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eegriega

creating site models for dummies...

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hi i am a land surveyor using a leica total station to survey gardens/fields and want to turn my surveys into site models in vectorworks which i can then use for making sections etc.

can anyone please give me clear idiot proof instructions on how to create a site model from a collection of surveyed points? i am really confused about what the process is exactly and am doing something wrong because it just isn't working!

i would really appreciate any help that anyone could give me on this.

thanks a lot

Acer 7520 laptop

AMD 64 X2 dual-core TK-55 1.8GHz

2gb Ram

Nvidia 7000m graphics card

Windows Vista Home Premium

Vectorworks 2008

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I think that VW's will create a site model from a) 3d polygons (ie: contours), or b) 3d loci. Although I use the first method (because that's what I usually get from the surveyor) I think that if you create a 3d LOCUS for each of your data points, then select all the loci and run the CREATE SITE MODEL command you should end up with a site model. There are a couple people here (on this forum) who know more about this than I do, so perhaps they'll jump in with more info. There is also good info here:

file:///Applications/VW13.0.1(83388)/VWHelp/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/html/wwhelp.htm

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The 3D loci method works fine as well. Export the 3D information from your surveying program as DWG and then import this DWG information into VW.

I have had to laboriously manually create 3D loci for each station point on a survey, but this is not ideal. Try and export the station points as 3D loci or the contours as 3D polygons.

For the best results it is always better to have survey information beyond the perimeter of your lot boundary. Where possible make sure you have no rentrant corners as the DTM model will interpolate across the gap, rather than connect to the perimeter loci.

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Tell us a little more about your Leica and the data files it produces. If you have a tab (or other character) separated data file, you should be able to use the Import Survey Data command to create Stake objects in your VW file for each point in your data set.

You can then run the Validate 3D Data to make sure there is no extraneous data.

Select all of the data points and then Create Site Model.

This should give you the DTM you are looking for.

Pat

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Thanks for the response. I am using a Leica 1200m builder total station, and generate my dxf file using the Leica Data Construction Manager software that came with the equipment.

I have tried to use the Import Survey Data option but have always had an error message saying

"Error: the file has bad data on line: 2" does this mean that my dxf file has been corrupted?

cheers

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Does the Leica software give you an option to produce a text file of the northing, easting and elevation of each point rather than producing a DXF output? If so, that will probably be your easiest option.

If not, then you need to determine what kind of objects are the in the DXF file it produces. Are they points (loci), 3D points (3D Loci with elevations), 2D Polygons, 3D Polygons. Depending on what the source data is will determine how to best handle it in VW.

The Import Survey Data is not intended to import DXF files. It is used to bring in tabular data with the Northing, Easting and Elevation data and produce a Stake object for each line in the file. Those stake objects can then be used to produce the DTM.

Pat

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can you send me the dxf file? i am on the other end. i have done dtm using the stake tool and often wanted to get a total station to do my own surveying.

digitalmechanics@comcast.net

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given that i have the northing easting and height data for all the points could i not make a file that i could then import using

Import Survey Data? If so do you know what file format such a table would have to be? would an excel document be alright?

The Leica software only allows me to produce a dxf file but as to what kind of objects it produces in the dxf file i have no idea, my hunch is that they are either points or 2d polygons.

cheers for the reply

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2D contour polygons can be converted to 3D polygons and given a height (Z). These can then be used to create the DTM.

If the site is relatively flat create the polygons at 250 mm vertical intervals.

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ok so how do i do that then...? do i create my 2d polygon contours in vectorworks using the 2D polys to 3D contours option? and then convert that to 3D polygons and give them all a height (z value)?

answers on a postcard...

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If the dxf file has 3d points you are already set. These points would be the shot locations and heights. Simply import the dxf file, select the 3d points (probably 3d loci) and run the command Create Site Model..

Alternatively, Since you have the location data, open it in excel, make sure the columns are of a known order (here we use ID,Northing,Easting,Elevation,Comments), Save the excel file as a comma separated values file and import that file using the Import Survey File... command. This will place one stake object for each of your data points. After the command is run the only objects selected will be the new stake objects.

Having said that I am able to get this file directly off the instrument, in this format and if you can manage that...you only have to 'Import Survey File...'

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a. Read the DTM section in the manual (or online help).

b. Have a look at these DTM movies:

- Improved Digital Terrain Modeling: http://www.nemetschek.net/training/library.php?movie=12movies

- Improved Site Modeling in LANDMARK and ARCHITECT: http://www.nemetschek.net/training/library.php?movie=11movies

c. Download and peruse this Site Modeling Product Tour: http://www.nemetschek.net/training/library.php?movie=tour

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so what kind of instrument are you using? i am using a leica builder r100m power, with the leica data construction manager software. however it seems that i can only get the data off the machine as a dxf file...

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I'm beginning to think I have misunderstood what you are trying to do. I had assumed you would download the data to a dedicated survey program and then use this to create a contour survey plan. From what you have said since I suspect you actually want VW to be a substitute for that dedicated survey program.

If the tab delimeted file export method won't work for you, then you will need to import your DXF file into VW and look at what you have. Once you understand what information it is providing you will be able to work out how to create the DTM.

Perhaps you should post one of the DXF files here for others to look at and comment one.

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I can't get either of these files to download. Has anybody else managed to?

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I couldn't find an online copy of the manual for Leica Power Site software, but there must be an option to save as a point file (point number, northing, easting, elevation, point descriptor) in text format as every other survey software has that option.

I assume you are exporting using the built-in " ?Direct.dxf? functionality, data can be read directly from the instrument in dxf-format and read into AutoCAD? on a PC without any intermediate steps. Coordinates and point numbers can be stored in different layers."

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yes with the leica Constructio Data Manager software you can save the file as a .txt, a .csv, or a .gsi file. however i've tried importing the survey data into vectorworks 'Import Survey Data' as both the .txt and the .csv files and i get the same error message each time :Error:bad data in line 2

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It might be worth looking at the .csv file in excel or bbedit or some other text editor to see what is going on. It may be a formating issue with the csv file. Something like remove the top line and it works...

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Paste the top 10 or so lines of one of the txt/csv files here and we can help figure out what you need to do to get the import to work.

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i think that the csv file is okay now, i had a double up of two sets of co-ords which when i removed the unnecessary set it loaded up ok and i can create a site model, however the contours make very little sense and i am having trouble creating sections through the site.ahhhhhhh

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thanks a lot for that i've got it working on my laptop now. do you know of any vectorworks manuals/resource books or online tutorials? i'm pretty new to this (as you can all probably tell...) and could really do with some tutorials to learn more about site modelling and in particular section viewports and site model sections.

Thnaks again for all your help with this it really is much appreciated!

ben

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