The To Terrain tool places survey items from their current elevation to the current terrain. The To Terrain tool only works on the selected items and appears in the Transform group of the TOOLS for Polyline tab.


How to Use the To Terrain Tool

To Terrain works on:

The To Terrain tool forces Z values of the vertices to adjust to the terrain, while maintaining their horizontal location. In the example below, only the selected polyline is set to the terrain. 

Note! The To Terrain operation does not add additional vertices to polylines or boundaries like the Densify tool does.

When to Use the To Terrain Tool

Update Your Survey

To Terrain is very useful when importing 3D CAD entities. If points were created from an earlier survey, they maintain their Z value when they are imported. You can use To Terrain to push the original survey to the new elevation, which prevents you from needing to draw new linework, and your vertices are still in the exact same position as they were in the original survey. 

Tip! You still might need to add and remove points, or edit a breakline, to reflect all changes on the new work site.

Change the Vertical Datum

You may be in a situation where you have input your survey on an Elevation Terrain that was created at the ellipsoidal height (in the photogrammetry software), but your customer wants the survey in a local datum. The To Terrain and Offset Within tools can quickly fix your data:

  • Draw a boundary around your area and select the boundary.
  • Go to the TOOLS for Boundary tab and offset the terrain to an accurate vertical datum by applying an offset with the Offset Within tool.
  • Select your points, lines, and boundaries and click To Terrain.
  • Your survey is now aligned with the new vertical datum and you can export it again.