Setting the Geographic Location

Setting the Geographic Location
Learn how to set the geographic location in AutoCAD 2018. Get quick and easy video tutorials on setting geographic location by AutoCAD experts.

Setting the Geographic Location

You can assign geographic location information to a drawing file. Inserting geographic information to a drawing makes points within the drawing correspond to actual geographic locations on the surface of the Earth. You do this by placing a geographic marker-also known as a geolocation marker-within the drawing.

To set the geographic location in the drawing, on the Insert ribbon, in the Location panel, expand the Set Location tool. If you already have a file that contains GIS data, you can choose the From File tool and then open a KML or KMZ file. To set the geographic location by specifying the latitude and longitude, or to set the location from a map, choose the From Map tool.

The program asks if you want to use live map data. Click Yes.

In order to use the live map data, you must be signed into your A360 account. Since you are not yet signed into your A360 account, the program displays an Autodesk Sign-In dialog, so that you can sign into your A360 account.

Once you have signed into your A360 account, the program displays a Geographic Location dialog. Initially, this dialog shows the entire world. You could click to specify a location on the map, but it is much easier to search for an address or a latitude and longitude.

In the Address field, type “Bellingham” and press ENTER. Multiple results are found, including Bellingham, MN and Bellingham, MA. Click to select Bellingham, WA. The map immediately updates. The map initially displays as an aerial view, but you can also display it as a more simple road map. Set this back to Aerial.


You can also enter an actual address. Type “1209 Yew Street, Bellingham, WA” and press ENTER. The map zeroes into the location you specified. Now that you have found the correct location, click Drop Marker Here. A pin is placed on the map and the corresponding latitude and longitude are automatically applied.

You can zoom into the map and move the pin or modify the location properties as needed. But it is even easier to right-click a location in the map, such as the upper-left corner of the house, and choose Move Marker Here to move the pin to the northwest corner of the building.

Note that the Elevation is currently shown as 0 meters. Click in the Elevation field and type “305 “. Now that you have accurately placed the marker and updated the Elevation, click Next.

On the second page, you can specify the coordinate system. Based on the marker location, the program lists only relevant coordinate systems. You can use the search field to further filter the list of relevant coordinate systems. You should typically select the coordinate system with an origin close to your location, and the list is ordered by closest origin to the set location. Choose the first coordinate system in the list. The program also automatically fills in the correct time zone and drawing units. Click Next.

The dialog disappears and the program prompts you to Select a point for the location. Click to select the top-right corner of the house in the drawing. Next, the program prompts you to specify the north direction, or you could specify the angle. Use polar tracking to select an angle of 0 degrees.

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As soon as you do that, the command ends and you can see the map image as a background within the drawing.

When a map is applied to a drawing, it is always displayed below the drawing geometry.

Now that you have applied a geographic location, a geographic marker is displayed in the drawing at the point you specified, and the Geolocation tab is added to the ribbon. This tab includes tools for modifying the geolocation and map display. Several geolocation tools have also been added to the Status bar.

Source: Autodesk

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