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Tag Archives: Points

Civil 3D | Sharing Point Data with the Survey Database

One of the things that I manage is the flow of data between engineering projects and the field. Once the overall control points are established, there is not a lot of survey network information coming back in.  Construction crew and RTK point data is delivered simply as a delimited ascii file. So what good does the Autodesk Civil 3D Survey Database do for me if all I have is raw coordinates?

Shared, controlled data. You can use it to share that point data with numerous team members, and manage it from one location. It’s like a low rent Data Reference…for points.


imageLet’s say you have a region that is going to get a lot of attention. You can master the site control gathered from existing survey(s), and everyone can pull their information from one true remote source. As new information is added, the database is updated accordingly.

Other benefits can be attained when numerous people are working on a large project with separate sites. The point data can be pulled down from the master database, and surfaces and location information can then be developed without concern that “You didn’t get the newest data”. When updates come through, the network gets flagged with an update, subsequently everyone receives the same update when things have been changed.

  • Create a Database for an overall region, selecting an easy network path to point everyone to
  • Create an associated network within the Database to add the data to. Separate site activity may go to separate networks
  • Add data from sources such as Civil 3D drawings and ascii files
  • Open my planning drawing, right click the Survey Points, and add points to the drawing.

imageThat’s all there is to it. Everyone can access the data simultaneously.

As each dataset is imported, each session is logged as an Import Event, with various information including the source file path. One of the options available in the database is to re-import individual Import Events. This makes data adjustments easy to manage. The database automatically adjusts the related points, leaving you without concerns of damaging associated data.

This morning a technician complained that his data was way off target. A quick check showed that the data I was furnished was measured in meters. I adjusted the data, and had the database re-import the logged Import Event. Immediately following, the technician (and everyone else) was able to update his drawing with the new data.Continue Reading

Civil 3D – Point Merge through TDS

This will be another quick tip, for those new to the Civil 3D platform and using TDS.


We used to have problems with data being overwritten.  My crews dump their data daily and overwrite my calcs, and when I get them a tidied up file, I overwrite their subtle changes like an adjusted elevation.  So we now merge their new calcs in.


I use the export point group (previous topic post), and send out only what was calc’d in today’s session.


 *TIP* Not only is this needed to merge a smaller collection of data, but it is great when I am out of town (like AU). If anything goes wrong, each merge is dated so whatever was corrupted can be reintroduced a-la-carte.

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Civil 3D – 2011 Point Feature Request

I mess with a lot of points.  Incoming and outgoing. One things we can’t seem to do, is to get all the data at once.  In the case today, I have to renumber a range of points because I will have a lot of data coming in on highway cross sections.

I renumber the points into a new range.  Usually the old existing data is best so the new data reflects the notes as it’s drawn and managed.  Civil 3D’s awesome management has created a dilemma.  Numerous groups will have the wrong point numbers associated, and all the groups will empty when the existing data i renumbered.

Can’t we code these with a checkbox that says “persistent group tracking”?


Style layers update when renamed, etc.  In this manner, the points would update the ‘Include set’ when renumbered.  This would be SO helpful, especially when I have 10 groups to alter.

Civil 3D – Points Highlighted Tolerance Tip

This is old news, but I was having too much fun not to post it.

I have a big building pad with gridded verification shots.  I need to know where the pad is beyond tolerance, so I can direct the crews to verify those areas. 



That’s a lot of dots to look through, and there is a LOT more not shown.  Why not set up  temporary group of points and highlight them.

image     image

I create the Tolerance group at the top (so the group gets sorted first).  Then set the elevation criteria to be Greater than the tolerable value.  Last set the Point Style to my preset sort using color red. 

image   image

Now everything that needs to be verified is highlighted in red.  It took a whopping 60 seconds, and saved 15 minutes going over a hard copy. 

BTW, if you are not sure that you have cleared them all after verification, just pick the group in the prospector.  The remaining points will show up in the list below.

Civil 3D – Corridor Assembly Link Tip

An associate contacted me recently regarding how to move 2 sets of train tracks through a single corridor, while keeping the ability to deviate the overall width.  The example I received had the sets of tracks identically elevated and on a single bed.  I decided to go a bit overboard, and add vertical and horizontal control.


Above you can see that I mocked up something real fast.  2 separate alignments, and 2 respective profiles.  I wanted to create a open area in the middle to add a freight depot.  I used the profiles to help me adjust the grades for the buildings.

The Assembly

Here is the first half of the solution.

I’ll list the steps below the example image, and then I’ll discuss some important items afterward.


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Civil 3D – Point Label block issue resolved

Civil 3D 2010 Update 1 cleared up the Point Label style block issue that had plagued many of us.  Kind of a relief, I have been hesitant to edit ANY Label Styles, since being tortured by the problem.  Just the knee jerk reaction to being pounded by the software.  All is well……I still crash, just not at that time.