Map Commands Are Still in Civil 3D…………Or Are They?


For several years now, Civil 3D users have been able to access Map 3D commands from within Civil 3D. This is nothing new to most people, but there are still many who have not utilized these commands. Things like drawing cleanup and the ability to allow multi-user access and editing through the use of source drawings are just a couple of Map “goodies” that any discipline could take advantage of. That’s all good stuff. But recently, I was instructing a complete Map 3D Essentials class using Civil 3D and I discovered something I did not realize until this class; some of the Map functions just do not work in Civil 3D 2012! The buttons are there on the ribbon, but the commands come up as unknown commands! Thinking that it was an issue on my machine, we checked several of our machines in the class and all of them behaved the same!

So specifically, which commands do not work? Glad you asked. First, in no particular order, is the “maptoacad” command, which is supposed to allow the user to save the current map to a .dwg file for vanilla AutoCAD users. Below is that tool on the ribbon, in the “planning and analysis” workspace, in Civil 3D 2012.

Map to AutoCAD

Map to AutoCAD

Why is this so important? A simple save of a drawing with Map objects in them will not provide the user with all the detail of the Map going out into the export. Map objects, especially those brought in via FDO (feature data objects for those whom have never heard of it) have alot of detail and thematic styling that will simply be lost.

The next set of commands I discovered did not work are the Map inquiry commands as seen below.

Map Inquiry

Map Inquiry

Now, truth be told, these commands do have their counter-parts on the Civil 3D default workspace, but it is still frustrating that you have to change workspaces to get to commands that work. I guess, I could always go into the cui and customize it, but I was expecting since the commands are there on the ribbon that they would work. Still plenty of great functionality exists, and really, the only real absence is the “acadtomap” command not working. Oh well. I wonder how many people out there have discovered these things?

Civil Infrastructure software is my main professional interest. Civil 3D, Infraworks, and Recap are what I work with mostly. I have been with CADsoft Consulting for over 10 years now. I got my start using Softdesk and AutoCAD R12 in DOS. My wife and I have four children and I am a die hard Red Sox fan.