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  1. #1
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    Any AutoCAD experts????

    I know tech talk - but Iím hoping someone can give me a little guidance, that why Iíve posted in PR. Sorry for the long explanation

    I found out yesterday I need an AutoCAD 14 or higher background map for a utility project. The engineers are requesting the map to put into their system for designing the utility. I do not have anything of this sort. My first reaction was to hire a contractor to map the place from scratch. The map only needs to include the roads and buildings with building dimensions

    I found a facility plan map today in some old building plans that was done by an engineering firm in 1978. Itís not 100% accurate - meaning that some buildings/structures are no longer here, a few have been added/changed, but it is to scale. I have accurate dimensions of all the buildings from an unrelated project last year.

    1. Can the facility plan I have from 1978 be scanned and imported in to AutoCAD? Does having this map help/speed up the process? Itís maybe 95% accurate with the buildings.
    2. Am I better off starting from scratch?
    3. How long would something like this take? Of course, since the utility company just told me, I needed it two weeks ago.

    I also have easy access to ArcGIS maps of the facility, not sure if that gains me anything.

    Iím having to figure this out on my own since our own engineer is in another state, has been useless to date and does not use AutoCAD. This is so not my area of knowledge. Sorry for being a bit vague. I can PM more details.

    Any advice is appreciated, even if it is typical TGR sarcasm. I need a laugh today. Sadly, nuking from orbit is not an option.

  2. #2
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    If you scan it to pdf you can import it into acad. You can leave it as an ugly background or trace the important parts then delete the pdf. You can probably import Arc files but I'm not sure with acad2014. You can also import Google earth image files as backgrounds.

    How long? No idea, it will depend on how much detail you want to put on the drawing.

  3. #3
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    Don't start from scratch unless you have a template file with all your layers.... It can be easy to steal a drawing and delete everything except the border or title block.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! The plan I have is a large one, but I’m sure there’s lots of places/engineering firms that could scan it for me. I just need the roads mapped and buildings, no other details. Only about half a mile of road is not on the old map with three simple, 1 story buildings at the end. They only need the external dimensions of the buildings, nothing else. There are maybe 7 buildings missing from the map.

    Just knowing the map I have can possibly be scanned & imported helps and google earth too. I have a couple of places I have found to call tomorrow.

  5. #5
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    They are basically designing and bringing in an entirely new high voltage electric system for our facility.

  6. #6
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    Any AutoCAD experts????

    If you have the data in GIS, it can be exported to CAD. Though any decent engineering firm should be able to get what they need from the GIS data.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bjenny View Post
    I know tech talk - but I’m hoping someone can give me a little guidance, that why I’ve posted in PR. Sorry for the long explanation

    I found out yesterday I need an AutoCAD 14 or higher background map for a utility project. The engineers are requesting the map to put into their system for designing the utility. I do not have anything of this sort. My first reaction was to hire a contractor to map the place from scratch. The map only needs to include the roads and buildings with building dimensions

    I found a facility plan map today in some old building plans that was done by an engineering firm in 1978. It’s not 100% accurate - meaning that some buildings/structures are no longer here, a few have been added/changed, but it is to scale. I have accurate dimensions of all the buildings from an unrelated project last year.

    1. Can the facility plan I have from 1978 be scanned and imported in to AutoCAD? Does having this map help/speed up the process? It’s maybe 95% accurate with the buildings.
    2. Am I better off starting from scratch?
    3. How long would something like this take? Of course, since the utility company just told me, I needed it two weeks ago.

    I also have easy access to ArcGIS maps of the facility, not sure if that gains me anything.

    I’m having to figure this out on my own since our own engineer is in another state, has been useless to date and does not use AutoCAD. This is so not my area of knowledge. Sorry for being a bit vague. I can PM more details.

    Any advice is appreciated, even if it is typical TGR sarcasm. I need a laugh today. Sadly, nuking from orbit is not an option.

    If you have accurate dims of the buildings, how were they measured? If there was a platted survey(s) public record should have everything you need to create a your vicinity block.
    If you just have architect's as-builts, you may have to hope your local platting authority and GIS are one and the same. Otherwise, you may have to do some legwork to get a dimensioned plat that situates most of the buildings, which you'll likely draw in a very light linetype/weight anyway so as not to clutter street names. Most civil vicinity blocks just show where the project is in the world, in a way easily approachable to a layman.

  8. #8
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    Thanks! This all helps me! I’ll check with the local power co engineer for some more specifics. He’s been kind of vague. I’m annoyed that he just told me he needs this when he knew three weeks ago.

    The facility is fed and sits on a large section fed land, so there’s no platting that I’m aware of. I guess I could check with our county clerks office.

    An architect was part of the group that was here last fall and measured everything. I remembered I had this info after I left for the day, so I’ll look at the files tomorrow. When I look at the plan from 1978, it looks like everything is situational. I took a really bad photo of it to have to email to one of the firms I initially contacted to see if they do gov work. My predecessor did not keep records stored well and it’s all hit or miss. Sadly, this plan was not rolled properly, so it’s wrinkled pretty badly. It was pure luck I found it stored someplace random.

