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In this lesson, you learn how to work with points in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Points are one of the most fundamental elements in site development and transportation projects. They can be used to represent existing conditions and proposed construction locations. Point data that represents existing conditions is usually created from survey data files generated from total station survey, GPS, or LiDAR survey equipment. Engineers and construction personnel create points required for construction from design data. Once a design is completed, engineers extract point data from the design, and then send this information to the field for construction staking. Points created during the design are uploaded to GPS and Total Station survey equipment, and used for construction staking. In common terms, a point represents a singular location in space. It is usually characterized with an X and Y (easting and northing) coordinate pair in two-dimensional (2D) space, or an X, Y, and Z (easting, northing, and elevation) coordinate triplet in three-dimensional (3D) space. In Civil 3D, points are represented with a point object, which is an intelligent object with the following properties: Number Description Elevation Northing
Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points
Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 1
Point objects are as shown in the following illustration.
The Civil 3D point object consists of a marker and a label. The display of the marker is controlled with a point style. In this illustration, you can see how different point styles can be used to show different types of points. The display of the label is controlled with a point label style. Different label styles can be used to show specific point data.
After completing this lesson, you will be able to: Explain how points are used in different phases of an engineering project. Describe how to use grips to modify points and point labels. Describe which objects can be used to create points in a drawing. Import points from an external text file into a drawing. Describe how point groups are used to identify characteristics shared by points. Explain the function of point tables. Create a description key. List the guidelines for managing points. Create points manually. Create point groups.
Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points
Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 2
you can also create points from Civil 3D object data that can be used for construction staking. legal surveyors use points to define land parcel boundaries. Import Points 2. a raw (field) description. It also has properties that represent the point number. Create Points Manually 4. Following the design process. surveyors also use points to represent Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 3 . and an expanded (full) description. northing. Create Description Keys 3. A Civil 3D point object is shown in the following illustration. For modeling existing conditions. Points represent the corners of property boundaries and are connected with parcel segments to define the land parcel. points are typically imported from a text file or created from the survey database. A point represents a singular location in space with elevation. Create Point Groups About Points You create points from survey data to generate a base plan drawing and a surface object to model the existing conditions. Point marker Point number Point elevation Point description Point Uses Before the engineering begins. During this process. and easting coordinates.Exercises The following exercises are provided in a step-by-step format in this lesson: 1.
Points created on the design model contain description. Designers create points on the design model that can be used for construction staking. and power poles. These points are referenced when establishing locations for boundary. such as edge of pavement and bottom of ditch. they are automatically created during the import. Base plan linework is created by connecting points with similar descriptions. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 4 . topographic. and description. Symbols are inserted at spot locations such as catch basins. a boundary survey is completed to define the limits of the parcel boundary. manholes. easting. elevation. Points are imported from a text file that usually contains point number. northing. The existing ground surface model is created from points that represent the true topography. Points representing manhole inverts and fire hydrant tops are excluded from the existing ground surface model. Topographic surveyors use points to define existing conditions prior to design and construction. The following illustration shows an external text file with point data. The base plan drawing is created with symbols and linework. and construction surveys. Existing conditions are represented with a pre-engineering base plan drawing. and an existing ground surface model. Prior to developing a parcel of land. and elevation data that contractors can use to lay out the proposed design for field construction.horizontal and vertical survey control points. If point numbers are not provided in the text file. Examples The following are examples of how points are used in projects. coordinate. Surveyors use points to show property corners and survey control locations as shown in the following illustration.
Points can also be used for construction purposes. Construction points can be created for road gutter lines and uploaded to a data collector for construction staking. as shown in the following illustration. as shown in the following illustration. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 5 .Points are also used for pre-engineering topographic mapping and the creation of the existing ground surface model.
you can move unlocked points to a new location. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 6 . When you click the drag point grip. The following illustration shows the grips used to control the display of points and points labels. The northing and easting values for the point are updated based on the new location.Graphically Editing Points with Grips Often points are created in close proximity to each other. You can use grips to control the positioning of labels and other information associated with points. Rotate point grip Toggle subitem grip Drag point grip Move point grip The drag point grip is the square grip that is displayed on the point marker. This can make it difficult to read the data associated with the points.
