Survey in Civil 3D to Surfaces

Tags Survey, survey db, points, point display, surface, query, video, AddOn, Civil 3D 2017, Civil 3D 2018

Go ahead and say it out loud. There be lots of sizzle, hiss, and snake-like sound in that post title. Stomp about a bit in rattlesnake land. Do the same old things. You may miss the magic. Trust me. When you look down at your boot and there’s a mad, hissing snake wrapped around it and his fangs are buried in the boot leather you’re mighty glad you changed your Nikes. Time to change that nappy?

Once upon a time that was me. No. I didn’t grow up to be a snake handler. Is a blown datum on a multi-million dollar shopping center project worse? Thirty acres of potential storm drainage basin in the guise of designed parking lots is not something to sneeze at. We can all tell a tale…

Pull Civil 3D Forward or Be Pushed

This important AutoCAD Civil 3D survey work can come back to bite you in just about any civil engineering design project. Without a doubt, many significant new software functionality and tools are changing the workflows and mechanics of this mission critical task. Business as usual bites.

Our recent series of Civil 3D 2018.1 Rehab corridor posts begins with exactly that point. Right before that series we covered the shades of Civil 3D Points in exhaustive detail. Last year at this time we were in the middle of an in-depth series review of Civil 3D Survey tools and functionality. The Survey functionality in Civil 3D got better – much better.
Are you paying attention?
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Maybe this little eval checklist will come in handy?

Civil 3D Survey Skills Checklist

Here’s a simple Civil 3D Survey intermediate skills checklist. You always:

  • Employ a Survey Db and often more than one
  • Employ canned Survey Queries and you have a shared standard Query library
  • Employ a shared canned library of standard Point Groups
  • Build dynamic Surfaces from Survey data to validate and check the collected data
  • Regularly use multiple Description Key Sets
  • Use multiple drawings to publish point data, point symbols, point labels, and surfaces
  • Employ the differences between View-based and classic WCS-based point labels effectively

If you work mostly on the design side in Civil 3D and you believe these Survey skills do not matter, you probably work way too hard. Visit our Civil 3D Survey at Jump Speed page to get caught up. Yes. There are lots of walk-through training videos. One video cannot cover it all. Here’s the Surfaces from Survey one.

Speedy Civil 3D Surfaces from Survey

Maybe you didn't catch the fact that the point data in that Survey Db was all in PNEZD point files and not from an FBK.

Ok. Maybe you once tried Survey Queries back in the day and were disappointed in some bad behavior. The Civil 3D Survey Query Essentials post should help clarify things. Oh yeah. There’s a handy video and links to other important things you need to know about Survey Queries that the AutoCAD Civil 3D help dodges.

Survey Query Fixes

Autodesk and Microsoft have been kind enough to update the proper saves and imports of the conditions in the External Queries for Civil 3D 2017 and Civil 3D 2018. If you discover that you can only import External Queries with contains conditions, you might want to check for and install service packs and updates.

Query About the Framework for Civil 3D

“Does the Framework for Civil 3D include tools to help Civil 3D users use Survey Queries?”

You betcha! An entire Survey Query library is included in the latest builds of the Framework Jump Kit and/or included in a Survey Query AddOn for your release. Sorry, these resources are not included in the Templates Only trial edition product.

“Does the Framework include the management tools to help me build and maintain Survey Queries?”

Of course. The Survey Query Speadsheet Tool even allows you to construct and modify them outside of Civil 3D. Imagine that. Needless to say, the Framework includes a powerful host of Spreadsheet Tools to build, edit, and maintain all of the integrated Civil 3D resources you need to make this work.
It’s all in the box.
Imagine that.

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How do you get a pissed-off, 4’ rattlesnake off your boot?…Real quick and very carefully.