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VW09 still no ground and grid coordinates support !



Another VW release and again no support for real land surveys and stake out designs!

When will VW support UTM grid coordinates as well as WGS-84 datum?

AUTOCAD CIVIL 3D and Land Desktop, Eaglepoint, Bentley, Microstation as well as all other serious CAD provide support for ground and grid real world curved earth coordinates.. so the question remains, when VW will?

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"Geospatial Technologies and Spatial Thinking

GIS + GPS + RS = Tools for geographic inquiry

Key geospatial technologies are becoming more evident in our everyday lives. Geographic information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS) and remote sensing (RS) technologies

are the base: Smart maps able to display, query, and analyze geographic databases; receivers that provide location and navigation; and global to local imagery and tools providing visual context and analysis.

However, tools are just that?tools.

Critical to the best use of geospatial technologies is spatial thinking and thinkers. Geographic inquiry powers the application of these technologies in classroom subjects, in careers, and in the community. In combination these technologies are increasingly more vital in assisting educators, students, and their institutions to ask and answer personal and community questions with local to global implications.

Classroom: Geography and GIS are obvious companions, for example, GIS appears in the US National Geography Standards. However, teachers in earth, environmental, biological, and

general science are the largest body of educators using the range of geospatial technologies.

Their growing use in an array of social studies and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects supports authentic problem-based instruction. The growing importance of these skill sets is prompting countries including Norway, Finland, and South Africa to infuse these

tools and approaches into school programs"

Panta they are putting in your school programs.....beware and protest against it

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Panta they are putting in your school programs.....beware and protest against it

You are certainly a specialist of misinterpretation - but that is often the case with people who ride to town on a hobby-horse.

Have I protested against geospatial approach? Not at all. I am just mindful of the fact that such technology is of no use - ever (yes, that is a long time...) - to the vast majority of current and potential VW users.

Considering various fundamental issues related to VW's overall functionality & capabilities, I can't see a mass migration from MicroStation or AutoCAD to VW among engineers working on large-scale projects. Why would they?

Landscape architects and urban planners may occasionally have projects that cover huge areas, tens of square kilometers, but in this scale, they only do schematic & conceptual work. Accuracy is not an issue.

Some years ago an independent developer created an add-on for doing cartographic visualisations with VW in long/lat coordinates, so to me, the ignoramus, it would seem possible for you to develop a series of add-ons for the needs of the large and growing group of VW users who need to work using geospatial referencing.

When VW does not do what I need to do (which is very often), I make my own tools. Humans, after all, are animals who make tools. Become a human, make a tool!

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Petri - my wish for 2009, after requesting it for 18 years, is a tool that places a symmetrical arc between intersecting lines & the resulting polyline radii are editable through the Object Info palette.

Do I want to spend time developing Vw tools - no!, but I am more than willing to pay for it, I have purchased very valuable tools from Raymond Mullin, Charles Chandler & Manuel Garcia de Paredes, but sadly I am very much in the minority among Vw users according to the developers. They have provided tools for me that allow me to spend my time designing "Liveable Roads for all Travellers".

"Some years ago an independent developer created an add-on for doing cartographic visualisations with VW in long/lat coordinates", but "Azimuth does not provide support for datums" according to the developer, Richard Furno.

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The Mysteries of Geometry in VW are beyond me! However, as a result of my total ignorance, I have to confess that my long-awaited Mind Reader add-on is way behind schedule. Not even the Geometrical Rule Clairvoyance module is ready.

Well, whatever. Should there be commercial demand, developing tools sounds like a good business proposition. If this does not sound good, who do you expect to pay? Us?

I probably should not make this public, but what the heck: here we have someone ?willing to pay?.

Some time ago I sent info about an add-on to the esteemed Mr. Robertson. He has not bothered to comment it in one way or the other. Yes, here we have another prime example of a Paying Customer!

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The reason I have not responded is that Frank Brault of Tech Support has not got back to me on the problem of arc polylines not being editable in the Object Info palette. "Here is the result from offsetting the HPGCTerasen polyline. Handles show extra vertices on the outer offset polys; uppermost handle is the arc vertex from the original road centerline. So, to answer your original question, it looks like offsetting operations have improved. The vertex behavior that you have observed is still present" (10/04/08). Unfortunately the polylines in your "Petri Road Planning" tool have the same problem, they can not be revised correctly in the OIP.

I did send a private message: "Hello Petri


> Did you have any trouble offsetting these polylines, I reported a bug for

> polylines where the the tangent of the arc is > than 1 half of the distance

> between the intersecting arc vertexes & tech support confirmed? Do you use

> Manuel Garcia de Paredes Vectorbits Offset Tool?


> Would appreciate any comments you have regarding the benefit of Vw2009."


Uhh, my late-night communication once again... I was more or less going ready for bed when this occurred to me.

The road is a parametric object so I use VectorScript routines for offsetting. They're even worse than the interactive tools...