Use the drag label grip to reposition the entire point label away from the point object. You can use this grip to orient symbols to properly align with base plan linework. Use the toggle subitem grip to display grips for the individual point components. and is shown in the following illustration: Create points manually. You can then move the point components individually. Description keys help automate point layering and symbol insertion. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 7 . When you use the drag label grip. northing. the point label adopts its dragged state display property. Creating Points The most common method for creating points that represent existing conditions is to import the points from an external text file. easting. while point groups enable you to collectively manage points with similar characteristics. which is usually contains point number. Use the green circular rotate point grip to rotate the marker about its insertion point. The Create Points toolbar offers many different tools for creating points. elevation and description point data. Description keys and point groups are powerful tools that can help manage your points. Surveyors and designers sometimes work with thousands of points that have many different descriptions. and other creation methods Create points from horizontal and vertical alignments Create points on surfaces and polylines Create points from an external text file Managing Points Points are used in different phases of engineering projects and can be difficult to organize and manage.
you would create a point group for an existing water main or existing storm sewers. however. or assignment of styles with description keys. manual style assignment. its name. When working with a large number of points. Point Group Examples You use point groups to model an existing ground surface. Point group style overrides can be used to assign a point style and label style to the point objects. such as manhole inverts and tops of Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 8 . Point groups can also help control the display of points with certain characteristics during the design process. you must use Point Group Overrides to override the assignment of a point style and point label style that was done through either default style assignment. You create point groups by defining the characteristics that a point must possess in order to be part of the group. Best practices for the use of description keys and point groups is to use description keys to assign the point style and the point label style. For example. The following illustration shows the Point Group dialog box. or any combination of these parameters. you can specify that a point belongs to a point group based on its point number. For example. and to use point groups to temporarily override these style assignments to aid with the design process.About Point Groups Point groups provide a flexible and convenient way to identify points that share common characteristics or points that are used to perform a task. You can control the display of points by assigning a point style and a point label style within a point group. A point group for surface modeling would exclude points that do not represent the terrain. such as creating a surface. its raw or full description. its elevation. Points groups are typically used to organize the points based on major features. using many point groups may degrade the performance of the drawing. In order to do this.
The following illustration shows how description keys manage imported points. After you create description keys using your organization's standards. as shown in the following illustration. When you use the template as the starting point for your drawings. You can use point table objects to display point data in a table. you can save them as a part of a drawing template (. It is sometimes useful to show the point data for survey control in a point table in the drawing area. a point label style. Description keys automate the base plan creation process. you can use a description key to assign the point style. A point group for survey control is useful to see which points make up the survey control network.dwt). Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 9 . For example. Description Keys With description keys.fire hydrants. Point Tables Points can contain critical information that sometimes needs to be displayed in a concise format in the drawing area. Point tables are often used for showing survey control points or proposed tree planting schedules. when you create points. the description keys are carried forward to the new drawing. or to place the points on a specific layer. you can simplify and standardize the creation of point data in your drawings. This makes it easy for construction staff to identify monuments and traverse hubs for construction staking.
When you assign an alternate point description. Field descriptions are usually abbreviated and can sometimes be numeric. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 10 . also known as raw descriptions.Description Key Functions Description keys are organized in description key sets and can be saved in the drawing template. Description keys are used for the following: Alternate Point Descriptions Surveyors collect data with field descriptions. you can expand on the abbreviated field description to make the description more meaningful to those in the office.
Point groups are recommended for surface modeling. and manholes. a description key set can have entries for the raw descriptions APPLE* and TREE*. graphical selection. or any combination of these and other parameters with point label styles. descriptions. Description Key Examples An organization can create a single set of description keys and use this set to import data from a number of survey companies. The point style can reference an AutoCAD block and can be used to display base plan symbols such as catch basins. Points are used to represent existing and proposed features. Y coordinate pair. A point group is a collection of similar points in Civil 3D. Point Label Style You can label points with elevation only.Point Style The point style controls the display of the point node. These entries ensure that an appropriate point style and other properties are assigned. trees. a firm can use the same set of description keys any time point data is imported. and elevation ranges. A 3D point adds an elevation coordinate and is identified with an X. You can assign point styles and point label styles to point groups. Layer The layer name is the layer the point is created on. and Z coordinate triplet. Key Terms Point A point is a singular location in space. You can use AutoCAD blocks to create customized point styles for different types of points. regardless of whether the source data has a category for each specific type of tree or a single generic tree category. The point style controls the display of the point node. Instead of creating a description key set for each source of data. You can create point groups based on point number range. Y. Point groups are useful for manipulating large groups of points with a single edit. For example. The point label style controls the display of the point label. point number only. or marker. Point groups can be created using both inclusion and exclusion criteria. You can Point Group Point Style Point Label Style Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 11 . A 2D point is a location on a plane and identified with an X. description only.
