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Converting a Land Desktop Project From Feet to Meters

By Rick Ellis, Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc., January 7, 2003

Converting a Land Desktop project from Feet to Meters has always been a challenge. But now with LandXML you finally have a way to convert your project data rather than trying to scale your drawing and then rebuilding the project data from the drawing entities. Below are the steps to convert a project from Feet to Meters. You can also use the same procedure to convert from Meters to Feet or International Feet to U.S. Survey Feet, just substitute the appropriate units where they are needed.

  1. Open the desired drawing and project in Land Desktop.

    a. The units in must be set to Feet in the Drawing Setup command for this drawing.

  2. Select Projects >> Export LandXML.
  3. In the Export LandXML dialog box select the project data that you wish to export, and in our case convert to Meters.
  4. In the Export LandXML dialog box select the Data button under Export Options.

  5. In the LandXML Export Data Options dialog box go to the Imperial Units section and select the Foot Type that you are currently using, either International Feet or U.S. Survey Feet.

    a. Land Desktop does not distinguish between International and U.S. Survey Feet. If the data was originally collected in U.S. Survey Feet then you are using U.S. Survey Feet for your project. If the data was originally collected in International Feet then you are using International Feet. However, LandXML does make a distinction between International and U.S. Survey feet. So during the exporting of a LandXML file you need to tell the program what type of feet you are using.


  6. Select OK to leave the LandXML Export Data Options dialog box.
  7. Select Export from the Export LandXML dialog box.
  8. You will then be asked to select the location and file name of the LandXML file that we are creating.

    a. After the export file is created you will see a message showing a list of objects exported.


  9. Select OK to clear the message.
  10. Select Close to leave the Export LandXML dialog box.
  11. Create a new Project and a drawing that you would like to import the data into.
  12. Be sure to set the drawing’s units to Meters in the Drawing Setup Wizard.
  13. Select Projects >> Import LandXML.
  14. You are then asked to browse to the LandXML file that you want to import.

    a. In our case it is the file we just created in step 8.

  15. Select the project data that you want to import.

    a. All of the available data should automatically be selected.

    b. If you are importing into a drawing that has the units set to feet then you will need to select the Data button and then choose the type of feet that you want the data imported as.

  16. Select OK to continue past the LandXML Import dialog box.
  17. You will then be shown the conversion factor that will be used when the data is imported.

  18. You are now taken to the LandXML Import Comparison Results dialog box. Review your progress and select OK to proceed.
  19. In the LandXML Import Selection dialog box you can choose to filter the data that you are about to import.
  20. Select OK to import the data and continue past the LandXML Import Selection dialog box.
  21. The project data is now imported and converted to Meters in your new project. Zoom Extents to view the data that you chose to insert into the drawing.

    a. Remember, there may be more project data available that has been converted and brought into this project that you did not import into the drawing. So check your project databases if something appears to be missing.

About the Author

Rick Ellis is the co-founder of Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc., a member of the Autodesk Developer Network; and author of several AutoCAD training manuals, including “Digging into Land Desktop.” He teaches classes focusing on AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop, Raster Design, MXRoad and MXRenew for skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced users. Consulting services range from installation support to the implementation of standards.

If you have any questions about this article or for more information you can call Rick at (503) 829-8929, email rick@cadapult-software.com, or visit the Cadapult website at www.cadapult-software.com

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