KBoy420

Where to Find Topography Data?

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Hi all - using HD Suite 2020.  I'm trying to locate topo/GPS data for my lot.  I've searched my state and county web resources and can find actual topo maps, but no data sets specifically for my lot, that I could then import into HD2020.

 

Anyone know of any resources or a good workflow for going about compiling this data and importing into HD2020?  I'm in PA if it helps.

 

Thanks!

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Short of paying for an actual survey of your lot, I really don't think there's anything out there that will specifically show your lot.

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1 hour ago, Rookie65 said:

Short of paying for an actual survey of your lot, I really don't think there's anything out there that will specifically show your lot.

Short of doing that, what's my best options? Just input best guess elevation lines and tey to shape the lot by hand?

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Don't know that you have any really. When cities and towns have theirs done, it's usually a State or Government funded project is my guess. They aren't going to break it down into every lot, especially when the land isn't broken up. That's why people need to have their lots surveyed professionally for buying, selling and modifying real estate and their homes. Depending on how good you are at reading a transit, I suppose you could mark your property boundaries and string out a grid system and shoot elevations of each of the corners of the grid. Depending on the size of your grids will determine how many days or weeks you will spend trying to do this.

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7 hours ago, KBoy420 said:

Short of doing that, what's my best options? Just input best guess elevation lines and tey to shape the lot by hand?

 

This is my plan. Topographical data from handheld GPS imported into the software apparently creates more noise than signal, according to @DavidJPotter. Perhaps I'm misremembering what he wrote.

 

Besides, in my jurisdiction (also in PA) a professional survey is required with any permits to alter the exterior of a residence or certain aspects of a lot. In which case you'd need a survey anyway and thus could use it to update your .plan.

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My opinion is that especially if the terrain is complicated using a computer generated topographic Map can create a terrain object so complicated (containing so many "3D Faces" that the average PC or Mac cannot easily create a visual of such an object (I know this from experience and from other users). However IF the terrain in question is rather mild, without too much modulation in height, then perhaps using GPS might work alright.

 

I prefer using a PDF topo-map imported that I then scale and trace over using Elevation Lines and splines, making sure as I place them to check in camera views each change as a QC check as one goes along. Creating terrain gradiently and being methodical has always worked for me. I have never been able to get a useful product by importing GPS data in to Chief Architect or Home Designer, NEVER.

 

DJP

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First - you might be able to get this from your local zoning office, or permits, or whichever department handles it.

 

That said, as far as what you can find digitally, the data available online typically isn't granular enough for us to create an accurate yard-sized data set if you have subtlety to it (or even some big dips), but you can try looking here.

 

I actually made my own "transit" for my yard using a laser measuring device (has a tripod mount on the bottom) and a tall stick with inches marked off.... really wasn't too hard.

 

You keep the laser pointer in place, move around your yard with a plot plan or something similar, and mark off locations and heights. I just did mine rough, but you can grid it off if you really want to.

 

My wife helped.. Probably good if you have a friend join in.

 

Now, it's not official, but depending on your lot, it might work to get you started.

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