How to open, label, and thematize a .shp file with Microstation V8i

In this article we will see how to open, thematize and label a shp file using Microstation V8i, the same works with Bentley Map. Although they are archaic files of 16 bits, old as some -many- from my gray hair, it is inevitable that they continue to be used in our geospatial context. It is clear that these criteria are applicable to vector objects linked to other data sources.

Someday I talked about how, using Microstation V8, Import, label And also how to do Themed. Microstation powerview shapeFor that time I used Microstation Geographics version 2004, which I surprisingly see that many still use it with great satisfaction -Or fear of migrating-. In this case we will use Microstation PowerView version Select Series 3, this is more or less equivalent to what was PowerMap, with a price around the 1,500 dollars perpetual license.

Open a shp file

With these versions it is not necessary to import the shp file, because it reads it directly, either as a file in master mode or called reference.
For this it is done:

File> open

Then in the file type, we select the type of .shp, so that only files of that type are listed. As you can see in the graph, Microstation V8i can open without importing, files of type dgn, dwg, dxf, files of blocks (.cel), libraries (.dgnib), also versions True dwg of AutoDesk (dwg and dxf), sketchUp (.skp), among others, including the dgn that can have any extension to the whim (.cat .hid .rie .adm, etc.)

View dbf data

Microstation powerview shapeThe file of type shp has the spatial objects, it occupies two additional files at least: a shx that is the indexed one and the dbf that contains the database linked to the spatial objects. Additionally, the .prj that contains the projection and reference system is also important.

To view the properties of the dbf file, do the following:

Tools> geospatial> database operations

From this panel, we select the 5 icon called «Review XFM attributes».

Recall that xfm attributes exist from Microstation Geographics 2004, when they applied the xml association of tabular data to vector objects as an evolution of the traditional engeneering link.

Microstation powerview shapeBy then it was only applicable to attributes created from the Geospatial Administrator. Now it is possible to read any database information associated with an object.

The creation of the Model

To create labels, thematize or other spatial functions, it is first necessary to generate a model. This can not be done from the workspace and it looks like -Although it is not the same- to AutoCAD layout.

This is done as follows:

File> Map manager

We are going to ask if we want the model to be created, we choose the option yes, and we add reference.

With this, a side panel is created to the left of the workspace, where you can see the data in the form of a feature class and levels. This model supports its own reference files, view properties and many other spatial analysis functions such as buffer generation, geoprocesses (join, intersect, exclude ...), data listing, locate and, of course, what is explained below: thematized and labeled.

Theoretical by criteria

To thematize, select the layer with the right mouse button and choose "Symbology ...". In this case, I am using a full swept cadastral map, it means that public goods such as riverbeds and streets have a cadastral key and are represented as parcels.

Let's suppose that on my cadastral map, I want to paint the street-type plots gray, in orange the real-estate plots and in blue the river plots. For this, I must create three classes:

Select the "Thematic" symbolization option, then create the first class, with the name Streets, with a condition chosen in the WHERE TIPOPARCEL = 1 table, as shown in the following graphic. The class can be defined color, line type, thickness, transparency; in this case we select gray color. In the same way we do with the plots of type Rio in blue and type of property in yellow.

Gis microstation

Once the "Apply" button is selected, this is the result. I recommend that you play a bit with the other features, such as creating classes based on ranges or others that we are used to seeing in GIS programs.

Microstation powerview shape 1

Placing labels from the dbf

Finally, if we want the plots to have a label. The layer is selected with the right mouse button, and “Labeling…” is chosen, with this a panel will appear where we will select as the “By Layer” labeling style, Arial type text, red, from the base column of data called IDPARCELA and that the text is not rotated according to the shape of the plot (Orientation Fixed).

There we have it, a dynamic text from the dbf. Of course, it is possible to add automatic fields as an area of ​​the object, which unlike a stored area, is dynamic and is updated with the editing of the geometry.

Microstation powerview shape 1

The labeling and theming style properties can be saved as xml, with .theme extension, similar to the SLD styles. This is called back and applied to other layers or within a routine programmed in VBA.

So far the file that we have worked with is a shp and is only read. But with saving it as dgn, it can be edited and all the properties of the database will be in the xml embedded in schemas contained in the dgn.

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