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ORgrown

Depicting Changes in an As-built Drawing

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ORgrown

Looking for some suggestions/ideas for showing what has been changed in a "live" as-built drawing so it is easier to QC the change and easier for construction to identify and construct per the new design.

 

Currently: Asbuilt system maps of a telecommunications system are in continual flux of build/change. When new design is proposed, the system map is edited, white construction cloud notes are added with instructions, change circles in the color white (recently changed from the color green) are added and white leader lines from the cloud note to the circles are placed. Cloud Notes ALWAYS include the project job #.

1. Not all designers are clear in their cloud notes. 2. Not all designers are circling ALL NEW equipment/cables, but maybe only the CHANGED from the existing. 3. Cloud Notes are placed in very busy maps making them difficult to read, not necessarily near the change. 4. Some changes in addition to the project area can be thousands of feet away in a different part of the map, making finding the Construction Cloud Notes more difficult.  *These notes currently remain in the asbuilt until they too are "as-built" edited so the notes, leaders, circles can be removed and since they are many times placed on top of other areas of information (addresses/streets/equipment), the cloud notes cannot have a wipeout behind)...or can they? If the as-builts are all DWFs with layers and the users can view the notes & freeze to see what's behind? Hmm...

 

Suggested change that was recently implemented: After design, for the Project Drawing ONLY...ALL layers are changed to color white, then the designer picks the individual pieces of cable and equipment that are NEW or CHANGED and change those only to the color RED - including the Construction Cloud Notes, leader lines, and change circles.

 

Problems:  Some Design QCers are color-blind making the RED & BLACK very difficult for them to view; Some QCers simply find the color scheme contrast too difficult to view; any Visual QC has potential to miss wrongly drafted equipment (e.g. equipment that should be color green if chosen correctly, but red if incorrectly - since all colors are RED there's no way to determine if the equipment was chosen correctly without accessing the CAD file); QCers get trained to only QC by the color RED and if the designer failed to change ALL equipment to RED, it may be missed. However, not all QCers have a problem with the colors and many of the Construction Techs like the "pop" the RED & BLACK project maps provide - hoping to eliminate missed changes in another area of the map that didn't stand out.

 

Maybe the current way of doing things is not broken but needs fine tuning? Definitely the Black & X color project drawing is going to be an issue for those QCers who are color-blind and/or those who have contrast sensitivity. I, and several others, are working to provide alternatives, suggestions, ideas and I wondered how others may be depicting changes to drawings.

 

Thank you for any feedback/suggestions the forum may have.

 

 

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CyberAngel

Someone's sure to have a better idea but...

 

Can you export your features to a spreadsheet (or group of spreadsheets)? You can then track changes between versions and print a list of what changed. It would probably help to store some kind of key/address with each item so that your QC people can locate them quickly. The Dataextraction command, for instance, can give you a list of blocks with attributes.

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tzframpton

Wow, that's a lot of process. My only comment is: an as-built is a final product and should not go through any phases or stages whatsoever. As-built is literally "as it was built", therefore a final record drawing. 

 

-TZ

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ORgrown
11 hours ago, CyberAngel said:

Someone's sure to have a better idea but...

 

Can you export your features to a spreadsheet (or group of spreadsheets)? You can then track changes between versions and print a list of what changed. It would probably help to store some kind of key/address with each item so that your QC people can locate them quickly. The Dataextraction command, for instance, can give you a list of blocks with attributes.

Hi CyberAngel.

Unfortunately, the designers aren't necessarily "CAD" people. The drafting program uses AutoCAD as a platform, but anything CAD related is not retained in the program. Exporting features to a spreadsheet would need someone who's CAD-savy and then QCers would be using a spreadsheet instead of the map to QC?  Not sure that is a do-able situation in this instance.

I really appreciate your reply. Anything can trigger a suggestion or build upon it. Just trying to come up with something other than RED and BLACK to look at for our color blind users and those who have contrast issues - and not necessarily just opting to change the colors.

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ORgrown
1 hour ago, tzframpton said:

Wow, that's a lot of process. My only comment is: an as-built is a final product and should not go through any phases or stages whatsoever. As-built is literally "as it was built", therefore a final record drawing. 

 

-TZ

Hey TZ,

Normally, yes, an "asbuilt" is a done deal/final product.

However, in the utility/telecom fields, the system maps are constantly changing. There are always new customers, new subdivisions, and new buildings being built daily. There are pole lines being removed and the plant being then placed underground for road widening or beautification, etc. There is truly nothing "as-built" forever in my industry! :(  Even with a project design and "asbuilt" - there could be another customer added in the building which requires another piece of equipment....or technology changes can change the entire design....fiber versus coaxial cable...a later project could affect this current one...many reasons why the asbuilt will most likely not stay the same.

Never a dull moment.

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SLW210

They now have corrective lenses for red-green colorblindness. There are some Apps now that help colorblind people identify colors, not sure how good those work. Some industries are just not cut out for color blindness and out right banned and/or restricted for a few occupations.

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tzframpton
11 hours ago, ORgrown said:

Hey TZ,

Normally, yes, an "asbuilt" is a done deal/final product.

However, in the utility/telecom fields, the system maps are constantly changing. There are always new customers, new subdivisions, and new buildings being built daily. There are pole lines being removed and the plant being then placed underground for road widening or beautification, etc. There is truly nothing "as-built" forever in my industry! :(  Even with a project design and "asbuilt" - there could be another customer added in the building which requires another piece of equipment....or technology changes can change the entire design....fiber versus coaxial cable...a later project could affect this current one...many reasons why the asbuilt will most likely not stay the same.

