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Drawing Codes





Drawing codes are sometimes referred to as Control Codes because they control the line work associated with points. They allow you to begin and end lines, close figures, fit a curve to points and more.

Drawing Codes Add Flexibility to Drawing View

Drawing Codes are predefined codes that tell TPC how to draw the lines associated with a group of points. They add flexibility to Drawing View. With Drawing Codes, you can tell TPC to create a rectangle out of the next three points, omit a line segment or create a figure.

When Drawing View draws a traverse, it uses the Control Point and Side Shot settings to draw and connect the appropriate points in the traverse. The objects created in Drawing View depend on the sequence and type of points in the traverse. The same is true of Drawing Codes. The sequence of codes and points in the traverse determines the lines, arcs and polylines that are drawn in Drawing View.

The use of Drawing Codes is optional. Choose View, Use Drawing Codes to turn them on or off (default = off). When turned on, TPC uses the Control Points settings to draw the corresponding lines, arcs and polylines.

Drawing Code Distinction

Drawing Codes are free to create drawing objects without any corresponding surveying objects. So if you draw a rectangle from 3 points, you will get a rectangle object in the drawing. TPC will have computed the position for the fourth rectangle corner, but will not create a survey point for it. Or if you fit a curve to a series of points, TPC will draw an arc for the curve but will not create a curved line in the survey.

The rule to remember is that Drawing Codes are for the drawing, not the survey. In contrast, creating the same features on the map with Point Codes and traverses always creates the corresponding survey objects.

When Should You Use Drawing Codes

Drawing Codes can be used by themselves or in conjunction with other features of TPC.

When importing data from a data collector

If your data collector supports Drawing Codes that allow you to do some level of mapping in the field, turn on Drawing Codes in Drawing View to mimic the map you created on the data collector. You will need to match the Codes in TPC with the codes used in your data collector Drawing Code Settings.

When Plotting Features Like Footings

As a general rule, you create traverses to draw features in a drawing. Letting the traverses do the drawing has may advantages which are lost if you must draw the features yourself like in CAD. One situation where traverses becomes cumbersome is when plotting multiple features like footings. You may not want to create a traverse for each footing. Instead, either using the original traverse or after recalling all the footing shots into a traverse, insert .R3 and .R2 Drawing Commands as needed to have TPC draw all the footing for you.

When Combining Point Codes and Drawing Codes

You may also want to use Drawing Codes in conjunction with Point Codes. As an example, if you are collecting points for multiple ditch lines, you can use a single Point Code for all ditches and simply insert a Begin Line code into your data each time you start a new ditch or when a ditch line goes under a road or driveway via a culvert. When you sort points into traverses using the Point Code Table, TPC will put all your ditch shots into a single traverse, including their codes.

Drawing Codes Supported

See Supported Drawing Codes for a complete list of the drawing codes you can use in TPC.

Drawing Code Settings

To edit the drawing code settings choose Tools | Program Settings | Drawing Codes from the desktop. TPC displays the Drawing Code Settings dialog.

Command Syntax

Drawing commands start with a delimiter (default=period), followed by the command as in .BL = begin line. The delimiter tells TPC this is a drawing command. If you omit the delimiter, TPC will think BL is just part of the point description or note.

Putting Drawing Codes in Notes or Point Descriptions

You enter drawing codes in a traverse, either in a Note or in the point descriptions.  See Adding Drawing Codes to a Traverse.

Combining Codes

You can combine some codes in a single description or note.

For example, you might combine the codes .EC .BC to end the current curve and start a new one. That survey point associated with that combination will be a point of reverse curve or compound curve depending on the properties of the ending and beginning curves.

Not all drawing codes can be combined.

Single Codes

Single codes, like .R3 (3-Point Rectangle) and .C3 (3-Point Curve) operate on a specific group of points after which they are finished and so do not require a corresponding code to end the process.

In this example, TPC draws a rectangle from points 67 to 68 to 69 to a fourth computed rectangle corner then back to 67. The .R3 Code processes the next three points and then is finished.