The full description expands on the abbreviated or numeric raw description assigned by the surveyor. Description keys are stored in a description key set. They also automatically assign point styles and point label styles to points. and elevation. Civil 3D description keys automatically assign a full description to a raw description. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data collection is a method of optical scanning that results in the collection of dense point data that can be used for surface modeling.create different point label styles to show different types of point data. easting. Description keys are lookup tables in Civil 3D that automatically assign a full description to points. Raw Description The raw description is the description a surveyor assigns to a point in the field. Raw descriptions are abbreviated alpha or numeric descriptions. A manually created point is created using a number of different point creation tools. Surveyors prefer these types of descriptions because they simplify the actual entry of the description in the field. Reduced coordinates are created from survey observation data. Reduced coordinates indicate northing. Full Description Description Keys Manually Created Point Reduced Coordinates LiDAR Data Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 12 . The full description is an alternative point description that is assigned to a point. Manually created points can be edited directly and appear with a symbol in the point list.
2. 8. you import points from an external text file to the drawing.dwg). easting. In the Import Points dialog box: Click and browse to the \Create Points folder. Home tab. In Toolspace. Close the Create Points toolbar. for name. you import the points to the drawing. and reduced to coordinates using software on their survey data collectors. 5. enter Reduced Topo Data . 9. In this case.dwg (M_CreatePoints-EX1. northing. 10.txt). On the Create Points toolbar: Click each down arrow to review the commands available for creating points. 3. Prospector tab.txt (M_topopoints. This toolbar contains commands that enable you to create points using a number of different methods. Select I_topopoints. In the Point File Formats . you create a point group to correlate the points in the drawing with the source point file. 11. Using Windows Explorer. 12.Feb 1 2009. Click Open. Point objects are created in the drawing. Click to create a new point group. Next. Click OK twice to close the dialog boxes. The point data used in this module was collected by survey crews. Note the format of the data in the text file. click Points > Point Creation Tools. browse to the \Create Points folder. You can create a point group during the import process.txt (M_topopoints. Point groups are used to organize related points in a drawing. and description separated by commas. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 13 . 4. 13.Exercise 1: Import Points From a Text File In this exercise. For this exercise open …\I_CreatePointsEX1.txt) using a text editor. change Files of Type to *. 7.txt. In the Select Source File dialog box. elevation. 1. Click Import Points. check Add Points to Point Group.Create Group dialog box. The values represent point number. Close the text editor. Open I_topopoints. The Create Points toolbar opens. In the Import Points dialog box. click Points: 6. On the ribbon.
right-click Point Groups. Click any point group. Notice the points in the point group are displayed in the item view area. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 14 . Do not save the changes. In the item view area. 17.Notice the point data displayed in the item view area. Click Update. right-click any point. The Point Group definitions are updated. Close the drawing. 16. Civil 3D zooms to the selected point(s) in the drawing area. 15. 14. Click Zoom To. In Prospector.
3. Right-click City of Vancouver. In the Point Style dialog box. For this exercise. click to expand Point and Description Key Sets. Right-click any column header. Style. (Note: The description keys may resort their order). select STM CB from the list. Settings tab. Assign points to a layer Scale and rotate points based on additional description parameters. It is helpful to show just the information you need to work with. Click in the Style cell to the right. In Toolspace. Click OK. Description keys are “lookup” tables that reference the point field descriptions (Raw Description) to do the following: Assign an alternative description (Full Description) to the point. Clear every column except Code. called New Desckey.Exercise 2: Create Description Keys Description keys are used to automate the base plan creation process. Assign a point label style to each point. 5. 8. 4. Click New. enter CB. Select Style to enable the option. open …\I_CreatePointsEX2. Point Label Style. appears in Panorama. Note: New DescKey may be located at the bottom of the list. Double-click the headers at the column lines to expand the columns for better viewing. and is located alphabetically. Next. Use uppercase. Assign a point style to each point. Enter the following parameters for the new description key: For Code. Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 15 Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points . 2. 7. and Layer. The Panorama window shows the DescKey Editor with the existing description keys.dwg) 1. you optimize the width of the columns. 6. Click Edit Keys. Format.dwg (M_CreatePoints-EX2. A new description key entry. Notice the existing description key set named City of Vancouver. Right-click any description key.
