Create a 3D Surface from a SHP File. (with survey extension)

Do you have the need to create a surface from a ESRI contour file, and that shape file is just 2D with the elevation as an attribute? The new released Survey Extension For Map3D will do it. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1. Use the data connect to connect to the shape file.


Note: all you need is to connect to it there is no need to add it to the map.

Step 2. Use the “Mapcreatesurface” command to open the Create Surface dialog.


The Create surface tool is on the Input and Inquiry toolbar. if not just type the command at the command line.


In the Create Surface Dialog, select “Connection” for the source and select the shp connection you made in the data connect.


Step 3. Provide a name and location for the Raster TIFF that will be created. Then select the field that contains the Elevation value in the attribute table.

Now press the OK button.

Now the results after setting a style to the surface feature layer and placing the original contours above it in the draw order.


OK if you count all the mouse clicks it may be more than 3 steps but, its quicker than firing up ArcInfo and using the tools to create the surface there then  connect to it.

To those that may want to question the accurately of this compared to ESRI software, well I took the same shp file in ArcMAP created a TIN from it and converted that into a Raster.  I then added that to this dwg and compared them in both 2D and 3D views. To me I didn’t see any difference between the two.


5 Responses to “Create a 3D Surface from a SHP File. (with survey extension)”

  1. 1 map3d 07/04/2008 at 8:38 AM

    Yes, those can be used in C3D, all they consist of are dwt, blocks and standard classified object files (xml). There are no extra or revised dll or cui files. You may have to set the paths to them manually but otherwise I don’t see why they would not be useable in C3D.

  2. 2 mbyee28 07/03/2008 at 8:10 PM

    How about the industry toolkits for Map3D, can it be installed in Civil3D?

  3. 3 map3d 07/03/2008 at 7:09 AM

    No, the extension is for standalone Map3D only.

  4. 4 mbyee28 07/03/2008 at 12:43 AM

    Hi! Just wanna know if I can install this survey extension into Civil 3D 2009? It has Map 3D 2009 also,right? Is that okay?

  1. 1 Surface Creation Tools – 2010 Version « Map 3D and Murphs Law Trackback on 05/31/2009 at 7:21 PM
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