Today’s tool is all about making connections. In other words, when working on our project model, information may exist external to our .DWG that could provide value. Gaining access to that information can give us better visibility into our project and help us make better design decisions.
Let me give you an example….
During the data collection process on a large site plan project (especially one that is heavily wooded) an Arborist might be retained by the project owner to record information about every tree on the site. (i.e. Species, Condition, DBH, multi-stem, transplantable…) To accomplish this, the Arborist visits each tree, applies a ribbon to the tree with a unique identifier number to the tree and documents (manually or electronically) the tree id and attributes.
When the arborist is complete, he/she provides the project owner a deliverable containing information about each tree. Usually a Spreadsheet or Database format.
A survey crew (as part of their topographic collection) then collects the location of each tree and uses the Tree ID as the description of the point they collected.
When the survey crew is complete, they reduce their collected data and produce a topographic model showing the location of all of the collected trees. Each tree is represented as a Civil 3D point and displays a Tree ID corresponding to the spreadsheet from the Arborist.
From there, an exhibit can be created by consolidating both pieces of information onto a single sheet. (i.e. Survey showing tree locations with ID annotation along with a corresponding Table of data from the Arborist)
I know what you are thinking… To accomplish this, wouldn’t have been easier to have collected all of the information at one time? Short answer, Yes. However, because all Surveyors are not skilled Arborists and all Arborists do not have the equipment necessary to adequately capture tree locations, it is not unusual for the Project owner to rely on both.
So is that the end of the story? Are we left with tree locations in one format and tree information in another? If I wanted to create an exhibit showing all of the transplantable trees of a particular species, do I have to figure this out manually by going back and forth between both data sources?
Absolutely not! Within Civil 3D we can connect both worlds of data using a Link Template and a little creativity. In doing so we can slice and dice the arborist’s data to create exhibits and provide greater visibility into our data in a just a handful of clicks.
Check out the video below to see how it works.