It is common practice in AutoCAD Map 3D to attach a set of DWG files and then make a query to display only a subset of the objects in those drawings. For example, you might have 10 drawings that contain all of the infrastructure for a town or small city. If you want to work on the water lines, valves, and hydrants, you can make a property query to display just the layers that contain those objects. The property in this case is the layer. Alternatively, you can make a location query to display just the objects within a specific area of the map. Or you can combine location and property queries to display an even more specific set of objects.
That is how it works if you have all of your data in DWG files. But what if you have all of your data in a spatial data store, such as SDF, SHP, or Oracle? You can still query from multiple data stores. All you have to do is select the layers you want to query in Display Manager, select Query to Filter Data, and then use the Expression Builder to create the query.
The illustration on the left below shows a map of a water system with parcels and streets in the background. The layers in this map connect to a set of SDF files. However, they could just as easily connect to Oracle, SQL Server, or any other FDO data store. In this map, the water pipes are themed by pipe size. Valves and hydrants are indicated by symbols. The illustration on the right shows the result of a location query on all of the layers.
The following demonstration uses the map in the illustration above. All the data is connected and has already been styled in Display Manager. The animation shows how to perform a location query on a subset of layers. In this example, we leave all the parcels and streets by not including those layers in the query and then use a rectangle to specify a smaller area of the map to display the features that make up the water system.