Eye the Keys of Color

Tags color, layer color, Layer Standards, NCS, CAD Standards

That is not a pirate movie title. There is a search for buried treasure involved. The search for better standards is never ending. It’s inherently a quest for agreed on meaning. We should say interpreted meaning. Standards are in…

The Eye of the Beholder

The Standards quest is about looking for improved and common ways to work together without the need to change things for the specifics to make sense to more people. I spend a good deal of my professional life these days helping government agencies work through those details.

The National CAD Standard (NCS) is the basis for much of this work. I love the NCS. I hate the NCS. The NCS works. In the civil and survey disciplines we need to make adjustments from the AIA one. Our Production Solution products employ a well-documented civil/survey compliant variant of the NCS. We make these available as an open source resource to everyone. Best as I can tell, they are the best and most complete and complaint ones available anywhere from anyone.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Release 2016

Yep. It’s on the way. We in the midst of an effort to simplify the usage, maintenance, and depth of our products. We do this continuously as we learn for customers about real world needs and problems they encounter. Our next release of the Production Solutions will include a rework of the colors we employ and the rules that govern them. See this previously released post about the color to lineweight rules in detail.

Our next task is about making the Standard Keys have some rational basis that works in the worlds of simple to complex infrastructure projects.

A few of our customers noticed that we generally employ a color scheme that basically follows the APWA (American Public Works Association) color scheme used by USA markup. This didn’t happen by accident. People complained we weren’t consistent about it. Our next release will fix that and more.

"Make it easy for people to get what they want."

Example of Standard Major Keys to Color Shade

Name

Description NCS

Color

C-ALIN

Civil|Alignment

232

C-ANNO

Civil|General Annotation

212

C-BLDG

Civil|Building Footprint

62

C-BLIN

Civil|Baseline

202

C-BNDY

Civil|Boundary

212

C-BRDG

Civil|Bridge

232

C-CTRL

Civil|Control

162

C-DRWY

Civil|Driveway

192

C-DTCH

Civil|Ditches

92

C-ESMT

Civil|Easement

42

C-MEDN

Civil|Median

22

C-PAVE

Civil|Pavement

42

C-PRKG

Civil|Parking

192

C-PROP

Civil|Property

222

C-ROAD

Civil|Roadway

22

C-STLT

Civil|Street Light

32

C-STRC

Civil|Structure

162

C-SWLK

Civil|Sidewalk

32

C-TOPO

Civil|Surface

102

C-TRSG

Civil|Traffic Signal

42

C-UTCA

Civil|Cable

62

C-UTCO

Civil|Communications

62

C-UTEL

Civil|Power

22

C-UTFB

Civil|Fiber

62

C-UTIL

Civil|General Utilities

222

C-UTIR

Civil|Irrigation Water

192

C-UTNG

Civil|Gas

72

C-UTPH

Civil|Telephone

42

C-UTRW

Civil|Recycle Water

192

C-UTSD

Civil|Storm

112

C-UTSS

Civil|Sewer

62

C-UTWR

Civil|Water

152

C-WLRT

Civil|Retaining Wall

182

L-SITE

Landscape|Site

212

Maybe you’ve never seen common utility Layers coded this way. Hey. The layer names in the AIA’s NCS are specifically for inside of building projects, folks. Dooh! Most civil and survey folks like these better. They are in use in a lot of jurisdictions. As I said in the beginning Standards are all about more productive common forms of meaning.

What is interesting is that the displayed color of Standard Minor Keys play a significant role in end user day to day differentiation and identification too. More on that later. Maybe.

You can download our Open Standards including the most in-depth set of Keys for civil engineering and surveying available anywhere here.

The Lineweight to ACI number Color rules can be found here with explanations.

Versatile

Our Production Solution products produce excellent results when ported to ACAD apps or even Microstation. Our use of the named plotstyles that conform to the NCS STB definitions and the standardization of our NCS like naming schemes for Layers|Levels and Blocks|Cells make interop between AutoCAD and Microstation a lot easier.  Hey. Our NCS Symbols port to working AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map 3D, and even Mircostation Shared cell libraries instantly. Watch the Legends and List AddOn video training to see the basics of how to build one.

The Familiar is Not Right nor
Should It be Left to its Own Devices