For Format. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 16 . Do not save the changes. When points are created with this description. enter CATCH BASIN. Close the drawing. A description key has been created that references the raw description CB. Press ENTER. the STM CB point style and Description Only label style are assigned to the points. select the check box. Click in the Point Label Style cell to pick the Point Label Style. 9. In the Point Label Style cell. 10. In the Point Label Style dialog box. This is the full description that is assigned to the point. Click the green check mark to close the Panorama window and save the changes. Click OK. select Description Only from the list.
dwg).Exercise 3: Create Points Manually In this exercise. enter 275. 9.9 (84. The location of manually created points is often identified by a position relative to two other points. On the Create Points toolbar. On the ribbon. click Points > Point Creation Tools.dwg (M_CreatePoints-EX3. Prospector tab. click the Point Number column header a few times to sort the points by point number. When prompted to specify a point elevation. 2.83 (84. Now navigate the drawing to the area in question. or a position relative to an intersection curb return. Repeat the steps above to add a catch basin between points 606 and 607. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points 7. right-click 732. In the item view area. Press ENTER. 10. 6. For this exercise open …\I_CreatePointsEX3. When prompted for a point description. With your cursor in the drawing area. you add catch basin points on the curb returns of an existing intersection. In the item view area.05 m) for the elevation. To create the first catch basin: Hold the mouse over the polyline running between points 741 and 742. Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 17 . Click Zoom To. and click. Use 275. in ascending order. click Points. Press ENTER to end the command. 8. Home tab. 4. This is a point near the middle of the intersection. Notice points 741and 742 on the left side of the intersection. Also notice points 606 and 607 on the right side of the intersection. click Manual. Catch basin points are required on the curb returns midway between these points. using the midpoint object snap. press SHIFT+right-click. 3. scroll down to point 732. You create these points next. You may need to add points manually if survey data is incomplete. enter CB. 1. 5. Click Midpoint. at the bottom of Prospector. In Toolspace. In the item view area.07 m) Press ENTER.
Two catch basin points are created. You now remove the label. 14. and the point label style shows just the description. 17. 18. you adjust the rotation of the catch basins to align them with the pavement edges. Notice that the point label is no longer displayed. The CB description key assigns the Catch Basin point style. Click the green circular grip. 15. Click again to release the point. Experiment with the drag label. Right-click the Point Label Style column header. Notice that the point style shows the catch basin symbol. Click Edit Points. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 18 . Click OK. Scroll to the right. Next. To edit the point label style: In Panorama. 16. select _No Display. 11. 19. click a catch basin point. 13. click the two catch basin points to select them. In the drawing area. In the Select Label Style dialog box. select the two points. using the SHIFT key. Rotate the point so the symbol aligns with the pavement edge. Right-click. 12. The two points are displayed in the Panorama window. Close the drawing. In the drawing area. Click Edit. Do not save the changes. and toggle subitem grips to control the position of the point labels. the Description Only point label style and CATCH BASIN as the full description.
5. For this exercise open …\I_CreatePointsEX4. base plan creation. In the item view area. you create a point group for the existing pavement edges that includes points with the EPR and EPL descriptions. There are also other point groups defined in the drawing. In Toolspace. 2. 4.dwg (M_CreatePoints-EX4. and Full Description. Right-click Point Groups. 1.Exercise 4: Create Point Groups Site development projects usually involve thousands of points. Notice the _All Points point group. graphical selection. 3. 6. adjust the columns so that you see Point Number. Northing. and contains all of the points in the drawing. Easting. The edge of pavement shots have a raw description of EPL and EPR. Scroll down to the edge of pavement shots. Information tab: Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 19 . click to expand Point Groups. and elevation ranges. Point groups are used to organize points based on common properties.dwg). Prospector tab. Click the Raw Description column header to sort the list by Raw Description. and construction. In the Point Group Properties dialog box. You can even create point groups from other point groups. you organize point data by creating point groups. These points are used for a number of civil engineering tasks including survey data reduction. One of the more common uses for point groups is for surface definition. In this exercise. is not editable. point number. Raw Description. These originated in the drawing template used to create this drawing. This point group always exists. Next. You can create point groups using a number of different criteria including description. Click New. Point data management becomes a task itself. design.
