Hot Summer Tips

By Doug Aaberg • August 30th, 2018
tags:    •    •    •    •    •    •  

Ah, we’re into the dog days of summer with temperatures in many parts of the country well above 90°–a good time to get out of the heat and learn some new, infrequently used, but very useful Carlson commands to get ready for what should be a very busy fall for all of us.

Let me walk you through them, which include Deed Correlation; Draw Standard Item; Auto Annotate by Layer; Erase by Closed Polyline; Auto Inclusion Boundary Line; and Design Pad Template (with a Retaining Wall).

1.1.1 Deed Correlation

If you haven’t tried using this command yet, you simply must. I find it an invaluable tool and just about the quickest way to evaluate my survey data. What this command essentially does is compare found monument locations from a field survey to their respective calculated deed locations. I remember drawing elaborate colored work sheets with crisscross lines all over it in color depicting every possible scenario of point combinations and how each would be affected by a particular rotation. Not any more…..
The typical scenario is a set of field located monuments, in this case iron pipes and the respective calculated position of each.

1. From the Survey pulldown menu select Deed Tools → Deed Correlation

The program will have you save an external DCF file

2. Next you simply enter the surveyed point and the respective deed point for all locations desired.

Once all of the points are entered, you have a variety of query options like:
Inverse Report which performs my first described process
Compare Before Align gives you a positional view that is helpful if you had pre-calculated positions prior to the survey.
Check Align which allows you to manually enter in a hold point and rotation point
• And my favorite Find Min Align.

3. Select Find Min Align

The program show a “best fit” for the data supplied. Even if you end up not holding this rotation due to deed consideration, you get a very quick snapshot of your data which allows you to clearly see points (in this case point number 9) that are suspect.
After the completion of the analysis, the program launches you into the align point command.

1.1.2 Draw Standard Item

I don’t see many users that are even aware of what you might do with a command like this. The concept is to preset typical drafting routines, save them as a standard item containing draw actions such as lines and text with layer, and setting font designations and symbols.

1. To set up this command, from the Draw pull down menu select Draw to Standard → Item Standards Manager

In this dialog box you can create categories and items within them for standard items. For example, in the category Buildings, I have an item called Existing House that I can use for each time I draw a house from field sketch notes.

The item itself contains the command to draw a 2D Polyline followed by placing predefined text.

The layers, colors and linetypes as well as text styles can all be set as desired. The text itself can be pre-entered saving key strokes later on.

2. To execute the command from the Draw pulldown menu select Draw Standard Item

In this example, the points 18 and 19 were located in the field and a sketch was supplied showing the dimensions of the house. The program starts by drawing a 2D polyline.

3. Enter point 19 followed by 18

Using the Extend feature within the draw 2D polyline command, type a direction letter followed by distance ie. L10 or R10

Startup options dialog is off. Layer set to EX-BLD.
[Continue/Extend/Follow/Options/]: 19
PointNo. Northing(Y) Easting(X) Elev(Z) Description
19 4656.330 5535.950 504.720 BLD
[Arc/Close/Distance/Follow/Undo/]: 18
PointNo. Northing(Y) Easting(X) Elev(Z) Description
18 4651.522 5516.536 504.030 BLD
Segment length: 20.00, Total length: 20.00
[Arc/Close/Distance/Extend/Follow/Line/Undo/]: E
[I/R/L/S/T/A/B/E/U/X/Help/]: L10
Segment length: 10.00, Total length: 30.00
[I/R/L/S/T/A/B/E/U/X/Help/]: R20
Segment length: 20.00, Total length: 50.00
[I/R/L/S/T/A/B/E/U/X/Help/]: L40
Draw Another EX-BLD Polyline [/No]? N
Pick point:
Pick point (Enter to end):

Since the option for a closed polyline was selected, the program will close the house after all dimensions are given.

4. It then prompts to verify the text

Select the placement of the text and you are done.

The added value of this command is to help get everyone in the company to conform to layer and text style standards.

Applications could be right-of-way lines with setbacks, driveways, utility lines, proposed structures, etc.