Anyway, since it is only for broadbrush planning & illustration purposes, it does not matter. The idea is that by drawing & adjusting a single polygon, you get the entire road."

Petri - I very appreciate the assistance & comments you have provided to me, but in this case your Road Planning tool has the same problem with arc polylines.

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Panta as you read the article was quoted so it not written by me and yet most urban planners are using GIS and Remote Sensing tools, both based on georeferenced coordinate systems, to get their baseline data to do their planning and monitor the results in time.....

The whole enchilada of this post is for VW to have this georeferencing support almost transparent to all end users, just select when creating a project its datum, ellipsoid, grid and geoid models once for your area, so that the VW always use it in the background (unless you change of location or country and wish to change these). Georeferecing is done by the software not by the user.

I own a license of AZIMUTH and it doesnt run well in OSX 10.5.6 besides it was not a full geocentric georeferenced product.

I am not a VW script programmer nor do I have the time to do it or want to do it. That is what VW programmers are getting paid for as well as all VW third party developers charge their fees for their products.

Regretfully NOBODY seems capable of programming this georeferencing feature in VW and that is the bottom line.

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Petri I hope you are just needling Alex & I to make us clearly state our case why we think a majority of Vw users will be required to provide georeferenced designs. I know you have an interest in this subject because you developed a MapInfo export filter.

My request for georeferencing Vw files is the primarily the result of stakeholders requiring georeferenced design submissions. For example the Ministry of Environment requires that submitted road designs be georeferenced so they can be overlayed on their georeferenced watershed & aerial photography; to ensure that riparian zones are protected. Property owners & other stakeholders want to observe the effect that proposed road designs have on their property & local governments are using Google Earth to provide that opportunity.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a georeferenced picture is worth 100,000 words.

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" Data to Design: Good Design Requires Accurate Base Maps

Jan 7, 2009

By: Marcia Carrillo, Lucy Kuhns

You have just won the latest infrastructure project and can't wait to get started with the design. But first, you must prepare the existing conditions base map. A complete, accurate base map is critical to the success of your project. The project team will need to research and include the usual existing condition boundaries, easements, and topographic, hydrologic, and infrastructure features. And, with today's safety, environmental, and sustainable design requirements, you will also have a wealth of other robust data that must also be included.

Including all of this often disparate data into your project base map can be a cumbersome experience, and when your base map is constructed with different data types, such as GIS, survey, imagery, tabular, and even legacy hard copy items, this can sometimes take more time than the actual design itself! Today vast amounts of robust data are available for our use. However, most CAD systems are not able to easily consume and directly use these data types in their CAD-based drawings. Many engineering professionals face the challenge of taking a CD full of CAD, GIS, survey, imagery, and miscellaneous project-related data and compiling it in order to get a base map prepared in time for a meeting with only a day's notice.

With the incredible amount of data available today in a variety of formats, the challenge is to get that data into your CAD base map drawing as accurately and easily as possible. Data conversion, coordinate system reprojection, and drawing cleanup can make this task laborious and time consuming. This article outlines how to use AutoCAD Map 3D 2009 to bring disparate data into drawings through its Feature Data Objects (FDO) data connection and how to use Map 3D?s built-in drawing cleanup tools to best prepare data for the design process.

Removing the Road Blocks

With Map 3D?s FDO connection, you can connect to all the different data types (such as SHP, SDF, JPG, MrSID, DEM, and point list files) for use in the base map drawing. FDO allows users to quickly gather information, such as center lines of roads, parcel boundaries, control benchmarks, soil types, zoning limits, contours, and high-resolution aerial photos.

Standard connection types include SDE, Oracle Spatial, raster (MrSID, GeoTiffs), WFS (web feature service) and WMS (web mapping service), as well as ODBC, MySQL, and SQL server. The FDO data connection tool is accessible from the docked Task Pane. Once loaded, the data can be symbolized and queried for display in the map model window. The Style Editor allows the data to be labeled, symbolized, and themed by any of the attributes that are associated with it.

Use the FDO connection in AutoCAD Map 3D to bring together disparate data types.

Working with Coordinates

When working with CAD systems, all the data must be in the same projection and coordinate system or it simply will not overlay correctly. Often the imagery, engineering, and GIS data are in different coordinate systems and even in different units. For example, the images might be in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), the engineering data in state plane coordinates, and the GIS data in a WGS latitude and longitude system. Units must also be consistent. Systems may be in meters, U.S. survey feet, international feet, or some other unit. The difference between U.S. feet and international feet may seem small (One U.S. foot equals 1.00002 international feet), but considering that the coordinate ranges for many systems are in the one- to two-million range for northing (y) and easting (x) location, this can result in errors of more than two feet!

