Note: This product is no longer available
Spatial News Review
Autodesk World 2.5
by: GeoCommunity Staff, Oct. 1999
This month, we've chosen to highlight Autodesk's fully functional GIS and Desktop Mapping Solution, Autodesk World Release 2.5
Minimum 486 DX with math co-processor
VGA monitor, minimum 600x800 resolution with 256 colors
Windows 95/98, NT 4.0x
16 MB RAM (32 recommended)
92 MB free disk space (compact install)
137 MB free disk space (typical install)
20 MB available space after install
What you get
Autodesk World CD ROM
Autodesk World Tutorial, 230 pp.
Autodesk Word user’s guide, 537 p.p.
Some of the limitations noted are:
128 MB drawing file size
1 GB database limit
255 attribute fields
Limited Time $695
About Autodesk World
Autodesk World Release 2.5 is Autodesk's solution to seamless GIS data access. World
brings Autodesk's GIS technology to your desktop in a familiar Windows/ MS Office
environment, enabling users to integrate, analyze, and display spatial data.
Using World, users can capture, edit, analyze, and present raster, vector, and attribute
data. The open architecture of World allows users to integrate GIS data from a variety of
popular data formats, including ARC/INFO, ArcView, Mapinfo, Intergraph, and others,
without having to conduct lengthy data conversion and translation routines. It's
truly an "open" system in that data can remain in their native format, users, however, do
have the option of saving data in World format or any number of popular data formats
including SHP, MIF, BNA, or DGN among others.
Data supported by World
World enables integrating of various data types, including numerous popular vector
drawing formats, raster images, OLE objects, and database formats. World is an
integrated GIS in that it enables users to simultaneously view these different data types.
Autodesk claims that World can read nearly any form of vector, raster, and attribute data
and it includes the Geographic Data Exchange (GDX) system, which uses specialized
drivers to exchange geographic information between different formats. World ships with
GDX drivers for most popular drawing formats, including AutoCAD DXF, Mapinfo
MIF, ArcView SHP, ESRI coverages, Atlas GIS, and Microstation DGN. Additional
GDX drivers can be written as required using a robust API.
World has full read/write support for AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD Map
2000 and it Contains the same Coordinate System Definition Tool now being used in
AutoCAD Map 2000. For users who need to publish and serve data on the web, World
provides the ability to export vector format data (and related attributes) directly to
Autodesk MapGuide R4.
The default drawing format for World is DWG, however, users can read or write data in
most popular drawing formats including MIF, SHP, DGN, BNA, and others. In addition
to popular vector formats, users can add raster files to a World session. World will read
24 different raster data formats and supports attribute data in numerous formats,
including, Dbase, Lotus, MS XLS, Foxpro, ODBC, ASCII text, and more. World is
totally customizable with a VB scripting environment, in addition, it supports multi-user
Users of World save their work as a file having an APF extension; this is known as a
World Project. A project is a collection of data sets, objects, macros, styles, and other
settings that define the environment in which the data is edited, viewed, and queried.
Saving work in a project file enables users to restore the working environment exactly as it
was when it was last saved. The World Project is essentially to World what the PRJ file
is to ArcView or the workspace (WOR) is to Mapinfo.
World uses the Microsoft Jet Engine database, or users are presented with an option of
storing data in other popular data formats, such as Oracle or Paradox. Those of you needing to
produce reports will be glad to find that Seagate’s Crystal Reports is included for report production.
For the new user
New users can expect to go through a very simple install procedure and, after a
successful installation, the user has 30 days to register the license and obtain an
authorization code from Autodesk.
Autodesk has apparently gone to great lengths to include a number of resources to help
the new user. Some of the educational resources available with World 2.5 include:
So what's new in Release 2.5
- A hard copy users' guide (537 pp.)
- Introductory Tutorial guide (230 pp.) with detailed sample exercises and real world
- Sample projects complete with spatial and attribute data
- An Introductory slide show and product demonstration
- Numerous on-line utilities at the Autodesk website, including white papers, technical
help, sample scripts and a World developers resource center.
The latest release of World (Release 2.5) includes the following new features:
Coordinate System Manager
What you can do with World
The Autodesk World coordinate system manager - The coordinate system manager
allows you to define or modify ellipsoid and datum information in a custom coordinate
system, and to add categories to list of categories of coordinate systems.
