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on DTM survey import: "Error: Could not find NNA_DTM_Hidden_Record."


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This error comes up every time I try to import test or real survey data, even in absurdly stripped-down test form (eight points, no ID or description). The points will render, but any alteration generates the same error message, and it takes one "OK" click to "clear" each data point.

This was not always the case; I did at one time successfully import real data, but had to hit the "OK" button about 100 times to clear the error message (once per data line), and at that time I did NOT have to repeat this any time I made a change in the properties of any point. I can only guess as to what might have changed between then and now, but suffice it to say that the importing process has never worked right.

My data are tab-delimited, from a "notepad" file (though I'd dearly loved to have worked right from Excel, this was what NNA tech people advised). In other than stripped-down test data and real data, "ID" is an integer, "description" is text. I've played with guessing at end-of-data characters and all other permutations I can think of, and nothing takes care of this error message.

Searching the board for info on the error, I found three-- unresolved-- posts that are quite old by now:

DTM Error (NNA_DTM_Hidden_Record.) 07-25-2001;

3D Survey Data Import Error 04-15-2002;

DTM Survey Data Import not working 11-27-2002. Users varied in responses (one indicating same problem with v11). Not comforting that there was no followup from the Nemetschek tech who had taken the topic up: "Interesting... Can you send us the data file you are using via email? I'll go through the whole process and see what happens. If its a bug, I'll see what I can do about a wrokaround/fix...[edit]

Matthew Giampapa

NNA Technical Support"...then...resounding silence on the topic.

This was my experience with telephone tech help as well, also followed up by my sending data with no response. One of my later tech calls ended only with the not-so-generous offer to sell me the current version, but frankly, I'd be more inclined to cut my losses and spend that money on graph paper.

Since my primary purpose in buying VWKS was to be able to use it for DTM to create and alter topos for a personal mini-site-development project I whittle away at when I am not busy working overseas, I must say Vectorworks has been more than a huge dissapointment to me in this regard.

If DTM actually can be made to import properly and work dependably, a sample "project" would be most useful so I can attempt to duplicate at my computer.

Mr. Anderson, can you shed some light?


Dave Sofio

v. 9.5.2, Dell Dimension 8200 [Pent 4, 2GHz], WINXPpro, 512MB RAM

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


One of my later tech calls ended only with the not-so-generous offer to sell me the current version, but frankly, I'd be more inclined to cut my losses and spend that money on graph paper.

Dave, DTM is one of those features that gets aggressively bug-fixed and enhanced with every release. (You're using a release that is, if my memory serves, about 3-1/2 years old, and that's a lot of bug-fixing water under the bridge.) If you're doing mostly landscaping or site design work, I'd recommend you upgrade to VW LandMark instead of VW Architect, which has a lot more site-sculpting capability. (Unless of course you need some of the purely architectural features of VW Architect.)

In any case, email me a file, and I'll test it against the latest and greatest at no risk to you (or maybe I'll be able to see what file issue is causing the problem.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thankfully DTM is very sensitive to 'garbage in' issues. If you can create the 3D Loci in VW then there's usually no issues. My experience is that many Acad files are rittled with artifacts and code errors. When using Text Files always 'show invisibles' and you will often as not discover 'tabs to infinity' or added spaces or

mulitple tabs & carriage returns, etc. All it takes is one lousy space to compromise the 'record>field' import. I use Excel for import of thousands of DTM records with no issues as long as all the protocols are respected. Use can use any spreadsheet to streamline code writing by combining fields into syntax. Then output the result as text and use it in Vectorscript. With this simple process you don't even need DTM !

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