Interoperability tools provide a number of methods for sharing geospatial data. They allow to:
Directly reference supported formats by using the standard MicroStation reference file mechanism.
Import supported formats by selecting the file(s), defining the import parameters, and running the import.
Save the import process, including all parameters, for later processing.
Directly reference a saved import file as a reference file.
Directly open a saved import file to run the import process into a new empty file based on the seed file.
The Import module allows for the exchange of graphical data and associated non-graphical database information of a variety of GIS file formats.
ESRI® Shapefile (SHP) import requires at least three files in the same directory, with the same name and following extensions: .SHP (stores geometry), .SHX (index file), and .DBF (stores database attributes for the geometric data). In addition to these three required files, it is possible to have more files with other extensions (for example, a .PRJ, which stores projection information).
MapInfo® MIF/MID (MapInfo® Interchange Format) file import requires two files in the same directory, with the same name and following extensions: .MIF (stores geometry) and .MID (stores database attributes for the geometric data).
MapInfo® TAB (MapInfo® native file format) import requires a number of files to be present in the folder for import. These files make up a standard MapInfo project.
GML format supports Version 2.1 and 3.1 of GML. At least two files are required. The data file, typically named .GML or .XML and the schema file, typically named .XSD.
Oracle® Spatial database connection can be established to import features contained within the database. This method is read only so it is not possible edit features and post changes back to the database. These features can also be imported more than once from the Imports module, so importing features through the Oracle module is recommended. See Importing Oracle Spatial Features for details.
There are several ways to customize a GIS file import. It is possible to control the spatial extents of the area being imported, the symbology of the imported elements, and what database attributes will be transferred. Multiple files can be imported at once.
A note about working units
Data will be imported and scaled according to the current working units. So, if your data is in US survey feet and your DGN is set to Metric working units, then the data being imported will scale to be in metric units.
Be very careful of the difference between US Survey feet and international feet.
These units are almost equivalent. A US Survey foot is defined as being .3048006 meters, while an imperial foot is defined as being .3048 meters. Such a small difference scales to a large error when dealing with the large distances encountered in mapping projects.
For best results, set your working units to be the same as the units defined in the coordinate system associated with your design file. For further information, see the MicroStation Help under Selecting a Geographic Coordinate System > Design File Settings dialog Working Units.
It is possible to rename the properties by selecting the attribute and editing the Mapped Name field.