In many projects, we have managed to send a team of surveyors to the field to provide us with accurate elevation data. These data are valuable to our work but it is frustrating to receive them in a form that is practically useless to us, especially when we want to create a terrain model of our field into AutoCAD.
One common issue is receiving the survey data, not like points but containing the elevation info as plain text. An example of this type of data is shown below. By selecting one of the elevation data and checking the properties, we see that the object type is text and also it does not contain elevation information in the z-axis.
In this short tutorial, we will show you how to convert these text objects to a terrain model using Plex-Earth.
Step 1: Extract the Elevation data from your Text Objects
To start with extracting the elevation data of your text objects, you will need to use the command DATAEXTRACTION of AutoCAD.
On the window that opens, select to create a new data extraction and then click Next.
Then, you will need to define the location of your extracted data. Select the file name and folder of your choice, and select Save and Next.
On the second page of the data extraction, choose Select objects in the current drawing and then click on the square button. After that, select all the text objects of your drawing, that you want to be extracted. When you finish, click Enter and then Next.
On the third page of data extraction, define the type of objects you want to extract data from. Since all your selected objects are text, you have only one option, so just click Next to proceed.
On the fourth page, you are going to select which specific data will be extracted. As a category filter, leave only Geometry and Text. As Properties, select only Position X, Position Y, and Value. Click Next to continue.
On the sixth page, select to output the data as an external file. Choose to save your data as an .xls file, and select Next.
In the next window, select Finish for the data extraction to be finalized.
Step 2: Modify the Extracted Data
We now have extracted our data as an xls file. We choose to open this file using Google Sheets, but you can perform a similar process using Microsoft Office Excel.
Our data have been extracted in three columns. We now need to convert them into a form that can be used from Plex-Earth. To do so, we need a format like x,y,z included in one column. To achieve that, we use the =A2&","&B2&","&C2 type.
Then, we select the auto-fill to expand the equation to the other rows of our xls file.
Now, you can select the newly generated column, copy it, and paste only its values to a new column. Then you can delete the first row, as well as all the previous columns, and leave only the new one, as shown below.
Now, select File and Download our data as Tab-separated values (.tsv).
You can keep your data as .tsv file or you can rename it as a .txt file if you prefer. Both file types can be used in the next step.
Step 3: Create a Terrain from your Data using Plex-Earth
Now, your data are ready to be used from Plex-Earth to create a terrain model. The way to proceed with that is by using the command Create Surface from File using the steps described in this tutorial.
After completing the necessary steps, a new terrain model will have been created in your drawing. The respective surface will also appear in the Terrain Manager of Plex-Earth.
By following these simple steps, you can make the most out of your data, even if they are not given to you initially in a manageable form. Being able to quickly create terrain models into AutoCAD, using your own data, can be a game-changer for comprehensive and effective project management.
We hope that you have found this article on how to convert survey measurements that are in text format in AutoCAD into elevation info and create terrain models, helpful. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may still have.
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