To solve the problem of varied data with varied coordinate systems in AutoCAD Map 3D, you apply a global coordinate system to the base map drawing. Knowing the main purpose of your base map drawing, you can choose an appropriate coordinate system and units. For example, if your project is an engineering or infrastructure development project (any project that will require construction), typically the global coordinates are set to the location's state plane zone. Once the global coordinate system is set, any other data will be reprojected on the fly to conform to this system, and dissimilar units will convert as well. Another helpful feature is that coordinates can be set within AutoCAD Map 3D's data connect window, allowing easy integration for data that doesn't have a projection file associated with it. For example many ESRI shape files come with no projection (PRJ) file, which means they do not automatically "know" what coordinate system or units that they are in. To solve this in AutoCAD Map 3D, select the coordinate system that you think the data was created in for use in that system. To accomplish this without using this Map 3D feature, you would have to use ESRI's Arc Catalog or would need to create your own PRJ file in Notepad.

Dealing with Hard-Copy Data

Many times during the base map creation you will need to incorporate hard-copy data from legacy drawings, plats, and legal descriptions. These typically need to be scanned for heads-up digitizing, which can take a considerable amount of time, then checked for accuracy. Autodesk Raster Design can be used to scan and then vectorize selected image components. For example, you can digitize the contour lines from scanned hard copy map image by using the Contour Follower tool, which allows you to convert scanned contour maps to polylines with elevations. Select the major and minor contour line in the raster image and the contour follower will trace the line, create a vector contour line, and assign the elevation in Map 3D.

Getting Site Survey Data into Your drawing

At the onset of a project, preliminary site survey data is collected and needs to be added to the base map drawing. Usually this data is in a point list format or a comma- or space-delimited ASCII text file. Many CAD users find this difficult and prefer a third-party software to help with the task. AutoCAD Map 3D offers a survey tool kit that supports LIDAR and other data formats (x,y,z format) and can be integrated into the drawing and visualized for site verification. The survey toolkit also allows you to load LIDAR and point data files to create 3D surfaces and contour lines.

Survey data file inserted and surface contours created.

Managing Drawing Change and Clean-up

Once the preliminary base map is created and approved, changes or updates often need to be made. The data connection feature enables drawing clean-up and multiuser editing of DWG files, and more than one engineering professional can be editing a drawing at any given time. This accelerates the base map development time and when used in conjunction with the drawing clean-up tools, can reduce the cost of base map development changes.

Full base map ready for design.

Ready for Design

Once all the data is cleaned up and displayed in Map 3D, you can move on to the design process using the AutoCAD design tools inside Map 3D, or you can open your project drawing in AutoCAD Civil 3D. You can also export data for use in other design applications, or you can simply push data back to a GIS source."

This georeferencing workflow can be implemented in VW

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Again you just dont get the post's objective Panta it is up to us users to request the features we need from the developers of VW .... otherwise NNA would not have a forum for the WISHLIST nor would it have any reasons to release new versions of VW (and charge us for them of course).

It is NNA that should hire not one but a dozen of firms to get VW new features and charge us for them... which I am totally cool with paying for them.

Another option already suggested is to contact Trimble and get them to develop for VW a TRIMBLE LINK add on module and solve the georeferencing limitations.... EASY and CHEAP for all parties

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I get the objective of your posts very well!

As a long-time user and an independent developer of add-ons I also have an informed ? but not necessarily correct! ? picture of NNA's lines of thinking. I have gathered that the key component in their quite successful strategy is the price point. For the existing users, $50 is a huge sum to pay for an add-on.

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Come on you have to be kidding .... US$50 a huge sum? I would have never guesses that VW professionals were so economically limited, I guess that means that no real top designers are using VW?

I spend over US$50,000 a year in civil and land survey engineering and CAD software and I am a little fish in the pond

Trimble Link is free add on ...it only cost NNA to ask for it to Trimble to develop it for VW is this too expensive or too much effort for NNA?

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You are making strange assumptions about top designers. They are the ones that are always broke...

But tell you what: for only USD 500 I can sell you a licence to use a script/menu command that generates CSV-text files of XYZ-coordinates!

For USD 5000 you get the sole, world-wide rights to sell it royalty-free.

For USD 50000, copyright & code, too.

Edited by panta rhei
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Now we are talking Panta... I knew that somewhere a great VW script programmer for this simple feature existed...

Would this script list the CSV coordinates of all end points of user selected lines?

Would this script list the vertex of all user selected polygons?

Would this script list the coordinates of all locus points?

Would this script list the coordinates of user selected curves end points?

CSV Fields needed for each point are:

Point number, Northing, Easting, Elevation, Description

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To all questions: I would think so.

Point number would be easies as a seemingly arbitrary number (running sequential number in the creation order of objects.) By description you mean what? Implict (END or VERTEX) or somehow explicit (entered)?

Curves... Here we have a problem. 3D-poygons do not have curves, only straight segments.

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The evil empire (AUTODESK) keeps putting out more and more useful real world geospatial tools with its newest Autocad Civil 3D that supports all georeferencing datums and grids coordinate sytems, import/export to various surveying data collectors and support for ground/grid distance planes, etc ...

NNA come on this geospatial feature should be really easy to implement it is not a 3D rendering with shades and textures!

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