It seems that quite a few government agencies are providing GIS data in ESRI's MDB or GDB file formats these days.
AutoCAD Map (and Civil) 3D come with some abilities to bring in such data, but there are some requirements. Here is basically what you'll need to be able to connect to an ESRI personal or file geodatabase:
- 32-bit AutoCAD Map (or Civil) 3D 2012 or newer
- ESRI ArcEngine Runtime license
If you are missing one of the above, you won't be able to bring in features from ArcGIS directly. However, some alternatives:
*if the issue is that your system is 64-bit, you can set up a 32-bit virtual machine so that you can access the ArcGIS FDO Provider (only available in the 32-bit release of Map 3D or Civil 3D because the ESRI libraries are only provided in 32-bit). You'll still need access to the ESRI Runtime license.
*have an ESRI user export geodatabase data to SHP. With SHP, on a 64-bit system, with or without an ESRI license, you have a couple of easy options for bringing in such data: MAPIMPORT or Data Connect.
For more information on the actual ESRI versions supported by each release of AutoCAD Map (or Civil) 3D, please consult the user guide for your Autodesk software release.