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Civil 3D Survey Got Better

Tags surface, figure, survey db, survey, video

I still hear some folks say that AutoCAD Civil 3D sucks for surveyors. There are certainly reasons why people believe that. Usually I discover the person tried the Survey Toolspace in Civil 3D once releases ago. They had a really crappy Civil template and tried to use the Autodesk stock styles and resources. No wonder. I’d quit too.

You should fix that. Surveyors and civil engineers love the Framework for Civil 3D.

“We generate PNEZD point files and we don’t need Survey.”

In Civil 3D 2017 and Civil 3D 2016 there have recently been a lot of sometimes subtle but significant Survey improvements. If you won’t use Civil 3D Survey, this doesn’t matter to you at all. Or does it?

Is Project Time Valuable?

I acknowledge that Survey in Civil 3D is not like LDT or other survey CAD solutions. Thank God!
First and foremost - Civil 3D Survey is more flexible and adaptive than CAD dinosaur products.
Sorry. That does make Civil 3D Survey more complicated and sophisticated.
You are responsible to manage and improve more stuff.
Therefore you can improve stuff more too.

Survey is all about the setup, the data behind, and a few new, learnable skills.
Here’s the link to our now infamous Civil 3D Setup video.
Everyone freaks out about the Figure and Traverse Editor interface. Get over it.
How fast can you tweak Survey Queries? Do you use those in dynamic quality control surfaces?

“Isn’t a SurveyDB just the new version of the LDT COGO points database?”

Yeah and a Civil 3D Alignment is just the lines and curves you see on the screen.
I find that most folk simply never learned how to employ Survey Dbs effectively.
I know it takes a while for the lights to go on.

Quick Surfaces From a Survey Db

It’s All About the Dbs

As the video shows that these days you can easily standardize Survey Queries. A Query Library can be pretty productive. This is sort of like standardizing your Point Groups and how you move them around. Yes, Autodesk still needs to clean up the Query management in the interface a bit. Ask them to fix it.

Did you know you can use Survey Dbs to build legends and track Revisions, Keynotes, Details, or Label and annotate whatever?
“No Way?”
Yes Way!
If it is a location (and What isn’t a location in Civil Land?), you can track it, annotate it, and even table it with a Survey Db or two or three.

“We do Design - Survey is Not Worth the Time to Learn”

What if someone already built Corridor Point export Description Key Sets and the Code Translators for you? Hmmm? That might innovate your design plan set production of corridor projects without serious effort.

I suppose you still believe it is faster to connect the survey dots manually too?

Someone actually called me and said this on the phone last week.
He had an attitude. I couldn’t resist.

“Ok. Bud. How about a little challenge?”

I had him send me only a raw point file. I sent back figures in a couple of hours. Mind you - I had to build the Figure Db and multiple Description Key Sets from scratch using a Framework for Civil 3D Spreadsheet Tools.
All he had to do was some CAD polyline work. He beat me by a lot. He was so proud.

“Ok. Bud. Now send me another job.”

You Do The Math

He got the point.

Get the Framework for AutoCAD Civil 3D

The following list of posts - most of which contain videos - should help you get your head around Survey Query basics, method and practice, and/or useful workflows in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

The Recent Survey Query Series