I am working on creating a contour map from total station topo points in ArcGIS 10. The points were collected using H angle, HD, VD instead of XYZ points. I need to create points from these measurements with elevations. I have tried using the Bearing Distance to Line Tool and then creating points from the vertices of lines (see https://gis.stackexchange.com/a/31956/18682) but the Bearing Distance To Line Tool does not recognize the angles in my input file (I've tried .csv, excel, and attribute table from feature class created from the excel file). My angles are in Decimal Degrees, which is the default for the tool. What might I be doing wrong? Does anyone have any suggestions for a better method?

Also, I am trying to use COGO to create these points. Can anyone help by explaining how to use COGO in ArcGIS Desktop 10 with a table of Distance and Bearings?

  • In reply to Andre, looks like a windows-based mapping software. I would like to know the answer to this relevant to QGIS and ArcGIS 10. Hopefully we will hear from awestriker.
    – Mila
    Jun 7, 2013 at 18:44
  • Hi thanks for responding. I apologize for getting back to the post so late. I am working with ArcGIS 10. I do not have 9.3 though I know the Survey Analyst tool would be ideal for this job. I have just begun looking into using COGO tools for this, but am new to that and am having difficulty beginning. Thank you!
    – awestriker
    Jun 12, 2013 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


OK- I figured out a fix for this. Susan Jones has a script http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=16055 that works the way I was hoping the Bearing Distance to Line tool would work.

The output from the script were lines radiating at varying angles and distances from my base coordinate (datum). enter image description here

Then I used Feature Vertices to Point to add an X,Y point at each line's endpoint. This worked because no lines intersect and points were only plotted at endpoints. enter image description here

Then, in excel, I manually calculated the elevation based on the elevation from the base coordinate (datum), the total station and prism heights, and the vertical angle of the bearing. To incorporate this data into my point feature class, I created a new excel spreadsheet, pasted the output X and Y values in, and the calculated elevations. I added this back to ArcMap, displayed XY coordinates and exported the data. Now I have XYZ data that I can create a surface from.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.