This Client Server article is republished in its entirety from 2004 for reference purposes.
By Patsy Gant, Technical Documentation Coordinator, Civil Engineering Professional Services, Bentley Huntsville Office 28 July 2004
Powerful features implemented in the 2004 Edition of InRoads Survey and PowerSurvey increase productivity and streamline workflows for field data collection and office reduction, with two basic functional enhancements types: Field Operation Tools and Office Reduction Tools.
Field Operation Tools target improvements to field data collection and current workflows used by surveyors and engineers in the field on a daily basis. These tools focus on Cross Section Control Code and Random Control Code functionality.
The coding scheme for the Cross Section control code enables intelligent feature collection. It does not require, nor is it dependent upon, full-feature coding for every observation as has been considered normal
Figure 1: Control Code dialog box showing new codes and mandatory in the past. The Cross Section control code is specifically useful considering the time required to observe data using Total Station or RTK GPS systems may be only seconds. Keying in code values can take up to four times as long as it takes to make an observation.
In dense data collection projects, the time required to key in code compels users to collect data in random point mode rather than linear mode to gather the most points possible per day. While this appears workable in the field, the end product (based upon point features versus linear features) is not nearly as efficient or informative relative to creating good digital terrain models (DTMs) and providing optimum planimetrics.
The Cross Section control code enables surveyors to define a consistent series of features to be collected along a linear path. These features provide additional information regarding the linear feature, such as:
Type (breakline, contour, exterior, interior)
Symbology (feature style controlling display)
Triangulation status (include in triangulation or not)
Special attribution (now available in Surface Description)
The Cross Section control code is based on several factors:
Ideally, users begin with a simplistic ditch or roadway when using the Cross Section command for the first time. After brief experimentation, the user can develop techniques to best meet specific workflow needs.
There are times during the data collection process when a linear feature, normally treated as a breakline or interior point type, needs to be changed to a random point type. An example of this is a fence line normally used as a breakline feature in DTM creation; however, during the data collection process, elevation breaks could not be located along the fence due to inaccessible field conditions. In such a scenario, the surveyor in the field does not want to eliminate and not use the points already located under the fence. Yet using those points as a breakline would result in an incorrect DTM.
By simply coding any of the points in the fence line chainage with the Random control code, all subsequent points in the specified feature are converted to a random feature type. This field coding option eliminates the need for office personnel to make fieldbook edits to reflect necessary changes in the data.
Office Reduction Tools address office reduction procedures and improvements ranging from processing speed through more robust editing and filtering tools. Areas of enhancement to Office Reduction functionality include Survey Feature Filter, Chainage Recognition, Point Code Find and Replace Tool with Error Detection, Save to Geometry, Save to Surface, Duplicate Points, Feature Table operational improvements and overall operational improvements.
The amount of data collected in the field can be quite large. In the office, data reduction can become cumbersome and difficult. The Survey Feature Filter implemented in InRoads Survey and PowerSurvey, 2004 Edition, enables logical query sets to be built and activated/deactivated through a Survey Feature Lock that affects the following commands:
Figure 2: Survey Feature Filter dialog box showing options The Survey Feature Filter enables users to use wildcards, determine field statuses, and use numeric ranges to build filters. An example of a filter that simplifies error detection is setting an Exclude Elevation range from 0 through -10. This eliminates the use of all zero through negative elevation points.
The ability to automatically connect points together to form linear and closed features is one of the most important aspects of a survey. With this in mind, it is now possible to locate and manipulate connected survey chains in the survey Fieldbook. The Start control code defines when a survey chain begins.
Figure 3: Fieldbook dialog box showing Chainage
Figure 4: Fieldbook dialog box showing Point Code Find and Replace
Point Code Find and Replace Tool, with Error Detection
Prior to 2004 Edition, InRoads Survey and PowerSurvey coding errors were detected at the time of raw data import. Now users can scan through and edit existing field data after all raw data has been loaded into the Fieldbook. And, the Fieldbook now color codes the erroneous points for easier location of the points.
Figure 5: Survey Data to Geometry dialog box showing options The Save to Geometry command now honors the Feature Filter settings. Save to Surface The Save to Surface command now honors the Feature Filter settings. In addition, it writes the survey attribute values directly into the surface description for each feature.
InRoads Survey and PowerSurvey, 2004 Edition, provide three basic duplicate point types:
The corresponding method used to address the above types of duplicates is:
Figure 6: Fieldbook dialog box showing Duplicates 2004 Edition brings significant improvements to the Survey Feature Table Editor interface. After populating the Fieldbook with survey data, the user can now review the survey feature table and recognize only those features that are loaded in the active Fieldbook. Additionally, the user can scan the feature table for other criteria: cells, symbols, attributes, tags, or custom operations.
The Survey Options dialog box has been streamlined for ease of use, with Text Point Symbols added as a new planimetric display option. Another major operational improvement deals with the import of large, fixed-point data sets. Processing speed of large data files has seen an enormous improvement within the 2004 Edition.
Figure 7: Feature Table dialog box showing options
Figure 8: Survey Options dialog box
2004 Edition enhancements to InRoads Survey and PowerSurvey enable users to enjoy new functionality that maximizes their civil engineering and survey skills and workflows, yielding greater overall production at reduced costs-making the move to InRoads Survey or PowerSurveyEdition clearly the best move for your organization.
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