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surveyors data import failing


Been quite some time since I posted - way different look to things ;-] - so hope I'm posting this in the correct place/way. 


I am generating .xyz files in QGIS, from LIDAR .tif files. A remarkable and sophisticated program in it's own right, which once I get this straightened out will be happy to share the capabilities and how simply one can create accurate site data, then bringing that into Archicad as fully malleable mesh. 


But, first my issue: using the same process I have before in QGIS to generate .xyz files, Archicad won't accept them - screen shots below are what I get. I sent out a test file to a colleague who introduced me to QGIS, for him to generate an independent .xyz file to test - same results. Further, previously generated .xyz files, generated the same sequence, open flawlessly. And, trying a new and reset, including "standard" work environments, [ a few of which had the import surveyors data grayed out??], also failed to import the .xyz files with the same dialog boxes.


If anyone has been here before, or can advise me how import this info in a different way I'd be most grateful. 






jeff white
w3d design

AC 23 Solo US / current build & library
Windoze 10 Pro 64
HP ZBook 17 G4
Intel Zeon 3.0
Twin 2GB SSD
32 GB memory

Barry Kelly

Can you open the XYZ file in a text editor to investigate exactly what is in it?

Maybe compare it to a file that you know works if you have one.


As far as I know it should literally be 3 co-ordinates per line separated by a comma or maybe a TAB.

There should be no headers or extra information.

I may be wrong about that as it has been many years since I messed around with this.



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Hello Jeff

I had the same problem last week and got X Y Z listings to work - with the help of our Australian distributor. Mine didn't work for the following reasons:

1. my surveyors list included a first column which numbered each data point. AC won't work if this column exists and I had to delete it.. The first column must be X.

2.  each data row has to have X, Y, and Z. My surveyor's list omitted some 'Z' entries (because they represented fences and non-point data items. I had to delete each row with empty 'z' spaces.

3. Some X Y Z tables can't cope with a heading row, if they do, the column names have to contain X, Y or Z.


I enquired from Graphisoft if they had defined rules for X Y Z tables but they haven't. I also asked an ex-university surveying lecturer friend if the surveying profession had national or international standards for the layout of these tables but they have not. 

Cornelis (Kees) Wegman

cornelis wegman architects
AC 5 - 26 Dell XPS 8940 Win 10 16GB 1TB SSD 2TB HD RTX 3070 GPU
Laptop: AC 24 - 26 Win 10 16GB 1TB SSD RTX 3070 GPU


There is no "standard" for XYZ data, it's more or less just an ad-hoc solution, and everybody does as they please.

Regarding Archicad: It's quite picky...

First of all, it's okay to have mixed data. If Archicad finds any non-numerical input the whole line will be discarded as a comment.

Also it is okay to have a numerical IDs for each row (making 1+3 columns).

Just be sure that every row has the same number of columns. The seperator also needs to be the same. Allowed seperators are Space, Tab, Semicolon (;). Also Periods (.) and Commas (,) are accepted, but I highly discourage their use because they will get confused for a decimal seperator easily by humans.

And of course there must not be any missing data.

This and wrong seperators I found to be the most common cause of mishaps.

Good luck!

Mostly AC 26 on Mac | Author of SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»

thank you all for your replies - much appreciated. I opened several test files in notepad and after deleting all entry lines with "other" separators [attached] the files imported into AC just fine. 


In all candor this is over my head, but happy to have a work around. Now I need to revisit the QGIS file generation sequence and figure out how I've given it poor instructions......'cause with me, it's almost always pilot error. ;-]




jeff white
w3d design

AC 23 Solo US / current build & library
Windoze 10 Pro 64
HP ZBook 17 G4
Intel Zeon 3.0
Twin 2GB SSD
32 GB memory

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