Monday, June 09, 2008


For the knitters out there, just ignore this post.

I'm posting this to my blog because it's information that I have to access every couple of months and I end up forgetting out I did that.

I found a good resource on how to convert your ESRI *.shp files to contours. I end up importing the lines only to find the line work is inserted at layer 0 - Can't make a surface from that! When I click on the line and look at the properties, the elevation info is contained within the database attached to the linework - GRRR! Note: I have to open a new drawing and import the SHP files from Map > Tools > Import - then save it and do the next stuff. I have not been able to define contours from large data sets of SHP files via the Data attachment with Task Pane. Anyone know?

But the next step is where I have to look up time and again - which takes about an hour to find each time.

Attach the contour dwg you just imported your contours into into your main dwg.

  1. Define Query of attached dwg
    a. Location (usually All)
    b. Query Mode (Draw)
    c. Alter Properties
  2. now, click Expression - navigate to Object Data
  3. Hit "Add" button - do this for each data set. Then Hit OK
  4. Hit "Execute Query"


When you are building the surface, add them as Contour Data.


Dana said...

Hi Shelly. I didn't read your how-to very closely, so I am not sure if this is the same process of if it helps. Dana

fillyjonk said...

hahahaha. I'm someone who reads for the knitting but I know what you're talking about here! (I teach an entry-level GIS class at my college).

I agree, one of the things that kind of bites about GIS programs is that some of the processes are so involved it's easy to forget the steps if you don't do them daily.

Dana said...

Argh!! Sorry Shelly. Email me civil3diva at and i will take care of your password.