How Do I Use GIS Data in AutoCAD?

Are you looking to use Geographic Information System (GIS) data in AutoCAD? If so, you’re in the right place!

In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of using GIS data in AutoCAD step by step. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced user, you’ll find this guide helpful.

What is GIS Data?

Before we dive into the details, let’s quickly understand what GIS data is. GIS data refers to geospatial data that contains information about specific locations on Earth’s surface. It includes various types of data such as maps, satellite images, aerial photographs, and more.

Importing GIS Data into AutoCAD

To use GIS data in AutoCAD, you need to import it into your drawing. Here’s how:

  1. Step 1: Open your drawing in AutoCAD.
  2. Step 2: Go to the “Insert” tab on the ribbon menu.
  3. Step 3: Click on the “Attach” button.
  4. Step 4: In the file dialog box, locate and select your GIS data file (common formats include Shapefile (.shp), GeoTIFF (.tiff), and KML (.kml)).
  5. Step 5: Click on the “Open” button to import the selected file into your drawing.

Tips for Importing GIS Data

If your GIS data doesn’t align correctly with your drawing or if you want to adjust its scale or rotation, here are some additional steps you can follow:

  • Tip 1: After importing the GIS data, type “GEOREFEDIT” in the command line and press Enter.
  • Tip 2: In the “Georeference Editor” dialog box, select the GIS data you want to modify.
  • Tip 3: Use the available options to adjust the position, scale, and rotation of the GIS data.
  • Tip 4: Click on “OK” to apply the changes.

Working with GIS Data in AutoCAD

Once you have imported your GIS data into AutoCAD, you can perform various operations on it. Here are a few examples:

Drawing Objects on Top of GIS Data

If you want to draw objects on top of your GIS data, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Select the desired layer for your new objects using the “Layer Properties Manager”.
  2. Step 2: Use AutoCAD’s drawing tools (lines, circles, polylines, etc.) to create your objects on top of the GIS data.

Annotating GIS Data

To add annotations or labels to your GIS data, use AutoCAD’s text tools. Here’s how:

  1. Step 1: Select the “Text” tool from the ribbon menu.
  2. Step 2: Click on the desired location within your drawing where you want to place the text.
  3. Step 3: Enter the text you want to display.
  4. Step 4: Customize the text properties (font, size, style, etc.) using the options available in the “Properties” panel.


Congratulations! You have learned how to import and work with GIS data in AutoCAD.

By following these steps, you can leverage GIS data to enhance your drawings and make them more geospatially accurate. Remember to explore additional tools and functionalities within AutoCAD to further refine and manipulate your GIS data.

Thank you for reading! We hope this tutorial has been helpful in expanding your knowledge of using GIS data in AutoCAD. Keep practicing and experimenting to unlock the full potential of these powerful tools!