Export to Autodesk MapGuide® spatial datafiles(SDF)format
Autodesk World now supports the latest AutoCAD 2000 DWG and DXF formats. You
can open AutoCAD 2000® drawings in Autodesk World, as well as AutoCAD Release 12,
13 and 14 DWG’s and DXFS, and save them to AutoCAD 2000 or Release 14 formats.
You can also open and edit AutoCAD Map Release 3.0 and AutoCAD Map 2000, and
save them to AutoCAD Map 2000 format. The DWG drawing format is the same for
AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD Map 2000.
Improved AutoCAD Color Compatibility
Autodesk World now uses the same internal color palette as AutoCAD 2000 and the
other AutoCAD 2000- based software products. This change allows DWG files to appear
the same in Autodesk World as they do in AutoCAD 2000-based software products.
Improved Filled Area Features Redraw
Autodesk World 2.5 provides significant improvement of redraw speeds for filled area
features. All the Zoom commands are also affected by this improvement.
Upgraded Database Functionality
World now supports Access 97, Excel 97, and SQL Server 7.0
With Autodesk World users can easily integrate CAD, Raster, multimedia and attribute
data in a single environment. An example of something a user would accomplish using
these features is to query a map object and display an aerial photograph in response to a
query. A photo (or any multi media object for that matter) could be an embedded OLE
object. A field in an attribute table can be linked to any multi media object where it can
be viewed upon retrieval from a query.
Other common functions enabled with World:
To give you a better idea of actual things that can be accomplish with World, we’ve
provided this image gallery of examples (Images courtesy of Autodesk). Please click on images to enlarge.
- Create and edit drawings with topology and attributes.
- Edit drawings and control entity styles and appearance
- Analyze data with custom queries and selection filters
- Create maps and reports for reports and presentations
- Develop custom applications using familiar OLE-COM development tools
- Use Microsoft Visual Basic for custom application scripting
View of the Data Manager and a typical view of data attributes in the MS Access
World supports the integration of various data sources. Bring together contours,
topography, and aerial photography.
Queries are developed using a simple wizard driven user interface
Query results can be scrolled and attributes inspected, along with embedded
Bring all your data together and output with legend build with the legend wizard
Data can be migrated to mapguide for authoring on the web
MS Office users can easily produce mailing lists, bringing together the functionality of
World, MS Access, and MS Word. Detailed instructions on doing this are offered in an
exercise in the tutorial.
Multiple World projects can be opened simultaneously to analyze data
My Top 10 "Cool" features of World!
World is useful for Facilities Management and municipal utilities applications
On a more personal note, I've summarized some of the coolest features of World that await you.
I determined "coolness" based on ease of use, originality, and usefullness.
To the user, World looks like any other MS Office application and complies with MS Office standards. Depending on the task at hand,
the user can easily chose between 11 standard toolbars to be displayed.
The display manager is a separate window where the user can conveniently control the way data is displayed. It floats or is dockable.
The data manager is a separate floating window that lists all available data sources and existing data sets in a Windows exporer-like structure.
The Geobase is a proprietary format which stores features into feature classes and they can contain topology as well.
Users of World have the option to read and write data in World or existing data format.
Nearly every thing or every function supported by World has convenient short cuts available by simply right-clicking the mouse.
Raster Image Handling
World supports the integration of raster data and can handle some 24 data formats.
Attribute Data Handling
World uses the familiar MS Access user interface for attribute attribute data management. Support is available to access data directly
from most common data formats including, MDB, DBF, DB, XLS, WK* formats.
Usrs of World can send a BMP or a project file via email directly from World. this is only available if MS Messaging API is set up.
All the display settings in the Display Manager can be saved in a named "redraw set". Users can then easily switch between sets
to change the display. The number of saved redraw sets is unlimited. When it comes time to print or plot your output, you can then use the legend wizard to automatically create a legend from your redraw set.
Overall, I enjoyed the control that World offers in taking charge of display characteristics. Menu
bars, dialogues, and function options are neatly organized and simple to navigate. Add to all this a large number
of analytical capabilities complemented by a true "open" philosiphy and you have an excellent desktop mapping product
which can hold its own against any of the other popular competing products.
If you use Autodesk World and would like to share any of your experiences, please tell us about it
by emailing to email@example.com
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