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Surface dialog





The Surface dialog lets you edit the surface data, not the drawing settings.


Each surface must have a unique name. The name is what differentiates the surfaces within a survey.


Enter additional information about the surface in the Description field. You might display the date the surface was recorded or the purpose for measuring the surface.

When a list of surfaces is displayed, they are generally displayed as name [description]. So using the description will help you differentiate the surfaces in your survey.


A surface uses all the topo points within its border to compute the triangles and draw the contour lines. You can further limit the topo points used by specifying a traverse as the Source. Once specified, TPC uses only the Topo points from the source traverse to compute the surface. See Creating Surfaces.

Restrict Elevations

This option lets you limit the topo points that can be included in a surface. If you have some 'wacky' elevation points in your survey, this is a great way to exclude them from the surface.

Use the Find buttons to retrieve the Minimum and Maximum elevations of the surface then modify them appropriately.

Border Traverse

Each surface can have a border (optional) which defines its extents. You can change the border traverse at any time or create a new convex border traverse. When you do, TPC recomputes the surface using the new border.

New Border

Choose this button to create a new convex border traverse for this surface. TPC adds the new traverse to the survey and updates the Traverses Manager to include the new traverse.


Removes any border traverse from this surface. The surface can triangulate fine without a border and will in essence, create its own convex border in the process.

Importing & Exporting

Surfaces can be exported to and imported from CAD files.

In a DWG file, they are exported as a polyfacemesh.  In a DGN file, they are exported as a mesh face loop. Each of these CAD structures completely defines all the faces traverse created for the surface.

When a surface is imported from a CAD file, TPC creates a traverse with the same name as the surface and stores the vertices of the surface in that traverse. New survey points are created as needed for each surface vertex. If an imported vertex matches the coordinates and elevation of an existing survey point, the existing survey point is used and no new vertex is added. That traverse is they used for the source of TPC's surface. Finally, the imported surface is locked so that TPC is not allowed to recompute the TIN unless you first unlock the surface.

Since imported vertices do not have point labels, TPC labels them DTM1, DTM2, DTM3, etc.

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