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Support for Exchanging Non-Geospatial Datasets

Support for Exchanging Non-Geospatial Datasets

The process for importing and interacting with content from non-geospatial applications (single precision) such as 3ds max, Maya, Revit, Sketchup, FormIT, and others, is extremely complicated, imprecise, and, well, a pain in the back side. This process requires a set of tools with which to establish a common reference point between a local coordinate system and an established geospatial coordinate system. It is also important to utilize the appropriate mathematical models in both horizontal and vertical geospatial spaces for translating between local and geospatial systems, not just a straight linear translation (the Earth, after all is a spheroid and not a flat surface).


Therefore, I propose the creation of a geospatial translation tool, to help users establish custom coordinate re-projections from local to geospatial coordinate systems and facilitate the interop between these geospatial and non-geospatial applications.


This tool should provide the following options:


 1.  A Bing maps driven interface similar to Model Builder in InfraWorks or the Geolocation Tool in Autocad and Civil 3D, where the user can observe an aerial of the specified location down to the highest resolution

2.  Ability to overlay geospatial vector files such as SHP, DWG and DGN files for reference.

3.  Ability to overlay geospatial raster files such as JPEG2000 and GeoTIFF where custom higher resolution files are necessary for reference.

4.  The ability to place a reference point into the viewer interface with a high degree of accuracy. This tool should allow for snapping to vector elements and for manually typing x, y values down to the 4th decimal position. I would also recommend a method to establish a false north orientation similar to Revit.

5.  This tool should allow the user to create these custom coordinate systems and share them via the cloud for other users. These should be a simple XML based file which is interpreted by 3ds max, Maya, Revit or other Autodesk applications and used to appropriately translate from local to geospatial coordinates and back. This would help to facilitate the File Link workflow in 3ds max more effectively. There should also be an option to generate an industry standard PRJ file for seamless integration with 3rd party applications from ESRI, Bentley, etc.

6.  This tools should also be able to create a DWG file reoriented to the custom coordinate system. This DWG would serve as a template for users of non-geospatial applications, with which to create their content. The custom reference point, established in the geospatial translation tool, would be located in the 0,0 x,y location and would contain a bounding area representing the bounding area of the geospatial/CAD model. Any false north rotational information would be included as well, if established in the translation tool.

7.  I would recommend this tool be created as a web based tool, to ensure support for MULTIPLE Autodesk applications. This could be offered as part of the subscription benefit or a credits based feature.


This tool would be ideal for 3ds max, Maya, Revit, FormIT, Inventor, Fusion, Alias, Remake and other non-geospatial Autodesk applications. This would also be very helpful in facilitating better interoperability between applications outside the Autodesk software stables, such as Sketchup, Rhino, Sketchfab, etc. As such I would recommend Autodesk consider this as a standalone tool or service, perhaps bundled with an application or bundle.


This is a variation of what I posted to the InfraWorks Idea area, but focused more towards 3ds max and a design visualization workflow.






Status changed to: Future Consideration
Community Manager
Status changed to: Under Review

If I might make a suggestion. Please have people from several of the product groups propose this feature to upper management, as this would have a greater impact. I feel this "feature" should be a shared product line, which is part of a collection, similar to what we already have with ReCap. In fact, with the recent announcement of collaboration with ESRI, it seems an ideal opportunity to use some of that GIS brainpower to combine with the Autodesk software talent to come up a companion product. I would envision this as a web-based tool as opposed to a standalone product, and tied into BIM360 or A360/Drive. This is not a product for just InfraWorks or 3ds max, it is for anything that works with geospatial aware applications. 


Maproom for 3dsMax might be what you're looking for here:

Full disclosure: I'm the developer.

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