Topo Points

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Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:27 pm

I posted on the FieldGenius Feedback Forum but received zero response so I'll try here. How do you keep track of topo points from field to office? I for one am always scrambling with inconvenient methods to keep track of which points to include or not include in the DTM that I will build back at the office. It seems to me that we should be able to code a point either "in" or "out" of the DTM just after the shot is taken, WHILE IN THE FIELD. This is a big issue on jobs that include thousands of points. FieldGenius allows this when creating a DTM in the field..but it is not linked to MSCAD. Anyway, to me, creating a large DTM on a typical data collector screen is insane. Also, it would be nice to assign lines to a BREAKLINE file while in the field but that is a much easier "work around" than the points. Anyone remember WildSoft? They had these tools down cold twenty tears ago.

Respectfully,
Ed Gasbarre
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Richard Sands » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:36 am

I agree Ed, not easy.
Generally I make a copy of my main job and delete out all points that I don't want modeled. That's not too hard as I code them accordingly.
May seem an overkill but it's just what I grew up doing.

Once the model is created then contours/ tins etc can be drawn in any drawing of my choosing using the surface(s) created.
FG - MSCAD has a few hiccup areas where things aren't seamless, this is not alone there.

As for modeling in FG I agree it can be a pain on small screens/ big jobs, but can show any stupid pole heights etc.
Also on certain jobs I found it excellent check of quality when I would stake the surface and just have my bloke drop the pole anywhere and see what was reported.
I did a survey to resurface a playing field and wanted to be sure my survey was sufficient for the task. That method of staking proved extremely beneficial.
That said I have never used that DTM in MSCAD.

regards
Richard
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:39 am

Richard,
thank you for these excellent points. The idea of copying the job and then deleting points has a lot of merit because if the tin goes completly haywire we can easily and confidently start over. Although it is a pity we have to resort to such methods It's great to hear from colleagues who think positve and offer well structured advice.

Also, I will try again with "on the fly" DTM creation.

have a great weekend,
Ed
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Re: Topo Points

Postby jrlehti » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:25 pm

It seems to me that if you developed a feature table you would be able to tell which features create the dtm and which do not. When you import the file to MSCAD the features should follow along and then you could sort your point table by feature and set all non dtm features to a zero elevation. MSCAD will not use zero elevation points and lines for a dtm. Just to make sure you do not mess up export a comma delimited point file so if you change the wrong points to zero you will have a record of the original elevation found in the field. If you have microsoft excel you can import a comma delimited point file and sort/replace elevation easily then reimport the comma delimited file back into a new project to create the dtm.
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:36 am

The Feature file sounds interesting and worth exploring. I've played around a little bit with them but have not implemented one. My guess is I would nedd an identical AutoMap file.

The biggest problem with topo points is that I may want points with the same descriptor both in and out of the DTM. For instance, concrete points and linework are usually in the DTM, except for example when the top of a wall is located. Also, trees, light poles, building corners etc. may be in or out depending on where the shot must be taken. It is for these reasons that we need control at the point of attack..when the shot is taken.

Thanks for your suggestion and I'll give that some serius consideration.
Ed
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Richard Sands » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:40 pm

Field Genius has methods of collection that aren't recognised inside MSCAD and its that interaction and full compatibility that is the issue here.
Feature files are brilliant in use and are a step towards a GIS type surveying program that is still in its development (I hope) or infancy.

My way of making DTM's isn't ideal either and has it's own problems.
All these are really work arounds and time consuming ones.

They become more complicated when we add more points/ features/ lines etc as a job expands, and want to remodel.
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Re: Topo Points

Postby getrsurveyed » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:54 am

I've always used point codes to try to control this.. 2D & 3D codes.. but there is always the oddball
situation that has to be dealt with in the office. All in all sorting out points by their codes to include
in the TIN has worked well for me. I have not worked with feature codes yet..
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:42 am

jrlehti wrote:It seems to me that if you developed a feature table you would be able to tell which features create the dtm and which do not. When you import the file to MSCAD the features should follow along and then you could sort your point table by feature and set all non dtm features to a zero elevation. MSCAD will not use zero elevation points and lines for a dtm. Just to make sure you do not mess up export a comma delimited point file so if you change the wrong points to zero you will have a record of the original elevation found in the field. If you have microsoft excel you can import a comma delimited point file and sort/replace elevation easily then reimport the comma delimited file back into a new project to create the dtm.


I'm working on your feature list suggestion but thus far I cannot find a way to view the attribute info in the Active Coordinate Editor without opening up each individual GIS box. You mentioned sort the point table by feature but I have yet to figure that one out.
So I'm still at ground zero until I find a way to either view the GIS attributes in the coordinate list or sort the data by GIS attribute.
Still working on it.
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Richard Sands » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:46 pm

Ed I don't think you will be able to.
When they introduced the features in FG it wasn't directly linked to the MSCAD Points Data Base. (That's how I understand it) Very open to correction thanks.
Which was a pity as it should be (I imagine) easy to just add that column into the Editor as are Notes a feature of the Editor.

I was a bit excited back then as I saw it the next best thing to a Surveyors GIS package one could hope for.
I have GIS and know its benefits, but it's a lame duck when it comes to surveying stuff.

What happens when you select ALL inside Editor and Copy and Paste into Excel?
I haven't any Feature rich files to test but there are far more columns that get pasted into Excel than are present or 'occupied' in Editor.
Does the GIS column get filled in Excel?
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:02 am

Richard,
I'm not an experienced Excel user but I tried what you suggested. None of the GIS info appeared in the Excel file. I'm still surprised so few comments on this issue. Perhaps full blown topos are not common anymore.
Thanks,
Ed
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Richard Sands » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:21 am

I'm not sure what jrlehti means by 'feature table'. I took that to be a Feature List that is then used inside FG.
I imagine then you sort by GIS feature in Point Editor of MSCAd.

