Join Josh Modglin for an in-depth discussion in this video Data sources, part of InfraWorks 360 Essential Training.
- Previously with our model, we looked at how we use model builder to really give us a good base to work from of what we have in the existing conditions of the world or model that we're looking at. But there are times that we're going to want to supplement that data, or really build our model from scratch with the data that's provided. So that's what we're going to look at in this exercise, and as we do so, we're also going to learn a little bit about how the exercise files are set up. Within our model, we've opened up already highway 129 model, and we have multiple proposals in our model.
So I'm going to click on the drop down here, for our proposals, and we see all the different proposals we have created, and we're going to go to the DataSourceStart proposal, and this is our starting proposal. And, what we're going to do, is we're going to go ahead and create a new proposal. Because what happens is as we work on the proposal, we work on the model itself. Autodesk InfraWorks automatically saves all of the settings all the information to that proposal.
So, we're going to have an end result of working through this exercise. So we're going to create a new proposal, named DataSourceEnd. This is where we're going to do all of our exercise work we started with DataSourceStart. Okay, now if I zoom out a little bit, this model looks quite different from the one we were just looking at in our master proposal. And that's because we don't have all of the information in this model.
We're going to add this information manually. And we're going to do that from our first fly out here within build, manage, and analyze your infrastructure model. We're going to look at, under this portion of the InfraWorks analyze build and manage your model. And we're going to choose create and manage. And under that, you have data sources. That's the feature we'll look at here. And the data sources you see, the only data sources we currently have is the terrain.
And you can see the terrain there. As well as the imagery. Of course the imagery's not showing up, and sometimes that happens. Especially if there's copies of a model provided. And the reason being is the imagery is actually being fed from Bing Maps. And so sometimes it just needs to be refreshed for that imagery to show up. And you may see that on other proposals as well. So all we have to do here is just click on the refresh data source, and we'll see that imagery show up.
Now, what we're going to add now is additional information. We're going to add some shape files. We do that from right within our exercise files. If you notice in our exercise files, there's a data source folder. So we're going to go to the data source folder, and I'm going to sort using type, and you'll see all the different types of files there. You have the shx file, and other files, the dbf file ... All of these really are supporting shape files.
And that's what we're going to import, is these shape files. And we're going to just, literally grab these and drag them onto the screen. But before we do that, we could add them manually, one at a time through this drop down where we can add data sources. Notice all the different types of data sources you can add. We're going to add a shape file. But you could also add a Spatial Data file that's from Autodesk. Very similar to a shape file. Sequel white, even a sketch up file, Raster image, Point Cloud, LandxML, and a MicroStation DGN 3D model, a Revit model, a Civil 3D drawing where it will read some of the Civil 3D objects, and place it right inside of our InfraWorks model. A regular AutoCAD model, or and AutoCAD 3D model.
On top of that, we have the ability to bring in a 3D model. An FBX file, or something similar. So there's a lot of different data that you can bring in or import, as a data source. Now, notice that some of these icons are a little bit different. The ones that have a little bit of the cloud icon, they require some of the cloud points from Autodesk. So you'll be spending some of your cloud points, and you'll have to of course make sure your subscription has those points available.
But what we're going to do, we're just going to again, like I said, drag and drop. I'm going to grab all of these, and drag them literally onto our model. As soon as I do that, it opens up and says alright, I want you to configure what each one of these data sources is going to be. And it assumes all of the shape files are of the same type. Well, they're not. Some are buildings, some are hydrants, some are streams, so we're going to go ahead and cancel this.
And then we're going to select each one one at a time. So I'm going to select the bfootprints shape file, we probably have an idea of what that is, it's a building footprint. And I'm going to right click, and choose configure. And it will bring up that data source configuration. And what we're going to first do, is identify the type of data this is. It's a building data source or type. You can establish of course a standard roof height, we'll go with something nice and short.
Nothing too drastic, maybe 16 feet. And it will just create these with random facade colors. Each building's going to look a little bit random, and different, which is sufficient for what we need. We're also going to establish the source. And this is the tab that we go to pretty much for every data source. Now most of the data sources, or data that you're bringing in you're going to want to drape. Or have it place itself based upon the terrain that we already have in there.
