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Survey Database Improvements

Survey Database Improvements

Currently, processing survey data in C3D is a pain, especially when having to edit codes to get figures to be created correctly. Here are a few ways to greatly enhance the workflow and save time when working with a survey database.


1. When a point is edited and the dialog for Process the linework comes up there is no indication that it will process all import events. It would be great to be able to have the option to process the linework for just the import event the point was created from or the entire database (the current setting). 


2. If an auto-generated figure is created and then manually edited, a re-process of the linework will create a second figure on top of the previously created one. There needs to be either an option to delete the originally created, but edited, figure or apply the changes to the newly created figure. For example, our surveyors sometimes use the offset codes for a curb to generate the EOT and BOC if the shot is in the flow-line. This creates an auto-generated figure for the EOT, but is still on the curb layer and uses the same figure style for the curb. If the auto-generated figure is edited, such as changing the layer and style then it works fine until the linework is processed again. This leaves the edited figure in the database and drawing, but also creates a second auto-generated figure on top of the previous one.


This could possibly be fixed by just not processing points that weren't edited. Why process all points (or just an import event) if a single point was changed? I know the auto-generated flag is turned off once a figure is edited, but why not have a second flag that says auto-generated, but edited? That way the settings for the edited figure can be applied to the auto-generated one as soon as it's processed. 


3. Fix the slow speed of scrolling through points in the Toolspace>Survey>Survey Points dialog. There are usually hundreds, if not thousands, of points and just scrolling to edit a point is a huge waste of time.


4. Fix the survey query dialog box side-bar when it's not docked. There's a huge gap between the bar and the actual dialog box. This has been going on since the introduction of the survey query feature and still hasn't been fixed.


5. Allow the use of a survey query to create a Survey Point Group or at least mimic the drawing specific point group creation dialog. The only way to create a Survey Point Group is to manually scroll through every point and select a check box for each point. Due to this idiotic behavior the Survey Point Group feature is useless.


6. There needs to be some way to inform the user that when trying to delete a point that's in a network from the Database>Survey Points list that it cannot be deleted from that list. If a point is in a network and you try to delete it from the master point list it just doesn't happen. There's no dialog, warning, or anything informing the user of why it didn't delete. Even Autodesk support had trouble figuring out why some points couldn't be deleted while others could. 


7. Figure groups are useless without a way to use a query or wildcards. Similar to the Survey Point Group problem, the only way to create one is to just scroll through checking every single figure to add to the figure group. Either integrate the survey query function into this or create a new way to add figures to a figure group. 


8. Figure out a way to stop figures and points from losing their link from the drawing to the database. There have been many times, including twice just today, where processing linework ends up adding figures on top of existing ones. You have to right-click Figures, select Remove from drawing, then in the drawing use QSELECT to select all Survey Figures, delete them, then right-click Figures and select Insert into drawing. When points lose their link, the same method has to be used to get them back into the drawing, but any label rotations or point rotations have to be done over. This is a huge time waster.


9. When a figure is created from an object, give the options to delete the original object. It's annoying and a waste of time having to use the selection cycling to select the original object to delete it. 


10. When using the OffsetFeature command (which is labeled as Stepped Offset, another annoying issue) on a survey figure it creates a feature line. Either give the option to create a survey figure or a feature line or just create the same type of object. In order to add a figure to the database from a stepped offset, you have to create a figure from the offset object then delete the orignal object again. This is very unnecessary and slows down productivity. 


11. Make the figure and point properties windows modeless. Not being able to pan/zoom around while looking at the properties of a figure or a point really slows down productivity. Either add those properties to the regular AutoCAD properties panel or convert the existing dialogs to be modeless. 


Autodesk needs to actually work on the surveying side of C3D. Nothing has really been done in 10 years with it except for adding Survey Queries. 


The survey database can have a coordinate system or unit that is different from the current drawing.  It would be helpful for a dialog box to appear and inform the user that the coordinate system or unit of the drawing and survey database do not match and provide the user with an option to cancel or continue.




It would be awesome if the Survey Working Folder location could be tied to it's project and "remembered" after setting it one initial time.


Similar to the Data Shortcuts Working Folder / Project functionality.


This function is available in a 3rd party app in the Autodesk Exchange. One of the tools from Smatdraft and also in their suite. This availability often delays implementation in the core product.



Not applicable

When a drawing contains Survey Points & Figures from different Survey Databases there doesn't appear to be a way to determine which database the Points & Figures are associated with.


Internally the drawing knows the information; there's a prompt when trying to edit a Figure if no databases are open, nothing happens when trying to edit a Figure if the wrong database is open, and the Primary point group of Points is the Import Event within a database. But the actual database name is not identified anywhere. It would be useful to have this information exposed in the object Properties and Tooltips.

Tags (1)

2) I'd extend that just a little more:  If more data is added and I choose to process linework from a new (or specific existing network) it should recoginize that a FL is needed between Pt1001 in the new network (TOC10) and PT275 (also TOC10) in a different network which isn't being processed.


