AutoCAD – Inputting Survey Bearings

by Jeff Weber
(Vincennes, Indiana, USA)

AutoCAD - Inputting Survey Bearings

AutoCAD - Inputting Survey Bearings

Once in a while I will be asked to draw a site plan from scratch. It is easy enough to go on the internet and find and aerial shot of the site you want, and then attach the image to your drawing and poof you are done.

The problem with this is that it can be imprecise.

So you can go to the local courthouse, get a plot plan and start drawing.

If you are like me you look at the plot plan and try to remember….

“How do I put in N 45°23’36”W 255.31’?”

I usually use trial and error and eventually get it.

I will try and alleviate any frustration you may have.

First of all you will need to remember some early AutoCAD.

Remember the @ symbol?

It is not just for email addresses.

In AutoCAD the @ symbol means “from the last point”.

So to start this line you will need to pick a starting point.

Next you will need to know the order you need to input the information into AutoCAD.

Even though the distance, 225.31’, is the last piece of information it is the first thing AutoCAD needs to know…after the @ symbol.

So after you have picked your first point the command line should say:

“Specify next point or Undo:”

You will need to enter the following:

Specify next point or Undo: @225.31’

Do not hit enter yet because you need to input the angle.

Other than trying to remember what order to input the information, this next step is what I tend to forget.

Now that you have entered the distance you need to tell AutoCAD what angle you want.

In this case we want an angle of N 45°23’36”W.

Continuing on the command line input the following:

Specify next point or Undo: @225.31’< N45d23’36”W

There are two things that are important to notice here, the use of the “less than” symbol ( < ) and the use of the letter “d”.

The “d” is easy; of course it represents the degree symbol.

The “less than” symbol is what I typically forget.

I will try and put in the “greater than” symbol ( > ), hit enter and be upset because now I have to retype all those numbers again.

Once you have all the information hit enter and it should look like the following:

Now you would have additional bearings to put in.

Just follow the above procedure, making sure you use the @ symbol to start the next bearing.

Tips to remember:

· Use the @ symbol

· Distance goes first

· Use the < symbol

· Do not forget to put in the directions (i.e. N E S W)

Comments for AutoCAD – Inputting Survey Bearings

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May 04, 2010
th@nk you...
by: Anonymous

thx very much... i have been needing to know this for quite some time...

Dec 15, 2010
i lili lili like it!
by: Anonymous

thanx...its simple yet knowledgeable

Jan 30, 2012
by: kennedy lozano

ahh thanks for the tips it helps me co workers teach me that method but i always forgot it..


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