We're also not going to want to bring in the entire county, or the entire shape file, oftentimes. Sometimes it's an entire state. So we're going to clip what we bring in to just the model extent. When the data is of a closed polygonal shape, it'll ask us if we want to convert them into polygons if it's a closed polyline. And so we have all of this. This is the main focus of what we changed, and we're going to go ahead and click close, and refresh.
And then we see all these buildings come in. A few are floating off in space, but that's okay. We'll leave them alone. Of course if you'd like, you can remove them. But you see all the buildings and the random colors, or facades that were placed on the buildings. Helps us identify them as distinct and different, and gives a nice variety to our model. Now let's go ahead and add our roads. This time I'm going to double click. Whether you right click and choose configure, or you double click, in both cases, it brings you to the data source configuration.
Well we're going to choose roads, obviously, in this selection. When I choose roads, of course there's different controls that we have. We can define that all the roads have one lane forward and one lane backward, instead of saying left or right, or anything like that, it says forward and backward. Or we can even map it to the data found in the shape file. Now we don't have that data, but we do have the name of the road.
So we're going to map that with the data found in the shape file. So we're going to set name here, to being NAME. And we're going to do the same thing that we did with our source, we're going to drape those roads on the terrain, and clip to model extent. Go ahead and close and refresh that, as it configures and brings the roads in. And you see the roads now are draped onto the terrain. More than that, if I select the road, you'll notice that the data for the road includes a name. Notice right up here, the road is 129. We select another road, New Salem Church. It's mapped to the shape data.
Let's configure a few more. We'll do our hydrants, want to double click on that. In this case, the hydrants are considered what is called city furniture. City furniture are pretty much single items that are within the model. And we're going to apply a rule, using the little pencil here, that helps us select a style, that we'll apply that style to the entire selection of hydrants that we're going to import.
And the model styles that we're going to work from is within the 3D Model City Furniture category. We're going to select fire hydrant. I'm going to choose the red one. That should pop a little bit better. Of course we're going to drape onto our terrain, and clip to our model extents. We're going to go ahead and close and refresh that, and you'll see the hydrants pop in. They're going to be a little bit harder to find, because they're so small, but you'll see them along highway 129 here, we have one there, and we have one here.
Let's go ahead, and we're going to configure our streams and rivers. And for our streams and rivers, we're going to bring in, and set them as streams type. Now notice we have streams, and then we have water areas. Water areas are looking for more of a polygonal closed space, whereas streams are looking for more of a linear feature. And that's what we're bringing in, is that linear data for the streams. We're also going to map the data from the shape file, to the name of our stream.
So we have a name here that we're going to apply, and we're just going to use a standard, typical style. Whatever's presented by the software. Choose to drape, and clip to model extent. So we're seeing a little bit of a repetitive configuration or settings that we pretty much go to. Now of course all of these we can configure or change depending on the need of what we're importing. Go ahead and close and refresh.
And I'm just going to navigate across highway 129, and you see now, we have those streams that are in our model. So now that we have our streams and rivers, we're going to go ahead and configure our last feature type. And I'm going to double click on Jackson Parcels. Now Jackson Parcels, these are our Parcels, or properties, and they can be configured using many different types. Obviously, Parcels, and that's what we're going to do, but Coverage Areas, as well as Land Areas both deal with spatial data.
And that's what we have here. Spatial data, a closed space that contains some type of data. And so, depending on what you're trying to accomplish, Coverage Areas, or Land Areas, which, we'll see how we can turn on Land Areas in a minute ... Could be a sourced type, or the type that you want to assign to the data as being more appropriate. Generally speaking though, we're going to choose Parcels. For the name, we're going to choose within the name to map from our shape file, notice all the different types of data that we have here, and we're going to choose the Parcel ID number.
And then for description, maybe we'll link it to zoning. For the rule, I like to have a style that's thick blue and solid. And by the way, the rule style we could even create some type of formula that would apply a style to one of these descriptions as well. So you could stylize based upon the zoning, or something similar to that. We don't cover that in the fundamentals, but as an interesting option.
