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Developing Color Location Maps

Before You Begin

Location maps are being used on larger projects to show the area surrounding the project. Typically, they include roadway, hydrology, rail, and town boundaries. They may also include points of interest in the project area. Summary of the process:


Create the New Drawing

Start MicroStation and create a New drawing to contain the completed map. The name of this file should be in format; 12345LLC.DGN (12345 represents the Project Number).

Reference Attach the project's Alignment Drawing to this new drawing and select the Fit View command to display the project extents. At this point, issuing the Save Settings command will recall this view in future sessions.


Attach the GIS Reference File

Attach Reference the All.dgn located in the folder of statewide drawings. In the Attach Reference Settings dialog box set the Nested Attachments to Live Nesting with a Nest Depth: of 1. Ignore the warning about the file location not being part of the reference file path. This file is only temporarily attached to supply the map data to the Location Map file.

Now the data from the GIS maps should be included in the view. From the References file manager, either Detach or toggle OFF the Display of the referenced Alignment Drawing.


Clip the Project Area

Place (a) Fence around the region to be included on the location map.

set reference clip boundary dialog boxWith the All.dgn file selected in the References file manager, select the Clip Boundary option from the Tools menu. Make sure the Method is set to Fence. A Data Point is necessary to process the clip.

In the References file manager, select the Merge Into Master option from the Tools menu. This will copy the elements within the clip boundary into your current drawing. The GIS drawing (All.dgn) will be automatically Detached during the merge process. Save the file.


Editing the Drawing

The new drawing will need to be edited before it will be acceptable for presentation. Editing will include changing the levels, colors, and line weights of many features.

Text for road names, bodies of water (rivers ponds & lakes), and town names will need to be added or modified. Some of this annotation may have been included in the GIS data.


Additional Details

After the GIS data has been edited some additional details should be added. This includes:

  • Project Name and Number 
  • Scale Bar
  • North Arrow
  • Highlighting of proposed work area
  • Fill color for bodies of water and large rivers

Currently, there are no standards for these drawings. Some suggestions are listed below. Each of these items should be kept on different levels.

Location Map Features
Feature Color Linestyle/Font Comments
Roads 15 (Black) 0 May eventually be divided into different classes of roads
Road & river names 15 (Black) 1 (Working)  
Proposed design 6 (Yellow) 0 Either a thick line or filled area showing the area or work
Streams & small rivers 124 (Cyan) Ditch Hydrology not requiring fill
Large rivers & Ponds 4 (Blue) Ditch or 0 For items that will be filled
Water fill 108 (Light blue) 0 Fill patterns for large rivers and ponds
Forest & park boundaries ?? ??  
Town/county lines 2 (Red) TownLine, County, StateLine  
Town names 12 (Gray) 171 (arialbd)  
County names 2 (Red) 1 (Working) Placed along county line
Project name & number 15 (Black) 171 (arialbd)  

Line weights, linestyle scales and text heights will vary depending on the scale of the final plot. Some recommendations are provided. These are based on a 1"=500' (1:6000) scale drawing. These values should be altered as necessary for the drawing.

Recommended Settings
Feature Weight Text Height Linestyle Scale
Roads 12    
Road & river names 5 90  
Streams & small rivers 12    
Large rivers & Ponds 8   10
Town/county lines 5   15-20
Town names   500  
County names 5 90  
Project name & number   800  


New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483  |  7 Hazen Drive  |  
Concord, NH  |  03302-0483
Tel: 603.271.3734  |  Fax: 603.271.3914