Importing ESRI Arc/INFO Coverages
Concept Procedure Quick Reference

AutoCAD Map 3D supports Arc/INFO version 7.2, 7.3, and 8.x, and E00.


Arc/INFO stores coverages on your hard disk as a directory of files.

In the coverage directory, each file contains specific data pertaining to the coverage. For example, ARC files contain coordinates for arcs and LAB files contain the coordinates for label points.

NoteARC files also contain TIC and Bounds settings. For import, these are driver options, and are not imported or displayed by default. Tics are points with known real-world coordinates. Coverages use tics to ensure that stacked coverages and adjoining tiled coverages align accurately.

The following table shows how coverage features are translated to drawing objects on import:

Coverage Feature Drawing Object
Point Point on _point layer, PAT attributes in object data or in an external database.
Arc Sketch on _arc layer, AAT attributes in object data or in an external database.
Polygon Closed polyline on _poly layer, PAT in object data attached to polyline. In addition, all segments are duplicated as sketches on the _arc layer.
Point, Arc, and Polygon with FAT (feature allocation table) in dBASE Geometry converted as above, attribute in object data.
Annotation Text on _text layer. Text arrows on _textarrow layer.
Tics Points on _tic layer, attributes in object data.

Importing Restrictions

The following features are not supported when importing an ARC/INFO coverage into a drawing:

  • feature attribute tables
  • text attributes
  • route systems
  • address files
  • turntables
  • LOG files
  • fonts
  • symbols
  • linetypes
  • shades

If a coverage has a field that describes Z values, commonly SPOT or ELEVATION, the field is treated only as an attribute. It is not translated into a Z value. You may be able to use a property alteration query to change the elevation of the resulting drawing objects. (This will depend on the object type. Elevation is not supported for all object types.)

When importing polygon coverages, polygon areas may be imported as closed polylines. If you plan to recreate the topology in AutoCAD Map 3D, use the MAPCREATECENTROIDS command to create centroids and move any attribute data from the polyline or polygon to the centroids. Use the _arc layer to create the topology using the topology commands.

In addition, AutoCAD Map 3D supports the coverage exchange format E00.

Driver Options

You can set the following options when importing ARC/INFO coverages or E00 files:

Option Description
Text Curves Select Follow, Fit, or Ignore.
Optional Feature Types Select Extract Bounds, or Extract Tics.
See Also