How To Use Alignments

Alignments are used in construction to define the path of a linear project, or, linear features within a project. When used with their respective stations (sometimes called chainages) and offsets, locations can be more simply referenced, facilitating communication and collaboration through every aspect of a project.  

With alignments in Propeller, you can use familiar and consistent communication to locate, measure, and markup while referencing position in your familiar station and offset language.

Please note that vertical alignments are currently not supported.

Getting started

Alignments are available to use on your desktop and the Propeller mobile app.


How to upload LandXML files

Alignments in LandXML files have several geometries (line, curve, spirals). We currently support the clothoid spiral type.

From the DESIGNS tab, click UPLOAD DESIGN.

Upload a Design.png

Drag and drop or UPLOAD FILES directly into the platform.

Upload files Alignments.png

You’ll see a notification that your LandXML file is processing, and you’ll see another one when it’s complete. 

Design File Notifications.png

Once the file has been correctly imported, you’ll see a unique icon next to it.

Alignments Icon.png

Activate or deactivate the alignment on your desktop

You can access the alignment file in the DESIGNS tab. To visualize the alignment, click the eyeball icon next to the file.

Inactive Alignment.png

To activate an alignment, you can simply click on it in the map view or turn it on from the side panel. 

Please note that while you can turn on several alignments to view on the map, only one can be active at a time.

Desktop - Select alignment and location.gif

Click the three dots next to the alignment you want to activate and choose Activate Alignments.

Activate Alignment from Side Panel.png

You’ll notice the active alignment will display the labels and turn yellow. 

Active Alignment.png

Once activated, you can reference the station and offset position of your cursor relative to that alignment.

Desktop - See station and offset - GIF.gif

To deactivate an alignment, click the three dots next to it and select Deactivate Alignment, or, if you have more than one alignment, you can click on another to deactivate your current selection and activate a new one.

Deactivate Alignment from Side Panel.png

Modify station intervals

You can modify the interval of the station labels to your specifications.

Click the three dots menu next to the alignment and select Edit Station Interval.

Edit Alignment.png

A new window will appear. Edit the Major and Minor ticks according to your specifications.

Edit Alignment Ticks.png

Click FINISH when done to apply the changes.

Mobile app

On the Propeller Mobile app, alignments give in-field users the same station and offset reference functionality to locate positions and communicate while on-site. You can access alignment files in the app by tapping Layers and then Designs.

Mobile App Layers to Designs.png

View Alignment

Toggle on the alignment by clicking the checkbox next to it.

Mobile App Browsing.png

Activate alignment

Like the desktop version, the alignment icon will be yellow once activated.

To activate the alignment, move the crosshairs on the map over the one you want to activate.

Mobile App Activate Alignments.png.png

If you want to activate a different alignment, use the crosshair to move over the desired alignment and tap SWAP ALIGNMENT. This will turn off the one currently active.

Mobile App Swap Alignments.png

Use Tools with alignments to help you identify areas of interest on your site. As you pan around the map, you'll notice the alignment and offset update.

Mobile App Alignments Measuring.png


What are stations?

Stations are specific, fixed points along an alignment used as reference points for measurements and layout. These stations are crucial for ensuring accuracy and consistency throughout the construction process. 

They are typically numbered in increments (for example, 100ft or 100m). 

Example: A station labeled 10+00 is 1,000 feet or meters from the starting point. You can identify intermediate points as well. For example, 10+50 would be 1050 feet or meters from the starting point.

Can I adjust the station intervals?

Yes. More detailed surveys may require closer station intervals. This can be customized in the Platform.

What are offsets?

Offsets are perpendicular distances from the alignment to specific points or features. 

Positive values measure to the right of the alignment. Negative values measure to the left of the alignment.

What are offsets used for?

They are used to position elements of the project relative to the alignment accurately.

Horizontal Offsets: These are measured perpendicular to the horizontal alignment and are used to place features such as pavement edges, utilities, and landscaping elements.

Vertical Offsets: These are measured vertically from the alignment’s elevation and are used to ensure proper grading and drainage and to position vertical features like light poles or signs. 

Vertical offsets are not supported yet.

How can I tell if a file in the DESIGNS tab is an alignment?

An icon next to the file will denote the file type.

Alignments Icon.png

Are there special considerations when using LandXML files?

LandXML alignment files can feature many specific geometry types that define their lines, curves, and spirals. 

What are the supported types?


What types are not supported? 

Biquadratic, Bloss, Cosine, Cubic, Sinusoid, RevBiquadratic, RevBloss, RevCosine, RevSinusoid, SinettafWave, BiquadraticParabola, Cubic Parabola, JapaneseCubic, Radioid, ReinerBogen. 

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, you can connect with our support team by clicking the support button on the top right corner of your user portal.

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