Say you are given a handful of coordinates from someone in the field who collected their points in Latitude-Longitude format. What is the fastest way to add these points to your project?
Map 3D has COGO. Civil 3D has a couple more methods of doing this:
- Create Line by Latitude/Longitude
- Create Points > Miscellaneous > Manual method
But my favorite way of adding Lat/Long points to a project is the most simple, pure way: using the AutoCAD POINT command. Here’s what you need to do this successfully:
1. Assign a Latitude-Longitude coordinate system to your drawing. Just run the MAPCSASSIGN command and pick your desired CS: LL83 and LL84 are good choices. (You’ll need to take this step even if you try one of the alternate three methods I mentioned above.)
2. Optional step (and this can be used as a substitution for Step 1 as well) – FDO-connect to a world map that is projected in a LL coordinate system. I like Natural Earth’s Physical Vectors shapefiles. I’ll use the Land map as a nice backdrop for some of my tests.
3. Run the POINT command and use Dynamic Input to enter the coordinates. It’s easiest if you can input your points in Decimal Degrees. If your points were given to you in Degrees-Minutes-Seconds, you can use one of many free calculators online for DMS > DD conversion. I’ve been using the one provided by the FCC.
And remember these tips:
a. For standard latitude/longitude coordinates, enter Western and Southern coordinates with a minus sign at the beginning.
b. Run the DDPTYPE command and choose a point style that allows you to easily see your points on the map.
With the optional world map backdrop, you can check your coordinates for reasonableness. I was given some points in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon. Do the points appear to be showing up in Oregon? Yes!