Latest News

Carlson 2015 Has Been Released!

Carlson posted the 2015 versions of their for CAD (IntelliCAD or AutoCAD 2004-2015) on Tuesday afternoon… you can Download Carlson 2015 products with IntelliCAD here. The 2015 versions of embedded AutoCAD products (Survey and Takeoff OEM) will be released later this summer.

If your maintenance contract is current or you have purchased 2014 products within the past 90 days, you’re automatically eligible for an upgrade to 2015. Click here to look up your 2015 serial number using your 2014 serial number.

Click here to review the list of all improvements

Click here to read about updates in Carlson Survey 2015

Click here to read about updates in Carlson Civil and Carlson Hydrology 2015

Click here to read about updates in Carlson Takeoff Suite 2015 – including Construction, CADNet, Trench and GeoTech

There are price increases with 2015 products. Click one of these links if you would like to Request a Demonstration or Request a Custom Proposal to upgrade to 2015 or purchase new software.

Please follow this link to see if you’re eligible for our monthly webinars including CAD and Carlson Tips & Tricks, Intro to Survey and GIS and What’s New in Carlson 2015.


New Update for Carlson Survey 2014 with Embedded AutoCAD (OEM) is available

Carlson Software posted a new build with updates to Survey 2014 with embedded AutoCAD on 7/14/2014. The latest build can be downloaded here: Carlson Software Downloads Page.

To find your current “build”, open your Carlson desktop software and go to the Help menu and click About Carlson. The current build is listed on the top line in the text window and corresponds to the date it was posted. For instance, the build shown below – 140211 – was released on Feb 11, 2014.

Current Carlson Build


Job Openings – Triangle Area of NC

Here are a couple of job openings I’ve been asked to pass along in case anyone is looking…

A Raleigh NC-area firm is looking for a licensed surveyor or surveying cad-tech that has prior experience with construction stakeout. The ability to create 3d models for machine control is a plus but they are willing to teach this skill as long as you are willing to learn. If you are interested in this position, please email a resume and reference 0327_gd.

Looking for a full time Survey cadd technician for Wake county based survey firm.
Boundary surveys, as-builts, ALTA surveys, plot plans, etc… 1-2 years experience is preferred – Land Desktop and Carlson Software experience a plus. If you are interested in this position, please email a resume and reference 0327_ad.

Robert Green’s “An Open Letter to CAD Software Companies” and a Response from IntelliCAD

If you’re one of the many folks out there who don’t believe that the developers of your CAD software are listening to you… you’re not alone and you should take the time to read Robert Green’s “An Open Letter to CAD Software Companies” in Cadalyst. And, as to the part about feeling like you’re all alone, here is Robert’s follow up describing the overwhelming response to his open letter.

I receive email versions of Robert’s bi-weekly CAD Manager newsletters but had fallen behind and didn’t see the original post until yesterday. If I’d read it when it was first released, my response would have been, “Amen brother!”.

Just yesterday morning I had a conversation with a colleague whose company does Landscape Architecture, Civil Design and Land Planning. They are fully invested in Civil 3d (including much blood, sweat and tears in addition to money, money, money) but they’re as productive as any company I know of with the program. Their main complaint? They feel like Autodesk is pushing them toward Revit and they have no need for the software.

In my own experience, I see the push toward NavisWorks and 3ds Max. I had two seats of Civil 3d until I downgraded one of them to Map last year – only to be “rewarded” with an upgrade to Infrastructure Design Suite (and more money for Subscription) this year. This was supposedly something that owners of a Civil 3d and a Map license were able to opt-in to. I didn’t opt-in. So, it took me several days to get them to un-opt-me-in and revert my licenses back to what I’d purchased. Is it any wonder I’m suspicious of any “bonuses” that come my way because of this?

I don’t know how much Robert intended to point the finger at Autodesk in the original column but, with my experiences described above, the references to BIM (which we’ve long argued was a way for Autodesk to avoid talking about Esri and GIS) and Cloud and other buzzwords, that’s certainly the connection I made in my mind.

