LandXML from Carlson Survey to Civil 3D

A quick presentation of transferring points and a surface model from Carlson Survey to Civil 3D using LandXML.

Note: In the last part of the video the presenter edits an existing surface style making it look harder that it actually is.  A style to display contours is already defined in Civil 3D’s drawing template you simply change the style from a drop-down list in the surface properties instead of digging into the guts of an existing style to change settings.


The NPR program Science Friday had a segment on the brain’s ability to multitask. The conclusion is that the human brain is not very good at multitasking, in fact what happens is you simply jump from one focus to another. I think this subject is very relevant to performing CAD tasks. You need to put aside distractions to be more effective at CAD.  Listen to the segment and see if this changes they way you work.

Creating a new folder in Win 7 using DATE as the name

Do you have a need to create a folder with the current date as the folder name?  I create a “Received” folder in each job folder structure.  When I get new files I put them in a subfolder with the current date formatted as 2010-05-27 so they sort chronologically. 

I do this so often that I wanted to put a command in Windows Explorer that would create the folder for me automatically.  Now, I can browse to any folder, right click on a folder, and pick the command New (DATE) Folder.  No typing, one click and it is done.  To add this command to the Context Menu in Windows Explorer I did a quick and easy edit to the registry.  I have used this registry hack for years in WinXP but found no blog posts on how to do the same in Win 7….until now. Continue reading “Creating a new folder in Win 7 using DATE as the name”

MrSID images in Civil 3D 2011

Using FDO to display MrSID and ECW image file formats in Civil 3D 2011.

Those who use Civil 3D without Raster Design can get the Raster Design Object enabler to enable you to insert MrSID and ECW image file formats using the MAPIINSERT command. This command inserts an image as a Raster Object. There is another way to display images in Civil 3D. Continue reading “MrSID images in Civil 3D 2011”

Sheet Sets – Fields Do Not Update in Title Block

I was having difficulty updating fields in my title block. I would make a change in the sheet set and REGEN but none of the attributes containing fields linked to the sheet set work. I had it working when I first inserted the block. What I found to work is using the UPDATEFIELD command but that was very inefficient. Continue reading “Sheet Sets – Fields Do Not Update in Title Block”

Hardware specs for new computer to run Civil 3D

Finding the right computer specs that will run AutoCAD Civil 3D the fastest without overspending on stuff that does not matter.

Trying to decide what hardware to put into your new computer to run AutoCAD Civil 3D?  This takes some research of your own and relying on what other people say.  You may still walk away wondering if you picked the right components.  Here is what I have compiled from a variety of sources to help you cut down the time it takes to research your hardware list. Continue reading “Hardware specs for new computer to run Civil 3D”

3d laser scanning conference report

SPAR2010 3d laser scanning conference. A whole new world of business opportunities.

SPAR2010I attended the SPAR2010 conference in Houston last week.  Terrestrial LiDAR is where I see new opportunities for traditional survey firms.  The process piping, mining, and transportation sectors are all becoming aware of the benefits of this technology as well as the architectural, archeaological, and forensic science professions.  This is your chance to get on the bus and get a good seat.  The win-win benefits for all stakeholders are real and measurable.

The key benefits of 3d laser scanning are the big cost savings, time savings, higher quality deliverables and better site safety aspects.  Learn more about this growing industry at  Also check out LiDAR News.