Author Topic: Autodesk and Surveyors  (Read 20378 times)

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It's Alive!

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2008, 09:48:21 AM »
...Another thing to remember is that the Bricscad release numbers doesn't match the Consortium's numbers...

I suppose it really wonít matter, once the ITC releases their version 7, I suspect most third party Icad developers will make the move to DRX, which Bricscad supports now. Whatís interesting is that Bricscad is making an ARX source compatible API called BRX.  I havenít seen it yet because Iím too much of a blabber mouth to sign the NDA. I certainly hope that the ITC members arenít splitting up and developing APIís that are not compatible with each other.

dfarris75

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2008, 10:41:43 AM »
Well, the simple reason we don't do that is that we are surveyors, not venture capitalists.  Ostensibly, the company we are already paying to provide the software we need will be using our money to do that.  After all, they claim to be the leaders in the industry.  If they can't do it, then it will be mighty hard to convince my boss to give even more money to an informal group with no set schedule.

This is true, but if there were a free open-source software comparable to C3D which was more stable and had the other features you desire you would give it a shot wouldn't you?

I'm with you though man. They've really got a messed up practice. Software should be developed and then sold rather than sold and then developed.

mjfarrell

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2008, 11:51:10 AM »
Sinc,

I'm guessing that you have availed yourself through the subscription center to log the issues you have with C3D. A tedious, thankless process I know, however there seems to be no other lines of communication this type of information to Autodesk with risk of being banned or censured.
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

Josh Nieman

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2008, 12:21:23 PM »
Sinc,

I'm guessing that you have availed yourself through the subscription center to log the issues you have with C3D. A tedious, thankless process I know, however there seems to be no other lines of communication this type of information to Autodesk with risk of being banned or censured.

Sorry to have a plain jane vanilla user interject... but how does one log a ticket in such a way?  I have been meaning to, but all I can find in my subscription center is a suggestion to post on the discussion boards... and I think we're all familiar with the "residents" there that make this option less than inviting.

*smacks forehead*

nevermind... I couldn't find it before, for some reason, but I got right to it, today... *grumbles*

Don't mind me... back to the 'general forum'  :-)

mjfarrell

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2008, 12:26:16 PM »
Josh,

Happy to help!


As I said, tedious process.  Also feel free to stop by anytime. :wink:
Be your Best


Michael Farrell
http://primeservicesglobal.com/

Josh Nieman

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2008, 12:34:39 PM »
Well, I like to keep tabs on this stuff for no other reason than learning and being able to keep up on conversations intelligently when dealing with surveyors/civil-site folk, but tbh, I don't have a dog in this Land Lubber hunt so I generally don't ever post.

Thanks for the help :-D

*goes off to write up some tickets of varying severity*

sinc

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2008, 05:20:27 PM »
I'm guessing that you have availed yourself through the subscription center to log the issues you have with C3D.

That doesn't seem to be the problem.  I don't get the impression that Autodesk is failing to receive the feedback they get.  The problem seems to be in what Autodesk does with feedback once they get it.

As just one example, let's look at auto-creation of parcels based on roadways.  Under typical usage, ROW follows the roadway alignments.  And we have different categories of roads - e.g., we may have a "residential" class of road that has typical 50-foot ROW, a "minor arterial" that has typical 60-foot ROW, a "major arterial" that has typical 80-foot ROW, etc.  These could vary, depending on our local standards, so there should be an obvious way of creating a "standards" file that contains all this data.

Under a simple usage scenario, we could create the alignments for each of our roads, and declare the category of the road.  The ROW would then be autogenerated from our alignments, and Parcels would autogenerate (based on frontage rules, etc.) for the areas that aren't ROW.  This is the basic requirement for auto-creation of Parcels.

Now Autodesk gets that requirement, and they create something where we can generate Parcels from our Alignment, but once generated, the Parcels do not change when we move the Alignment.  Unfortunately, this wasn't really the requirement - the Parcels should be generated using the ROW as a boundary, not the Alignment.  And while they give us a "Create ROW" command, this creates Parcels that do not change with the Alignment.  And there is no way to define categories of roads, and assign that category to the Alignment for use in ROW creation, so the "Create ROW" command is also rather clunky.

