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What a Plot

Tags publish on demand, parcel, dynamic model


Every good tale requires a plot. From a neuroscience perspective for human beings this in built into the way our brains work. By this I mean, humans think (process), remember (store), and communicate (publish) what we believe, hope, sometimes know, and try to learn (or not) by tales. Story telling is fundamental to the mechanism of human thought.

In the working world of civil engineers and surveyors a part of our tale becomes the deliverable or the plan set. All design professionals recognize these are at best are a temporary endgame in the bigger story of making things.

Tactically speaking and in economic terms, it seems to make logical sense to focus our efforts in one place. KISS. We pursue exactly what we want. We work hard to get exactly what we expect. This is a technology effect – how we use the tool determines and limits our results. In CAD we used to call this…

What You See Is What You Get

Vendors claimed this as both goal and product benefit. All that really meant was that our historic CAD tools and the supporting technology environment the surrounds that did a pretty poor job at representing what we had to deal with in the real world.

Serial Digital Output

We then tend to fall victim to the one drawing approach when we employ the tool. When more than one drawing is required to tell our tale we have a series of singular purposed drawings. This works but changes are difficult and man-hour expensive. The quality control and assurance work explodes as we search for consistency.

We get, in effect, iterative plan checking not iterative design. Smart people complained and our tech environment improved by orders of magnitude. We may acknowledge that and fail to act on it. I certainly do.

Flirt with the Model

Understandably people have a hard time relearning how to do what appears like the same known things in new ways. People always do what they know how to do first. Why we all see Civil 3D topic discussions that start out with something like,

“I converted closed polylines into parcels in Civil 3D and my labels and POB’s are wrong. Please help.”

A World Upside Down

Ignorance is not bliss. All my training responses to the statement would be questions that start with “Why”. Why convert? Why closed? Why polylines? Parcels are different – they are a collection of data collections that have properties. Yes. I do agree that C3D parcels should be easier for users to see and deal with.

If you plot from the same drawings you work in from inside AutoCAD Civil 3D, you’re using the CAD and probably a bit of the Civil 3D’s Dynamic Model. You employ new tools and old basic workflows so you will continue to have the above mentioned issues.
Things will be and remain as you expect them to be.

Civil 3D is a Diva

You are definitely not employing a Managed Dynamic Model. That requires that you employ a systematic method and process (a workflow) to keep the DATA in the model(s) separated from your publication drawings. Simply put - you can then QA the DATA and the publications will pretty much take care of themselves or not.

Civil 3D Data References and Data Shortcuts obviously play a significant part in any managed project scheme and structure. You can check out our free Data Shortcut videos that cover your options of both structures and workflows. These work in real world projects.