What’s New in Civil 3D 2020.1? BIM & GIS Integration!

Our partnership with Esri continues to develop, enabling more streamlined flow of data between design tools and GIS.  Now, the integration of BIM and GIS has come to Civil 3D!

Autodesk® Civil 3D® continues to deliver improvements to design, performance and collaboration efficiencies, enhancing BIM design workflows for larger, more complex infrastructure projects.  With this latest release – Civil 3D 2020.1 – we are extremely excited to introduce the Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS in Civil 3D, allowing you to directly to connect to the GIS data you need in Esri’s ArcGIS Online.


“I’m really looking forward to the Connector for ArcGIS integrations with Civil 3D. Currently, a significant portion of our project setup is used to gather and georeference a variety of available data. This will greatly streamline the effort.”
– Rafael Rodriguez, Cobb Fendley


The Connector for ArcGIS integrated BIM & GIS by enabling you to bring ArcGIS data layers that contains points, lines, polygons, feature lines, gravity pipes, parcels, or structures directly into your Civil 3D drawings.  When you bring in each layer, you can specify what type of Civil 3D object to create.  This helps you more efficiently generate the existing conditions for your specific area of interest.

Now that you have brought GIS data from ArcGIS directly into a Civil 3D drawing, you can make changes to that data in Civil 3D and use the Save Back option in the Data Source Manager to update ArcGIS with your changes.  Because the Connector for ArcGIS maintains a live link to ArcGIS Online, this helps ensure that consistency is maintained between what is being designed and what is in the GIS.

With the Connector for ArcGIS in Civil 3D, not only can you Save Back to ArcGIS, you can also Publish Civil 3D objects to ArcGIS, including: alignments, feature lines, parcels, pipe networks, and points. Why would you want to do this?  With the ability to Publish to ArcGIS, as you go through design process and reviews, you can create new features that are needed for your project and update those back into ArcGIS directly.  This helps ensure that not only existing conditions data is up to date, but all stages of the project data is up to date and can be accessed by all stakeholders.

You can also connect to ArcGIS in order to bring in data to create gravity pipes and structures.  To do so, you will need to first set schema mapping settings in order to map the specified ArcGIS attributes to Civil 3D properties.  Bringing in data to create gravity pipes and structures in this manners helps eliminate errors and saves time.


“We often need to overlay floodplains, wetlands, parcel lines, and easement lines.  A lot of this information only comes from our environmental department and might have taken a day or two to obtain.  Now, it is easily accessible to us, at a moment’s notice, using the Connector.”
– John Mayo, licensed professional engineer and Autodesk Civil 3d Expert Elite member


Last, but not the least, the Export to FGDB command enables you to export specific Civil 3D objects – alignments, feature lines, parcels, pipe networks, and points – to a file geodatabase that can be used in ArcGIS or other application.

But wait, there’s more…

While we’ve focused on BIM & GIS integration capabilities, here are a couple of other new features in Civil 3D 2020.1.

To better manage standards, you can now use enhanced reference template features to manage styles and settings.

And, for rail projects, you can now create dynamic 3D polylines or feature lines from a rail alignment that represent the left, center, and right rail lines.

Learn more about Civil 3D by visiting the Civil 3D product center.

Interested in discovering more about BIM & GIS?

Visit our website or go to the Autodesk Infrastructure YouTube channel and get your hands on videos about integrating GIS with design and other technical videos on Civil 3D, as well as BIM for Infrastructure workflows that shows how you can can extend your design processes with the other tools available in the Autodesk AEC Collection.

You may also be interested in learning more about Esri’s ArcGIS Online and Esri offerings to bring together location intelligence and design.

If you’re not a user yet, you may want to give Civil 3D a try or go ahead and subscribe today.