netTerrain Complaint of the Week: dwg files?

Welcome to a new weekly update in which we do something a bit odd for a vendor: expose holes in our product.

We’re pulling from complaints, rants, and problems our customers have experienced using netTerrain. The goal is to discuss real-life problems netTerrain users have encountered, and by doing so, to foster a collaborative environment while also sharing some workarounds around common issues.

Hello netTerrain support,

I would like to use dwg (autocad) vector files as backgrounds. Do you have support for that?

Dear XYZ,

We don’t have native support for dwg. Not sure we ever will!
Thanks for asking though! We get this question every once and awhile.

Not all is lost, however: your dwg file can be converted.

While I don’t have a PhD in Autocad, I do understand that it has the capability to convert a file to SVG or high resolution PNG, among others.

We do support other formats as well, including: jpg, bmp and gif. These types of images can be used for anything from device modeling, to free-floating images, backdrops, maps, floorplans and helper images (such as the completely out-of-date autocad design of your spaghetti rack that you kept as your documentation before you graduated to netTerrain).

I mention SVG and PNG because one is (the) standard vector format we support and the other one is a quite common standard raster format. Notice the word “standard”. One reason we don’t support certain formats is because they are non-standard and would require plugins and other foo to work out well. We prefer to stay away from that.

I would recommend a conversion to svg for floor plans, where you may have to zoom in quite a bit. Stick to PNG for backgrounds that don’t require lots of zoom in, as well as device and card models.

What about maps?

It depends on why you need a map converted from Autocad. If it is to serve as a regular background with moderate zooming, then SVG should do fine. If you want to use that map as a coordinate-aware backdrop for an outside plant project, then I would recommend trying out our
built-in OSP module
using Open Street Map cartography.


This brings us to the end of this installment in our new series ‘netTerrain Complaint of the Week’. Stay tuned for our next installment.

Jan Durnhofer
Jan Durnhofer
As CEO / Product and Engineering Manager, Jan joined Graphical Networks with the purpose of creating the most advanced DCIM and IT visualization company in the market.

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