I really do miss the days when we had several options for our design software but the market has consolidated down to, pretty much, Civil 3d or Carlson Software.
My biases are obviously clear but, in my opinion, Carlson is far and away the closest thing to an upgrade to Land Desktop that’s on the market today. Carlson has a lot of the dynamic functionality (RoadNet, LotNet, Design Pad Template, etc.) that we wanted in Land Desktop. But, the entities created by these cool automated tools are all standard CAD entities such as polylines and 3d polylines and text.
The benefit is that, when you get to the end of your design and need to pinpoint and tweak an area, you have the option of doing basic CAD-editing of standard polylines or text to make changes the old-fashioned way.
One of my complaints about Civil 3d is that users get very little credit for knowing AutoCAD. Civil 3d requires you to create “Styles” for everything and these styles override basic CAD management of all other properties such as colors, layers, linetypes, text styles, formatting and so on.
Here is one of my favorite examples to illustrate my point. I have a 100 x 200 lot below that has a label inside for area in square footage and acres. The labels are generic and ugly but I can change that later. At this point, all I want to do is add a silly comma so that the area in SF reads “20,000 SF”.
If I’m in Carlson, I double-click on the label and edit it – because it’s CAD and it’s text.
If I’m in Civil 3d, that label is tied to the parcel-object and the style of the object must be changed. Unless you explode the object and lose all the perceived benefits of Civil 3d, there are many clicks and digging deep into dialog boxes to make the same change.