Paper Map to the rescue

Recently, on a road trip from my home in Guelph, I headed out on a road trip to Princeton New Jersey.

I was using Google Maps on my phone, but the power drained in my Moto G despite being plugged in.

I was map-less!

So, in the middle of Pennsylvania I stopped at the first gas station, no maps.  Went another 50km – no maps at that gas station either.  5 stations later I finally found a map – really small scale of North Eastern States.

So from now on, when the lights go out, I am always going to have a paper version of the map.

Like the boyscout motto: “Be Prepared”


ESRI Personal GeoDatabase in AutoCAD Map 3D 2017

The ESRI Personal GeoDatabase is an Access Database that contains spatial data.  If you want to quickly view this data you can add the OSGEO FDO Provider for OGR.

First download the OGR Provider from

Copy the OGRProvider.dll into the C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2017\Map\bin\FDO\ folder.

Within the same folder, open the Providers.xml in Notepad.

Add the following XML code:

<DisplayName>OSGeo FDO Provider for OGR </DisplayName>
<Description>Read/write access to spatial and attribute data OGR </Description>

Next, create an ODBC connection to the Personal GeoDatabase .

In Control Panel > Administrative Tools > ODBC Data Source (64-bit)


Browse to the Access File and add a new ODBC Connection.


Finally, open AutoCAD  Map 3D 2017.

In the Display Manager, click Data > Connect to Data.

Choose Add OGR Connection.

For Connection Name, enter: OGR_<whatever you want>

For Data Source, enter: PGeo:<whatever you named the odbc>


Click Connect.


Check the OGRSchema and click Add to Map.  All the data from within the Personal Geodatabase will be rendered in AutoCAD Map 3D.


Since you now have OGR installed, all you have to do for each Personal Geodatabase is to create an ODBC link for each one.

For those who want to use this same Florida Personal Geodatabase, you can download it from:



have fun!






ArcGIS Rest (MapServer) in MapGuide/Autodesk AIMS

Lately, there has been quite a lot of talk about inter-connectivity of various web-based GISs.  The quickest way to share is to ensure your web server is sharing data with WMS or WFS.

Unfortunately most organizations do not do this.

So I wanted to consume ArcGIS Server Rest services within Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server 2016 (aka MapGuide).  There is no FDO Provider for ArcGIS Rest (not yet anyway – great wishlist item!)

Using the default Sheboygan map data that comes with AIMS/MapGuide I figured I would drop the Soil Map from ArcGIS Online.


First, we will use the Flexible Web Layout (Fusion) version of AIMS/MapGuide because it uses OpenLayers 2.13

I will use the SLATE template, so first I have to add ArcGIS Rest functionality to OpenLayers.

You will have to download the arcgisrest.js file and copy it to your folder:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk Infrastructure Web Server Extension 2016\www\fusion\templates\mapguide\slate\

(I am using SLATE for this demo)

In the index.html file in the slate folder, add the following line to attach the arcgisrest.js you downloaded.

< script type="text/javascript" src="arcgisrest.js"></script>

Next we will create a js file called mc_arcgisrest.js that we will attach to the index.html page too.

< script type="text/javascript" src="mg_arcgisrest.js"></script>

The following code will give us a function that will toggle the layer from arcgis server on and off in the current layout:

var loadTimer;
var esriMapService;
var arcrestIsOn=false;

function showArcRestData(arcgisRestURL)
var watch = function() {
try {
var mapWidgetId = ‘Map’;
var mapWidget = Fusion.getWidgetById(mapWidgetId);
if (mapWidget && mapWidget.isMapLoaded() && mapWidget.isBusy() == false)
var OL=OpenLayers;
if(arcrestIsOn == false)
esriMapService = new OL.Layer.ArcGIS93Rest(“ArcGIS Dynamic MapService”, arcgisRestURL + “/export”, {
srs: “EPSG:3857”,
BBOXSR: “3857”,
IMAGESR: “3857”
mapWidget.oMapOL.projection=new OL.Projection(“EPSG:3857”);
mapWidget.oMapOL.displayProjection=new OL.Projection(“EPSG:3857”);

catch(e) {
loadTimer = setInterval(watch, 500);

So now you have two js files you add to your index.html page in the SLATE template (I usually put them under the fusionSF.js link:

< script type="text/javascript" src="../../../lib/fusionSF.js"></script>
< script type="text/javascript" src="arcgisrest.js"></script>
< script type="text/javascript" src="mg_arcgisrest.js"></script>

Finally, add a button in your menubar in Autodesk Infrastructure Studio.  I am using the existing Slate Flexible Layout at: Library://Samples/Sheboygan/FlexibleLayouts/Slate.ApplicationDefinition

In the Toolbar (Main Menu) create a new Invoke Script.


