Global Mapper v25.0

Path Profile DXF export: BUG and suggestions

kfroese Geotechnical EngineerTrusted User
I have just discovered the Export to DXF feature in the Path Profile window! That's fantastic and saves a ton of effort for me (I used to achieve the same result by exporting the profile as XZ, importing that file as XYZ path in equirectangular projection, and then creating DXF). However, the feature would be a bit more useful if there was the option to include the grid lines and labels in the export. That way, it will be quicker to use in CAD programs or slope stability software. I import these types of DXF profiles into Slope/W to get the ground surface profile for my stratigraphic models.

***BUG*** There are two different results depending on how this feature is used!
1. If I draw Path Profile using the tool on the menu (sort of a temporary cross-section), the DXF export of the result is the profile (ground surface from a DEM in my case).
2. If I right-click an existing line drawn over the same surface and select Analysis/Measurement -> Path Profile, the window looks the same but the DXF export is of the path itself in plan view. Essentially, the line I selected to analyse. For my case, that's almost useless.
SOLUTION: clearly identify what is being exported as the wording is the same despite the different result. In fact, being able to export the plan of the line where the section is draw is useful in both scenarios. So, IMO, updating the software to export DXF of both the line and the profile would be the cleanest.


  • kfroese
    kfroese Geotechnical Engineer Trusted User
    I did a bit more digging. It turns out the difference between 1 and 2 is how Slope/W imports the line. Because if I open both versions in GM, I get the plan view. However, as each vertex has points, Slope/W somehow takes the 1st version as a profile using only the XZ while for the 2nd version, takes the XY. Regardless, I think my suggested solution is still valid as I would essentially like a DXF that replicates the BMP-type export option.
  • Hi kfroese,

    I totally agree that the ability to export a dxf (or dwg?) of the profile would be awesome, but may be a bridge too far for the good people at GM and what we should realistically expect from GM (I hope they prove us wrong ;)

    My workaround to create profiles in AutoCAD from GM (and I'm sure there are others) is to export the GM profile as a .csv file (from either your method 1 or 2 above), open it in Excel and then use the Concatenate command to create chainage & elevation coordinates along the line as shown on attached screen grab.  The Excel formula is =+CONCATENATE(G2,",",D2) in this example. The horizontal distance/chainage values are in column G and the elevations are in column D. The Concatenate command places a comma between the values and hey presto it becomes a coordinate!

    If you copy the formula down over the entire record and then select all, copy and paste as a "Polyline" (PL command) in AutoCAD you will get a profile at natural scale (i.e. 1:1 X:Z). If you need to exaggerate the horizontal or vertical scale I create a BLOCK of the profile and then re-import it and exaggerate scales accordingly.  Its relatively straight forward to then add text and profile frame in AutoCAD.  

    Hope this helps and I'm keen to hear if other people have other workarounds.


  • bmg_bob
    bmg_bob Global Mapper Programmer
    Hello @kfroese,

    I suggest that you contact Blue Marble Support directly via email ( regarding the bug you are seeing and the new feature idea. Please include a detailed description of your workflow and data that can be used to reproduce the problem. In the case where Slope/W is interpreting the files differently, please include the DXF files you exported so we can look for differences in how the coordinates were stored.
    Thank you.

    Have you contacted support for Slope/W to see if they can tell you why the two files are being interpreted differently?

  • kfroese
    kfroese Geotechnical Engineer Trusted User
    @CarrickCon: You should try using GM with the XZ and equirectangular. You can turn on grid in GM (I usually use 10m spacing) and then export that as a DXF. Then you are almost good to go.

    @bmg_bob: I will email Blue Marble. I am intimately familiar with their support email!

    Thanks all.
  • Hi kfroese,

    Thanks for the heads up on the export profile as xz, it certainly saves the extra step in Excel...

    However, while looking around in the profile export settings in V22.1 a bit more I think I saw what you and I are after i.e. the ability to export a complete profile in dxf with guidelines, distance markers etc. It exists under File/Save profile to Vector/PDF and then select export format e.g. dwg, dxf, pdf, ASCII etc. If you export as dxf and bring into AutoCAD you just need to rescale the vertical/horizontal axis to whatever exaggeration you need - see attached screen grabs (same profile in GM and then exported as dxf to AutoCAD). 



  • kfroese
    kfroese Geotechnical Engineer Trusted User
    That's interesting! I had not noticed that feature. And it almost does what I want...
    1. The ground surface profile becomes an area in the DXF which is more difficult to work with. In fact, I can't see the surface in my open source CAD program (LibreCAD).
    2. For me at least, the colour scheme is such that I have to modify the layers in order to see anything other than the background.
    3. 0,0 is in the top-left. My use case would prefer that the coordinates match the grid. So, in your image, I'd like the bottom left corner to have XY coordinates of 0, 385. That way, I don't have to move/rescale in my stability software.
    Our network licenses for Slope/W are all in use so I can't check how that program handles them.