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Plan Mode

In Plan Mode the boreholes are shown on the map and user can create or edit cross-sections on plan. User can import external GIS layers into the map. For each cross-section created in Plan Mode user can switch to the Profile Mode (to design the strata) or view the project data in 3D Mode.

To enter Cross-Section Designer in Plan Mode:

Getting Started

When Cross-Section Designer loads the Plan Mode, you see a map zoomed to your project location with all test holes shown on the map. This is where you can create or edit cross-sections.

A cross-section is defined as the vertical section of the soil from the ground surface downwards.

On plan, a cross-section line comprises minimum two points. Each point could be a borehole or an arbitrary point anywhere on the map. In the screenshot below, a cross-section named "Section C" is selected on the map (note the cross-section name is highlighted on the legend). This cross-section starts from BH-08, goes to BH-10 and then goes to a point near BH-12. Between the 2nd and 3rd points, test holes SL-03, BH-09 and BH-12 are projected on the cross-section line (note dash lines perpendicular to the cross-section line). This projection is automatically done when you edit the geometry of the cross-section on the map.

An Example of a Cross-Section on Plan Mode
An Example of a Cross-Section on Plan Mode

In this case, the area alongside the cross-section line is shaded in green. This shaded area represents the Buffer Distance (see below) which can be adjusted by mouse.

Map Features

Plan Mode comprises a map where you view the test hole locations and edit cross-sections. The map features on available from the buttons located on the bottom-left portion of the map:

  • Navigation Features: comprises the following buttons:
    • Home: use to zoom the map to the extent of the test holes.
    • Zoom: use to zoom in/out.
    • Pitch: use to tilt the view. Click on the pitch button to reset.
    • Compass: use to rotate the map. Click on compass button to set the map to the North.
    • Style: select the map style from: Road, Satellite, Hybrid, Night, and Terra.
  • Drawing Basic Shapes: Using the toolbar at the top-right portion of the map you can add basic shapes to the map. These shapes could represent buildings, utilities, etc.
  • Adding Cross-Section & Point: To add a cross-section or to add a point to an existing cross-section use the buttons on the top-left portion of the map.
Selecting map style Terra shows the approximate terrain with topographic shading.
Cross Section and Ground Surface Profile in Terra Map Style
Cross Section and Ground Surface Profile in Terra Map Style

Creating a Section

To create a cross-section click on Add Cross Section button on the top-left portion of the map. Then:

  1. On the map click to select a test hole or click anywhere to determine the start of the cross-section,
  2. Add more points as you wish,
  3. Double-click on the last point or press Enter to complete this cross-section. Press Esc to cancel.
  4. The program zooms the map to the new cross-section once it is created.

Buffer Distance

The Buffer Distance is the zone along the cross-section where test holes are automatically included in the cross-section. For example in the screenshot above, test holes SL-03, BH-09 and BH-12 are located within the Buffer Distance and are automatically included in the cross-section.

When a test hole is included in the cross-section it will be projected on the cross-section line (see dash lines) and will be shown on the Profile Mode of that cross-section.

Manually Adding a Test Hole to a Section

If you want to manually include or exclude a test hole from a cross-section:

  1. Click on the subject cross-section to 'select' it,
  2. From the left property grid, select the desired test hole from the boreholes list (see screenshot below),
  3. Under Borehole Properties section of the property grid:
    1. to include the test hole in the selected cross-section: click Add To Selected Section button. This will project this test hole to the centerline of the cross-section and include it to the Profile view of the section.
    2. to exclude the test hole from the selected cross-section: click Remove From Selected Section button.

Add/Remove a Test Hole from a Cross-Section

Direction of Cross-Section

The starting point of a cross-section (where Distance = 0 in Profile Mode) is specified on plan view by >>>. In the screenshot below, the start of the cross-section is at BH-01. To change the direction of the cross-section (i.e. to change the starting point to BH-03) click on the >>> on cross-section.

Start and Camera Direction
Start and Camera Direction

Please note that the Profile Mode always shows the starting point of the cross-section on the left side of screen (i.e. Distance axis increases to the right). The binocular image on the cross-section (see screenshot above) indicates the direction of view in Profile Mode.

