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geoffpreston
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
Message 1 of 8 (1,242 Views)

Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

1242 Views, 7 Replies
01-23-2012 03:22 PM

As far as I know, the Survey Database is a necessary evil for running automated linework and selecting the resulting breaklines for surface creation. Those two procedures are all I use the database for as I don't need to perform network adjustments or transformations. I'm getting very tired of 'updating survey figures from drawing' every time I modify a survey figure, or having to create a new survey figure in the database every time I break a figure in two. I know that the database and modelspace must be kept in sync to avoid problems, but this seems like a lot of redundant work. Everything I need is in modelspace.

 

So, my questions are:

  1. Is there a way to run linework and create survey figures without using a database?
  2. Is there a way to select survey figures categorized as breaklines without using a database?
  3. Is there a 3rd party plugin or LISP routine that could facilitate the above?

I'm currently using Civil 3D 2011 with SP2.

Many thanks in advance!

Geoff.

*Expert Elite*
mathewk
Posts: 2,711
Registered: ‎07-09-2003
Message 2 of 8 (1,220 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

01-23-2012 07:17 PM in reply to: geoffpreston
  • Is there a way to run linework and create survey figures without using a database?
  • Yes, 3rd party software.  Well, it won't create figures.  Feature lines.

 

  • Is there a way to select survey figures categorized as breaklines without using a database?
  • I would imagine 3rd party software can do this, but I can't see the property in the API.

 

  • Is there a 3rd party plugin or LISP routine that could facilitate the above?
  • The above should be able to be done, you just need to find one or hire someone to develop them.

I know people who have just used the DB to create the lines and then explode them into 3dpolylines.  then erase the DB.

 

Matt Kolberg
Cansel - Autodesk Division
http://www.cansel.ca/
*Expert Elite*
Sinc
Posts: 6,207
Registered: ‎11-18-2006
Message 3 of 8 (1,214 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

01-23-2012 10:56 PM in reply to: geoffpreston

I've been VERY STRONGLY trying to encourage the Autodesk team to let us do this without the Survey Database...

 

In my experience, the SDB is a waste of my time as a user, a waste of Autodesk's development time, an unwelcome complication in training new users, and, well, a bad idea in general.

 

 

I know how to use it...  But it provides so little real value, that I avoid it for EVERYTHING except for creaiting linework.  That's the only reason I use it.  And if I didn't HAVE to use it for that, I'd never create a SDB.

Sinc
Valued Mentor
engrtech
Posts: 691
Registered: ‎05-05-2008
Message 4 of 8 (1,180 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

01-24-2012 09:04 AM in reply to: geoffpreston

As Sinc posted, if there was a way to get the automated linework without the use of the survey database we would probably never use the survey database.  My little group is trying to use the survey database the way Autodesk intends, but it's very complicated for something that should be simple.  We use it to do the automated linework and keep track of the points, but it's very time consuming and annoying to edit the figures.  

 

Honestly, Autodesk needs to get together with actual, real surveyors who use the product to get an idea of what needs to be done to fix it or scrap the database idea all together.  Something as simple as making a figure's property dialog box modal would be a step in the right direction. Selecting a figure and going to its property should not automatically zoom to the figure's extents. Creating a figure is also not easy. Sure, you can draw a feature line and convert it, but it doesn't grab the points as part of the definition of the figure. If you want that, you have to do it in a convoluted way. Editing a figure is a pain.

 

For example, we shoot the flowline of the curb and call it FC (face of curb). The first point might be FC ST H.5 V.5 H1.5 V.1275, which creates two offsets for the back of curb and gutter.  If we ask the surveyors to go out and extend the survey some more, they start a new figure in the field and do the additional work.  Once the new points are downloaded and linework processed, we end up getting a gap between the "old" figure and the new one. To join them, I have to do a large amount of steps.

1. Scroll through and find the figure in the database, right-click it and go to properties

2. Click the zoom window button & zoom to the gap. If I use the wheen to pan & zoom, hit ESC to get back to the dialog box once you see what you need.

3. Find the end/beginning of the figure and click add vertex.

4. Click the little arrow to select points and click the end/beginning of the "new" figure's point.

5. Hit Apply.

6. Click the join button and select the "new" figure to join them.

7. Hit apply/OK.

 

Now I have to repeat the 7 step process with the other two automated figures for the back of curb and gutter.  That's just trying to join one curb to another.  This process is very inefficient and I'm sure there might be another way, but this is the only way we've seen to do something like this.  What's even worse is if I do this and find that they miscoded something after I've done the editing, I can't process the linework again because if I do, I get the two original figures on top of the one I just edited. This means that I have to make sure that most of the automated linework is correct before I do any editing of the figures.  That can be hard to do with 200+ figures.

 

I know I'm ranting, but seriously, Autodesk needs to change how the survey database is used.


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Valued Mentor
stacy.dunn
Posts: 381
Registered: ‎10-03-2008
Message 5 of 8 (1,114 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

01-25-2012 01:43 PM in reply to: geoffpreston

Sinc,

Are you planning to add this type of functionality to Sincpac?

Stacy Dunn
Contributor
geoffpreston
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-28-2010
Message 6 of 8 (1,095 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

01-26-2012 06:57 AM in reply to: geoffpreston

Thanks for the info. For what it's worth, I can run the BREAKLINETOOL command and evaluate survey figures in modelspace without being connected to a survey database. I imagine there must be some way of interacting with these figures designated as breaklines. It's a shame there's no way to pick them using Quick Select.

 

I agree that Autodesk needs to speak with real surveyors to see how they're applying the software. My guess is they would find the vast majority have no use for it beyond automated linework. So Autodesk, do everyone a favour and eliminate the DB. Please. Looking forward to that in the 2015 release...

Active Contributor
earlesinc
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Message 7 of 8 (1,044 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

02-01-2012 06:08 AM in reply to: Sinc

I am in agreement with sinc. I am generally disappointed in the overall update of the 2012 version.  Things that I felt worked well ,no longer work as well and are more cumbersome to find or to use. Autodesk has totally missed the mark on speeding up productivity. As for the survey data base we have decided to do it the 'ol fashion way and that is to play connect the dots. Less head aches, less time spent trying to get things to work. Yes it is time consuming, I will admit, but at least the bottle of tylenol lasts longer.

*Expert Elite*
Sinc
Posts: 6,207
Registered: ‎11-18-2006
Message 8 of 8 (1,014 Views)

Re: Is the Survey Database necessary for linework?

02-01-2012 11:56 PM in reply to: stacy.dunn

stacy.dunn wrote:

Sinc,

Are you planning to add this type of functionality to Sincpac?


Not really...  There's already Stringer.  And we're concentrating more on extending C3D in other directions.  The last thing we want to do is waste our time recreating Autodesk's Survey Figure funcitonality, when Autodesk could fix the problems so easily themselves.

Sinc

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