Notice the script calls:


Once you add that, click “View In Browser” and try the button.



Now you can add any MapServer Rest Service to your MapGuide/AIMS map.



Oracle Spatial Extension in AutoCAD Map 3D dead and gone

The Oracle Spatial Extension was a tool that enabled AutoCAD Map 3D to push your DWG directly in Oracle.  Your Block Definitions, Block Attributes, Object Data and Link Templates were all maintained in Oracle and you could round trip back and forth from Oracle to DWG and back again with a READ/WRITE button.


This extension was added in AutoCAD Map 2000- but only for 32bit.
Those days are past, although if you install 32bit version of AutoCAD Map 3D 2015 you might still get it to run.

Yet I doubt you’ve been able to buy a 32bit computer in any store in the past 5 years.

I talk about it in detail in my AUGI post here:   https://www.augi.com/library/highs-and-lows-of-moving-dwg-into-a-database

Luckily there is FDO (Feature Data Objects).  This is a generic data connection tool found in products such as AutoCAD Map 3D, InfraWorks, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server AND MapGuide.

You can connect to more than just Oracle such as SDF, SHP, SQL Server Spatial, ArcSDE, and almost anything that Safe Software’s FME can connect to with the FDO Provider for FME (http://www.safe.com/solutions/for-applications/autodesk/autodesk-autocad-map-3d/fme-fdo-provider/)

Now there are a few organizations out there that still store their data in OSE (ask them and they don’t want to move since the DWG round tripping to Oracle and back is so seamless).  But, now we are in the 64bit world, we may have to move forward.

In this document that I wrote for Autodesk a number of years ago, I talk about moving from Oracle OSE to FDO using AutoCAD Map 3D.  The information is still relevant for all those OSE users:

Moving from OSE to FDO with AutoCAD Map 3D

Although the document moves OSE data to Oracle, there is no reason you can’t move OSE data from Oracle to any FDO data source.  I have recently used this technique to move OSE data in Oracle to SQL Server Spatial 2012.


Some Of My Courses Available at Lynda.com


AutoCAD Map 3D with SQL Server Spatial

MapGuide Open Source


Pre-work for Autodesk University 2014 – Life of a Building Footprint

After arriving in Las Vegas today for the beginning of Autodesk University 2014, I have been reviewing my presentation.

This class touches on the following products:

  1. AutoCAD Map 3D
  2. Autodesk Raster Design
  3. Autodesk InfraWorks 360
  4. SketchUp
  5. Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server
  6. MapGuide Maestro
  7. Google Earth
  8. mapguide-rest project
  9. Cesium

All this in 90 minutes.

It’s a lot to cover, but it is some of the tools we need to publish data to the web.

There should be a lot more GIS-y things at AU, but AutoCAD Map 3D and Infrastructure Map Server have not had many big functionality increases over the past few years, so they don’t get much press.  They still are used by thousands of users everyday, but the tools you use every day are not considered “sexy”.

Hopefully there will be some big leaps in the products soon  –  like integration with Cesium – or seamless round tripping from DWG to FDO and back (using block rotations, object data, etc) – this was done extremely well with an old Oracle Spatial Extension but doesn’t work with 64bit now.

Fingers crossed.



Autodesk MapGuide 6.5 Retired But Still Downloadable

Here are the links to download MapGuide 6.5 Service Pack 1 (for now):

MapGuide ActiveX Control

MapGuide Author 6.5

MapGuide Server 6.5

MapGuide SDF Loader 6.5

MapGuide Raster Workshop 6.5

MapGuide Dynamic Authoring Toolkit 6.5

MapGuide Component Toolkit 6.5


Use at own risk as these products are no longer supported!  I have been continuing to consult with people to help move them to Autodesk Infrastructure Map Server 2014 or MapGuide Open Source – let me know if you need help migrating.