I have to draft a lot of existing lots and easements from legal descriptions and recorded map documents. Does Civil 3D have an option to enter metes and bounds (bearing and distances into a table format and then "autodraft" from the entries in that table?
Sure would save me a lot of time.
You should look at putting them into a field book file, using survey commands. I use this process for maps that have lots of sides.
If you have many of them in document files, take a look at the Legal Reader in the MapWorks Parcels module. Simply paste the description into the editor and and many cases you can plot it in two clicks.
Dialog example: http://www.dotsoft.com/images/mwlegals3.png
or yet another way (if you have C3D 2012 or later) is to use the little gem located on the Analyze Tab in the Ribbon > Ground Data Panel > Coordinate Geometry Editor. It will do exactly as you described. See attached.
I'll second the use of the COGO Editor. Entry of metes and bounds was what it was designed to do. We set it up so the most of the input could be done with just the 10 key pad by allowing "Enter" to move from cell to cell and by adding the quadrant notation of quadrant dot dot (1.. = NE, 2..=SE, 3..=SW, 4..=NW). It will draw polylines, it can add COGO points at the vertex points, it does curves and side shots and can do some simple math in the input fields. For example you can enter 114.45 + 110.33 as a distance or use points for either bearings or distance. if you enter "1 to 2" in a direction field it will take the bearing between points 1 and 2. "1 to 2" in the distance field will take the distance between them.
The COGO Editor also has some adjustments in it so that you can check and adjust the traverse before you commit it.
The other nice thing is that you can save and load a traverse so that you can modify it later.
Another hidden feature is that you can use a polyline as input and then balance the polyline.
And yet another option is to use the Analyze > Survey > Mapcheck. You just need to know to click off the 'command line input' option at the top. Select your point of beginning, add a segment (then select whether or not it is a line or curve), add the data you have. It will draw a preview on screen. If you getting a bearing or distance wrong, editing is as easy as changing some numbers. Once you have the description drawn, you can 'balance' the legs or just insert it as a polyline once finished. I like this method for deed/easement descriptoions since I can see the preview on screen and still make edits on the fly if necessary. Makes really easy to see if there is a problem with the description you are plotting.
Here's my tutorial on using the mapcheck tool. I created this before the coordinate geometery editor was available.
Access a broad range of knowledge to help get the most out of your products and services.