How to Display Geodetic Information - Revit

How to Display Geodetic Information Alongside Your Project Elevation

Emily Modderman takes you step by step through this often requested tutorial.

How to Display Geodetic Information Alongside Your Project Elevation

I have had a lot of requests about how to display Geodetic Elevations instead of regular Project Base Elevations on Revit elevation drawings. This is fairly easy to set up using the Specify Coordinates at Point command from the Manage tab.  However, one day recently I was asked how to display them both at the same time in the same elevation.  A web search revealed almost no solutions for this issue and so I got creative!

One of the problems with the search results I found was that they all seemed to be view specific solutions which is not ideal. Revit is supposed to be saving us time not asking us to redo something in every view, so I tried to keep my solution pretty basic.

Ultimately, I decided on creating a new Level type with a new Level Head and using two Level markers at each Level.  It might seem like quite a few steps, but if this is built into the template, it can be used on any project as required!

Here are the steps I took to accomplish this:

Step #1:

In your project or template project browser, expand Families > Annotation and find the Level Head type you are currently using. (I’ll demonstrate using Revit default content.) Right click on that Level Head type and select Edit. This will open the Family up in the Family Editor.

Geodetic Information 1 - Revit Family Editor

Step #2:

In the Family Types editor create a new type to contain the geodetic information. Depending on how your Level Head family is set up, you may or may not have an existing type inside it.  The Revit default content does not so I created both Geodetic Elevation and Project Base Elevation types.

Geodetic Information 2 - Revit Family Types editor

Step #3:

After creating the types, we need to create 3 Visibility (Yes/No) parameters to control the visibility of the content in each of the types. The three parameters are: Geodetic Elevation, Project Base Elevation & Level Name.

Geodetic Information 3 - Revit Parameter Properties

Geodetic Information 4 - Geodetic Elevation

Click OK to close the Family Editor box.

Step #4:

Copy the existing elevation Label and place it where you want to see the geodetic elevation. In this case, below the Project Base Elevation Label.  (If you want brackets around your geodetic measurement, use the Prefix and Suffix field in the Label.)

Geodetic Informatio - Project Base Elevation Label


Step #5:

Select this new Elevation label and click Edit Label.

Step #6:

Inside the Edit Label dialogue box select the Elevation label and select the button along the bottom to edit the units of the label.

Geodetic Information 6 - Elevation label

Step #7:

Uncheck the ‘Use Project Settings’ checkbox. Change the settings to be Meters, 2 decimal places, unit symbol ‘m’. Click OK twice to close the dialogue boxes.

Geodetic Information 7 - Revit

Step #8:

Now we need to apply the Parameters to our Labels and linework.

Select the Level Name label and in the properties associate the Visibility property to the Level Name Visibility parameter created earlier.  Also associate the level head linework to the Level Name parameter as well. This way it won’t be duplicated when the geodetic Level Head is displayed.

Geodetic Information - Labels and linework

Geodetic Information - Level Name

Repeat this process for the Project Base elevation label and the Geodetic Elevation label.

Step #9:

All our elements have been assigned visibility parameters so we can now set up each Level Head type and which Labels will be visible in which state.

Open the Family Types editor.

In the Project Base Elevation type, clear the Geodetic Elevation checkbox.

Geodetic Information - Project Base Elevation

Switch to the Geodetic Elevation type and clear both the Level Name & Project Base Elevation checkboxes.

Geodetic Information - Level Name & Project Base Elevation

Click OK to close the dialogue box.

Step #10:

We have finished the setup required in the Family Editor.  Use the Load into Project button on your ribbon to load the family into your project.

Geodetic Information - load family into project

Select the “Overwrite the Existing Version and its Parameter Values” option.

Step #11:

When the family is first brought in, it might mess with what your existing Level markers look like because of the changes we made to the family. We will now edit the family type to set up our Level markers to display properly.

In an elevation view, select the Level head. In properties, select Edit Type.

Geodetic Information - Edit Family Type

The name of the default Level head is called 1/4“ Head. This calls the Level Head – Circle family as it was previously loaded into the project*. Choose the Level Head – Circle: Project Base Elevation option from the list.

Geodetic Information - Level Head – Circle: Project Base Elevation

Duplicate the 1/4” Head type and rename it 1/4” Head Geodetic.

Geodetic Information - Head Geodetic

Step #12:

Change the Elevation Base to Survey Point and the Symbol to Level Head – Circle: Geodetic Elevation.

Geodetic Information - Level Head Settings

Click OK to exit the dialogue box.

Step #13:

Now that we have prepared both types, Copy the existing Levels in your project to the clipboard and Paste > Aligned to Same Place.  Before you deselect the new Levels, change their Type in the Type Selector to 1/4” Head Geodetic.

Geodetic Information - Levels

Step #14:

The new levels will be a different name than the level they represent, but they will not have a view associated with them. The new level name will not show because we turned it off in the visibility settings of Level Head – Circle: Geodetic Elevation.

For clarity, rename each of the new levels to a new name that indicates what they are.  Anyone working on this project down the road will hopefully understand their purpose.

Geodetic Information - Circle: Geodetic Elevation

Step #15:

Finally, align-lock the levels together so they won’t accidentally become separated from each other.

Geodetic Information - Align-lock levels


* Don’t forget to Purge Unused to get rid of the old Level Head – Circle family type!


I hope this tutorial proves helpful to you as you use Revit to save you time and not duplicate processes. Check out Bill’s quick tip on how to use Revit’s Box Selection Tool to help you in that area.

Pop your questions in the comments below and I’ll get back to you there, or give us a call.

About the Author

Emily Modderman is a BIM Application Specialist here at Redcage. Prior to joining our team, she worked in the commercial architecture industry as a drafter and CAD manager. Emily is a genius when it comes to all things Revit and has a unique ability to teach complex information in a way that brings quick understanding. Having trained countless companies and individuals, she is well-equipped to help you master Revit software.

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