WelcomeSunday, December 4th, 2022
excel data to create point data
Our field crews collect manhole data, rim and inverts, pipe sizes,etc. We process it from the Trimble collector to excel with the details in columns for each point number.
I'm looking to use the invert data columns to generate new point number rows so when I import it to C3D I end up with the initial point for the manhole and new points at the invert elevations. (either at the same N,E or slightly offset)
I'm working out ways to do that, but thought maybe someone has already figured that out.
Any tips appreciated.
Will C3D allow you to import a text coordinate file without point number? Formatted like N,E,Z,D with the point numbers being automatically assigned?
You could cut out the calculations entirely if you're willing to adopt a slightly different field workflow.
I've been kicking this idea around with some of our other standards people, and tested it out myself and really liked it.
Basically, just have a code for an invert note - I think I have it set at INVN. Then add attributes for size, type, measured to top or bottom, etc., as well as the invert itself. You might already have this set up, but we like to use dropdown lists to keep things as consistent as possible:
When measuring inverts, just carry the controller around with you (I just use the internal GNSS to make sure I know where I am on site), and when you get to a manhole/structure to measure, use the "cogo point by bearing/distance" routine, tap on the structure point in the map to use it as the reference point, and just zero everything out for B&D. No horizontal offset.
But in the V. Dist. field, input the measure-down distance as a negative number.
Once the point is calculated, use the dropdown lists of the attributes to input size/type/etc.
This will create a calculated point with the structure point as a reference (so you know exactly which structure the crew is measuring inside), with the correct elevation of the invert measurement, plus all the attributes that can be pulled in with a custom import to C3D.
Yeah, it's slightly more work in the data collector. But all that information would have to be written down in a field book anyways, and this will save a ton of time and potential fat-fingering in the office.
Plus you can have ready-made label styles that pull from the elevation (of the invert) and the attributes (size & type) to automatically create a dynamic label for any point with code INVN as well as hiding the point itself.
Just thought I'd throw that out there. Not even sure we're going to use it, since we have trouble getting crews to measure up their instruments, let alone input attributes to a point...
@rover83 that's excellent! And basically, the crew is doing that in the DC already, just not correlating to a point, which I found a bit crazy. I will see about setting it up that way
@peter-lothian I was thinking of generating the row and just re-using the point number of the manhole. At import, I would just tell it to start from 10000 or something and re-number the points.
just playing with a file like this...
1100,5001,5000,96.2,SS600 INV N 18"rcp
1100,4999,5000,92.1,SS600 INV S 16"rcp
1100,5000,5001,91.7,SS600 INV E 18"rcp
1100,5000,4999,90.2,SS600 INV W 12"rcp
1101,5499,5100,90.1,SS601 INV S 18"rcp
if I understand well you do not connect the pipes between the manholes, any ideas about that?
Probably via the CAD toolbar, can you attach attributes to the lines also.
We process our F2F with Local Belgian software that has far more options for F2F, si I did not delve into the details of coding with attributes, but I like the idea of collecting manhole data on the TSC7 in Trimble Access.
Thats a good point, we need directions at the very least. Should be as simple as north, northeast, east, etc. Many times we have some sort of GIS or planset information that we underlay in order to check fieldwork and will cross-check sizes and elevations.
I would like F2F line codes in there too, though. Our crews usually just do a sketch, but there's no reason they shouldn't be able to just sketch it on the map with our fancy new large-screen controllers.
I'd be interested in hearing more about the local software you use. Does it create pipe networks and flow directions?
sorry, not yet.
We could code it afterwards and are able to add pipe size and material as text with each pipe, that would put the text at the midpoint of each line, oriented with the bearing of the line.
Not sure how wel this would go in the field, it may slow down the fieldwork and that’s not the intention.
