Laying out trail to grade

JIm Chance's Avatar

JIm Chance

22 Mar, 2020 10:34 PM

I am new to this software which I am using to lay out trails. One restriction we have is a limit on the slope of the trail to limit erosion.. We generally have to limit ourselves to 12% (IE, up or down 12' over 100') but are allowed short sections of steeper trail. I am having a hard time doing this. Is there a way to show the slope of a line segment, preferably in real time? I am currently trying to judge delta z with the contours and watching the line length change. For example, I try to add at least 400' to a line between 40' contours to get a 10% slope. It is awkward and my results are not very good.

Has anybody found an easy way to do this?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ben Lantow on 22 Mar, 2020 11:00 PM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    There's no way to see a slope in real time unfortunately. I can't think of a better way to do this but maybe one of the other users may have an idea. You could also make a number of short lines and assess each one individually but that sounds potentially tedious.

  2. 2 Posted by JIm Chance on 22 Mar, 2020 11:44 PM

    JIm Chance's Avatar

    OK. I am trying to figure if I can look at the profile to easily see where I am too steep. Can I control the vertical exageration to make it easy to eyeball? Also, what does "Min" "Avg" and "Max" slope represent? Is that supposed to be the slope of the line or the slope of the ground? If you are parallel to the contours is it the side slope?

  3. 3 Posted by JIm Chance on 22 Mar, 2020 11:55 PM

    JIm Chance's Avatar

    Further to the above, I drew two very short lines on steep slope, one parallel to the contours and one perpendicular. They had very similar slope information according to the profile. This indicates the slope reported is the slope of the terrain, not the slope along the line.

  4. 4 Posted by jamesallenchanc... on 24 Mar, 2020 01:22 PM

    jamesallenchance's Avatar

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Something that might be easy to implement is to be able to set a range
    ring with the mouse with the mouse. Maybe put a center point on the
    range ring and be able to drag it. It looks like you have most of that
    already. That is the way I use to do it in Autocad. Let us say you have
    40' contours and don't want to exceed 10% slope. You put a 400' circle
    on a contour and then make sure you are outside the circle before you
    cross another contour. It is nice if you can snap your line to the
    center of the circle.

    The other thing would be to show the length of the line segment on screen.

    Best regards,

    Jim Chance
    M: +1-(337) 344-8004
    NC: +1-(828) 526-4596

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Ben Lantow on 26 Mar, 2020 03:41 AM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    You can set a range ring. Go to Add - Range Ring. Right now this type of niche request is outside our ability to create a tool for, we're focused on some app features, and some huge map performance tasks. We're still a small company, and this is a super specialized request. Sorry we can't do more for this right now, but it sounds like you have a few ideas of how to leverage the existing tools.


  6. Ben Lantow closed this discussion on 02 Apr, 2020 08:48 PM.

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