Map Books Part 1


Having trouble creating or understanding the Map Book functions in Map 3D? The documentation in the help files is a little lacking and the tutorial for it is nice but it does not explain what each step is, so in the next few posts I’ll try to explain each step a little better.

First what is a map book? Well it’s taking a large map and creating tiles or breaking it down into smaller maps. Now these smaller maps or tiles can be plotted to paper for a book that field crews can take out in the field or you can create a multi-page DWF that anyone can view with the DWF viewer.  I like to think that in order to create a map book there are two key things you need to start with, the map you want to use for the book and a template file. There is a need to do a little preplanning before you jump right into creating a map book, you need to know what scale you want the tiles to be, what to include in each tile, and what size the tiles will be plotted at.

Let’s take a look at the dialog box for creating a map book. The left hand side to start with anyways.




Like a lot of the dialog boxes in Map 3D what you click on in the left determines what is displayed on the right side of the dialog. The seven topics (Source, Sheet Template, Tiling Schema, etc.) or “NODES” as Autodesk is calling them allow you to make changes from one to the next and back again if you need to change something or want to view what the value is for that node.

So starting with the first node it wants you to tell it what you want to create the map book from. The choices are Map Display or Model Space. Now if you have not gotten into using the Map Display  in Map 3D that’s fine but what it does is allow you to connect to other formats of GIS data, set scale thresholds of the current map or create new maps from the current drawing along with a few other neat things. Now one thing I want to point out is “LAYERS” in Map 3D there are two types of LAYERS. First the standard AutoCAD layer or what we now call the “Drawing Layer” then there is the “Map Layer”. The Map Layer is what contains the objects you display in the display manager, or for the ESRI users it is the TOC (Table of Contents). Both of these can play a role in the map book creation. If you want to attach drawings and query in the objects from them, keeping everything in model space you can or if you want to use Data Connect and built you map from a geospatial database with feature displayed or style a certain way you can do that as well or even create a hybrid of both the choice is yours.

So now that you have created the map the next step is creating a Sheet Template.  I will cover this in Part 2 so check back in a few days.




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