November 4th, 2016 was a day to remember, as Autodesk had just released a 16.2 revision to Civil3D that provided what initially appeared to be some useful improvements to the Civil3D API (Application Programming Interface). A couple years before (11-29-2014) we had requested several improvements to the API to allow the creation and editing of FeatureLines on a level similar to polylines.
Sometimes when you receive a drawing, the contents can often be far from what you need, but you have no choice but to make the best of it. Such is case when (one instance) Civil3D users have moved labels away from the point, exported to AutoCAD then exploded the resulting anonymous blocks.
The list of file formats that CAD users need to deal with never seems to stop growing. For a long time the ESRI Shapefile was pretty much the exclusive format from ESRI users but it was always an export from the GIS. Now users find themselves receiving folders of content with the folder having a .GDB (GeoDatabase) extension.
In mapping environments, the problem occurs when you receive a drawing that has not been properly assigned a coordinate system. Without a proper system assigned it’s nearly impossible to merge data from other systems or view the project in tools like Google Earth. A glance at the coordinates indicate large numbers that should reflect a known system, not random coordinates.
When we were approached to add a Catchment Report tool to our Civil3D tools package, we were pessimistic at first, since the API exposes very little about catchment objects. However, if there’s one thing we have plenty of it’s determination and after some experimentation we found a way to collect the necessary data. The results turned out better than we initially hoped.
A common request in Civil3D is the ability to add station and offset values to CogoPoints placed along an alignment. Since this is not a built-in ability we approached the problem and found a very good way to do it. Also, since Civil3D users expect dynamic results, we added reactors so that if the points are moved, the station offset values update instantly.
It’s usually easy enough to draw a coordinate grid on your project in the current coordinate system. But what if you need to draw a latitude longitude or other coordinate system grid. The lines and labels aren’t ortho anymore nor is the spacing the same (or even consistent).
If you receive a drawing from a Civil3D user, there is a possibility it contains CogoPoints that appear locked. You can’t move them, you can’t rotate them, etc. Since you don’t have the Survey Database you can’t unlock them like the original creator did. If this happens to you, read on.
Like a lot of things in Civil3D, it is possible but not easy to do. This post is an attempt to provide a step-by-step procedure on how to add additional properties to AeccCogoPoints.
The ESRI Shapefile is a common exchange format with GIS systems and users often receive .SHP files representing contours. However, most of the time the elevation data is not stored on the shapefile geometry, instead it’s a column in the associated .DBF file. This typically leads to multiple steps having to import then do processes to read the attached data to elevate them properly, so why not do it all in one step.