Custom Class: CAD to GIS in The Last Frontier

Carol Dunn

All, autodesk, GIS 0 Comment


Historically, CAD and GIS systems have been kept separate. But Autodesk now offers toolsets which enable CAD technicians to integrate GIS data into their designs and support GIS departments with design-level information. A custom class was developed for the National Park Service in Alaska to do just that.

In existence since 1916, the NPS has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, NPS safeguards and shares the stories of our country’s 58 national parks with 330 million visitors each year. GIS is an important part of the job the NPS does.

The goal of this custom class was to educate CAD technicians on CAD and GIS concepts and principles so they can bridge the gap between CAD and GIS data.  Instruction focused on sharing and coordinating design data.

The onsite class was based in Anchorage, with most of the students attending in person at the NPS office there. With the help of GoTo Training, a few students joined by remote connection from isolated park areas, and one person participated from San Francisco, California.

Students were GIS and design professionals, and their experience levels ranged from no CAD experience but lots of GIS experience to no GIS experience but lots of CAD experience.

Some student comments after the class:

“Warren Geissler was excellent.  We wanted CAD to GIS.  Not everyone can teach this.  Autodesk might have hundreds of folks that know everything about Autodesk, but few can even spell GIS (ESRI).  This guy was awesome.”

“Warren did very well presenting to students both physically present and attending remotely via webinar.  He was cognizant of both verbally communicating what he was doing and showing on the screen.  He is very well versed in the software and the pitfalls of challenging CAD files.  A worthwhile course to better familiarize myself with migrating CAD to GIS.”

“I was taking this class remotely and our internet is very slow.  It would have been easier to follow if I could take the class in person.  However, it is great having the option to take the class via GoToTraining because travel is sometimes restricted by budget time.”


Equipped with new knowledge of CAD and GIS concepts and principles, the CAD technicians are now able to better support research, planning and operational decision-making in the NPS. Their expertise will enable the NPS to coordinate the use of geospatial assets and improve management throughout all eight of Alaska’s national parks plus sixteen more sites that are affiliated with the NPS in Alaska.

Follow this link for more information about custom training with Applied Software.