Profiles and Sections for existing conditions as inserts in plan view

Example shown from SS2 InRoads.  

How can I create a geometry from survey shots along centerline of ditch/spoil break and cut cross sections along that alignment at surveyed locations?  Profile and Cross sections need to be provided as inset in plan view.

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  • In truth, no.  I have worked through numerous tutorials with roadway geometry and corridors where profiles and cross sections are printed to sheets.  But I have yet to reproduce that with my survey data. I am working with the AEC workspace provided by my client. 

    I am approaching the profile as a 3d line that I use to create geometry and a profile.  I have not figured out how to print that (with grid control, etc.).  

    I am working on creating by terrain with survey cross section data.  To date, it is messy.  

    I can cut/print cross sections - but they are empty. The terrain is not showing up.  

    Annotating:  I know that I will have to create some annotation groups to annotate the sections.  I have not yet figured out how to "tell" the cross section where my top banks, fences, woods line, etc are - since the terrain does not carry that information (my dtm knew where these triangulalted and non-triangulated breaklines were).  

    Whew!  I know this forum is probably not the place to get all these answers.  But perhaps someone can point me to some solid training/tutorials that address something other than roadway corridors.  I am working with survey data and existing conditions only.

  • Gosh, maybe someone here has some magic source of training materials and will speak up, but in my opinion the only way to really learn is to dive in and fight through it until you figure it out. has a lot of materials including a learning course named "Under the Hood: Configuring Annotation in OpenRoads Designer", but they're... lacking. provides documentation on Microstation and ORD tools, but they're nowhere near as thorough as the old InRoads .chm help files. Bentley also has a lot of YouTube videos, but... ugh.

    Again, in my opinion, starting with your client's or agency's workspace is great, but it's only a starting point. You're often going to want to do something or annotate something that doesn't quite exist in their workspace. In InRoads, this was easy by just modifying some values in whatever tool you were using and then saving your special preferences to an XIN, but now there's a whole nightmare of feature definitions, annotation groups, etc that make any sort of customization really tough for novice users. Also keep in mind that there's the "official" Bentley way to do things and then the practical, real way that you'll do them - which are completely a user/company preference and often totally unrelated to what Bentley explains in their videos (such as annotating things and generating sheets).

    I totally believe it's possible to do what you're after in ORD. I know what I would do, but it would take a day to explain. Stick in there!

  • I think you are exactly right.  I am in a deep dive right now and there's a lot of fight left in me!  Our client wants work delivered in ORD, but still wants .alg/dtm deliverables as well.  So I am straddling the fence with this deliverable.  I think it is important to figure out the ORD way.  I am drowning in You Tube videos!  Thanks for the kind advice.  I will surely follow up on your suggestions.  

    My basic plan is to:

    -Create Baseline Geometry for Main Cross Sections. (Can do)

    -Isolate the Main Cross Section Survey points into a field book and bring into dgn. (Can do)

    -Create terrain from Main Cross Section Survey points and clean up with breaklines. (got it mostly)

    -Create Named boundaries at specific locations (working on - they keep coming up at "0" - I do not have a vertical gepmetry)

    -Create Cross Sections and print to sheets (working on - got to get previous working to show existing terrain)

    -Figure out how to get the "features" into the cross sections. (looking for info)

    -Figure out the annotation (there is an annotation group in my workspace for a fence - can use this to figure out how to do the rest)

    To do the ditch profiles and cross sections - use similar plan but with a 3d line imprted to geometry.  Hope to "reference in" cross sections and profiles to dgn (We will see...)

  • Any plan line can become a feature which may show in your cross sections - you simply have to assign it a feature definition. You do this as a 2D element in a 2D drawing - vertical information is added later. And you are going to need vertical data/geometry for things to work properly. One of the easiest ways to establish that is with the Vertical Geometry -> Profile from Surface tool that generates your existing ground profile. Set that as your active profile and you have some starting geometry you can work up from.

    Once you have your named boundaries functioning for your profile and your cross sections, you will be able to reference those drawing model views into your sheets however you need. I don't think you can do that automatically, but the regular reference tools work just fine.

    As the other poster said, I think I know how I would do this, but to explain it would take days for me to type out. The Bentley Learn videos are helpful. This board is helpful. You can also look up videos for InRoads SS4 - they doesn't all translate exactly, but I know they were a lot of help when I was first trying to wrap my mind around modeling versus drafting-design.


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  • Thank you Mary.  I have been tied up elsewhere, but am back at this again.  I appreciate your feedback.  One step at a time, right?