7) Just like points are placed in the dwg file and point groups can be created IN THE DWG, I want to create figure groups IN THE DWG complete with the ability to use wildcards.  Currently when using the Survey Query to find figures, you have to have the survey DB open.  I want to store a FL Group that says "Every FL marked as a breakline".  Then when I create a surface, one of the possible edits would be to Add Breaklines>From FL Group.


We currently have a survey template set up with a point group called Ground.  Every ground shot the survey crew takes automatically goes into this group.  The template already has an EG surface created with this point group added to its definition.  Our fieldwork is coded such that certain lines are automatically makred "As Breakline".  But then they still have to be added to the surface.  Given this featureline group, the surface could automatically include those as well.


When translating a Survey Database, allow the ablility for all objects (Parcels, lines, alignments etc.......) in the drawing to translate with the database.

Not applicable

Item number 6 in your list should also include that if the user was to reset a Survey Network that it does not delete Control Points that are in other Networks as it messes up the entire point data base.


Here are a few more items they need to work for Surveyor's.


12. When you update a Survey Networks shouldn't it also automatically update the points in the drawing? Why make it a two step process to update the network then update the point?


13. When the Survey Import Wizzard encounters or just Civil 3D in general notify the users that the point already exists and attempts to resolve it at least tell the surveyor which point is the duplicate point!


14. Allow users to translate networks independently from the entire network.


15. Allow users to LOCK NETWORKS.  Once I adjust my traverse data and translate the survey database to the FINAL SOLUTION. I don't ever want it to change, without having to UNLOCK it.   All it take is only one data file or point observation to override a Traverse Point and the entire network and survey data base has to be reprocessed.


16 Add more conversion optiosn for survey figures. I.e convert to featureline - > convert to 3d polyline (with specific weeding/supplementing factors/midordiante distances etc.)


survey in civil 3d sucks.


As pointed out and confirmed in THIS thread, none of the current mid-ordinate options are used for adding figures as breaklines to a surface. This is a needed option instead of the hard-coded value currently used by C3D.

Not applicable

As Land Surveyors we would prefer to use only the actual points that we tied in the field along with the linework that is checked for breaklines. It's obvious that with Feature Lines we are able to change the Weeding and Supplmental factors, but for some reason this is not the case with Survey Figures. Too many "derived points" creates strange contours. Maybe add an option when reducing field data with auto mapping line work to check either Survey Figures or Feature Lines. I have talked to many Survey Techs who are exploding Survey  Figures and then converting them to Feature Lines. That is painful! Give us an option at the forefront or fix Survey Figures where they are simliar or exactly like Feature Lines. 


Thank you & Best Regards,


David Horsburgh

Not applicable



It would be nice to be able to insert survey point into a drawing by a selected region or window.

That option was available in LDT. hint hint

Not applicable

Each survey data base should have its own folder and fixed so that it is not listed or available when creating additional new projects.

Each Survey Data base should be totally separated from each other by project.


I know I'll probably get a lot of slack for saying this, but I work "without" the use of Civil 3D's Survey Database for a myriad of reason that I won't go into right now. And for that reason, it sure would be nice if...


1. When "Importing Points" it would allow the user to "add" such info. like...

(time and date of collection, time and date of Import, field book and page, field crew, range of points, any basic notes, etc...)


2. Then be able to add this info. to a "Notes Section" under the "List" or Edit" Points, and also to the "CUIX", so that when a points is clicked on, this info. would show within the "Quick Properties"


I think having this capability to users that don't use the Civil 3D's Survey Database, this would be a great addition and benefit to either or.

Status changed to: Gathering Support

This is something that we are looking at how best to implement.


One thing to look right now at is using Property Set Data to attach sets of additional information to your point object. This is going to be part of the new workflow.


In 2017 we added the ability to add Property Set Data to Civil 3D labels.


The part that is missing is the import / export of the data into the Property Sets.


I will probably move/merge this thread with a few more




Peter Funk

Autodesk, Inc.


Thank you for your time and consideration.


I have not been able to work with Civil 3D 2017 yet and look forward to doing so.


By the way... you have an awesome name. Smiley Very Happy

If you are just looking for storage, then the Property Set Data method works for any release of Civil 3D. For help before 2017, search for Property Set Data in the AutoCAD Architecture.




Peter Funk

Autodesk, Inc.

Status changed to: Accepted

Merging a number of the survey database / COGO ideas using this one as the container. We are starting work on a new way of working with points, linear elements and surfaces and these ideas are being looked at as part of that effort. 




Peter Funk

Autodesk, Inc.




This was in the old product. We can do the opposite but I'm supprised no one else needs to edit decriptions, bad shots and save them back to the DB without having to create another Import Event or DB.


Second the update database from drawing points. Every survey needs edited and would like the option to update the database accordingly so the effort doesn't have to be repeated.

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