Getting a Mapcheck from Metes and Bounds

So, you’re handed a sheet of paper with an old property description. Your first thought is to throw it in to Cheesy Cogo. Then you think about using LDT. Or maybe firing up Carlson. Because we all know that C3D only runs Mapcheck and Inverse reports when you create a parcel. And parcels in C3D can only exist from closed lines. Or is there another way to handle it in C3D? Find out after the jump….

So let’s take a look at my subdivision here in McKinney and see how it closes. imageI’ve gotten the Record Plat from my friendly Collin County Central Appraisal District site, and I’ve entered in the boundary.  Right now I have a simple polyline, entered based on the metes and bounds, starting at the plat’s POB. I’ve not done ANY closure via pedit, etc.

Now, here’s the magic part we’ve all been blowing past. I owe Peter Funk a huge thanks. We chatted about this late last night, and he reminded me of the functionality we’d all forgotten. 

  1. Open up your Survey toolbox by selecting Survey->Open Survey Toolspace.
  2. Right-click on Survey Databases and create a new DB if you don’t have one. Name isn’t really important.image
  3. Select Survey-> Create Figure from Object and pick your boundary pline. Press Enter to finish the selection.
  4. In your Survey tab, right-click on your new Figure and select Display Mapcheck.
  5. Expand out Panorama, and voila. Closure distance, angle, and precision.

No Parcels, just lines, arc, and information. Cut and paste to your favorite editor as needed.

A quick note of thanks to Dan Ramsey, RPLS at Jones & Boyd, Inc. in Dallas. He discussed some of the finer points of surveying closure with me. It’s good to know friendly surveyors when you’re an engineer!


  1. Chuck Lamping says:

    Nice. We’re still struggling with getting surveyors to buy off on Civil 3d, but this might make them happier (if anything can, that is).

  2. Daniel Regan says:

    I resent that. I am a Surveyor and an advocate of C3D. I have no issue with generating mapcheck by creating a parcel or analyzing a figure. My problem is that civil 3d 2008 still does not have a true cogo routine. Entering a metes and bounds description is tedious using the basic line by direction routine. Non-tangent curves are a nightmare. Autodesk had the cogo interface perfect in Field Survey, which is probably why Carlson bought it. Bring back the cogo functionality..Please!

  3. Jason Hickey says:

    Daniel – I would like to disagree with you one one thing and correct you on another.

    With the new lines/curves menu in Civil 3D 2008, we have all of the lines/curves tools that were available to us inside Land Destkop – having worked in a firm that typically entered deed descriptions using vanilla AutoCAD commands, I really appreciate the Lines/Curves routines provided to us by Autodesk.

    As far as Field Survey goes, you’re misinformed. Autodesk had nothing perfect in that program, and Carlson never purchased it. Field Survey was nothing but Carlson Survey rebadged and licensed to Autodesk FROM Carlson. It was meant to try to bridge a gap in user base, but was so unprofitable that Autodesk decided to drop it. You can still buy it if you want it, and it loads right on top of Civil 3D if you so desire – you can find it at