@rover83 it doesn’t always happen but what i would do and i liked it is I would go pull and dip all my man holes and use one of those fancy paint pens and mark the inverts on are as close to where the pipes entered. We have to measure down anyway. Then when i or the other folks were locating the man hole or drop inlets they could take a shot and simply add the dip measurement to the rod height. Access makes it is as for those with limited math skills had a rod height of say 6.0 could hit the calculator function in rod height field and add the dip enter plus and accept and now no after work is needed. I even on green young crews would have them take a picture on at least one of the shots with dc. And i had a picture from phone etc. when dipping them. It worked well as we could send folks on rainy day to do the dips and those paint marks held up very well. As long as no down pour. I did something in excel on e where the inv was added to extra description and made a macro to calc a new point a d elevation. But the above work flow seems more productive. Me and a very experienced chief kinda came up with the idea on a hot day and we didn’t want to start the new job with only a couple hours left so we drove around saw the site and said we need to do something. I said lets dip al. The man holes and get it over with. He said ok. We can write a point number down and just have to remember to change it so it matches our sketch. I said ok and we got out there and said why don’t we just write the dip down and mark a x where it needs to be shot. So we ran to Home Depot and bought a paint pen. So one man hole might have 4 i vert shots and center of manhole so in office side it gets crowded as you are aware. But all info is there for weeks easily.
this allows for checking also where pipes go so we used paint to show and now automatically we could code for f2f but that company thought f2f was silly. Cad guy wanted job security lol. But u could easily do that. The white paint pen was best and upside down paint as we checked directions before topo started we had less issues and return to job site trying to figure out why sketch didn’t work. But made it faster on back end. As everything was done. Just walkup shoot code adjust rod height and move on. No sketch needed. Picture caught a couple blunders. As I could read the inv and where someone forgot to change rod height. Once they get use to it it smooths out. Had one crew doing dips while another was traversing and then both topoing once allthat
Access makes it is as for those with limited math skills had a rod height of say 6.0 could hit the calculator function in rod height field and add the dip enter plus and accept and now no after work is needed.
No need to worry about the calculator, when you're in measure points just tap Options at the bottom, scroll down and check the "Vertical Offset" box, and then when you go back to the measure screen you can plug in the dip measurement here:
@rover83 nice. That I mentioned above as you know can be managed various ways. And allows some flexibility with strengths and weaknesses of crews. The best it ever went was had the as built drawings from the city gis and the paint pen allowed us to also pit size as well so 18” RCP 4.26 for depth. I did mark alignment marks like 3 lines on rim and lid and 2 and 1 around the lid and rim so if someone came behind us and lid was not in same spot we would know it. Fyi. It happened and does happen. The pain was kinda like marks for utility just a areow point to where it went to. The young folks that want to be fast a see who gets the most shots in a day or whatever likes it as they don’t lose a lot of momentum. The old folks like me like riding the truck up to a spot dipping it and then back sitting sipping sweet tea lol. I will have to try that offset function. Does it keep both or just create the offset elevation. Thats neat. Would be awesome for lids that are not level for sure to take one shot and get both elevations.
Look into User Defined Properties for points. Here is a link to an older tutorial.
Here is something similar as well, which might help get you started.
I think I did this for a project a couple of years ago, but I do not remember the details.
You all have more faith than I do in this type of procedure.
I know I'm old school, but I've never seen a problem, (when done right), with fieldbook sketches or writing on 11x17 plots, showing connecting structures, inverts measure downs, pipe material and sizes.
I'm impressed, but not
@jph yes field book sketches work no doubt it has been done for many years. I did it for years. Before I joined the USMC 2000. We had a sdr33 and was doing f2f back then. No robot just total station and rodman aka the crew chief. We had extra rodman back then as well. Now we on some jobs would do something similar as i stated not exactly but on some structures to draw the lipes from the field codes. Sketches are nice and helps a cad tech draw them. But if i can connect them up by a code and at correct elevation why not. No sketches needed no cad tech to look at sketches the rod becomes the pencil or crayon lol. The code is just telling it what color crayon and line type etc.
I was astonished and amazed when I came back into private sector almost 3 years now and seeing cad techs and crew chiefs telling each other how to connect the dots . I could not believe that f2f was not being used at all. Blew me away. Now I will admit you can get f2f to be crazy burdensome on a field crew. I mean you can type a small novel and make the f2f do some amazing things. I have always tried when i set things up meep a balance of saving time in office and field. I do like every point line polygon to come in on right layers line types and if used in surface. Of course i am just now learning civil3d but terramodel i had codes for break lines who better to place them than the person who sees them in the field. Now this takes a little learning but can be useful. I am sure tbc or civil3d can probably do all that. I had choice of sharp hard soft and dead breakline types in Terramodel. So things like buildings when i generated contouring it didn’t do so through the building. This was all from field work. The crew only had to bld st to start the line etc.