Pocket 3D: Importing points from a text file

Importing points from a text file

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Pocket 3D: Importing points from a text file

Point information is commonly given to contractors and end users in text format.  The most common file formats are TXT and CSV.  Both are referred to a Comma Separated Value files that arrage the information in a specific order.

For example, a common text file will look like this:

Pole 1,4995.150,10017.770,385.240,,
Pole 2,4996.050,10011.940,384.280,,
Pole 3,4998.380,10005.960,383.060,,
Pole 4,4880.970,9960.110,403.730,,

This file is ordered by control point name, northing, easting, elevation and description (if there is one).  These values can be seen by opening the text file on your PC using Notepad or Wordpad.

To import the text file, go to Data > Points > Import/Export > Points only > From text file...

Before a text file can be imported, a Format must be created.

To do this, hit the Format button at the bottom of the screen, then the New... button to create a new format.

Multiple formats can be made to support a variety of file extensions.

First, define the name of the format.  For this example, it will be named Comma Text, but it can be named anything.

Next, define the extension of the file.  To look for a TXT file, this field should be TXT.  For a CSV file, this field should be CSV.

Finally, you will need to define how the data is organized by creating Line items.  Hit the Add button to create a new line item.

Most text files are arranged in the following format:

  • Point name
  • Point northing
  • Point easting
  • Point elevation
  • Point description

When adding each line item, make sure they are appended with a Trailing comma.

*NOTE* In some instances, the order of the northing and easting are flipped.  If the Format does not reflect this, the control point information will be read incorrectly, resulting is huge horizontal errors when localizing.

With the Format defined, you will now need to find the text file you wish to import.  Hit the three dot box in the upper right to find the file on your data collector or USB drive.

If a valid file is selected, it should list all the points in that file.  Ensure that the data is being brought into the correct columns.

You will have the option of adding the points to a layer.  Because of this, it is advised to save points into separate text files when exporting from a CAD program.  For instance, all storm sewer points are saved in one text file, while all electrical points are saved in another text file.

If the data looks correct, hit the OK button to import.

If successful, you should be a message stating that "xx points successfully imported" as well as see the control points and a yellow triangle icon for each point on the main screen of Pocket3D.