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RTK GPS For Applications In Macrotidal

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Computer aided drafting and design refers to utilization of computer technology for designing as well as its documentation. Manual drafting method uses range of tools like drafter, compass, French curve, protractors, set squares and diagonal scales. Manual drafting requires the draftsman to take extreme caution in the drawing process to avoid the paper getting dirty as well as time required for the completion of project. CAD helps replacing manual drafting with complete process automation and use of information technology to reduce time for completion of the drawing and simplify time consuming drawing components in architecture and structural engineering.

The current essay evaluates survey and civil software and analyses the data recording use for production of digital terrain models as well as its potential in interfacing with computer aided drafting. A brief background has been provided in the essay informing the basic details of equipments. The basic use of the equipments in surveying has also been discussed in the current essay. A critical review of the equipments used has also been presented in the essay.

Few of the questions that the current essay answers to are “What is Computer Aided Drafting?”, “What are the uses of survey and civil software?”, “How are the data recording use for production of digital terrain models are analyzed?” and “What potentials does digital terrain models possess in interfacing with computer aided drafting?”. The answers that are evaluated in the current essay provides the opportunity to get an in depth and insight towards detailed information of the equipments used for surveying. Use of CivilCAD7 and Magnet office has been discussed and its utilization in surveying techniques through optimization with various equipments such as total station and auto leveling has been critically reviewed as well.

Computer aided design and drafting fates back to 1957 with the advent of PRONTO and SKETCHPAD that enables users to execute technical drawings. In early 60s 3D wireframe developments began that featured solid modeler programs. Mathematical representation of surfaces freeform helped enhancement of 3D CAD system capabilities (Annan 2016). From program based technical drawing, there was a strategic shift towards use of parametric design in which Pro/ENGINEER introduced the concept of drawing using defining parameters. Changing the dimensional value in one of the parameters caused the drawing to change in relation of different elements of design. MCAD provided the user with ability to provide and incorporate constraints in the drawing helping to create precise, intuitive and analysis thus making easier application of kinematics to the drawing.  According to Charalampous et al. (2015), currently CAD has been widely used in engineering industries as well as other profession with powerful software capable of drawing with easy user interface and drawing techniques. Complex drawings can be drafted using CAD that helps in creating unique architectures.  

Finite element analysis can be easily performed through using computer aided design and drafting as well as use of 3D modeling using AutoCAD, and Google sketch up. The upgrading of geographical information system (GIS) and invention of global positioning system (GPS) helps the development with rapid pace in surveying (Koutsoudis 2014). Surveying involves collection of co ordinates and other data to plot the data and represent graphically the contour, location of objects on terrain. 2-D and 3-D drawings and maps helps the operator for generating the survey results integrated to spreadsheets and other databases of GIS.

Carlson software was earlier used for land surveying that employed CAD technology. Carlson Field 2009 that features real time total station data collection, integration and GPS to the CAD such as AutoCAD and InteliCAD helps in directly plotting the terrain surveyed on computer automatically. The earlier prototypes of CAD helped to develop powerful and advanced CAD and surveying software such as the Civil CAD7 and Magnet office.


Details and description

Magnet office provides a standalone solution to modeling, surveying and grading application. It has numerous modules that can be used, supporting different construction and surveying applications it has a full 3DMC support of data. Magnet office also imports data from company account for exchange of data. As per Lee (2013), the magnet office tools helps in collecting raw data from office editor, processing of the data and post processes the data that has been collected. Magnet office topo helps in drafting of the survey maps and simple projects that needs to be drawn. Magnet office topo also helps in additional functions to office tools. Magnet office site incorporates all functions of Magnet office topo and has advanced option for drafting, designing in construction. Siebert (2014) stated that magnet office site w/resurfacing incorporates all functionality of office site with additional features of miling, paving and construction ridability.

Magnet office layout is CAD software which has been simplified and ideal in cleanup and importing of design files through uploading the files to cloud as well as sharing instantly to project sites actively. Magnet office site helps in advanced data processing that provides the user to generate and adjust coordinate levels from levels, total stations as well as raw data from GNSS. Magnet enterprise is subscribed and helps in communication as well as gathering of real time data from field. The specific elevated menu helps in elevation for 2D designs to 3D models providing a full functionality of road design, contouring, volume routines, 3DMC support, data cleanup, easy management of projects and creation with once click surface (dtm) as well as creating powerful parallel routine figure ( 2017).

