Import ArcGIS in to Revit

15 Jun

Saw a google search for importing GIS files in to revit. The way I move between GIS and CAD, because I don’t have ArcGIS, is using Autodesk Civil 3D. Civil includes Autodesk Map. You can simply go to the map menu and import. Select the SHP file, then export as AutoCAD. You can also draft and export a CAD file to SHPusing the same menus.

I am pretty sure that there is a toolbox in ArcGIS that will export a SHP as CAD. May require the data interoperability extension.

Remember, Revit does not like files that cover an area greater than 20 miles or so. You may need to crop your SHP.


10 Responses to “Import ArcGIS in to Revit”

  1. cad drafting services August 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    good info. few days back I needed to get data from REVIT into ArcGIS. I used the this path working with one DXF file exported from REVIT. The resultant AutoCAD file contained 3D entities that ArcGIS doesn’t support (Polymeshes). However, exploding them with the AutoCAD EXPLODE command did create 3D Faces that are supported by ArcGIS. From REVIT I can also export data to a 3D Studio file (.3DS). I could have used ArcGIS at this point to bring the entire 3DS file in as single 3D symbol in ArcScene or ArcGlobe, but I wanted to get the individual building parts as separate multipatch features. I imported the .3DS file into plain AutoCAD, which generates 3D face entities directly, the type of 3D CAD entities ArcGIS does support as multipatch features. The resultant AutoCAD file could then be used in ArcGIS.

    • Megan Johnson September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      So I am assuming that Revit does not go into ArcGIS directly. This blog is the best information regarding this that I have found to date, and have followed you for some time. This lack of Revit functionality boggles me. Why would one go about setting up the Survey Point if it wasn’t totally interoperable with GIS technology?

      Is going thru AutoCad the only means of integrating Revit models with a GIS workflow?

      Thanks in advance,

      • paulcrickard September 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

        The best and simplest way I have found is to export Revit to IFC then import-requires the data interoperability extension. If GIS and Revit play nice, it will be because of GIS or through open data formats. Autodesk makes a GIS-Autodesk map, which is part of Civil 3D. So I don’t see them adding a shapefile or multipatch export any time soon.

  2. Megan Johnson September 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    What importance does Revit’s Survey Point location have with GIS?

    I am assuming quite a bit… I also have some embarrassingly simple questions regarding how to establish this point if it is as important as I currently believe it to be.

    And thank you again, in advance,

    • paulcrickard September 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      I played with all of this some time ago, but nobody at my architecture firm seemed interested and making GIS and Revit compatible. The short answer is that changing the point embeds real geographic data to the model making it loadable in GIS with accurate location.

      Now for my long answer:

      All the menus for selecting the model location – where you get a map and can pinpoint the model – do absolutely nothing but configure the sun settings. I spent forever playing with this and exporting the IFC after. When I open the IFC in notepad, no coordinates were saved.

      Revit only allowed 2 miles of drawing, now I think it is 20. So opening expansive GIS files – converted to CAD – in Revit is not allowed. Not too important, but good to know.

      You need to get the real world coordinates for the model in decimal degrees. In GIS you can open a shapefile and grab the coordinates. You can convert longitude and latitude to decimal degrees. You can import a shapefile to CAD/Civil and get the x,y coordinates of a site corner- this is the easiest. Then in Revit, set this point as the basepoint or survey point. when you export the Revit model and import it to GIS, it will project properly. Then from GIS you can export the IFC as a shapefile and select use current projection. This will create a shapefile and a projection file from the IFC.

      I think taking the 2 minutes to embed real coordinates in a model is valuable for sharing and later uses. Scaling a Google Earth image around your model is slacking. But it seems most Architects and surprisingly landscape architects, don’t know how to draw at anything other than 0,0. The just line stuff up manually instead of projecting everything in real world coordinates. Get a Revit model in GIS and you have a full Facility Management application. You made the model, why not sell it again as FM.

    • paulcrickard September 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

      I may have some of my files-revit in GIS, I will take a look. I could send you a GIS file in AutoCAD so you could see the coordinates.

  3. Megan Johnson September 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Ok. This is exciting! So I have what I have been told are the Eastings and Westings:

    Latitude: 11480398.188
    Longitude: 3899970.044

    Would these be the decimal degrees you are speaking of? If not, how do I convert them?

    My embarrassingly simple question is that I don’t know where to insert these into the Revit platform. Everything I see seems to be just for setting the sun as you stated- or to set the Survey Point I am supposed to enter Feet and Inches. Can you direct me as to what to do here?

    I would also enjoy getting the AutoCad file you mentioned. That would be great.

    Thank you again!

    • paulcrickard September 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Those are exactly what you need! I’m not at a computer so I will try to explain from memory.

      Go to the manage tab in Revit. Should be a coordinates button-think there are 3 options. You set those numbers there. I think it’s the set point. Click a point in the model and type them in.

      Other way is type VG- for visibility graphics-and I think under site, turn on the coordinates. Do looking at the model you have that 3D Cartesian plane-three lines coming out of the center point. You can click and enter values in that.

      Then when you export an IFC you will have real coordinated in the model. You are close, if you are still having trouble, let me know-you can email me at too.

      Hope this solves it. Good Luck!

      • Megan September 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

        Thank you Paul! I was working thru this over the weekend, and am moving forward. I will most likely email you soon, but I wanted to be sure to thank you for your time.


  4. revit architecture October 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    When I started using Revit some good years ago
    and since that time I are becoming an increasing number of a fan from it, is far more poweful a fast than AutoCAD.
    However there may be still a lrage benefit of individuals who stay using just
    AutoCAD and usually see the amount of better of your software Revit can be.

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