1.1.3 Auto Annotate by Layer

I use this command consistently and I love it. The idea is to set up both general annotation defaults as well as the Auto Annotate defaults and then apply each set of defaults to a given layer.
You can find that option in the Auto-Annotate dialog box.

By selecting the Layer Settings button, you can select each layer and match it with each set of defaults.

This is a bit much to show all of the needed steps in a blog but a complete set of instructions is available in the APG to Carlson Survey Book available on the Carlson website:

Once all of this is setup, you simply window in the layers you want annotated and everything comes in the way you want on the right layer with the right text styles.

1.1.4 Erase by Closed Polyline

This command is very versatile. As the name implies, it allows you to draw a polyline around any portion of your drawing and erase some or all of the entities inside or outside that polyline.

For example: you have surveyed a site and have completed a plan based on that survey. During the process of the planning stage, a portion of the site is excavated and you now have to go back and update your plan based on a new survey. Controlling the survey data is simple enough by just putting the new survey in a separate point group but deleting the graphics from the plan accurately can be a real pain.

1. Draw a polyline around the affected area.

2. From the Edit pulldown menu select Erase → Erase by Closed Polyline

3. Toggle the items you wish to have erased.

Note that the command can be used to erase inside or outside the selected polyline.

4. Ensure that the Auto Select Entities to Clip option is enabled.

5. Click .

Just like that, the entities are gone leaving clean drawing space for the new data.

1.1.5 Auto Inclusion Boundary Line

When creating a surface model and contour map, it has long been customary to first draw and define a perimeter boundary line around the data. Carlson gives you a very easy-to-use command called Shrink Wrap Entities to accomplish that very deed.

1. From the Draw pulldown menu, select Shrink Wrap Entities

This opens a dialog box with options. The most significant options are the Perimeter Reduction options of low medium or high. These options control how closely the polyline will be drawn around the point data: i.e. it controls the gap between points.

Then you just window in your data and the polyline is drawn.

But did you also know that this Shrink Wrap command is built right into the Triangulate and Contour routine?

If you disable the Use Inclusion/Exclusion option you can set the same Perimeter Reduction controls as previously mentioned.

Also, if you select Setup you have the option to draw the perimeter polyline in your drawing and designate a 2D or 3D polyline as well as the layer.

I have not drawn a boundary polyline once since this command came into existence. With the incredibly easy-to-use Surface Manager, I perform any manipulation needed after I create the model.

Design Pad Template (with a Retaining Wall)
Most users I have run into have at least tried using the Design Pad Template routine. But most do not realize just how versatile this routine is. The command essentially projects slopes down to a surface model or screen entities. But it can do so much more.

To execute this command, from the Surface pulldown menu, select Design Pad Template.

In this box notice all of the options such as
Template which allows you to select a predefined template such as a curb line. It will then add that template to the polyline and project slopes from that.
Process Multiple Pads allows you to select many design polylines at once.
Use Another Surface For Interior which is self-explanatory but is very useful if you are projecting to a design surface on the outside and an existing surface on the inside or similar.
Use Slope Pad Design allows you to set a slope along the top of the pad even on a 2D polyline
• And Grade Limits, which I will explore here.

In this example, I would like to grade a new elevated pad but need to keep any fill outside of the easement line to the west. I began by offsetting the easement line 2 feet to the east.

2. Select Design Pad Template

3. For the Grade Limits Option select Retaining Wall

Select the polyline for the top of the Pad

Select the Grade Limit Line. In this case it is the 2 foot offset line.

Follow the prompts depending on the options, saving the new pad as a separate surface model. In this case I used 3:1 slopes for the fill.

The surface model is created and with grading stopping at the retaining wall as selected.

Viewing the surface model with a vertical exaggeration shows the pad sloping at a 3:1 until it hits the retaining wall then dropping vertically.

Field to Finish
I talk a lot about this program and it is the subject of many more training sessions this coming fall. Simply put, if you do a lot of existing conditions surveys, or even some, you will be very happy to get this program up and running.

Here’s some help:

Download Doug's Field-to-Finish Guide

Carlson’s 2019 User Conference in Maysville, KY
Consider coming for some classes next spring


Let’s Grow Together.

Douglas L. Aaberg, PLS
Survey Product Manager

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