Where did the Coordinate readout in the AutoCAD status bar go? Customize Menu

Where did the Coordinate readout in the AutoCAD status bar go?

Whenever you first learned AutoCAD, there's a good chance at least some portion of the class/book included a discussion about the Cartesian coordinate system used throughout AutoCAD. I'll spare you the details, but to summarize coordinates help us identify the precise location of objects in our drawings. While I would argue coordinates are important for any design discipline, there is perhaps no discipline where coordinates are more critical than civil engineering. Since the x- and y-coordinates represent the precise Easting and Northing location on a project site, knowing where you are on a project site is a critical bit of information.

AutoCAD 2012 Coordinate

Ever since I started using AutoCAD with release 12 for MS-DOS, the coordinate readout has been in the lower-left corner of the Status Bar. In an attempt to save screen real estate, AutoCAD 2015 combined the Layout tab interface with the Status Bar interface. I'm not quite sure why, but the default composition of the interface omits the coordinate readout from the Status Bar.

AutoCAD 2015 Status Bar

 

While I cannot answer the question of why this was omitted from the default interface, I can answer the question of how to add it (back) to the interface. The secret is to click the Customize button (three horizontal lines) located on the far-right side of the Status Bar. Choosing that button will open a menu where you can select Coordinates.

Customize Menu

Adding the coordinate readout is as simple as that. As soon as you choose Coordinates from the Customize menu, the coordinate readout is added to the far-right side of the Status bar.

Coordinate readout

Acquiring, Converting, and Using DEM Downloads in Civil 3D

imageWhile importing surface data from Google Earth is probably the easiest way to get some conceptual topographical data into your drawings, DEM’s have to be a close second.  For the uninitiated, DEM’s or Digital Elevation Models could be described as a surface whose data is organized in a grid.  This is fundamentally different than DTM’s (standard Civil 3D surface) which still stores a collection of points, but in the form of triangles not a structured grid.  The great thing about DEM’s is they’re readily available for FREE from a wonderful website named the Geo Community.  Now don’t be fooled when you visit the site as you will see all sorts of premium content; never fear as there’s ample data that can be had for free!

Converting a Drawings Coordinate System

For one reason or another drawings sometimes need to be moved from one coordinate system (datum) to another.  A classic example may be moving from a NAD 27 datum to a NAD 83.  Whatever the case may be, how might one perform this translation as accurately as possible?

To answer that I turn to good old Map 3D.  As you may know both AutoCAD Land Desktop and AutoCAD Civil 3D are built on top of AutoCAD Map 3D, so if you have either product, you also have Map 3D.  Users of Map 3D naturally know it's power, whereas I have found many civil engineering professionals nearly forget about the Map menu altogether.  While it may seem odd, we're actually going to start the translation from a blank drawing.