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Mash up Autocad Drawing with Google Map

Every real estate development project has an AutoCAD drawing, so basically there are AutoCAD drawings about almost everywhere around us. Those drawings are off-line contents sitting there waiting for somebody to take them online just like books from library waiting for Google to scan them. Imagine when every real estate developer can bring their own AutoCAD drawings online, the map will be enriched with a massive data that never seen before.

Utilizing Mapguide Open Source 2010 and Openlayers we are able to mash up AutoCAD drawings with Google map and other commercial online map providers. Examples can be found on http://www.qhoach.com (the server is in Vietnam so it might be slow when accessed from the US). The process is pretty straight forward: real estate developers hand the drawings, we collect GPS file for base points, then adjust the drawings into geospatial coordinate system to match the base points. The final step is to prepare the tiles, which requires plenty of processing power .

While the concept can be easily understood, there is a lots of bugs in the current beta version of Mapguide OS 2010, so that a lots of tweaks are required when processing an AutoCAD drawing. After the drawing is brought online, the developer can embed it to their websites to demonstrate their projects. They may use it as a base map for other applications such as parcels management, floors management, etc.

This “AutoCAD mash up with Google map” is actually a form of “future map” that we are missing. Google map offers us free use of road and satellite maps, but they are pretty much at the current state. An AutoCAD drawing of a real estate project is the future snapshot of an area. When the process of bringing a drawing online is streamlined in a DIY fashion, a lots of developers will use it and collectively create a new “future” layer on the current map.

Photo of Ngwin Le Khoi

Ngwin Le Khoi


Ivan is the founder of SilkCoast International, a software company specialized in GIS and SCM products for US and Vietnam markets, at the same time he is also the CTO of 16 Mile Solutions (www.16milesolutions.com). Prior to his career at SilkCoast, he worked at BlueKey Services (www.bluekeyservices.com) as a software project manager.

Ivan also served as a board member of International Medical Initiatives Corporation (www.imi-corp.net), which provides informatics technology in health care. Prior to that he worked at DIcentral (www.dicentral.com) as a lead software engineer.

Ivan got his Master’s Degree in Management of Information System from University of Houston Clear Lake in 2003.