    Am I looking at $2k or $10k for a map? But know I have more info to go on...

  9. #9
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    More like $10 or $20 for a plotted copy of a survey plat from the county GIS. The digi files are prob free to dl, since taxpayers have already paid for everything all the way down the line.
    When I say buildings"situated" by a survey, I mean measured ["tied"] to the property lines. Usually they'll show station + offset of the property line to at least 2 building corners, which is all you need to precisely wiggle in a block or group of polylines representing a measured building footprint into another group of polylines representing the property lines.

    Depending on your locality, the clerk's office may have a Sectional Index listing all the land transfers in a particular section back to the beginning of time, or at least back to the last time that county courthouse burnt down...So Township/Range/Section numbers of the large parcel of Fed land will be helpful to have. At some point in time, the government either acquired the property, or conveyed it out of the Public Domain, and there'll be a public record with a legal description of the property bounds, at minimum. These are usually fun to draw. Acad will do bearings, but just remember a surveyor's (navigator's) bearing is the acute angle off the meridian, and you can convert them into azimuths or grid azimuths in your head or with a calculator instead of looking up how to make Acad input polar coordinates in bearings & US Survey feet.

    And when a job needing a vicinity map on the front page is by itself out in the country, the numbered GLO grid, topological features like lakes and rivers, and the road out to the facility should constitute most of the visual weight of your vicinity map blocks, rather than the urban street grid otherwise would. Just a shaded shape suggesting the existing buildings/facilities footprint is all you may need on a title sheet vicinity map inset.
    Don't forget the North arrow!
    Last edited by highangle; 07-31-2020 at 12:20 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bjenny View Post
    I know tech talk - but Iím hoping someone can give me a little guidance, that why Iíve posted in PR. Sorry for the long explanation

    I found out yesterday I need an AutoCAD 14 or higher background map for a utility project.

    Snip (I have a hard copy facility map)
    1. Go to your local repro store that can scan that full size sheet to a PDF.

    2. Find a local drafting house that can trace that PDF with a CAD jockey. They'll charge around 75 to 100 per hour. The time component depends on how much ink is on the plan, multiple sheets or whatever. They move pretty quickly.

    3. Forward their file to your engineer and move on. They'll just toss it all in and a background xref anyway so I wouldn't even worry about layers.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  11. #11
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    All I know about AutoCAD is that when I was getting my CS degree the engineering students would hog the SUN sparcstation lab. And they would power punch the machines seemingly at random. There were big signs saying not to do that. Regular user IDs were prohibited from issuing reboot/shutdown. Users were instructed to make reboot requests with the IT department. Those of us working on a distributed database project kept losing work because of the engineering bozos. /Rant

  12. #12
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    If thereís an ďArcGIS mapĒ, most of whatís being suggested has already been done. Iím assuming youíre referring to an ArcMap project, though a paper map made from GIS was made with base data that exists somewhere. No reason to repeat work thatís already been done. Worst case, you can probably pull the base data from OpenStreetMap since you only need building and roads.

    It should only cost you some time. Lemme know if you need a hand with the data or software.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  13. #13
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    Any AutoCAD experts????

    Late to the party, but you really just need a site survey. Call a surveyor. They will have access to the latest recorded surveys of local properties, and they have the capacity to come & scan the site & give you autocad & a pdf as the deliverable.

    Sending a pdf scan of a doc you already have isnít the same thing as an accurate survey in cad. Nor is having a drafter trace said doc.

    The engineers rely on the owner to provide property info and sometimes that requires a survey. Their contract with you likely says as much.

  14. #14
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    Any AutoCAD experts????

    I was working on the assumption that this was just reference a map for site planning and preliminary design.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  15. #15
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    Maybe so...i only scanned the thread & maybe should have read more thoroughly

    GIS data can sometimes get pretty loose on detail given the large scales involved

    We’ve often been told not to rely on jurisdictional GIS data for project specific detail, more for generalized relationships

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    Yeah, some of our ROW mapping in GIS is off by feet compared to the aerial photo overlay and final ROW survey.

    In my mind this is one of those things you pay a CAD expert to bang out in 4 hours or get a surveyor to do unless the electrical company is clear they don't need a survey.

  17. #17
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    I will also add that allowing your design team to work off of docs that aren’t vetted as accurate just throws any errors they make using that data back in your own lap.

    ”change orders” exist in design contracts too
    they’re called “additional services“ or “change in scope”

  18. #18
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    Definitely. GIS data can be of good quality and high accuracy, but that varies widely. Generally speaking, itís great for reference and planning but is not a substitute for a site survey.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ::: ::: View Post
    Late to the party, but you really just need a site survey. Call a surveyor. They will have access to the latest recorded surveys of local properties, and they have the capacity to come & scan the site & give you autocad & a pdf as the deliverable.

    Sending a pdf scan of a doc you already have isnít the same thing as an accurate survey in cad. Nor is having a drafter trace said doc.