Never a dull moment.

Oh man, I can't even imagine. I can see the pickle this can be. I remember when I relocated my small office down the hall to a new office twice the size, the communications company ran a new fiber line to my new office (50ft away) instead of relocating it. But, they had to drive down to the next intersection and swap cables. All for a simple relocated office. 

 

Sounds like it's just a constant continuation of work. Wonder why as-built is even a part of the process, ha. 

 

-TZ

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Jim Clayton

I may be out of my depth here because doing mechanical drafting, I tend to shy away from layers...but are Rev. Triangles not an option? Two cents.

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ORgrown
1 hour ago, Jim Clayton said:

I may be out of my depth here because doing mechanical drafting, I tend to shy away from layers...but are Rev. Triangles not an option? Two cents.

There are already Construction Note Clouds with instructions for construction changes. My industry really doesn't use rev triangles.
I brought it up in the meeting Monday as an option, but it was dismissed. Management wants something that "pops"...and color seems to do it.

Stating accessibility for all means color and contrast must be addressed for all users...so they're looking for another color other than red. Sigh...

Rev Triangles would still need to be found in a cluster of information and equipment so I think they would get lost unless a "notes" page would also be employed. That's where it changes the simple const drawings into a complete "package" that they don't want to use. Whether or not it makes sense, it's how it is/has been in my industry.

Thank you for your input.

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CyberAngel

Here's another suggestion. Wherever you add a note, use Background Mask for the text. You'll probably need to experiment with the colors to get good contrast, and you may need a bit of code to remove it afterward, but a dark block with light text in it should stand out. A wipeout might be a better idea, since it's separate from the text.

 

Since you're dealing with a large area, you could add a large object to make your work easy to find. I call this a "blimp." Put the blimp in a large open area where it won't obscure anything else. Give it a distinctive shape and color. Draw a leader from the blimp to the area of interest. Include grips on the blimp so your people don't waste time looking for the ends of the leaders.

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BIGAL

Are you not putting all of the as built into a GIS system ? So your autocad DWG is a part that gets inserted, a simplistic  view would be two layers items to be removed, items to be added.

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CyberAngel

One more suggestion. Create a new drawing for the changes. Put the obsolete items on their own layer(s). Xref that drawing into a new one that will contain the new items. You can then control the transparency of the existing and demolished equipment. When you're ready to replace the demolition, delete that layer and paste the new drawing into the main drawing. This scheme also gives you the option to xref the construction drawing into the main drawing.

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ORgrown
On 10/12/2018 at 7:23 AM, CyberAngel said:

Here's another suggestion. Wherever you add a note, use Background Mask for the text. You'll probably need to experiment with the colors to get good contrast, and you may need a bit of code to remove it afterward, but a dark block with light text in it should stand out. A wipeout might be a better idea, since it's separate from the text.

 

Since you're dealing with a large area, you could add a large object to make your work easy to find. I call this a "blimp." Put the blimp in a large open area where it won't obscure anything else. Give it a distinctive shape and color. Draw a leader from the blimp to the area of interest. Include grips on the blimp so your people don't waste time looking for the ends of the leaders.

Yes, I like this idea and I've mentioned this in the meeting to use a wipeout/mask behind the construction cloud notes to help make it "pop" and not be impaired by other symbols, text, etc that may be on top of the cloud notes. When the DWF is used, they can turn off the cloud note layer to see what's behind the wipeout if it's important to know.

Unfortunately, the "blimps" or note clouds cannot be placed in any open area of the drawing. Well, I take that back...for the DWF creation, they CAN be placed anywhere, but the final drawing must be saved with the cloud notes INSIDE a boundary line. The software being used renders by boundary line and so anything that is located OUTSIDE this boundary ends up in the boundary of the adjacent drawing! Even if created in the initial boundary drawing and associated with...it will not show next time that drawing boundary is rendered. Ridiculous programming IMO...but that's what we're stuck with....

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ORgrown
4 hours ago, CyberAngel said:

One more suggestion. Create a new drawing for the changes. Put the obsolete items on their own layer(s). Xref that drawing into a new one that will contain the new items. You can then control the transparency of the existing and demolished equipment. When you're ready to replace the demolition, delete that layer and paste the new drawing into the main drawing. This scheme also gives you the option to xref the construction drawing into the main drawing.

Lots of CAD work for many people who really are NOT CAD people! They are software-specifically trained. The software used AutoCAD as a platform and uses about 10% of its capabilities, so really, no AutoCAD experience or expertise is required as the program functions are specifically taught.   Also the company wants all the changed information on the live as-builts...yes, it's not really there and like that, but that's what the note clouds and "change circles" are for... Just how they do it.

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ORgrown
On 10/13/2018 at 3:42 PM, BIGAL said:

Are you not putting all of the as built into a GIS system ? So your autocad DWG is a part that gets inserted, a simplistic  view would be two layers items to be removed, items to be added.

Yes, it's GIS; however AutoCAD is the platform used by another program. It is not inserted, it is scraped in and just LOOKS like it's AutoCAD, but it's not...it's all vertices and points and coordinates and lines. 

The two-layer system is interesting. One I brought up was to use a layer/single color for DESIGNED equipment, then change it to the "correct" layers/colors after the construction asbuilt for AS-BUILT equipment.   This is really going outside of the way it has been done for probably decades, so I'm not sure how it will be received.  Thank you for the suggestion!

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