The Spillway

11-17-17 _ I came across a gentleman named Andrei Dolnikov, the CEO of Binyan Studios at Autodesk University. Over the years I’ve thought about something I heard once a lot: that a persons work tells a story. It never clicked until I heard this man speak about his teams work and the process they use.  It’s easy to see why he is successful. I’m twisting it a bit when I say this as they apply the concept in a form that matches visualization specifically, but in short the part of providing good, clean, accurate data is taken care of. It’s not easy, but easy enough and become easier every day. The key to being the best is being able to provide “that something special” that’s above and beyond, that reaches the client and their customers. Of course entrepeanuers strive for this every day, regardless, its been ticking in my head for years, and for me seemed an easy concept to comprehend, but difficult one to really grasp.  I have no idea why I get it now.

1) Jeff Bartel produced probably my favorite, simple video of how to get data from Civil 3d into Infraworks 3d.

2) Routine to move labels in Civil 3d

3) Check out Steve Hill’s article about his Pipe Production Tools for Civil 3d:

4) Sincpac has some great tools for use with Civil 3D:

5) Jason Leinberger, one of my favorite coders, presents a useful .net trick: Inheritance with Autodesk API

6) Eric Chappel and George Hatch with Autodesk present Site Capture, Drones to Infraworks 360

7) QGIS is an open source GIS application.  With hundreds of addons, plugins and tools it’s as powerful an application for GIS as anything out there. By installing just a few plugins users can export georeferenced Google Earth or Bing Map images with it’s associated TFW (world file) for import into Autocad Map or Civil 3D.

8) 3d visualization is made easier every day. A primary example is software called Lumion. Lumion basically creates the Sim City for designers, where we can drag and drop high quality vegetation, people, cars, water, landscape materials, street equipment, signs, and hundreds of more objects onto our scene. With a few clicks they are all animated, any time of the day (or night) with wind even factored in. Check out this example here:


9) It was a huge pain but I finally found a method of exporting imagery for use with CAD that I can live with. I tried multiple software applications. First ArcMap, then QGis, then Global Mapper, finally back to ArcMap.  I should note that none of the conventional processes made me happy. Every one of them took too long to export.  So here’s what I ended up doing. First, I created a grid in ArcMap using the fishnet tool.  I was able to size them exactly how I wanted. When I created the fishnet, I chose the “create polygon” option over “create polyline”. This allowed me use the “Data Driven Pages” tool to automatically generate pages based on those polygons. Finally, with a relatively simple python script, I was able to efficiently, and very quickly export all the images I needed (497 in a few minutes to be exact). The script is below:

... mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument("CURRENT")
... df = arcpy.mapping.ListDataFrames(mxd)[0]
... for pageNum in range(1, mxd.dataDrivenPages.pageCount + 1):
... mxd.dataDrivenPages.currentPageID = pageNum
... arcpy.mapping.ExportToJPEG(mxd, r"E:\Folder\Subfolder\imagename{}.tif".format(pageNum), df, df_export_width=3200, df_export_height=2400, world_file=True)
... del mxd

Leave a Reply