Speed up and lower the cost of your GPS model


Tips for starting your GPS model correctly

So, you won the bid and now need a GPS model. Here are some quick tips for kicking off a GPS model properly. These tips can help you avoid potential problems, additional and unexpected costs, and can even help speed up the turnaround time of your GPS model:

1. Make sure the plans and CAD files match

This is considered the top issue one can run into when receiving plans and CAD files from the contractor. Instead of getting plans and CAD files that match and being able to start the modeling process immediately, the individual helping with your GPS model has to go back and forth with the contractor and civil engineer trying to get plans and CAD files that match. This issue alone can prevent the start of the GPS model and hold up the process.

2. Request a ‘full’ set of plans

When transmitting over a partial set of plans, it could not include all the sheets. A full set of plans with all the sheets included is ideal and will make the process smooth and allows a GPS modeler to reference details and other information necessary to create an accurate model. It's also very important to note if the site has any buildings, a complete set of ‘architectural plans’ and a complete set of ‘structural plans’ is desired for this process as it helps reference details, building slab information, etc.

3. Request ‘complete’ CAD files and have an engineer verify they match the plans

Providing ‘complete’ CAD files to your GPS modeler can keep the process moving forward without delays. Often, without the correct data, hands get tied and delays become out of your GPS modeler’s control.


Unsure how to properly ask for all this? To get the best results with your GPS model, it’s recommended to copy & paste the following breakdown into an email to request the CAD files/data from the civil engineer. Everything listed below should provide your GPS modeler everything they need to begin work.

"We need a full set of the most current PDF plans. We will also need a complete set of ‘architectural plans’ and a complete set of ‘structural plans’ so we can reference details and building slab information etc.

CAD File needs:

  • + Compatibility with the latest version of Autodesk Civil 3D
  • + The most current Existing Topography with Existing Utilities and Existing Layout (XML format if available)
  • + Design Surface (tin in .dwg or XML format)
  • + Design Contours and spot elevations
  • + Alignments and Profiles (XML format if available)
  • + Site Layout (curb, sidewalk, buildings, storm, sewer, water, utilities, etc.)
  • + Any X-Refs that may need to be attached

Control Point needs:

  • + Control points in CSV or TXT format if possible"

Need a GPS model but not sure how to start? The team at Dirt Logic can help. With over 20-years of experience working through GPS models, we can help those struggling with this process. Read more on how we can help you with your GPS modeling needs.

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