Landmark_SIG_081 Special Interest Group October (pm) 2015


Main topics:

  • creating a site model from an image
  • importing a shape file
  • using GIS information from a local body website
  • site modifier contour mode
  • hardscape changes in Vectorworks 2016

Creating a Site Model from an Imported Image

it is possible to create a site model from an imported image, but in this session the image we wanted to use did not have enough information on it to create a site model from. Another problem with a scanned image is that these images are bitmap information and do not contain vector graphics. Without vector graphics there is nothing to snap onto, so you will end up trying to trace over the map. It is better to try to get GIS information from a local body or a local authority that you can then use to build your site model.

Importing A Shape File

if you can get GIS information from a local authority it is usually in the form of a shape file. A shape file will import exact objects (usually polygons, polylines, or 3-D polygons) and these objects usually have information attached to them (such as the elevation). If the contours are 3-D polygons with the correct height then they can be used as they are to create a site model.

When you import these 3-D polygons they often have thousands of data points (vertices) along them. This can make your site modelling very slow, so the answer is to simplify the polygons using the command Simplify Polys from the Modify > Drafting Aids menu.

Finding GIS Information from a Local Authority Website

we use the local authority website to find on tour information that we could use to build a site. Each local authority website will have its own implementation of this GIS information presentation, so this website do we looked at can only be used as a rough guide. But it does show you how much information you can find from local authority websites.

Site Modifier Contour Mode

Vectorworks 2016 has a new site modifier mode called the Contour mode. This Contour mode takes it easy to redraw the contours on your site model and each Contour can be reshaped if required afterwards with the reshaped tool.

Hardscape Changes in Vectorworks 2016

One of the major changes to hardscape’s in Vectorworks 2016 is the ability to slope hardscapes. In this part of the session we looked at setting the fall, setting the elevation, setting the direction of the fall and controlling the height at the start and at the end of the fall.


Landscape 081 October 2015 pm (m4v file)

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2 thoughts on “Landmark_SIG_081 Special Interest Group October (pm) 2015

  1. I use a Ziplevel ( for quick elevation measurements of a small site. Easy one man tool for point elevations and pretty budget friendly. I just manually plot elevations on the site plan after that and create the site model using the stake tool.

    • Is it possible to set up a grid and use the ziplevel with that. I’m guessing that if is an empty site, that is easy, if the site has extensive landscapeing already, i guess it is not so straight forward. I have hear other people say good things about the ZipLevel.

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