If you’ve ever had to connect a bunch of survey points you know this is sometimes a chore, especially with a very long project.Â You’ve taken a look at Civil 3D’s survey tools because you want to use Figures and Figure Prefixes to make you life a little easier.Â You tried to convince your surveyor to add all those “BEG, CONT, and END” codes to his FBK file, but he won’t budge.Â He surveys in the “ZORRO” method (cross sections as opposed to all down one side and then back).Â “That’ll take way too long to code in the field.”, he says.
Well, there may be an answer.Â Take a look after the jump.
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a faster, easier way to do things.Â I’m lazy by nature and I think that’s why I like Civil 3D so much.Â I can get a lot done without too much effort.
There’s no rocket science to this technique.Â It’s very easy and just a few steps.
Here’s my situation, I have several kilometres of survey along the edge of a river.Â A dyke to be exact.Â Here’s what the surveyor picked up every 20 metres or so.Â I know,Â I know, the elevations are all the same.
Â Notice that in each of the surveyed sections the points have different descriptors.Â A very common situation for many different projects.Â This is where you need to communicate with your surveyor a little.Â There needs to be different descriptors for left/right 1/2 whatever.Â You can have just Top and Toe shots.
Using the transparent command ‘PN, we can use the PLINE command and connect points sequentiallyÂ by point number.Â Obviously, connecting points sequentially with these points is out of the question.Â You’d get a bunch of Z’s.Â (Zorro…get it?)Â You just can’t make this stuff up.
Find your original point file, or export these to a new point file and open it in MS Excel.Â it’s going to look something like this.
Here’s where you have to remember just a few steps.Â We want to have all of the “toe-l” points next to each other, all of the “top-r” points and so on.Â And we need those points also kinda sorted by point number.Â What we want is to sort the points by description FIRST then by point number.Â No problem, highlight all the cells, click Data-> Sort,Â Â Choose the first column to sort by (descriptors) then the seconds (numbers).Â See the result below.
Notice how all of the toe-l points are in line AND the points numbers are increasing.
We can’t use these numbers because they already exist in our drawing.Â In fact, we don’t need the numbers at all right now.Â Our points are in the order we want, so delete the entire point number column.Â We’ll have Civil 3D number them when we import the in the next step.Â Just remember to save this adjusted file to a new name, maybe CSV format.
Back in Civil 3D we’re ready to import our new file.Â My original file was PNEZD.Â Since I removed the point numbers it is now NEZD.Â You might need to create a new Point Import Format.Â Import the points and allow Civil 3D to do the numbering, making sure to add them to a temp point group.Â Oh, by the way, now would be a good time to make our original point group a no-show.Â Otherwise we’ll have overlapping points and that might be a little distracting.
Here are our new temporary pointsÂ Â With each side of the dyke nicely numbered in order.Â
This is one end
Â This is the other.
All we do now is issue the PLINE command.
‘PN (transparent command)
387-462 is the point number range.
Voila! Â Your toe-r points are all connected.Â Do this three more times and all 4 plines will have been created.
Last stepÂ I promise.Â We are left with a bunch of duplicate points now.Â Just delete the temporary points we created for this exercise and you’re done.