to track coordinates in multiple coordinates systems. So your map can be in State Plane and you can see what a point or location is in Lat/Lon or any other coordinate system to include the MGRS.

For those that installed the Subscription Advantage Packs for 2010 you know about the LiDAR features. They in 2011 and work the same way as before. The only differences the commands are now on the insert tab of the ribbon. Once you create an index you can add the point cloud to create a surface or filter by classification.

The other thing that is new to AutoCAD MAP 3D are the FDO Providers for SQLite and POSTgreSQL databases. Both of those database are free open source and work great for the users wanting to get into data stores and spatial databases.

Now for power users of Map3D the Workflow Designer has more activities to add to your workflows. When it was introduced last year it had limited activities now there a good number to select from to include standard AutoCAD commands that means you can now use lisp routines as part of the workflows. If you can type the command on the command line then you can put it in your workflow.

So that’s the new stuff in AutoCAD MAP 3D and you may of seen them already, BUT……… what about some standard AutoCAD core features. Things we can use in Map3D. How often have you wanted to create some parcel maps and have an image under them. You always had to leave the polygons unhatched or use some dots hatch patterns then scale the dots up to appear as transparent or you used FDO. Now anymore, you now have a transparency control for layers and hatch. So if you want to work with standard AutoCAD polygons to theme on your data you now have the same features that FDO stylization does.

The Before Look

The after look

You also have an option to set a background color to any hatch that is not solid. Now the one thing is the Map Polygon (mpolygon) fill options do not have the same properties or allow a background color. Maybe next year we will have that. Just beware the hatch interface is all on the ribbon now. You can open up the hatch dialog by entering Ton the command line but once you get used to the new interface you may not want to waste the real estate for the big bulky dialog. Give it a few test runs and see how you like it. The other AutoCAD feature we now have is the select similar command. Now using that you need to type in the command “SELECTSIMILAR” unless someone else finds it on the ribbon or add the command to one of your existing ribbon panels.

As time goes by I’ll blog a little more on each new feature but that’s the run down on the new 2011 version of AutoCAD MAP 3D.

32-Bit AutoCAD Map 3D 2011
Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise; Microsoft® Windows Vista® Enterprise, Business, or Ultimate (SP1 or later); or Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional (SP2 or later)
Windows 7 or Vista processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon™ dual-core processor, 3.0 GHz or higher with SSE2 technology
Windows XP processor: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon dual-core processor, 1.6 GHz or higher with SSE2 technology
1,280 x 768 with true color (1,280 x 1,024 32-bit with true color recommended)
3 GB free disk space for DVD installation or 6 GB free disk space for download installation
Microsoft® Internet Explorer® 7.0 or later
DVD drive
Citrix® XenApp™ 4.5 or 5.0 (optional)
Feature Data Objects (FDO) Version 3.5 (optional)
64-Bit AutoCAD Map 3D 2011
Note: AutoCAD Map 3D 64-bit cannot be installed on a 32-bit Windows operating system.

* For graphics cards that support hardware acceleration, DirectX 9.0c or later must be installed.
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