    The engineers rely on the owner to provide property info and sometimes that requires a survey. Their contract with you likely says as much.
    Ha! I haven't seen a contract yet. They are in pre-development to do the cost estimate and need the map for their engineers to do the estimate.

    This is what I was thinking I was going to need. I spoke with someone this morning that does a lot of work with the power co - they can fly it with a drone and then where there are large trees,, do conventional mapping for those spots. Will take 3-4 weeks. Looks like I'll be starting from scratch. This place has ever been officially surveyed except for the land when it was removed from public domain over 100 yrs ago. Since we are exempt, there have never been any official surveys of the buildings/facility filed with the county and this place was established before the county existed.

    Thanks everyone!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bjenny View Post
    Ha! I haven't seen a contract yet. They are in pre-development to do the cost estimate and need the map for their engineers to do the estimate.

    This is what I was thinking I was going to need. I spoke with someone this morning that does a lot of work with the power co - they can fly it with a drone and then where there are large trees,, do conventional mapping for those spots. Will take 3-4 weeks. Looks like I'll be starting from scratch. This place has ever been officially surveyed except for the land when it was removed from public domain over 100 yrs ago. Since we are exempt, there have never been any official surveys of the buildings/facility filed with the county and this place was established before the county existed.

    Thanks everyone!
    Drone? 3-4 weeks? Just how big is this site? Relatively clear sight lines? A decent surveyor with an automatic total station can knock out several acres per day walking it. $175/hour bay area price, union operator. Total station file will export directly to CAD, all the CAD jockey has to do is connect the dots at that point using the surveyors notes for point descriptions.

    You're also just getting an estimate from these guys. Exact dimensions don't matter at this point. I'd also push the official site survey onto the design firm that way when shit doesn't fit, it's all their problem. Design firms hate this for exactly this reason, nowhere to run and hide when they screw up. They want a scapegoat and they love blaming existing conditions.

    And keep in mind when construction starts, It's going to be layed out using a tape measure, marked with a can of spray paint, and dug using an excavator with 6" long tiger teeth operated by a guy with a hangover so your survey and arcgis that has 0.002" accuracy with nominal magnetic and solar flare interference when it is exactly 72*F means fuck all. 8' off that building is good enough instructions. I stand by my original statement of scan your existing plans, redline in the new buildings and let the design firm estimate from there.
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJSapp View Post
    I stand by my original statement of scan your existing plans, redline in the new buildings and let the design firm estimate from there.
    fine for scope estimation
    def not for design work


    re: survey in the design team's scope is a net loss to the owner since it will be marked up as a consultant fee. The actual data is professionally provided/certified and will be the same whoever retains that contract. If it makes the owner have fewer management headaches for the markup cost, then great...I suspect few design teams would find that to be problematic.

  22. #22
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    Now you all are confusing me! This place is 25,000 acres! Not the facility that needs to be surveyed though - the main "campus" is about 48 buildings/structures spread out over 2- 3 miles.

    The guy I spoke with this morning does this kind of work all the time with the utility provider. He said it was very doable, just depended on level of detail the utility co needs. I'm just wondering if his time frame was also dependent on whatever other project they have going on. Since it's fed, I probably won't be able to go to him. If I am going to have to contract this out and we don't have any facility map, I'll probably go ahead and request more detail than RMP may need so that I have it and don't have to go through this again. I am having a hard time getting the RMP local engineer to tell me what exact details he needs other than roads and building dimensions. Their engineers in Washington will import the background map in to their system to design the new utility. Our current three phase system was initially installed in the 1920's and has been added on to randomly over the last 100 yrs. It's not to code, is a horror show, creatively wired and starting to have major issues. I want the map done right so I am not looking at contract mods done later down then road due to incorrect information which I am already anticipating with a second contractor for the meter bases, weather heads, etc. It's a big project for our little facility.

  23. #23
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    Roads and buildings can mostly be done with existing aerials with GPS filling in gaps from tree cover. Couple days, max. Again, Iíd be really surprised if this data doesnít already exist.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    Roads and buildings can mostly be done with existing aerials with GPS filling in gaps from tree cover. Couple days, max. Again, Iíd be really surprised if this data doesnít already exist.
    If it does, we can't find it, but that is typical for around here. The person before me left things mess and misfiled, its always a scavenger hunt. The county courthouse and assessors office have nothing - I check with folks there this morning.

    The engineer sent me this - this is the kind of map I need. He needs exact road measurements, buildings situation correclty, but said the building measurements don't have to be exact. Go figure.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  25. #25
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    Any AutoCAD experts????

    Bummer. What about the ArcGIS maps you mentioned in the OP? With the info youíve given, my plan of attack would be to georeference the 1978 map and digitize off that, then adjust and fill in gaps with the aerials and GPS. Iíve never had enough budget to hire this type of thing out, though, so I canít say thatís the best solution.

    Do you guys maintain any utilities? Thatís a whole other can of worms (assuming the power lines will be buried).
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

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