Now time goes by, and we eventually get another release.  In this release, Autodesk has fixed the problem where the Parcels do not change when we change the Alignment, but the ROW generation is still disconnected.  So we can generate ROW from an Alignment, but if we move our Alignment, the ROW doesn't move with it.  Instead, we get all our land subdivided into a bunch of new parcels by the Alignment.  There is no way to avoid this Parcel autogeneration, short of creating extra Sites and keeping alignments on different Sites to suppress the auto-generation of Parcels.  This is not what we wanted at all.

More time goes by, and we eventually get another release.  Autodesk has heard all the complaints about the unwanted "extra" parcels that get autogenerated from alignments.  In response, they create a "Siteless Alignment" collection.  The ROW problem is not fixed - it is still not dynamic with Alignments.  The parcel-autogeneration problem is not really fixed, we just have a "catch-all" collection that we can use to suppress it.  And while we can place Alignments there to suppress the auto-parcel generation, when we do that, we lose the ability to manage Alignments.  Normally, we can manage Alignments by putting related Alignments together in a Site, and creating new Sites as-needed, but we lose this ability when we use the Siteless Alignment collection.  Also unfortunately, this Siteless Alignment collection has completely different API access, and it creates a lot of bugs when not everything is updated to work with Siteless Alignments as well as normal Alignments.  So now there's a chain of extra work for developers all down the line, including third-party developers, all for something we didn't really want in the first place.  All we wanted was a way to keep those useless Parcels from being autogenerated - we didn't want a separate Siteless Alignments collection.

See what I mean?  We start out with one requirement.  Autodesk does something hackneyed.  We complain.  They patch the problem, instead of fixing it.  We complain again.  They patch the patch, instead of fixing the underlying problem.  Now we still have the underlying problem, and we also have additional problems created by the patch to the patch.

This is only one example - I can come up with several more that are virtually identical.

And the real drawback is how long this process takes.  In the example above, this process progressed over several years, and we still aren't really any closer to the original goal.  Well, part of the reason for this is that I don't think it's possible to achieve the original goal with the current design of Parcels, so Parcels need to be redesigned from the ground-up before it can happen, but there's no sign of that happening yet.  And the longer Autodesk takes to fix core problem features like Parcels, the more stuff they'll get built on top of it, and the harder it will be to change.  And if they wait too long, they'll find themselves in the position where it's just too difficult to change, and they're better off dumping the whole thing and starting over, like they did with LDD.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 08:49:14 PM by sinc »

Dent Cermak

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2008, 04:11:54 PM »
Carlson 2009 and future releases will still be available on an AutoCad base. It appears Carlson is adding Intellicad to their supported platforms. They are not dropping AutoCad, even though AutoCad did them like dirt as a VAR. In the future you will be able to get a Carlson Standalone, a Carlson/autoCad, a Carlson/Intellicad and, eventually, a Carlson for Intergraph. (That's what they are telling us.)
Your basic statement that AutoCad does not serve the Surveyor well is VERY true though. what has REALLY changed in LDD in the past 5 releases? I just got the Land Desktop 2009 and it is pretty much the same old, same old. That's good though. It still works. (Makes me wonder about AutoDesk's statement that Land Desktop was going away and civil 3D was here to stay - as a replacement.)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 04:18:28 PM by Dent Cermak »

Craig Davis

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2008, 08:05:30 PM »
I started out my career doing civil survey and progressed up to civil design. My previous job at the local council I was in charge of changing over from Civilcad to Civil3D and I must admit the hardest part was getting the surveyor on board as Civilcad is a very surveyor user friendly program (however was lacking in the design side of things and were getting left behind). In the end we had to use a program to get around the lack of anything survey in Civil3D. This wasn't too big an issue as the Council could afford the program and the annual cost.

I now work for a smaller company and the cost plays a lot larger part in the setup and process. I'm still trying to find the ideal solution and Autodesk are definitely doing nothing to make it easier for me. To use the work around program some work has to be done in Civil3D so this would mean having a Civil3D seat available just for the surveyor to use possibly a few times a week. Our company cannot justify that kind of cost.

I really can't see why Autodesk can't release a cut down version purely for survey. I would think that a lot of companies would be crying out for this just as we are.

We're currently reassessing our survey data collector and software to try and streamline it and improve efficiency to Civil3D.

It's very frustrating as many here have stated.

