Changes to the Newly Released Civil 3D for Surveyors 2020 Guide

Major changes for Survey

ASCENT currently offers three Learning Guides for Civil 3D:

These are introductory Learning Guides with no prior Civil 3D experience required.  For the Civil 3D for Surveyors 2020 release, you will note changes throughout the Learning Guide, from Chapter 2 onward.  I want to make this a more realistic workflow, but reuse as much of the book and the data as possible. The goal of this book (and for surveyors) is to create an Existing Conditions Plan, which will be used to a create data shortcut for Existing Ground.

There was a persistent request to move the Geospatial chapter out of the main body of the book.  It still holds value to the course, however it is better located in the appendices as an option. This meant however that the "GIS-Data" surface that was generated in the Geospatial chapter was inaccessible to the rest of the chapters, therefore the whole workflow had to change to build a surface from more traditional survey sources.


Chapter 1 will mostly remain the same as an introduction to Civil 3D.

Chapter 2 (Geospatial) by popular demand is moving to the appendix. It was in this chapter where the preliminary surface was built from GIS data, so we will need to build a surface from a different method.

Chapter 2 (New) will deal with setting up the Survey User Settings:

  • Survey Figures Styles
  • Figure Prefixes
  • Point Styles and Label Styles
  • Description Keys
  • Survey Database setup

Fig 3-26

Chapter 3: Entering Linework

  •  Entering data for the boundary (from the previous Exercise 3c)
  • Online Map Services (Since we don't have the aerial image from the Geospatial chapter!)
  • Adjust it with the Traverse Editor
  • Network Traverse (from the previous Appendix A.3)
  • Closed Connect Traverse (from the previous Appendix A.4)
  • Add to Survey Database

Fig 3-17

Chapter 4: Field Books

(from the previous Chapter 6)

I also want to make the raw data more realistic. I did rearrange the pointfile for Mission Ave so the points are collected in section rather than parallel to the road, and I included some line coding.

Fig 4-14NEW

Chapter 5: Line Coding
(Very similar to previous Chapter 5 with lot line enhancements)

  • Linecode Sets
  •  Assumed Coordinates
  •  Local Survey
  • Lot Lines via Figures
  • Translate Survey Database
  •  Import Mission Ave file with 2 different linecode files

Fig 5-18NEW

Chapter 6: Points

And for the Field Survey I reworked it so we have decent trees and shrubs at decent sizes and description.

  • Creating COGO points
  • Import Field Survey file
  • Modifying Description Keys and apply to existing points
  • Point Groups
  • Add point files to Survey Database
  • Survey Point groups
    Fig 6-32

Chapter 7: Surface
(Loosely based on the existing Chapter 7. Pointclouds and 3D solid surface and some editing moved to appendix)

  • Import Groundshots file into Survey Database
  • Survey Queries, Points and Figures
  • Create a blank surface in a new drawing
  • Build surface from queries
  • Edit surface:
    o Delete lines
    o Add boundary
    o Breaklines
    o  Surface Properties: Max Line Length and copy deleted objects

Chapter 8: Conclusion – Field to Finish

Revisit survey databases, linecode sets, description keys and surface definitions.Slide1

Build an Existing Conditions drawing to 80% complete by importing survey data and letting Civil 3D do its thing. Hopefully once the students understand that, they BUY into the whole process! This EXCITEMENT is what I want to get across in the Survey class.


  • Least Squares adjustment
  • Geospatial
  • Surface additional tools:
    o More editing
    o Volume surfaces
    o 3D Solid Extraction
  • Surface from Pointclouds

About the Author

Jeff Morris

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Jeff specializes in infrastructure tools such as Civil 3D and Infraworks, delivering training classes and contributing to the learning guides for these Autodesk software applications. Jeff has worked for several Autodesk resellers and has had roles of both CAD and BIM Manager with Civil and Architectural firms.

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