Over my many years of reading the discussion groups, I constantly see posts on how to recreate a legal description in Civil 3D.  Most of the time, the people answering suggest the line and curve tools or transparent commands or object snaps or some combination thereof.  Well, how about using the tools in Civil 3D to recreate it directly?  Keep reading to find out how.

The Mapcheck tools where introduced in Civil 3D 2009 and are also available in 2010.  Pretty much the only thing I’ve heard about them is you can calculate a closure based on the labels in the drawing.  Well, they aren’t used to just check the labels in your drawing, you can use them to check any linework you want, even that on a piece of paper.  The only requirement is that the linework is annotated in some way shape or form, and this can include a legal description.

The Mapcheck tool is found on the Analyze tab of the ribbon under the Survey pulldown of the Ground Data panel.

I’m not going to go through the process of using this on labels, there is a lot of information on that.  I want to focus on recreating that linework from a legal description.  In order to be able to type in your legal description, you must turn off the command line input.  The command line input allows you to select the labels in the drawing.  Turning this off, you can then manually create each of the sides and curves and input the data exactly as you have it in your legal description.

I found an example legal description HERE that you can practice with.  The nice thing about using the mapcheck tools is if you make a mistake, you just have to go back to the side with the mistake and fix it.  When you do that, the rest of the sides update.  Once you have the description input into the mapcheck, you can have it create a polyline at the press of a button.  In the following image, I’ve recreated the property described in the sample legal description and I’ve accidentally (on purpose) made a mistake.  One of the lines has a typo and is going the wrong direction (I accidentally typed in a E instead of a W in side 2).

Make the changes that need to be made and you’ll see the graphics update immediately.

Once you have everything just the way you want it, you can quickly see the closure report and, if it meets your criteria, you can then create the polyline in the drawing.