MSTG007

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2008, 09:52:25 PM »
I have read the whole article... WOW. I maybe on the wrong side of things, I do place budget in our softwares. We do beta test Civil 3D's in our firm to test all the bugs we find and to suggest easy / hard things for them to fix. yes its a pain in the butt with the auditing and crashing. But you have to say to yourself, by you or who ever, you are helping Autodesk Civil 3D TEAM design a better protect for you to make your job easier and faster and more accurate.
I do surveys and mostly engineering. Its amazing on the engineering side, however, for me, I need something more complete and faster that CIVIL3D. But I am willing to look at other softwares ( I dont wanna) PowerCivil and Carlson 2009 with a Hydrocad based. The prices are about the same too. But I do not want to relearn software.. .AHHHH!!! I would rather ask or design a bandaid which works for a small problem I found in CIvil3D and report it to the Civil3D Team so they can address it on the next update.
If we all look at the way things use to be/ before the 2005 version of Civil 3D... what I can do in a few hours would take me litterally days or weeks in Vanilla Autocad.
Like this forum, we all work together, share, and help eachother get things done:) Its great! The relationships and the wisdom from all of you, also help make the software what it is. Now, As for the cost, Its up to your dept or firm where you place your money. I hope this helps! Sinc Hang In there. I believe you do not always have the follow the new method if its harder. But you can still use the old way if it works!
Best part of a Civil 3D Project on a survey construction stance. I love to take a 3D Modeled Site and do Calcs from draging the cursor on the surface! woo hoo!!!! Sorry I had to let that out!
Civil3D 2020

sinc

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2008, 10:51:38 PM »
Well, see, that's the problem.  As the one who basically decides what software my company buys, I have to look at the entire picture.  As such, I cannot simply compare C3D 2008 to Vanilla 2005 and say it's better.  I can't even compare C3D 2008 to LDT 2008 and say it's better.  The question is now how C3D 2009 compares to Carlson Civil 2009.

And to be fair, it's really how C3D 2009 + the Sincpac-C3D compares to Carlson Civil 2009.  With some of the things in the Sincpac, we can perform calcs that used to take all day in literally minutes.  And of course, we have some things internally that are not yet available to the general public, which also aid us Surveyors in particular, and more in the works.  With all of that, the solution we have is pretty powerful, and tough to beat.

But I still have to look at the grand picture, which includes more than the capabilities.  It also includes the cost of the software and its upgrades, as well as the time/cost involved in training new employees to use the software.  When five licenses of Carlson Civil 2009 cost the same as one of C3D 2009, I have to take note, especially when the software has a significantly lower learning curve.  The only question is one of comparative capabilities.

At this point, we basically know how to use Civil-3D, and are getting effective use from it.  Switching software would mean some amount of disruption, no matter how easy the other software is to learn.  So it's possible that C3D might still be a bad choice for surveyors who are just now looking to replace their old software, because of the learning curve and the bugs and the cost.  However, since we already know how to use C3D, and have already bought a number of seats of the software, and have it in active production, it may make more sense for us to continue with C3D, especially since it has been getting more-reliable and easier to use, if slowly...

MSTG007

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2008, 09:00:54 AM »
I am sorry to say, But i do agree with your last statement. It can only get easier.
Civil3D 2020

jpostlewait

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2008, 06:08:04 PM »
Basic problem with the Surveying business is that they don't have a large market.
In a global business market the US survey market is small potatoes.
We've integrated C3D into our Survey Department workflow and it's not elegant but it's workable.
Please I'm not denigrating surveying or the profession it's just the facts.

therock003

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2008, 08:06:43 AM »
So guys,what are the software options for us land surveyors,since it is claimed that c3d lacks plenty?

You've already mentioned carlson survey 2009.Then what other options do we have?IS there any good bentley package for surveying?

Swift

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Re: Autodesk and Surveyors
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2008, 08:14:10 AM »
IS there any good bentley package for surveying?

Not that I've seen but I've not used Microstation in years. Eaglepoint use to make a microstation product http://www.eaglepoint.com/

Wow looks like eaglepoint is supprting BricsCad too http://www.eaglepoint.com/solutions/workflow/office/bricscad/


I've heard mixed reviews of Microsurvey http://www.microsurvey.com/

Then of course Carlson bought out C&G and Simplicity Systems
http://www.carlsonsw.com/PL_CG_Survey.html
http://www.carlsonsw.com/PL_Simplicity.html