Civil CAD helps in design and planning of underground as well as above ground infrastructure design of tools of pipes layout. Earthquake calculations are precisely performed using CivilCad7 having cross platform ability of handling survey data. CivilCAD7 provides engineers, surveyors and designers the ability to calculate precisely thickness and materials, changes of road segment, evaluation visibility and overlapping adjustment. The automatic road segments are also recognized through combines and joined centerline creation. Road design is also extended for increasing demands of authority allowing separate complex layout into particular layers ( 2017).  

Use in surveying

Data collection process using Total Station is very easy and flexible to maintain the data. The pressure and temperature of the station is initially set and an instrument point name is assigned to the location. The instrument height is provided and entered and a back sight point name is also entered. According to Psimoulis (2013), the back sight height as well as measurement is performed through measurement of horizontal angle, slope distance as well as vertical angle. After setting up the total station, numerous observations are taken and the data is stored accordingly. The data obtained from the GPS and total station is then used to for terrain modeling.

Digital terrain models are usually created from contour maps that are produced from direct surveying of the land or through other surveying methods such as Doppler radar, LIDAR, theodolite and total stations. Using Magnet office, the information is turned into digital contour maps and terrain models that help in turning the raw data into enabled models for visualizing the virtual landscape.  The model that is created includes the Earth’s surface that excludes buildings, man-made structure and vegetation which is also known as bare Earth model ( 2017).

CivilCAD also works similar to Magnet office the data collected via total station or level is automatically collected and gathered into the CivilCAD software. Survey plotting, terrain modeling, calculations of volume and survey plotting is done automatically through synchronization. A triangular digital terrain model is generated through triangle button operation. The break lines are nominated through incorporation into the model using triangulation. The earthworks are calculated suing specific boundaries as well as total cut and fill methods ( 2017).


It can be concluded that computer aided design has provided the opportunity to produce accurate drawings and detailing using 2D as well as 3D orientation. Civil and survey software like Magnet office and CivilCAD provides the designers, engineers and surveyors the opportunity to create accurate drawings without much time required for completion of the drawing. Survey data that is usually collected through total stations and auto leveling machines are processed through CivilCAD and Magnet office that helps in creating the data base of raw data and is plotted. The drawing is very accurate in processing of digital terrain modeling. Using Magnet office, the information is turned into digital contour maps and terrain models that help in turning the raw data into enabled models for visualizing the virtual landscape.  The model that is created includes the Earth’s surface that excludes buildings, man-made structure and vegetation which is also known as bare Earth model. The creation of digital terrain is accurate based on GPS method that accurately records the data coordinates helping to get a clear map of the terrain. Use of cloud based data modeling is also essential as it helps to maintaining the data integration between total station and the drafting software. The drafting software also helps in accurately drawing the terrain without additional manual effort by the draftsman. The drawing can be changed anytime at anyplace through changing one of the data in the collected total station data as well as auto level data. 




Charalampous, E., Psimoulis, P., Guillaume, S., Spiridonakos, M., Klis, R., Bürki, B., Rothacher, M., Chatzi, E., Luchsinger, R. and Feltrin, G., 2015. Measuring sub-mm structural displacements using QDaedalus: a digital clip-on measuring system developed for total stations. Applied Geomatics, 7(2), pp.91-101.

Koutsoudis, A., Vidmar, B., Ioannakis, G., Arnaoutoglou, F., Pavlidis, G. and Chamzas, C., 2014. Multi-image 3D reconstruction data evaluation. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 15(1), pp.73-79.

Lee, J.M., Park, J.Y. and Choi, J.Y., 2013. Evaluation of sub-aerial topographic surveying techniques using total station and RTK-GPS for applications in macrotidal sand beach environment. Journal of Coastal Research, 65(sp1), pp.535-540., 2017, Magnet office, Available at [Accessed 3 May. 2017]

Psimoulis, P.A. and Stiros, S.C., 2013. Measuring deflections of a short-span railway bridge using a robotic total station. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 18(2), pp.182-185.

Siebert, S. and Teizer, J., 2014. Mobile 3D mapping for surveying earthwork projects using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system. Automation in Construction, 41, pp.1-14., 2017, CivilCAD, Available at: [Accessed 3 May. 2017]


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