QGIS & Traverse Editor | Autodesk Civil 3D 2021 - Survey Tools

 Our Consulting and Services Manager, Shawn Herring, wrote an article for this month's issue of AUGI World. Below is a portion of the article:

Well, since this is the Salary Survey edition of the magazine, I thought it was fitting to review some “survey” tools! After all, most projects begin and end with survey, but I feel like it often gets overlooked in Civil 3D. 

GIS Data is also key to most civil projects. What does GIS stand for? GET IT SURVEYED! Just kidding. 

That joke goes over much better with the survey audience. But I love working with GIS data on all my projects as well. I typically do not begin a project without using some sort of GIS data in addition to the survey data. 

So here is some survey related tools I use on almost every project.


We are working with larger data than ever before.  Drone date and aerial imagery is now at the tips of our fingers anytime we want them.  Some raster images can be many GB in size and resolution that Civil 3D can’t handle.  If you have ever tried to import a GeoTiff (or other image types), and you get the “Invalid Image” warning, then QGIS is exactly what you need!


This is a FREE open source software tool that allows you to quickly and easily reduce the size of large images, and even translate to other coordinate systems if you’d like.  Just go to www.qgis.org and download it.


You simply drag and drop your image into the QGIS desktop, right click on your layer (image) and export to a new rendered image!!

Traverse Editor

            Recreating deeds has always been a long, time consuming process. Drawing geometry line by line, arc by arc, can get a little bit boring and mistakes can easily creep in.  But there are 2 options in Civil 3D that can help out on this task.  There is the COGO Editor and Traverse Editor.  I’ll review the Traverse Editor below.


·         Traverse Editor

o    You can use this to create 2D traverses by either selecting a polyline, or typically be entering deed data in the dialog box. You can specify whether you want to create points, lines, or points and lines in the drawing as you enter data. These objects remain in the drawing after you close the Traverse Editor.  And for longer deed, you can save your entry data and come back at a later time if needed.

o    You can enter traverse data in the Traverse Editor by creating traverse sides. Side types can be Point, Line, Chord Arc, Radial Arc, or Side Shot. The first entry must be a point of beginning (POB).


Want to learn more about Civil 3D Survey Tools? Click here.