Putting your Revit and AutoCAD models on the map - how Infraworks adds context

We often get asked how to put Maps into Revit or AutoCAD. And our reply is always the same… “Do you really want to do that?”. And the response we get is always the same… “Yes!”

Have a think about it for a moment. What you are actually wanting to do is to place your model in context. Rather than complicating matters, and trying a thousand different ways to get a Google map, a Bing map or Ordnance Survey mapping data into AutoCAD or Revit, why don’t you simply put your model into a Map?

If you have the AEC collection, or the Building Design Suite Ultimate, or the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium (or Ultimate) you already have the tools to do exactly that, with Autodesk InfraWorks. Of course, everyone can use Infraworks on a project - just ask our team at Graitec how you can purchase it. There’s lots of options available and none of them will break the budget.

Infraworks is actually easier to work with than the well-established AutoCAD Map 3D product. In just 2 or 3 minutes you can place your design on a map in 3D, using either free or purchased data from a host of mapping organisations such as Bing Maps, Ordnance Survey, Open Street map or others.

It is as easy as drag and drop… Our video demonstrates these powerful capabilities:

For clarity, I’ve removed the setting boxes from the video, but these are easier than AutoCAD Map too.

Firstly, if you’re using vector mapping data, in AutoCAD Map 3D it uses pallet files to style the data. Not only do you have to make a pallet file to suit your data, it also means that the data has to be structured the same, with the same features types every time. You can’t necessarily run the style manager on two different pieces of data and expect the same result.

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Although it’s quite easy, it’s certainly not intuitive and requires a text file created, with the correct RGB codes in the correct order for each feature type, and this pallet file placing in the correct place in the Program Files for AutoCAD. Also, it can’t handle AND queries. For example, Description = ‘General Surface’ AND Make = ‘Manmade’. Now, here is not the place to teach you all that, so just contact us if you want any help on this, which you can do directly from the end of the blog.

In Infraworks you can create the styles using queries. This means that it will work on every data, every time regardless of its structure and feature content. You can also save the style and use it on every project.

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The result makes styling your data as easy as 1,2,3. Just drag and drop your data, set the rule style data and run the rules:

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And then you have a 3D map in seconds, ready for placing your design in context…

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InfraWorks is part of the Autodesk AEC Collection alongside a range of great complementary products. For any queries you have related to this blog or to broader issues, please send us a message:

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