Author Topic: upgrading  (Read 20766 times)

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drizzt

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upgrading
« on: April 25, 2007, 12:00:36 PM »
I need some opinions.

I have been with this company for 7 years now and we are using Land Desktop 2000. Every year I get quotes to upgrade to the current version of Land Desktop. This year I am going to recomend upgrading to Civil 3D. Since I am so far behind, I am also going to recomend two 3-day classes offered here in Denver, CO. I will also need to upgrade my machine.

I am the only CAD/Graphics person in the office and I support 4 land planners. All we do here is Land Use permits, and every once in a while construction plans.

The price tag to upgrade, with training is nearing $9,000.

My first question is this, is it worth upgrading for a company this small?

Second, if I don't get approval to upgrade, am I becoming obsolete, and how would you handle the situation?

drizzt

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 12:02:45 PM »
ps

I already feel like I have little to offer here, because of being so outdated....

Dent Cermak

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 01:01:50 PM »
Everyone has valuable contributions here. They range from the sublime to the insane and all points in between. You have as much to offer here as I do. Or Maverick. Or Se7en.
Now, if you are into Civil Engineering, Civil 3D is the way to go. Our engineers love it.
If you are doing surveying and mapping, get AutoCad 2007 with the LDD pack. You don't need the C3D add on, so you can avoid the pits in C3D for a little while.
They say Acad 2008 is supposed to be much smoother than anything before. Time will tell. The trick is to get the package that maximizes your production and profits. $9,000 is a small price if your productivity soars because you finally have the proper tools. That cost is an investment in your company's future. I've never seen money wasted that was spent on production software and training.

drizzt

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 01:13:46 PM »
Part of the problem with upgrading, is that the land planners and engineers that I support now can't keep up with me. The new text and sheet setup features with 2008 will make this worse. The Civil 3D package, with the automated profile and section updates make me even faster


Hire more land planners...

Dinosaur

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 01:19:10 PM »
1 > The improvements made to MAP will be a major benefit to you.
2 > What kind of construction plans?  Civil 3D will demand some major changes over how the same tasks were accomplished using LDT.
3 > Who is providing this training?  There are at least two options to the usual reseller training sessions represented in TheSwamp membership who can provide very targeted instruction geared toward your individual needs.  See the thread locked at the top of Land Lubber for more details.
4 > What Dent said . . . The times I have tried to answer your questions or help you with a problem, I have learned some new things for my efforts and tried to share those with everybody along the way.
5 > You can look busy after you save all of that time by creating new styles and labels for your templates - that work is never done.

drizzt

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 01:26:00 PM »
Quote
2 > What kind of construction plans?  Civil 3D will demand some major changes over how the same tasks were accomplished using LDT.

All are drainage construction plans that the counties require in order to get a Special Use Permit for land improvement.

Quote
3 > Who is providing this training?  There are at least two options to the usual reseller training sessions represented in TheSwamp membership who can provide very targeted instruction geared toward your individual needs.  See the thread locked at the top of Land Lubber for more details.

Thank you. I will check into the individual training.

Quote
5 > You can look busy after you save all of that time by creating new styles and labels for your templates - that work is never done.

I think one could make some $$ doing this for other companies as well.

Dinosaur

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 01:42:20 PM »

All are drainage construction plans that the counties require in order to get a Special Use Permit for land improvement.

Thank you. I will check into the individual training.   :kewl:  :kewl:

I think one could make some $$ doing this for other companies as well.

There is no Hydrology support provided with Civil 3D, so you will need something like Hydrflow if you have to generate flow information.  The piping design is very slick though - even more so than the pipeworks module form LDT that you missed.  It takes some doing to bend it to your will but the results are worth the trouble and you will never again cringe at the prospect tiny design changes that forced a redraw of the whole line.

Not only CAN significant green be made creating styles and templates, there are some that DO!

drizzt

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 02:17:41 PM »
The engineers do the hydrology calculations, I am not sure what software they use, but it works well for the first design between the two of us.

Your right though, any change in the grading and...... just as well start over!

We had a rail unloading sight where we had 4 tracks coming onto the property to unload aggregates. The Railroad company, after the county engineer reviewed the plans... decided that a 0.2% grade on the tracks wouldn't work. Since the site pad was based on the elevations of the rail pad everything had to be lowered.. overburden planced, pipes realigned. Profiles redrawn...