In Prospector. for Name. A check mark is displayed next to the option. The elevations of these points are not suitable for surface modeling because they do not adequately represent the existing terrain elevation. select EP*. FH*. Information tab. The Raw Desc Matching tab shows entries in the description key set. Right-click Existing Pavement Edges. On the Include tab. 15. 10. Alternatively. EPL. for Code. Click New. Note that the points with descriptions EPL and EPR are included in the point group. Click Properties. 13. On the Exclude tab: Select the With Raw Descriptions Matching option. Click OK. Click the Point List tab. Note the other menu options. It is easier to create point groups when a description key set exists. For this point group. Right-click Existing Pavement Edges. 14. On the Raw Desc Matching tab. right-click Point Groups. Click Cancel. 8. you could enter EPR. Explore the Point Group Properties dialog box. Enter EP*. and fire hydrants. 11. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 20 . you create a point group for surface modeling. Next. The asterisk (*) is a wild card indicating that all descriptions with an EP prefix are included. 9. Enter MON*. LP. Click Apply. enter Existing Pavement Edges. These points are the monuments. In Prospector. enter EG Surface. In the Point Group Properties dialog box. you could go directly to the Include tab. Alternatively. an exclusion criterion is used to exclude certain points from the surface model. For Name. a new point group is created and appears under Point Groups. lead plugs. Select With Raw Descriptions Matching. 12. Click the Raw Desc Matching tab. 7. notice that With Raw Descriptions Matching is toggled on and that there is an EP* entry. There are many functions that you can perform on a collection of related points.
What controls the display of the point node? 3. A civil engineering project typically involves thousands of points. Do not save the changes. What is a common use for point groups? 6. descriptions.16. You can create a point group using point number ranges. What controls the display of the point label? 4. 10. you can manually create points. 5. Why would an engineer use point groups on a civil engineering project? 5. To create points in Civil 3D. or you can create points from a survey database. Name three criteria you can use to create a point group. Close the drawing. Answers 1. Questions 1. a square grip and circular grip appear. 2. import points from an external text file. 3. Assessment Challenge Exercise Instructors provide a master or challenge exercise for students to do based on this lesson. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 21 . 17. 8. Explain why an engineer would want to use description keys. Click OK. Name three specific functions of description keys. Explain the significance of these grips. 6. Point groups enable engineers to organize points with similar characteristics. On the Point List tab. The point style controls the display of the point node. A common use for point groups is surface modeling. 9. The point label style controls the display of the point annotation. Name three methods for creating points in AutoCAD Civil 3D. 2. When you select a point graphically. Explain the difference between raw and full point descriptions. 7. note that these points are not in the list. 4. and elevation ranges.
product names. and alternate or full descriptions to points. 10. At the beginning of the lesson. this publication. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. AutoCAD Civil 3D. you imported points from an external text file. Surveyors use a raw description to assign descriptions to points. which is useful for rotating the point marker symbol. and creating point groups. You then created description keys to automatically assign a point style. or parts thereof. The square grip is the Drag Label grip. Lesson Summary In this lesson. Inc. © 2009 Autodesk. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice. The circular grip is the Toggle Subitem grip. point label styles. The second circular grip is the Rotate Point grip. for any purpose. by any method.7. This grip enables individual grips for the point attributes. adjusting the point orientation. or trademarks belong to their respective holders. may not be reproduced in any form. Unit 2 – Lesson 2: Create Points Civil 3D 2010 Student Workbook ▪ 22 . 8. and assign an alternate description. The final steps involved manually creating points. Autodesk. The individual grips enable you to drag individual attributes away from a point. assign a point label style. Description keys assign point styles. AutoCAD. you learned how to work with points in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Inc. 9. The raw description is usually an abbreviated or numeric description.. Except as otherwise permitted by Autodesk. The full description is used in the office and expands on an abbreviated raw description. Inc. This grip enables you to drag the entire label away from the point. All other brand names. and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.. All rights reserved. and Civil 3D are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk. Description keys assist with the automatic creation of the pre-engineering base plan.