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Archive for the 'AutoCad' Category

Export Point Locations In AutoCAD DXF Format

Application Name: Droid 2 CAD

Description: Capture points, export them as AutoCAD DXF points, KML files

Publisher’s website: QubeCAD

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v.2.0  /  4-25-11

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market (mobile app only)
Android Market (browser)

Droid 2 CAD captures point locations, and lets you export them to an AutoCAD DXF file, KML file, or CSV file.


Bare-bone startup interface; icons at upper right are for recording points (left) and exporting points (right).


Tapping the record points icon brings up the point data screen, and also fires up the GPS. You can enter title/description data here.


To enter your current location/altitude, press the Get Location button, and the data will automatically be entered. There is no way to cancel a point entry; if you hit the back key without entering a location, a point will be created with no location information.


Points are listed as created, but there’s no way to edit/delete points after they’re created, except to delete all points.


From the menu, the Map View option plots the points in a Google Maps view.



You have the option to export all points in KML (Google Earth format), DXF formats and CSV. For the latter three, only the first point position is recorded; positions of subsequent points are recorded relative to the first point (i.e. displacement in meters or feet). I’m guessing this is useful for CAD applications, but I wish there was an option for absolute positions for all the points as well.


File export isn’t done to a local directory, but is instead sent to any number of options, including Dropbox (if installed on your Android) and Email. I prefer this approach to local saving, since then you don’t have to figure out how to get the files off your Android.

Other issues: Always use the menu’s Quit option to exit, otherwise the GPS may not be turned off, which can drain your battery.

Final thoughts: Potentially useful for CAD users, but for general location recording, and export in KML/GPX format, there are many better options.

AutoCad For Your Android

Application Name: AutoCad WS

Description: Viewer/editor of AutoCad files stored at the AutoCad WS website.

Publisher’s website: AutoCad WS

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v.1.0  /  4-20-11

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market (mobile app only)
Android Market (browser)

AutoDesk’s AutoCad WS site is a free cloud-based site for storing and editing AutoCad files (DXF and DWG formats); see this post on the Free Geography Tools site for more info. The AutoCad WS Android app lets you access these files, files sent as email attachments, or files in online services like DropBox, then view/edit/annotate them, and have the changes synced to your AutoCad WS account.


You will need to have an AutoCad WS account to use the app; you can create one from the app, but it’s probably easier to create one from the website. Log in to the account, and you’ll get a list of available files for viewing/editing; tap on any one to open it.


Files will open at the last zoom level they were used at; uses standard pinch to zoom commands, so if your phone doesn’t support that, this app will be pretty useless. The command bar at the bottom can be scrolled left/right; included are commands for:

  • Adding features (circles, lines, rectangles, text, etc.) and measuring distances
  • A markup tool for annotating drawings
  • A color selector for features and objects
  • Undo/redo buttons
  • A universal select tool; choosing a shape brings up Move/Scale/Rotate/Erase/Copy options
  • A layout selector (Model/Layouts)
  • Normal/grayscale views
  • A “share” option that lets others view and edit the file


With most options, tapping on the option button brings up suboptions, as with the Add features button above …

acd_4 … and the Markup option above.

Changes can be synced to the cloud version of the file if you have an online connection, using the Sync button on the file list page.

Other issues: On a smartphone with a decent-sized screen (4”), this app works OK for viewing files and marking them up. But trying to add and edit features on such a small screen is an exercise in futility, both because of the size of the screen and the inaccuracy in using your finger to create features. The app does work on tablets, and I’m guessing editing would actually be possible on one of these, especially if you have a stylus. The browser version has the ability to view CAD files georeferenced against a Google Maps background, and I wish that were an option on this version; also wish it supported feature addition via GPS. Finally, don’t expect the full feature set of AutoCad on a free Android app, or even the free browser-based editor; you can do basic operations, but nothing fancy.

Final thoughts: Great for viewing and annotating AutoCad files in the field with a smartphone, but the screen is really too small for editing. If you’ve got a tablet, though, editing is likely to be more practical. If they added native geospatial capabilities to the app, it would be a killer app for everyone; as is, it’s really only for AutoCad users, but is perfect for them.