Civil 3D Parcels from Alignments

Tags parcel, parcel segment, alignment, offset alignment, landxml, Label Style, video

At present we all probably have Parcels on our mind to one degree or another. It is Christmas time after all. I admit that you’re probably not considering the Civil 3D kind of Parcels favored in subdivision work. Those may make you grimace. Mind you. I’m no Grinch.

My point is that there are many ways in AutoCAD Civil 3D to deliver the Parcel goods whether you be a design civil engineering firm or a surveyor.

Civil 3D Parcels from Alignments

A customer reminded me that I talk about employing the Design Control Manager for Civil 3D (aka – the Alignment) as a way to construct and manage Civil 3D Parcels in a better and more dynamic way. He called me up and claimed he always seems to get stuck.

“I mean I get it that an Alignment in a Site can subdivide Civil 3D Parcels, but the segment Labels can then become a real pain.”

How True - She Makes Me Blue

I addressed his issues and we’ll get to that in a minute.

Autodesk vainly tried to fix this problem with the long ago and far away addition of General Line and Curve Labels styles. These work if you Create Parcels from objects and embrace old school LDT method and practice. I’d guess that’s what most people still do all the time.

Do date the Civil 3D Site Parcel topology still doesn’t recognize resolved Parcel segments on Site Alignment Features in regards to Parcel segment Labels. Stupid! The Site Parcel knows.
This could and should be fixed, but don’t hold your breath.
Most people don’t even really understand there are differences in the segment Label Types at all.
Why should there be?
Somewhere there’s a Parcel post series about that.

Ok. At some point I should update the Parcels series with videos. The posts might be sexier.
Sadly, I keep hoping Autodesk will fix the basic faults in a theoretically a much more powerful set of updated Parcel tools. Silly me.

To put this in perspective and in another way - the updated Traverse Editor (which really is pretty slick) still builds only polylines into Civil 3D and not Parcels, Figures, Feature Lines, or even Alignment Features on demand. Shameful. A day or two of useful code that will never make the Civil 3D Wish List.

To Create and Manage is not to Publish

The Parcel tools work pretty well to create and manage Parcel collections albeit given some of the sad limitations of the Parcel segment edit interface. We now have to consider the segment annotation a separate publication process. It’s divide and conquer time or waste time being frustrated.

Most of the Parcel issues are just a question of perspective and workflow. One, and probably more than one, drawing to manage the Parcel collections. Other drawings to produce the published segment and/or other annotations. Of course, it helps to have the great Framework for Civil 3D Style tools to the make the magic beyond the code happen.


Parcels from Managed Alignments

I initially thought about doing all the horizontal design control in the video from Civil 3D Intersections – the Manager of Design Control Managers. Then I realized that complexity might put people off from the real advantages and benefits of a bit simpler version with Offset Alignment right-of-way management in typical subdivision work.

I hope it’s a bit easier to get over the hump that your corridor control should help build the Parcel control even though we’re probably not talking about the same Offset Alignment and Curb Return geometries per se. Put another way - We might need two different Intersections to perform the two separate tasks. Working around the nuance of Intersections doesn’t bother me, but it might confuse the unwary. See the Stop That Civil 3D Wizard post and video for more about that. This quick video makes the point,

What’s a DREF?

From my perspective the LandXML export and import method shown in the video to speed the Label process is an essential Parcels publication workflow. This really isn’t any different from a published surface DREF anyway, if you catch my drift.

Is the Model what you publish?

I’d typically publish approved DWFs of the Parcels anyway in deliverables. There’s a post about that here. Needless to say, the Framework for Civil 3D’s infamous Project dataset, includes examples in both XREF and DWF contexts.

Data Shortcuts for Parcels

Gee Autodesk. It seems that you could easily have data references to Parcel collections?
Pointing to a LandXML file appears to be pretty doable?
God forbid with the new ESRI Interoperablity initiative you start doing SHP files. So 1990’s. Yuck.

Ok. I’d technically prefer that the Parcels DREF was really a tailored Survey Db for Parcels, but that’s just the control freak in me talking. I want Parcel Queries like Survey Queries.

“Please give me only the storm drainage easements.”

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