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Thread: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

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    Exclamation Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Hi there,

    I have been given a task by work to figure out a way of extracting metadata from a .dwg so that the information can be inputted into an application that is being developed.

    It is my understanding that a .DWG is purely an image with attributes and there is no metadata, however there is text information in each .dwg that i need.

    I have 15,000 drawings to sift through and manually viewing each one and noting the information down i.e drawing number, location etc etc would be an extremely tedius job that would take far too long.

    Does anyone have any ideas how i can do this? preferably with a batch application.

    I have had a look on google and have found a few applications that would be able to extract information (attributes) but none that extract the information that i actually need.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks very much

    Nick

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    Super Moderator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    What information are you trying to catalog? You mentioned the drawing number, location, etc.

    Would something like this work?
    http://www.dotsoft.com/demos/tpdwgcatgen.htm
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

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    Exclamation Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Quote Originally Posted by rkmcswain View Post
    What information are you trying to catalog? You mentioned the drawing number, location, etc.

    Would something like this work?
    http://www.dotsoft.com/demos/tpdwgcatgen.htm
    The application could potentially work, just trying to get a free trial to give it a go,

    Thanks very much for your help,

    Nick

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    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholas.amphlett View Post
    It is my understanding that a .DWG is purely an image with attributes and there is no metadata, however there is text information in each .dwg that i need.
    Just FYI, a DWG file is actually a database, not an image.
    John B

    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

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    Exclamation Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    I have tried to get in contact with that company about a trial of there product but i have had no response,

    In response to the question about what information i require, when you open up a dwg drawing there is borders around the drawing itself and on the right hand side (i think) there is information such as drawing number, location, client address etc etc - that is the information that i need to get from 15,000 dwg's.

    Does anyonbody else have any other ideas please?

    Thanks again,

    Nick

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    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    When acad opens a dwg file it reads the contents of the (database) file and generates graphical elements (lines, circles, text) accordingly.

    You could check to see if the information has been saved as metadata by right-clicking, one at a time, on each of a few files, selecting Properties and seeing if there is any information on the Summary and Custom tabs. I doubt that there will be.

    You could save each file to the DXF format, open them in a text editor (Wordpad) and search for the info you want but that would take forever even for a few files.
    You need to automate that process (in effect if not it fact) and the best place to start would probably be in the programming forums.
    John B

    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

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    Exclamation Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Quote Originally Posted by jaberwok View Post
    When acad opens a dwg file it reads the contents of the (database) file and generates graphical elements (lines, circles, text) accordingly.

    You could check to see if the information has been saved as metadata by right-clicking, one at a time, on each of a few files, selecting Properties and seeing if there is any information on the Summary and Custom tabs. I doubt that there will be.

    You could save each file to the DXF format, open them in a text editor (Wordpad) and search for the info you want but that would take forever even for a few files.
    You need to automate that process (in effect if not it fact) and the best place to start would probably be in the programming forums.
    Thanks alot for your response, i have tried your recommendation and it is definetly not an efficient way of doing this.

    Keep the ideas coming though guys! Really appreciate it!

    Thanks again

    Nick

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    Default Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholas.amphlett View Post
    I have tried to get in contact with that company about a trial of there product but i have had no response
    Just noting that at the time you posted this it had been roughly 21 hours since your email.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholas.amphlett View Post
    In response to the question about what information i require, when you open up a dwg drawing there is borders around the drawing itself and on the right hand side (i think) there is information such as drawing number, location, client address etc etc - that is the information that i need to get from 15,000 dwg's.
    Assuming ALL these drawings are consistant with that information in a block insert it would fairly easily be harvested, possibly by tools built into AutoCAD. If it's random text it would provide more of a challenge. That is the first determination you will need to make.

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    Default Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Hey Dotson,

    Further to our telephone conversation i have checked with the department that deals with DWG's. They have advised that the majority of the drawings are consistent however the text that is required is "completely separate from the rest of the drawing" - they are not attributes - with that in mind they also advised that there would be no efficient way within AUTOCAD to get this information and the only solution they say would work is to hire some temps to go through the drawings and manually input the text needed.

    Thanks again,

    Nick

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    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Extracting Metadata from a .DWG

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholas.amphlett View Post
    Hey Dotson,

    Further to our telephone conversation i have checked with the department that deals with DWG's. They have advised that the majority of the drawings are consistent however the text that is required is "completely separate from the rest of the drawing" - they are not attributes - with that in mind they also advised that there would be no efficient way within AUTOCAD to get this information and the only solution they say would work is to hire some temps to go through the drawings and manually input the text needed.

    Thanks again,

    Nick
    If Terry Dotson says it can be done, it can be done.
    John B

    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

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