And that's why it's called rule style. But we're really just applying a style to all of the Parcels that are available. We also have to set our source just as we have been, in the sense of we're draping our Parcels onto the terrain, and we're clipping the Parcels to the model extent. One other tab we haven't looked at is the Geo Location. We have the ability, of course to have the coordinate system being read from the data source, that's if the data source has a coordinate system.
And then of course it knows how to translate from the coordinate system of the data source to the coordinate system of the model. There are other ones where you can interactively place the objects that you're importing. So, a lot of ways to control where they come in, even if there isn't a coordinate system. Maybe, as we talked about, you import a 3D model of the building, but it has no coordinate system, you have interactive placing. So, we've spent a lot of time under Common, Geo Location, Source, after we've set the type.
I'm going to go ahead and close and refresh. It'll bring in all of the Parcels. Now, it's a lot more data here, as well as a lot more Parcels than any other information that we brought in, so it takes a little bit longer, but not much. And there we have our Parcels. Now the Parcels have some neat features. Such as, if I select this Parcel here, and we see it's selected, and it comes up with a name, and it's taking up a lot of space.
So I'm going to close Data Source just so I can see what I'm working on. And notice all of the different settings you have in this special card. One of the settings is we can display contours. So I'm going to turn that on, and set the minor interval to two feet. Once we have that, you see our contours showing up. So we have a lot of control within our Parcels, and these Parcel objects, the features that we assign, and there's other values that we can control with the different cards as we select the Parcels.
And of course, you can change this Parcel, and this Parcel alone. I have the big Parcel here, so let me re-select, and grab the smaller Parcel. This Parcel alone we could change and set it to a yellow style. So, a lot of different controls that you have, even though we've applied all of this information to the entire importation, you still have manual control for each object that was imported. One last thing we're going to do, is we're going to improve our imagery.
So the imagery is from Bing, I also talked about these buildings, we're not going to worry about them, they're just a little off our model, but we could select these buildings, and grabbing the arrow in the middle, and pull them up, as well as the edge area, and get the elevation a little bit closer there. So, that will take a little bit of practice, to get them in the right place, and this of course changes the building heighth.
We'll bring that down a little bit again. And that's a little bit more accurate. And these of course are just off a little bit, so they didn't pick up the terrain. So we're not going to worry about that information. But you could make those adjustments if you need, or feel that you'd like to play a little bit more and get a better grasp of getting your model correct. Now we talked about this imagery, let's go back to our data sources. In our data sources, we had the imagery that's being read from Bing, and their servers.
But we have the ability to take that imagery, and improve the quality just a bit. So I'm going to go, and we're going to configure this imagery. Now the imagery of course, it's ground imagery, the source is a Raster file, and again, it's coming from a server location. But notice with the Bing maps down at the bottom, we have control over the tile level. So the higher the number, the greater or more accurate the resolution.
Of course, that also means it takes longer for the regeneration of your model. So we're going to just bump this up one, from 17 to 18 at ground resolution. I'm going to close and refresh, it's going to read from the servers again, get the latest imagery at a higher resolution, and you'll see the resolution improve for our model background here in just a minute. So it refreshes, and you see just a slight improvement there. And you can continue to bump this up to 19, even, if you'd like.
And of course the accuracy of the imagery is all based upon the accuracy of Bing's imagery from their servers. So what have we learned in just a brief period in this exercise? We started with data source start proposal. It was blank. It had terrain, and that was about it. We configured, or refreshed the imagery, after we created a new proposal that we work in, called DataSourcend. And then we brought in the building footprints, fire hydrants, the Parcels, roads, and streams and rivers.
And for each one of these, we configured a standardized style, as well as how they were going to be placed on the terrain and the look and feel of the information. As well as the type. Is it a Parcel? Or is it a City Furniture or a building? So, just because we start with Model Builder, and it saves us a lot of time getting started, we still can supplement that Model Builder data, with our own data source.
- What is InfraWorks?
- Model Builder and Model Explorer
- Navigation tools
- Creating roads, buildings, land areas, and city furniture
- Using query tools
- Terrain and feature themes
- Working with styles
- Adding decorations
- Designing roads, bridges, and drainage
- Creating a storyboard