I am interested to find out how others process topographic survey data in ArcGIS. Often I am only given a text file or an Excel spreadsheet containing XYZ points and simple attribute information describing the type of the survey point (Tree line, Fence, Road, etc.).
Depending on the type of project I triangulate or interpolate to create a surface and then generate contours, etc.
I am not an AutoCAD user but several times I have seen data processed in AutoCAD and the results are better. It almost seems as if there was some additional information I am not getting in the "raw" files such as breaklines. I was pretty sure that breaklines also have to surveyed so perhaps I am not getting this data?
I've looked at the Survey Analyst extension but I believe it is mostly for those that maintain parcel data.
Here is an example of a file I usually receive (first 7 of about 300 lines):
1,5511228.9814,530805.7426,99.9952,FENCE 2,5511226.7724,530811.3644,99.9384,FENCE 3,5511227.5212,530810.4108,99.8974,ROAD 4,5511228.9384,530806.8423,99.9799,ROAD 5,5511233.1231,530808.9418,100.0096,ROAD 6,5511244.3647,530816.4054,100.0722,ROAD 7,5511251.4753,530825.3982,100.0103,ROAD