Introduction—display model

The visualization of the data from the industry model is controlled via the display model. A display model specifies which object layer is loaded into the display management and which style is applied. You can export and import display models to use together with other users and across projects.

Data from other sources can be linked to the enterprise project via the FDO interface. These data are not migrated, but are displayed with their data structure in AutoCAD Map 3D. Connections to various databases, SHP files and raster images can be established and managed.

In this help section, you will learn how to

A display model specifies which object layer is loaded into the display management and which style is applied. You can export and import display models to use together with other users and across projects.

Default display model

The default display model contains all object layers of all industry models. If you create the illustration using the default display model, a default style will be applied to each feature class. The temporary default display model is loaded into memory, but is not yet saved in the file system. You can edit and save the temporary display model.

Display models and layer files

An existing display model can be extended by adding new layer files. References can be stored in the display-model files. For example, open an existing display model, then add new layer files to the display management and save the files as a new display model.

You can specify autoload layers that are automatically displayed when you open a project. Use autoload layers as a basis for graphically selecting your viewport. In order to provide a higher performance, autoload layers should not contain too many details. For example, set the administrative boundary lines as autoload layers. In the definition of the display model, you can set one or more layers as autoload layers.

Setting up display models

Display models are set up in AutoCAD Map 3D and not in the Infrastructure Administrator. You create a display model either by editing the default display model or by using the display management to create and edit the styles for the object layers.

Layers are added as a reference as specified. You can change this behavior in the reference options.



If you are using a reference layer, note that if you change the stylization, the changes you make will affect all the display models that use this layer.

Multiple windows when displaying from a database

You can define display models that display objects in multiple drawings. This means that your display model can consist of several display maps. You can define different styles for each drawing window. For example, specify a window where all object layers are displayed using the basic styles. Specify another window to display a selection of object layers with a thematic style. In a telecommunications project, you can use a second window to display the network in a schematic view if necessary. Both windows are linked to the database. Processes such as highlighting an object can be performed in both windows.

Display models in the file system

Display models are stored in XML files in the file system. A display model consists of several files, as shown in the following table.

<Name of the display model>.tbdm

XML file in which the name and the linked display-model maps are stored. A display model consists of one or more display-model map files.


Display-model map file: XML file that stores the size, position, and references to the object layers of each window. If you define multiple windows, a display-model map file is used for each window.

<Name of the feature class>.LAYER

Layer file (XML file). For each layer that is referenced in the display-model map file.


DWG file with all block definitions that are referenced in the display model. In newer versions, the blocks are converted to advanced stylizing when the file is opened. Therefore, newer display models do not have DWG files with (local) blocks.

Older display models may still have such files.


DWG file containing blocks.


Functions of right-clicking on a layer in the display model

  • Update layer
  • Make layer unselectable
  • Display data table
  • Query for data filtering