Section Properties

The list of cross-sections is shown at the top-right of the map area. Click on a cross-section on the legend to select that cross-section. This zooms the map to selected cross-section and the upper portion of the Property Grid loads the properties of the cross-section:

  • Cross Section Name: click on this cell to edit the name of the cross-section.
  • Color: select the color assigned to the cross-section. The color property is used to differentiate cross-sections on the map.
  • Buffer Distance: shows the buffer distance on either side of the cross-section center line. This property is read-only and can be changed by visually adjusting it on the map.
  • Length: shows the total length of this cross-section.
  • Boreholes in Section: click to view a list of all boreholes included in this cross-section. Changing the Buffer Distance may change the list of boreholes included in a cross-section.

Section Path

To change the path of the cross-section polyline on the map:

  • Move a Point: to move a point, drag it with mouse and move it to the desired location.
  • Delete a Point: to remove a point from a cross-section, click on that point. Then from the Property Grid click on Delete Profile Point button.
  • Add a Point: to add a new point to the cross-section, click on the Add Profile Point button on the top-left portion of the map. Then click anywhere along the cross-section polyline to add the new point. Once the point is added, feel free to move it around to adjust the geometry of the cross-section.
Adding a Point to a Cross-Section (b), and Moving the Point (c)
Adding a Point to a Cross-Section (b), and Moving the Point (c)
Changing the path of a cross-section will affect the design you made in Profile Mode for that cross-section. For example, your plan adjustment can change the Distance of a borehole along the cross-section; The program will try to skew the strata design to address this plan adjustment.

Ground Surface Profile

The estimated ground surface profile along the cross-section may be obtained from the map servers. In order to obtain the approximate ground surface profile:

  1. Click on the cross-section on screen to select it.
  2. From the Property Grid click on the Show Ground Surface Profile button.
  3. This will open a panel in the lower portion of the map to plot the ground surface along the cross-section.
Example of Ground Surface Profile
Example of Ground Surface Profile

To save the ground surface profile to Image (PNG, SVG) or CSV format click on the export button at the top-right corner of the ground profile.

The ground surface profile obtained by this method is considered approximate and shall not be used for engineering analysis.

Historic Boreholes

If your project is located in the US, RSLog automatically searches for any Historic Boreholes within 5 miles of your project site. This data has been collected from various Departments of Transportation (courtesy of The Historic Boreholes are shown on the map with historic borehole symbol symbol. Click on a historic borehole to view its data in the Property Grid.

Virtual Boreholes

The Virtual Boreholes are generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) based on over 100,000 historic boreholes (courtesy of To generate Virtual Boreholes:

  1. While in Plan Mode, click on Virtual Boreholes button from the top toolbar. This opens a new dialog.
  2. Select the plan layout of the boreholes from:
    1. Point: only one virtual borehole will be generated at the location specified by user.
    2. Polyline: 5 or 10 virtual boreholes will be generated along a polyline drawn by user.
    3. Polygon: 10 or 20 virtual boreholes will be generated within a polygon drawn by user.
  3. Enter maximum prediction depth for the virtual boreholes.
  4. Agree with terms and conditions and click Generate button.

These boreholes are shown on the map with virtual borehole icon symbol. Click on a Virtual Borehole to view its data in the Property Grid.

The data provided with this feature has been made available by various DOTs and other public agencies. The predictive models presented herein are based on machine learning tools applied to the data. The predicted subsurface conditions are a probabilistic model and do not depict the actual conditions at the site. No claim as to the accuracy of the data and predictive model is made or implied. No other representation, expressed or implied, is included or intended and no warranty or guarantee is included or intended in any Geosetta data or models.

The User understands these limitations and that Geosetta is a tool for planning subsurface investigations and not a substitute for it. In no event shall Geosetta or the Data Owners be liable to the User or another Party for any incidental, consequential, special, exemplary or indirect damages, lost business profits or lost data arising out of or in any way related to the use of information or data obtained from the website.

Switch to Profile Mode

In plan view you can design the path of the cross-section polygon on the map. In order to edit the design of the cross-section (i.e. connecting strata) use one of the following methods:

  • Using Context Menu: right-click on a cross-section from the map and select Open In Profile View menu.
  • Using Property Grid: click to 'select' a cross-section. From its property grid (left) click on Switch to Profile View button.

Import / Export

Refer to this article for read about the import and export features in Cross-Section Designer.

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