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Suggested List Price: $300/Module package pricing available When I first started in the surveying and engineering field in the late 1980s, one of my first assignments was drafting a contour map. It sounded simple enough. I asked my supervisor what computer he wanted me to use. He laughed as he handed me a rolled up mylar and a set of Leroy pens. This was one of the most valuable lessons I have had in my career. Doing it the old-fashioned way provided me with insight on how CAD and COGO software programs work. Understanding what the program needed to perform made it easier for me to manipulate its functionality.
Eagle Point of Dubuque, Iowa, has taken that approach with its latest version of software, Q2 Revision 2.2.0. The company asked its consumers from the surveying community what functions their software needed to perform. The following is a summary of some of the features that will give Eagle Point a boost in a market that continues to grow with competition. The test I ran used a moderate size point file (300 points) from a field survey I had previously performed. Run on a 700 kHz laptop, I experienced no computer lag and I did no modification to my current system or my printers to generate data to hard copy from the program.
Embedded MenusI remember the Eagle Point (EP) software versions in the late 1990s. I remember watching the floating window on the screen that always seemed to be in the way. I can’t count how many times I accidentally closed it while trying to minimize it. That floating window can now be made part of the main CAD menu bar as an option.
Upon opening EP with a CAD program, the last choice in the System pull-down menu is “Embedded CAD Menus.” Simply click that option and minimize the floating window and the choice “EP” appears in the CAD toolbar. This option is not new to this version.
Data Collection/Data TransferAfter you follow the steps of setting up a project, you are then ready to bring in data from the field. EP has the capability to communicate with numerous field collectors and is constantly updating the data collectors that the program supports. If your data collector is not supported now, it will be soon. (You can visit the Eagle Point website at www.eaglepoint.com to review any new patches that might be available. Currently, 31 data collector file formats and ASCII files are supported.)
COGOA must for every surveyor is a competent coordinate geometry package. The EP COGO package is loaded with features that create ease in data manipulation. Nodes or points can be created several ways, through data import, manual entry, snapping along objects, and input by station and offset from a defined alignment. Once input, the nodes can be set up for presentation in several ways. One unique way that I prefer is the leader entry for the node. Many times surveyors have points in a condensed area; this feature allows you to manage the description and numbers in an easy to read way.
Also within the COGO menu are features to create linework with various methods familiar to the surveyor using coordinate geometry. Among the intersections are bearing-distance and distance-distance. A lot can be created with a detailed map check report generated for each one.
DraftingMany think drafting should be left to a CAD package, but EP has provided several enhancements to provide the user with an extraordinary tool to develop quality presentations. EP has given the user the capability to annotate objects created with a technical perspective. Alignments and lots can be annotated with stations or bearings. EP annotates the object with respect to the world in which they have been created. So, as a surveyor make sure your world is correct before starting a project.
EP has provided an array of blocks for use such as arrowheads, bar scales, north arrows and time/date stamps. I have found that even though it is nice to add your personal touch to a drawing, why reinvent the wheel? These object libraries are there to use, so why not use them? Using these objects makes it easier on others when they take the drawings to their office. The more default objects used, the easier it is for the outside user.
Another positive element of the drafting module is hidden under the Text pull-down menu called “Write Legal Description.” EP provides several options of how this is performed. If you have predefined lots that can be selected from an internal library or pick the points as they appear on the screen, both develop text for a legal description. You can also customize an internal library for your particular style of description writing. This way you don’t have to retype opening phrases every time; you can simply recall them.