Terrain analysis is done to collect and interpret the topographic features of bare terrain surfaces and, in most cases, link terrain properties to the natural or man-made environment. It usually employs elevation data, usually in conjunction with other geospatial information such as slope and direction, to describe the landscape, for basic visualization, modeling, or to support decision making.
With just a click of a button, Plex-Earth offers this functionality for designers or topographers to perform such analysis and gain more insight into a terrain.
This tutorial will show the steps on how to conduct a terrain analysis through Plex-Earth.
Step 1. Import a Terrain
If you do not have a terrain surface to work with, you click here to see how to import a terrain model.
Step 2. Perform an Analysis
Once you have a terrain, select it from the Terrain manager and click Edit. Then, click on the Show Details button from the Analysis dropdown box.
Select the type of analysis you would like to perform from the parameters available. Plex-Earth can show three types of terrain analysis.
- Elevation Analysis - This is the default analysis to be performed by the software if not manually defined at first. The unit of measurement for this analysis will be automatically assigned in accordance with the georeference settings.
- Slope Analysis - You can choose your desired unit from these options: degrees, radians, grade (%), rise/run, or run/rise.
- Direction Analysis - The unit of measurement for this analysis can be set to either degrees or radians. The direction, in Plex-Earth, will be based on your drawing units defined in AutoCAD.
The steps to conduct either of the three analyses will be similar.
After selecting the units, click on Set Ranges and specify how many ranges would you like to have on the popup box.
Then, assign a color for the Start and End Ranges by clicking on the color and choosing the preferred one from the color dialog box that will appear. Plex-Earth will automatically assign the colors for the rest of the ranges which will create a smooth transition from the color of the first range selected to the color of the last one.
Click CREATE after doing so and the Analysis dropdown box will update, showing the minimum & maximum values of each range, as well as its corresponding color.
These values can be manually edited by replacing the values as desired. You can also change the color of each range to make it more distinguishable from the rest as Plex-Earth automatically assigned the colors to create a smooth transition between the two colors selected for the start and end ranges.
Once you are satisfied with the assigned values, click on the Apply button and the terrain analysis will be available in your AutoCAD workspace.
Since the generated analysis is dynamic, you can change any parameter on the Analysis dropdown box then simply apply the changes and the Analysis will update with respect to its new parameters.
|Tip: For better visualization of the analysis, you may want to temporarily turn off the contours.
Step 3. Insert Analysis Object
The terrain analysis that was generated is a dynamic element unique to Plex-Earth. In order to utilize the analysis done even outside a Plex-Earth session, it must be converted into a format that will be recognized by AutoCAD in such cases.
To do so, click the Insert button located in the Terrain Editor and select Analysis object.
Then, select how to display the analysis object via the command line.
You can choose among three options: 3D Faces, 2D Solid, and Mesh.
- 3D Faces – This will import a block that contains all the single three-dimensional faces (triangles) of the terrain model.
- 2D Solid – This will insert a block containing the faces (triangles) of the terrain model as a solid without the elevation information
- Mesh - this will insert one mesh (imported as a block) which can even be further exploded to several meshes by range.
As an example, the image below shows how the analysis would look like as 3D faces in a Realistic visual style.
Step 4. Add a Legend Table (Recommended)
After performing the terrain analysis, you may want to generate a table containing the necessary information about the analysis.
In order to create a legend table, click the Insert button from the Terrain Editor palette and choose Legend Table.
Then, specify a point in the drawing where you want to insert the table. This point will be the top left corner point of the table.
The legend table also functions as a summary or report of the analysis performed on the terrain.
By utilizing this feature, designers can not only perform advanced terrain analysis in the simplest and most efficient way possible but also gain valuable data and insights into terrain from the stunning visualization produced by Plex-Earth.
We hope that you have found this tutorial on how to perform a terrain analysis, helpful. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may still have.
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