I'm pretty sure if you tick 'Do not assign to DTM' then that ONLY works for FG created DTM's and doesn't get adopted on import to MSCAD. Seeing AutoMap doesn't have that feature (Not assign to DTM) then I gather that to be the case.

It seems like you are not getting anything in Excel as there isn't anything to be carried over from Point Editor GIS fields.
If you select all points in Point Editor and 'EDIT/ COPY' then open Excel and put the mouse in the first cell (top left) and right click and PASTE and the columns will be filled with relevant data.
You don't get any headers from MSCAD doing that.

I'll create a Feature File and play with it. Be good to be able to do that in FG as we find the need in the field.

This probably isn't much help for what you are trying to achieve though.
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:40 am

I use a space as first character for description of points that I don't want in the DTM then use Point Editor to create the DTM. Sort point list by description, skip the points at the start of the list as everything that starts with a space comes alphabetically first, select everything else; right-click, add to DTM.
And always write to QSB before adding breaklines.
G

...and I just finished a 7000 point topo of a hospital site where some ties of the same feature were in the DTM some were out. Simple to create the DTM from the point editor when sort by description separates "BLDG CNR" from " BLDG CNR"
Gord
Keatley Surveying Ltd.
Manitoulin Island
www.keatley.msdcorp.com
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:20 pm

Thanks for the great idea, it's the best solution yet! I just tested it and see that the symbol chain is broken but that is an easy fix.
Ed
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Re: Topo Points

Postby getrsurveyed » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:46 am

Gord, I can see that using the preceding space works great for sorting but then all the space preceded codes will not plot the correct symbol. I suppose you could write a LISP routine to go in and delete all the spaces after creating the DTM but thats just more work. I still think that a well thought out point coding system works the best. I still use numeric point codes and all my DTM codes are in the 21-89 range .. easy to sort out later. If I have a building corner that has to be located 12' above the ground then I deal with that in the field .. rod ht = 12'. Trees are not in the DTM code range and a ground shot is taken nearby. Top/Bank is coded to a breakline layer as with Edge/Pave..Edge/Gravel etc.

I have not used the FG "no code" method of drawing in the field and I'm sure it works well and has its merits. I do use the XYZ coding extensively and find it covers 90% of my needs... its just so easy! Once you have a coding system its very easy to just precede with XY or Z.

Regardless of your system there are always special situations that have to be dealt with. I am the guy in the field and office so that helps too. Great thread here ..
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Re: Topo Points

Postby TentMonster » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:02 pm

With the new features in 2013 with the AutoMAP coding, you may be able to do what you are asking. $1 coding may help. I have not tried it mind you.

Cheers,
Glen
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Gord » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:08 am

If you want symbols to work, use a preceding 0 or 1 or anything that will be at the start of your point list. You copy the description/associated symbol in the Automap to have two entries. Ie. "LS" inserts light standard symbol and so does "0LS" but description sorting puts 0LS at start of list to ignore in DTM creation. Only have to be careful to not code any ties taken using measurements first such as "0.1m PINE" as this comes before 0LS alphabetically sorted.
Results in double listing in Automap but you only have to do it once.
Other option is using Z on non-DTM points to have them alphabetically last but you have to skip conventional XYZ coding in MSCAD which I've abandonned for a long time due to issues with someone clearing Z codes.
G
Gord
Keatley Surveying Ltd.
Manitoulin Island
www.keatley.msdcorp.com
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Richard Sands » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:18 pm

These really are work arounds and messy ones, in as much as they are a means to an end but really skirting the issue I see that in FG we have the ability to Yes or No a point to be added to a DTM.
But this isn't carried through to MicroSurvey, a direct family member and not a far distant cousin, so to speak.
It would be interesting to have input from the developers and suggestions from them too.

Fix the interaction between FG and MSCAD which I gather many are users of and this problem would disappear overnight.

My 2 bobs worth on a wet Tuesday morning.
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:48 am

Well that would be too easy wouldn't it. (Sun shining hear Richard, you should try sorting these things out in God's country.)

In a perfect world; check box in 'save point' screen tied to description or distinctively coded altogether. Imported FG file would result in another column in the coordinate editor with checkbox akin to 'locked' column but pertaining to DTM in or out. With boobs.
Gord
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Richard Sands » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:50 am

That's a good idea.
Its really all setup, just needs a tweak in MSCAD
from Field Genius:
The first row in the file is reserved for the column header. Some of the columns are reserved for our
desktop products, but the following columns are used in FieldGenius.
Column A = Description (String value)
Column B = Summary of Description (String value)
Column L = Connect Points with Line (1=Yes, 0=No)
Column M = Layer Name (String value)
Column O = Line Colour (Number 0-255)
Column Q = Line or Spline (0=Line, 1=Spline) *** This works in conjunction with Column L.
Column U = Marker Type (Number 0-26)
Column V = Marker Size (Number 0-10)
Column W = Marker Colour (Number 0-255)
Column X = Exclude from DTM (1=Yes/Exclude, 0=No/Include)
Column AF = Zone Number (Numeric Value)


The X column is also in the MSCAD version of AutoMap and it would be an obvious to add another box in the AutoMap Editor box to tick if needed to exclude from DTM.
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Re: Topo Points

Postby Ed Gasbarre » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:25 am

Just checking...is anyone at MicroSurvey following this thread? It is interesting to note that this very topic was posted for months on the Feedback Forum without a single reply. I guess that avenue is not all that well traveled by MicroSurvey customers. Anyone else like to chime in? :)
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