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Using GIS in your workflows?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Site Design forum members.


Have you been implementing any workflows which integrate with GIS data, imagery and/or geometry? If so, please reach out to us at landmark@vectorworks.net .


As many of you know, we have recently joined Esri's partnership program as a Silver Tier Partner. Through this, we have several opportunities to reach other design professionals like you who are looking to improve their site analysis and planning workflows, but less aware of how GIS and related geospatial resources enable them to do that within Vectorworks. We believe that sharing your workflow examples could inspire them to do just that.


The recent release of Vectorworks Landmark, Architect and Designer 2020 introduced new GIS integration features, such as Geolocate and Geoimage, which can save a great amount of time in providing georeferencing to a file, or in adding visual context for the planning work you are including as part of your project deliverables. Prior to this year's release, and still certainly available, is the ability to import georeferenced shapefile (SHP) data and georeferenced image files, such as GeoTIFF, TFW, JGW, BPW, etc.. Designers using Vectorworks could not only import those files, but they could modify them in 2D visualizations and in 3D models, allowing them to quickly add context into the projects which they are designing.


So, whether you have some examples to share from the workflows we have offered before the 2020 release, or perhaps you have already been putting the 2020 new features to use, please let us know by emailing us by this Friday, October 18, and we will follow up with some communication about the potential of showing off your expertise and improved workflows.


Thank you for your time in considering this opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Best regards,



Eric Gilbey, PLA

Product Marketing Manager

  • Like 3
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Mainly just importing the increasing amount of data files that are becoming available - it is very useful that VW can read the data attached to shp files. I wouldn't think of doing any analysis in vw tho', far too cumbersome and not open enough to the world. 


Also in the past I have found VW is less than reliable and locks up when site dimensions exceed about 2kilometres. With QGIS I routinely work with spaces 40km or more across. How does VW handle tiled images? In the past I've had to class each one which gets old really fast. QGIS stores each image re as a single, queryable object.


It's a pity you have partnered with Esri - almost all offices I know now who use gis are using QGIS. ArcGIS is completely un-affordable for small offices, and it's closed source, which is a serious disadvantage for the sort of work typical in GIS; at this level we REALLY need to see the algorithms.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I realise this post is out of date now but just wanted to throw in a tuppence worth. 


Previously we've used (Q)GIS at Planning and feasibility stage, to make use of extensive datasets which are available - particularly base mapping but also overlaying landscape and planning designated and protected areas, terrain data, ZVIs etc. in initial site analysis and planning reports.


We've then used Vectorworks concurrently for early design drawings and diagrams at feasibility and planning stages.


Our Tender and Construction drawings evolve from our early stage Vectorworks drawings, and our GIS drawings tend to get archived.


The recent 2020 release is good for us as it provides welcome integration between what have previously been separate technical exercises required for the same purpose early on in a project. We can now utilise additional base information straight from Vectorworks, (such as aerial and base imagery) and import and read the data attached to shapefiles to be read in context with our design. I'd second @unearthed comments on the likelihood of continued GIS use for large scale analysis - I wouldn't want to import national shapefile datasets to Vectorworks - but complementary systems allow better workflow between the two.




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