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Author: Matt Miyamoto AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD

For those of you who have been following our blog over the recent weeks, you may have already read about the enhanced Geolocation Feature in AutoCAD 2015 that allows you to automatically connect and download aerial map information from Microsoft Bing Maps.

Since Civil 3D is built on top of the AutoCAD platform, the Geolocation feature is accessible in Civil 3D 2015. However, it’s not part of the default Civil 3D Workspace that is loaded with the out-of-box installation. To add the Geolocation Tab and access the new features through the Ribbon, we’ll need to do a little bit of CUI customization.

Start out by launching Civil 3D 2015 and opening a drawing file. The Civil 3D Workspace should load by default, with a similar setup to what you’ve seen in the past. Take note of the Ribbon Tabs listed at the top of the Application Window. The Geolocation tab that shows up in AutoCAD 2015 is missing from the default Civil 3D Ribbon.



To load the Geolocation Tab, launch the CUI (Customize User Interface) dialog box (Commandline: CUI).



  1. In the upper-left window, highlight the Workspace you want to modify (Civil 3D Default)
  2. When the Workspace appears in the upper-right window, click Customize Workspace  *Text will turn blue after clicking Customize Workspace



  1. ack in the upper-left, expand the Partial Customization Files collection (click +)



  1. Under Partial Customization Files, expand the ACAD collection (click +)



  1. Expand Ribbon (click +), the Tabs (click +)



  1. Under the Tabs section, find the Geolocation item and click the box to add a check mark (it may appear as a green solid box by default)



  1. Back in the upper-right, click Done to confirm the changes to the Workspace



  1. Click Apply, then OK at the bottom of the CUI dialog to apply changes and exit.



The Geolocation Ribbon Tab should now appear alongside the original Ribbon Tabs of the Civil 3D Workspace.



Click on the tab to access the enhanced Geolocation features, and add some Microsoft Bing Map images to your Civil 3D® drawings.  



NOTE: The Geolocation option can also be found under the primary Ribbon Tabs section in the CUI dialog. Based on our initial testing, this option displays a blank Geolocation tab that does not include any of the panels shown above. The option found under Partial Customization Files displayed the full Geolocation Tab and all Panels per the instructions outlined in this blog.



Check out the accompanying video to this post, Accessing the Enhanced Geolocation Features in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.

      Matt Miyamoto
Matt Miyamoto
ENI Manager & Senior Application Specialist

Matt is an ENI Manager and Senior Application Specialist in Ideate, Inc.’s Seattle office. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Civil Engineer. Prior to joining Ideate, Matt worked as a civil engineer, using Civil 3D on a variety of projects including site development, roadway improvements and infrastructure design. With over 10 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt now provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is and Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. Find Matt on Twitter.