Northing, Easting, Elevation Overview

The total station data should report each surveyed target in terms of “Northing, Easting, Elevation.” This coordinate space has a direct translation to the X, Y, Z coordinate space used by Previzion and Maya. The translation is as follows:
  • Northing = X axis
    • This is the front facing axis in Previzion
  • Easting = Z axis
    • This axis points to the right of the X-axis (aka, ‘northing’)
  • Elevation = Y axis
    • This axis points up
    • This defines a Y-up coordinate system

Translating Coordinate Spaces

When converting from the survey coordinate system of: (Northing, Easting, Elevation), flip the second and third values.

In other words, easting should be the Z value and elevation should be the Y value.

In the world of surveyors XYZ has a different meaning.  When looking at a blueprint from overhead:

  • X – is side and side
  • Y- is front and back
  • Z- is up and down, coming out of the paper
In the world of VFX and anything computer graphics, when looking at a computer screen:
  • X- is side to side
  • Y- is up and down
  • Z – is front and back

Last Modified: July 31, 2012