I've been working in AutoCAD for many years, but am new to Civil. I've been able to insert a group of survey points from a text file and then replace those points with custom blocks. Is it possible to link (or insert) these blocks to the table in such a way that they will be oriented according to a column that specifies their rotation angle (in this case, a bearing) and fills in an attribute for each block according to a separate column with the attribute data?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
The short answer is yes, but more details will be needed.
First, do you know about the Description Keys feature of Civil 3D? If the rotation is a parameter embedded in the point description, you can get Civil 3d to automatically rotate the symbol to that value. No replacing of Civil 3D points with blocks is needed. Civil 3D will place a block as the point marker.
Second, where exactly is the rotation information coming from? You say you want to link or insert to a table. Do you mean a table in Excel or an AutoCAD table object or simply a text file with point data columns?
Thanks very much for taking the time to respond. I am vaguely familiar with the Description Key feature (seems like I remember that from a tutorial) and will go back to read up on the topic.
The data itself is part of a large geologic database (MS Access) consisting of thousands of points. In the past, we've dealt with block insertions either individually or with large data sets using script files (and lisp routines back in the 90s). The database consists of many different linked tables with different types of geologic information. I converted one of the tables into a *.csv file and added the points using their lat-lon coordinates - which also contains station names and other data associated with each point. A different table in the same database has geometry information, including spatial orientation of planar features, which we represent with different types of oriented blocks. I can convert the Access tables into any format which might solve the problem.
My thought was to simply add two additional columns in the points file, one with the bearing/rotation angle and a second with an inclination value which would only show up as a text attribute (wouldn't actually be used to orient the block). If I read your reply correctly, I should be able to automatically rotate the block according to one of the columns. Can I use the additional column to add a text attribute to each block?
Thanks for helping out a Civil rookie.
To explain Description Keys a little further:
Civil 3D will key on the field you specify as Raw Description. This field can include textual entries as well as numeric entries. If you separate the different parts (called Parameters) of the Raw Description by spaces (it must be a space per Civil 3D rules) you can make those different parts cause different actions to be applied to the point.
For example, let's say I have a dinglehoffer symbol that I want to place on points that are coded with DH. Additionally, I want the size of the dingelhoffer symbol to be controlled by another entry and the rotation by yet another. I could accomplish this using a Raw Description:
DH 1.5 45.1523
That represents Key Scale Rotation. This is considered one field, Raw Description, in the point database.
You input the rules for Description Keys using the Description Key Sets. See the Settings tab of Toolspace, expand Points and you'll find it.
You should also familiarize yourself with Point File Formats and User-defined Property Classifications.
If you are sending a file from your Access database with Lat, Lon, Elev, Raw Description, < Your Custom Fieldname>, <Your Custom Fieldname>, etc., you need to tell Civil 3D what fields are coming and which point database fields to place them in. Use a custom Point File Format to do that.
The point database only has certain build-in fields and you might have data that don't match those fields. Use User-Defined Property Classifications to create these custom fields. This would facilitate your ability to have multiple text and/or numeric fields within the drawing-based point database, any or all of which can easily be displayed as point labels.
Create the User-Defined Property Classifications before you create the Point File Format or you won't have anywhere to put the custom fields being imported.
If you do any write-ups for your co-workers, your friends here would appreciate your posting. Any knowledge you can add is welcome. And, of course, keep the questions coming, too. Your question is someone else's question.
Here's a great video by Todd Rogers that brings this whole process together:
Thanks to Todd!
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