I got a lot of overtime, but it seems sensless after seeing what Civil 3D can do!

sinc

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 03:39:46 PM »
We are a survey-only shop, and C3D is definitely a mixed-blessing.  However, we seem to be one of the few companies that really used most of the features of Land Desktop, digging deep into the product.  So we've really liked the improvements C3D makes in many regards.  However, the benefits so far are largely cancelled by the issues and problems.  That keeps changing, though, as we get more familiar with the program, and as Autodesk continues to make improvements.

With the 2007 SP3 version of the program, there are the occasional items that we could do faster in Land Desktop with Map.  But there are more items that are faster and easier in Civil-3D.  We're now reaching the point where, in general, it doesn't take us any longer to do things in Civil-3D, and some things are much faster than in Land Desktop.  All in all, despite the problems, I think we're happier on C3D than we were on Land Desktop.  And as the product continues to improve, we should lose less and less time to the problems.  It will still be a while before we completely recoup the costs of the transition, but that should happen relatively soon, after which everything else is profit.  At least, that's the plan...  :wink:

I can't say it's a good idea for all surveying companies to switch to C3D, but I think it's working for us.  We're on the leading edge of technology, and getting better with it all the time.  That should give us a distinct advantage in the coming years, as more and more people begin to realize the benefits of model-driven CAD, and begins to dominate the industry.  But it can be painful being on the bleeding edge of technology, and it's definitely not for everyone.  If you think you're up for the task, though, I think there's significant reward to be had...

As for training...  After seeing several firms attempt the transition, and after going through it ourselves, I'd say beware of any instruction that uses a "magic disk".  This is a CD of carefully-prepared, canned "course materials" that the instructor brings to class, containing all the projects and files you will use during your class.  From what I've seen, most people who get this type of training are completely lost as soon as the instructor leaves, and they try to work with their normal, every-day data.  I highly recommend that you ask some questions about the training, and if it involves a disk of "course materials", search elsewhere for someone who will offer you custom training on your own real-world data.  If the trainer isn't comfortable enough with Civil-3D to teach a class using the data you work with every day, then you shouldn't be hiring that person for training.

drizzt

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 03:45:06 PM »
Thanks Sinc.

What does it take to become a surveyor? I think I would enjoy that work.

drizzt

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 03:46:42 PM »
I am leaving on vacation and won't be back until Monday. If I get a chance I will review this thread before then.

didn't want all of you to think I was asking for advise and then rude enough not to read it.

sinc

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2007, 07:08:52 PM »
What does it take to become a surveyor? I think I would enjoy that work.

I think the only real requirements are a knack with numbers and a measure of common sense.  Some colleges offer surveying classes, and there are the requisite professional seminars for on-going education, but most of the "real surveying" is learned on the job.

Surveyors live in a very "fuzzy" world, and spend much of their time learning to deal with error.  They serve as the bridge between the pristine exactness of the engineer's model, the monolithic intractability of the law, and the swirling chaos of the real world.  As such, surveying is very much an art form, and experience is key.

Kerry

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Re: upgrading
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 07:39:35 PM »
....................
Surveyors live in a very "fuzzy" world, and spend much of their time learning to deal with error.  They serve as the bridge between the pristine exactness of the engineer's model, the monolithic intractability of the law, and the swirling chaos of the real world.  As such, surveying is very much an art form, and experience is key.

That has to be one of the most artistic recipes for ulcers I've ever heard .. :-)
kdub, kdub_nz in other timelines.
Perfection is not optional.
Everything will work just as you expect it to, unless your expectations are incorrect.
Discipline: None at all.

Dent Cermak

  • Guest
Re: upgrading
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 08:13:52 PM »
Thanks Sinc.

What does it take to become a surveyor? I think I would enjoy that work.


(1) The ability to resist the urge to strangle Architects just beacuse.

(2) The ability to work more over time than you really want to.

(3)The ability to decide which is more fun:
      (a) create a dtm and contours without enough shots to really do the job, or
      (b)start a fire with lighter fluid in your crotch.
(You'd be surprised how close a call that is.)

I've been doing it for almost  40 years and I haven't had to sart a fire. Yet. There's always tomorrow.

Kerry

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Re: upgrading
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2007, 08:52:53 PM »
Krushert, Can you please NOT change other peoples quotes.
kdub, kdub_nz in other timelines.
Perfection is not optional.
Everything will work just as you expect it to, unless your expectations are incorrect.
Discipline: None at all.