Note .R3

67 SS

68 SS

69 SS

In this example, TPC draws a curve from points 70 to 72 passing through 71. The .C3 Code processes the next three points and then is finished.

Note .C3

70 SS

71 SS

72 SS

Paired Codes

Some codes begin a process and require a second or matching code to end the process. The Begin Line and End Line commands are an example of this.

In this example, TPC begins a line at point 27 and ends it at point 29. Point 30 is then drawn as it would have been if no Drawing Codes were inserted.

Note .BL

27 SS

28 SS

29 SS

Note .EL

30 SS

Paired codes include Begin/End Line, Begin/End Curve, Begin/End Figure and Begin/Close Figure. In the case of a figure, the Begin Figure can be paired with either an End Figure or Close Figure code.

Repeating Beginning Codes

As a general rule, repeating a beginning code like Begin Line, ends the previous process and starts a new one. The .EL.BL codes between points 29 and 30 in this example could be replaced with just a .BL (Begin Line) code. The .BL code would end the previous .BL process before starting a new one. As a result, the previous process would end with point 29 and the next process would begin with point 30. There would be NO line between points 29 and 30.

Note .BL

27 SS

28 SS

29 SS

Note .EL.BL

30 SS

Creating Figures

TPC includes several drawing codes that create figures. These figures can be closed like a building foundation or open like a road centerline. Figures create polylines in Drawing View, allowing you to modify the properties of all the lines in the figure with one command.

A closed figures draws a polyline segment from the last point in the figure back to the first point in the figure. In this example, TPC creates a closed figure starting with point 81, drawing through point 86 then back to point 81. The drawing command .CF (Close Figure) tells TPC to close the figure back to its starting point.

Note .BF

81 SS

82 SS

83 SS

84 SS

85 SS

86 SS

Note .CF

If point 86 had included the drawing command .EF (End Figure), the figure would have ended at point 86 but would not have closed back to point 81.

TPC does not support the .BC Begin Curve or .EC End Curve drawing codes with figures. Use the .BL drawing code instead of the .BF Begin Figure code to includes curves.

Fitting Curves

The .C3, .BC and .EC codes fit a curve to their respective points.

Note: In versions prior to TPC Desktop 2020 R1 (June 2020), the curve is drawn an a single ARC object in the drawing using the best-fit radius derived form the bracketed points.  Beginning with TPC Desktop 2020 R1, if the respective points are control points, the curve is fitted to the existing traverse points.  If the respective points are side shots, TPC still adds a single ARC object.

In the following example, a single arc will be drawn from point 81 to point 86 using points 81 to 86 to determine the best-fit radius..

Note .BC

81 SS

82 SS

83 SS

84 SS

85 SS

86 SS

Note .EC

In the following example, the associated points are control points, so TPC will fit a curve of the same radius between each of the points.  Points 81 through 85 will all be PCs and point 86 will be a PT.

Note .BC







Note .EC

Sorting Traverse Points

You typically do NOT want to sort points in a traverse when you use Drawing Codes. Drawing Codes rely on the sequence of points to properly draw your survey. Since sorting points within a traverse changes this sequence, you may loose the desired effect of the Drawing Codes.

Traverse Drawing Settings and Drawing Codes

Traverse Drawing Settings do not work with drawing objects created by some drawing codes.  For example, you can create a figure with the .BF and .CF commands, but you can't fill it with the traverse's Fill settings.  Nor can you smooth it using the Smoothing settings.  This is because that figure's lines may not have corresponding survey lines.

Using Drawing Codes with Your Data Collector

TPC’s Drawing Codes are flexible enough to be used with any data collector. Some data collectors insert Drawing Codes as notes in which case TPC imports them as notes. Other data collectors insert Drawing Codes into the point descriptors. If your data collector does not support Drawing Codes, you can insert them manually into either the Notes or point descriptors as allowed.

If your data collector does field-to-finish drawing based on the codes, you will want to match TPC’s Drawing Codes to your data collector’s Drawing Codes. Once done, TPC can reproduce the map your data collector drew in the field.

Related Topics

Adding Drawing Codes to a Traverse
Drawing Code Settings
Point Codes
Supported Drawing Codes






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