Attaching background data

Background data (maps) in various formats can be linked via the display model or as an external reference. This makes it easy to show or hide this data and helps make projects easier to understand. Not all data has to be entered/imported as objects in Map 3D if they are only to be used for orientation.


Shape files can be linked as background maps. Read more about this here.

If the data from a shape file is to be imported into the corresponding feature class, a shape import can be carried out.

Data of a feature class can also be exported to a shape file. The data must be displayed in the graphic, a connection to the corresponding folder must be established (analogous to the import) and a bulk copy can be carried out. Unlike importing, when exporting, the source is the feature class and the destination is the shape connection.


SDF files can be linked as background maps. This is done analogously to a shape connection.

For more information on how to create a SDF file from a shape file, please click here.

Data of a feature class can also be exported to an SDF file.

WMS/WMTS/WFS services

If information such as ALKIS data is available as a WMS service, this data can also be connected to the project via the data connection by provider. How to proceed here, you will learn in this article.


If external references are to be permanently loaded with a project, there is an option to connect the files with the XRefLoader.

Infrastructure Administrator

The corresponding extension must be activated and saved in Infrastructure Administrator under “Modules”.


Subsequently, the automatically appearing structure update should be performed.



After the structure update, the feature class must be activated in the Explorer Manager. Saving the structure makes the corresponding form available in the project.


Finally, a 1-click maintenance should be performed. Errors should be searched for and corrected until no more errors are displayed in the upper pane.

AutoCAD Map 3D

Now you can open the form for the XRef files in the Industry Model Explorer > XRefLoader.



If the “File name” field appears without a file selection, open the form designer and change the property from “false” to “true”.



Use mceclip9.pngto add a new record.


Use mceclip12.pngto select the desired XRef file in the corresponding directory.


1. The feature ID is displayed.
2. Load the file to be connected as XRef using mceclip12.png. The file can be opened with mceclip14.png.
3. Choose whether the XRef should be active or not. If the XRef is active, it is displayed each time the graphic window is loaded. If the XRef is not active, it is not displayed by default, but can be loaded if necessary.
4. If the file to be attached is georeferenced, the number zero is entered at positions X and Y. If there is no georeferencing, the insertion point of the file to be attached must be entered here.
5. The name of the display model with which the XRef is to be loaded must be specified.

Make sure that the units and the coordinate system set in the file to be referenced are the same as in your project.