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Microstation Geographics: The feature book

This is in order to take advantage of the midnight demo, as a refreshing to the wakefulness friends. Although as it was said by the great master…

… That comes in the readme.txt

Why an attributes book

This is a very Geographics’ old logic; but is still used in projects that do not want to migrate and somehow persists in Bentley Map, based on a project structure in which the layers have two levels of organization:

  • A first level called category, such as altimetry, planimetry, Land Use, clip_image001Cadastral Management, Risk and Vulnerability, topography, etc.
  • The second level is called attributes (features) in which are organized layers information. Thus in the cadastral layer may be the properties, blocks, buildings, areas, sectors, etc.
  • At Bentley Map’s level there is already subfeatures and associated notes in a dynamical way, but that’s another roll .

All this is part of a project, called now by Bentley Map Geographics legacy. Its logic was-and remains-very practical, because at the time of scheduling applications such as theming, web publishing, links to database or controlled management it facilitated the fact of being able to work at the identifiers that have the features and categories.

What happens is that this part of Geographics is necessary to know until you have worked in an existing project. If it is shown to a user the first day of classes he will be desperate of not finding a sense at short-term use and may even think it’s difficult when hearing acronyms like ucf, idx, entitynum, MSLink, vicinity, msgeo, clip_image002among others.

How to create the book attributes

It’s preferable to define in an Excel file at least the names of the categories and attributes that we expect to have in each one. The specific properties of each of the features do not make sense to have them tabulated but rather in a map where we have tested and have an acceptable appearance or conventional simbology.

To access the book attribute is Project / set up. Then open the project by assigning the user and directory connection from the panel.

Then select Tables / feature Setup. In this way we have access to the panel where we can create categories, set attributes, simbology, a table that is linked all of these data and even commands associated with the attributes.

The buttons above cost a bit to understand the first day without a good adrenaline up, but more or less the order is this:

  • To create a category: Enter the name of the category; assign the extension format, index archive, then button Insert, and Commit to save the database.
  • To modify a category: the category is played; the changes are made, and then apply the Update button, and Commit to save.


  • To create features: play category, write code, write the name, write notes, then match button, touch the map object that has the features, then Insert, and Commit to save.
  • To modify features: play category, play the feature, change the properties, button Update, and Commit to save.

This way you create categories and attributes, which in turn are being updated in the project’s features table, being it in Oracle, SQL or Access.

How to assign attributes

To assign attributes to an object or build on the fly with the respective attribute it is done via Tools / Feature manager. Here we choose the category and attribute this is called active Feature.


Then to assign, remove, or visit the attribute of an object it is used the Features tool, if not active this is done with Tools / Geographics / Features. The first button is to choose an attribute from an object that already has it, the following are to assign (attach) or remove (detach).

The fourth button is to reset the active feature and the latter is to query attributes that have an object on the map.

How to display attributes

The magic of this is that once assigned objects attributes, the Settings / Display manager tool can turn on or off specific features. For that it is activated in the check list, it is used Apply and Update to update the display on the screen.


This is not the same as an object in a level, in a color and a line type; it is a deployment property that no matter the level or color the objects have, they will be shown as said in the Feature book. To avoid duplication, the objects may share attributes, such as a block edge, which is also the site boundary that coincides with the zone boundary and edge of city limits. The priority is defined in the feature property called Display Order and priority.

To deceive a project with an already mounted database, it is done as what I explained last time.

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