[OpenRoads SS3] Civil AccuDraw set origin

Using Geopak SS3 .722, I'm finding that when I have certain tools activated and I try to change Civil AccuDraw origin, Civil AccuDraw behaves strangely. I'll give a couple specific examples:

  1. If I have Measure Area (other than using Flood or Points methods) or Measure Angle Between Lines or Measure Length or selected, and I go to set my AccuDraw origin, I can select only areas. If I try to select a linear element, it winds up with some nonsense stationing that seems to have no meaning whatsoever. (I'm using Station-Offset.)
  2. If I have Measure Radius selected as I click to set CA origin, I can select only curved elements. If that curved element is a member of a larger, complex element, it still uses only that one segment.
  3. If I have Measure Volume selected as I click to set CA origin, I can only imagine what elements it will accept or what that will look like if it does.

I realize that this behavior may not affect most users because they're not going to be as ridiculous as I am at investigating how things work, and since I know these things now I will easily be able to work around it. (That doesn't mitigate the annoyance.)

It's clear that Civil AccuDraw's origin setting tool is somehow dependent on what the active tool can accept, and my hunch is that this is not working as designed, and indeed is irregular and (in my opinion) should be fixed.

The workflow I was doing when I discovered this strange behavior is that I was measuring areas and needed to know the station at the beginning and end of the area.

(EDIT: I mention this step of the workflow only for context: that is the task I was working on, not to suggest that I expected to find the areas using Civil AccuDraw. Other edits are to clarify that for each case I mention above, I had that tool selected as I was attempting to set the Civil AccuDraw origin.)

  • I think what you are seeing is a misinterpretation of either the function of Civil Accudraw or the feedback from the commands.

    In the examples you listed, Civil Accudraw is not even in play because it is not relevant to the described tasks. Civil Accudraw does ONLY one thing. It feeds point information to other commands.

    So, when you measure area using the points method the measure area command needs a series of points which CA can feed. Likewise the flood method needs a point which CA can feed. But the other methods of measure area are picking elements not feeding points. If, CA was running in floating dialog mode then you would never even see it because no points are being prompted. I assume you must be in fixed dialog mode or triggered the origin input from the CA toolbox

    So, is CA dependent on what the tool can accept? Yes. It is only used when the tool is needing a point input.

    Robert Garrett
    Senior Product Engineer
    Bentley Systems Inc.

  • Unknown said:
    In the examples you listed, Civil Accudraw is not even in play because it is not relevant to the described tasks. Civil Accudraw does ONLY one thing. It feeds point information to other commands.

    This response boggles the mind. Yes, you're right: CA does only one thing. It feeds point information to other commands. But I'm not talking about what CA reports as much as I'm talking about how you set the origin baseline. In my view, however, it shouldn't matter what tool I'm working with. When setting the origin, I should be able to select any element that could be selected if any other tool had been selected. The selection of the CA baseline should be 100% independent of any tool that you're currently working with. 

    Allow me to present my workflow more concisely:

    1. The next task I was set to do is to measure areas for estimated quantities, so I selected the Measure Area tool.
    2. After measuring one of several areas, I realized that I needed the station at the beginning of the area and at the end of the area, so I opened Civil AccuDraw, and since the baseline hadn't been selected already.
    3. I clicked to set the origin, and I attempted to select the appropriate chain. When I clicked it, it gave me some bogus information that wasn't going to be useful.
    4. At this point it became clear to me that I could (would have to) switch to the Selection tool or many other tools and set the origin baseline.

    Try these steps on any file and I'm confident you'll see the same. I don't believe this workflow is especially out of the ordinary. In fact, I go through similar steps all the time when I'm at quantities stage.

  • A couple notes but you may need to schedule some time with one of our support team to walk thru the process.  Or you can contact me directly Robert.Garrett@bentley.com.

    • The HUD can be recorded but this is a function of the recording software, most of which are configured by default to ignore overlays.
    • The fixed window ("hard window") can be set as default in the preferences and should then startup that way every time 
    • As for the workflow you are showing in the video, Civil Accudraw is not doing anything here because the measure command is not needing any point data.  The fixed dialog sort of gives you an indication that it wants to do something but that is an illusion. Here's why:
      • The Microstation measure command has no capability to compute based on an element plus station limits.
      • In other words, there is no way to input a start here and end there parameter to the command
      • Thus, there is nothing for CA to do

    I see the goal you want to reach, but the measure area command would not accomplish what you want with or without CA.  You could draw in some construction elements of course and thus make a new area for a shape or flood fill but the wiring for Civil Accudraw to feed start and stop is just not there.  At the risk of beating a dead horse, Civil Accudraw (also Microstation Accudraw) feed points to other commands. XY, DXDY, StationOffset, Distance-Distance are all point functions thus when a command needs an area or volume there is no role for Accudraw to play.  

    Robert Garrett
    Senior Product Engineer
    Bentley Systems Inc.

  • Unknown said:
    the measure area command would not accomplish what you want with or without CA.

    I'm hopelessly confused at this remark, and I'm quite sure my thoughts aren't coming through, but I don't know how to express myself any other way.

    Yes, I get that Measure Area itself would not get me all the answers I'm looking for in one click. I'm not trying to do that. As cool as that would be, I was never expecting that result. However, in case that was ever going to be implemented, it could be presented as a report just like the alignment reports.

    In the interest of being more clear about my position, let's take a couple steps back, here. (And feel free to let me know how I should have started this thread to have been more clear from the get-go.)

    At the end of the video you can see that I got what I needed: the begin station for the area I measured. The steps I took was always how I expected to get the station. (I never expected to get it from Measure Area.) I always knew I needed to open CA and then set the baseline for CA, but I remembered too late to notice that it hadn't been set since I opened the file and started measuring areas. That means I was already using a tool that would accept only area elements. 

    Now, to remedy the problem where CA had no baseline for my S-O coordinates, I clicked to set the origin. I expected that the next input should be able to receive a linear element. Because, you know, I was trying to set the baseline alignment for CA. Instead, I had to select a different tool before I could set the baseline. And then, of course, after setting the baseline I had to go back to the Measure Area tool.

    My whole point here is that the tool that is active (and what elements are eligible for that tool's input) should have exactly no influence on what CA will accept as its origin baseline. This was always my primary point in this thread.

    A secondary point was that when using various measure tools, the baseline that is finally received by CA is strange.

    EDIT: I find that in addition to the various measure tools, when using Modify Element, I can't set the baseline for CA.

  • So...are there any plans to modify the behavior of CA to permit it to select *any* valid element that CA could select, no matter what tool is selected? Could this functionality be listed as a request for future enhancement?
  • Derek,

    I'm a little confused as to how you are using Civil Accudraw in conjunction with the Measure Area command. Like Robert said, since the Measure Area command isn't looking for a point, Civil Accudraw would not come into play. Are you just using Civil Accudraw for the purpose of tracking?

  • Yes. To identify the area on the left side from Sta. 350+00 to Sta. 354+00, for example. I don't want my estimate record to simply say "An area of 450 square yards that could be anywhere on the project." That was always the only reason to use CA. I would snap to a point at or near the beginning of the range and at or near the end of the range and record that.
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