Accessing our Engineering Drawing PDFs from within the PortGIS Utilities Web Application


Our PortGIS Utilities Web Application is a useful tool to share our data created in AutoCAD throughout the Port. The data shown is held and managed as .dwg files, which are primarily accessible only by the Civil Designers in our Engineering Department. The output of much of their work are blueprints. It is a reasonable notion to assume that GIS based maps and blueprints can easily be integrated, after all they both show spatial relationships. In order to bring CAD data into GIS our CAD users must follow both CAD and GIS standards. Using CAD data within GIS  is one of the great obstacles we as GIS professionals work to overcome. We are tackling this obstacle 2 different ways 1) We have created a folder, dubbed “the vault” , where CAD data follows GIS standards and 2) We have created a GIS feature and a link to the digital blueprint. This video below shows how we have addressed both of these methods and goes into detail on how to track down blueprints, as PDFs, for projects within Port Tidelands.

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4 Responses to “Accessing our Engineering Drawing PDFs from within the PortGIS Utilities Web Application”

  1. PG Says:

    Hi Ari,

    I noticed that not all of Port tidelands is included in the IMP Site Boundaries. For example, some of the tenant facilities and parking lots along Harbor Island are not shown within these boundaries–however, there are Engineering Drawing Points located outside of the boundaries. Can you help to clarify why these boundaries do not encompass all of Tidelands which the Port administers?

    Overall, the utilities layer looks great and having access to historical records will come in handy.


  2. Ari Isaak Says:

    Hi PG,

    This data is currently at it’s most inaccurate. There are 3 ways to get to to the engineering drawings. 1) using the link connected to the IMP site 2) clicking on the labels (points) or 3) clicking anywhere and checking what PDF extents (polygons) your click intersects. The vast majority of the labels (points) were created at the centroid of the extent (polygons). This doesn’t need to be the case. We really should go through and move the points to be where the focus of the work was done. These 2 methods of figuring out where to place the label is what is causing the discrepancy. If the point was manually created, instead of programatically, it would fall within the IMP site boundaries more often.

    Although the PDF extent is a much more valuable GIS feature, we decided a hyperlinked point was necessary as well because it would be quicker to focus on. Also when engineers finish a new project and submit a record drawing they will submit a point and we will create the extent.

  3. BH Says:

    Why do the IMP Site boundaries not cover all of District Tidelands?

    The Infrastructure Management Program (IMP) boundaries were established via input from District departments. The IMP boundaries are based on existing District infrastructure that the District owns and maintains. District Tidelands outside established IMP boundaries contain infrastructure the District may own but does not maintain. Maintenance, in these areas may be performed by tenant lease agreement, local utility companies or other city or government agency.

  4. Richard Fernandez Says:

    I see this web app having enormous potential for both Engineering-Construction Department employees and their customers requesting information.

    Mapping construction documents just makes so much sense in the long run for the end users.

    Good stuff.

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