Does Civil 3D provide value to the typical surveyor?
Any text editor will change the order of N,E,Elev,Desc,Other stuff, etc, so&so into any order your system is setup for.
Carson XPort & SMI V7 Transfer will do the same thing.
Actually Carlson Cadd versions can be setup to import and export the data from and into whatever order, form and specific need.
It's not the order that is a problem. I don't think I've ever seen a file that wasn't PNEZD comma delimited. C3D has default formats for the order of the information and allows you to create custom formats.
The problem is the descriptor. If I gave you a text file with descriptors such as PBUS, PPWP, PTDS, PTCS, and PVAC, and you processed that file into a drawing with your F2F file, would you actually get a bush, a power pole, a deciduous tree, a coniferous tree, and a car wash vacuum? I'm more inclined to believe you would get a default point symbol in a default layer with no block for the point. That's what I have historically gotten with DCA, Softdesk, LDD, Eagle Point, C3D, and Carlson. Maybe I'm unaware of new developments in F2F capabilities.
Get busy living or get busy dying.
Sorry, one last post. I have to say that I completely agree with the assessments given by Cameron Watson and Jim Frame. Spot on for both of you! I even pictured Cameron dropping his mouse and walking away as he hit the Add Reply button.
Also, just in case Ladd Nelson makes an appearance here, I do want to point out that Carlson offers an app, Carlson Connect, on the Autodesk app store. From the Carlson site:
A collection of routines for transferring and converting data between Autodesk® Civil 3D®, and Carlson SurvCE and Carlson Survey, Carlson Connect 2018 runs within Civil 3D 2018 and uses the current Civil 3D data model.
Users can transfer point and raw data between Civil 3D and Carlson SurvCE data collection. They can import and export Civil 3D point data with the Carlson coordinate files and convert drawings with Carlson point entities to Civil 3D point objects.
I doubt I will ever have the need for this app, but it's good to know it exists. The surveys we get are about 60% Microstation and 40% C3D. The previously cited project is the only one that I have ever received in Carlson.
Get busy living or get busy dying.
So....after all this, the answer is:
If you're just doing survey work with only a few engineers who'll put up with your crappy software and are willing to import a few extra files, then C3D is not worth the extra expense. But if you're working with/for a lot of engineers, in-house and out, who want a product that they can just take and use with no extra steps, and are giving you enough good-paying projects to justify the extra cost, then it is worth it and provides value.
I think it's pretty easy to boil it down to such a flippant and sarcastic statement as that with the economy screaming along the way it is. Putting my Clients at the center of my universe rather than myself is what carried me through from 2007-2012. The Land Development world is so relationship driven. Conversations with my Clients and end users about how I can deliver a better product to suit their needs is one of the ways I reinforce those relationships and leverage them into new relationships. It's as much a business development strategy as it is a technical service strategy. To each their own, you skin your cat and I'll skin mine. ?
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Relax, Cam. There's only a small bit of sarcasm there. If you ignore it, what I said makes sense. Those of us with different clients and demands use the software that makes our work tick. You're doing the same. I was answering the question of the OP. If you need it, it's worth it. If you don't then any of the other software out can do the job, at a lower cost.
It turns out they would prefer an AutoCAD only drawing product and a LandXML of the surface.
Which begs the question: What do they want to see in the LandXML file? I got to thinking about what I would do if asked for such a thing, and started nosing around my software stack. I use TBC for surface-related tasks (creation, contouring, volumes) and realized that I can export a LandXML file from it. I tried it out on a couple of projects, using the Carlson Precision 3D demo to view the results. The TBC export appears simply to reproduce the TIN used to create the TBC surface in LandXML-speak, which is pretty the same as importing the 3DFACEs from the TIN. Is that all people need from a LandXML file, or do they expect additional information to come in with it?
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They want a surface model from LandXML. The connection between surface model and TIN is less direct in C3d than it is in other programs. I'd say that your TBC solution is probably a good one.
Engineering techs are going to build their design model out of "feature lines"- something very akin to 3d breaklines - and grading models, and not points. Younger ones may not even know what a TIN is.
EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
EXPERIENCE, n. The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.