Exporting To Autodesk SDF (Spatial Data File)
Concept Procedure

SDF is a native Autodesk file-based geospatial format that is optimized for storing large, classified data sets.

SDF is like SHP format in that it contains both spatial data and attribute data. However, unlike SHP, it stores both types of data in a single file rather than a set of files.

When drawing data is stored as SDF, you can use Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise 2010 to style and publish the data to the Internet. You can also publish map data directly to MapGuide, without exporting to SDF.


The current version, which works with AutoCAD Map 3D and Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise, is SDF version 3. AutoCAD Map 3D refers to this version as “SDF.”

SDF version 2 is still supported by MapGuide 6.5 (and earlier releases), and AutoCAD Map 3D can import and export SDF 2 using a separate import/export interface.


SDF has the following advantages over DWG:


If you export to an existing file, you can choose to overwrite that file or append the new data to it. Overwriting destroys the existing file and creates a new one. Appending adds the data in the current export operation to the existing data without deleting any existing data.

When you append, any existing classes in the target file remain unchanged. New feature classes and new properties for existing feature classes will be added.

If the target file contains properties for which the source file has no values, the resulting file may show those properties as being null or as having default values, depending on what was specified in the schema.

If the source data contains classes that are not in the target file, those classes will be created and will have the properties of the source data.

NoteAn index property is added to each feature class when you export. You can specify the name for this property in the MapExport.ini file.

A message reports on the export results. Because some entities belong to multiple feature classes, the number of entities exported may not match the number of SDF entities created. The message tells you how many DWG entities were exported more than once. If you base the exported feature classes on object data or link templates, an entity may be exported more than once if more than one data table is attached or linked to it.

Driver Options

SDF has no export driver options.

See Also