Because the Carlson Software I sell now includes IntelliCAD, an alternative to AutoCAD, I passed links to the open letter and the responses to a few folks to get their reaction. Dave Lorenzo, the Development Director for the ITC (IntelliCAD Technology Consortium) took the feedback to heart and, considering the interest in the future of IntelliCAD the past few years, I asked his permission to post his response. I very much appreciate his willingness to let me do so… Continue reading

New Monthly Webinars Announced!

I was able to nail down some dates and content for additional webinars here in early 2014.

I’m very excited to announce that Donnie Stallings, the original author of SurvNet, will be conducting a 2-part, 4-hour webinar for us on April 18th. From 10-12 Donnie will cover the basics of SurvNet and Least Squares analysis and then, from 1-3, he will go through project datasets that I’m asking you to submit by email here.

SurvNet can reduce multiple types of data (such as GPS, total station and level) at once, so please send us some good examples to use during the demonstration. I’m sure he won’t be able to use all the data we receive but he’ll go through a representative sample.

In addition, I’m happy to have CAD Masters doing a special presentation of their CAD Standards Manager product for us on March 26th. Based on questions I receive during my CAD Standards presentations at trade shows and training events, I believe you will really like what they have to show. Unlike the other webinars, this webinar is open to anyone who wants to attend – regardless of whether you have recently purchased software or hardware.

Here’s the latest schedule – you can Pre-Register for All Webinars Here:

Tuesday February 11th 2014 at 12:00 pm ET – Overview of Surfaces in Carlson

Monday March 10th 2014 at 3:00 pm ET – Introduction to Carlson

Monday March 17th 2014 at 2:00 pm ET – Introduction to Carlson SurvCE & SurvPC (using SurvPC)
with Jeremy Taylor PLS

Monday March 26th 2014 at 12:00 pm ET – Introduction to CAD Standards Manager by CAD Masters 
(this webinar is NOT limited to those who have previously purchased)

Monday April 14th 2014 at 3:00 pm ET – Annotation with CAD and Carlson

Friday April 18th 2014 from 10:00 – 12:00 ET – Overview of SurvNet Least Squares
with Donnie Stallings PLS

Friday April 18th 2014 from 1:00 – 3:00 ET – SurvNet Least Squares – Working with Project Datasets
with Donnie Stallings PLS

Additional classes covering Carlson Takeoff, Hydrology, Raw Data Editor, SurvCE Tips & Tricks and Point Clouds are scheduled and will be announced at a later date


Thank You!

As 2013 wraps up I’d like to offer a sincere ‘Thank You’ to all of my customers for your business. I’ve had a lot of repeats from previous years but I’ve also added more new customers in 2013 than I did in 2012 – that’s one thing I look at to determine whether my year has been better than the one before.

Another number that may be surprising is that almost 90% of my software sales so far in 2013 have been to companies who purchased only 1 or 2 seats of software through the year. As much as I love selling a bunch of seats to one customer, I know that larger organizations typically have a larger support system around them. I’m happy I can help out so many of the “little guys”.

The economy has been tough on everyone the past several years but it’s been particularly brutal to those in the land surveying, civil engineering and construction fields. For good or for bad, we’ve all had to figure out just how efficient we can be and how we can get as much work done by as few people as possible and for the least number of dollars.

I hope I’ve been able to help in some way by extending software discounts where possible and training your staff to help your company get the most out of your software investment.

I wish everyone a safe, happy and prosperous 2014!

Carlson Software Training – New and Improved in 2014

With the new year upon us I’m announcing some exciting new changes to my training policy and offerings…

First, the bad news: My hourly rates for custom online training will be going up on January 1. If you’ve already scheduled training at the old rate, this doesn’t apply to you. Email me to request new rates.

Second, the good news: Anyone who purchases software from me will receive discounted training rates. Like I said, email me to request the new rates.

Third, the great news: Starting January 15th I will be conducting a series of monthly webinars that you’ll be eligible to attend if you purchased software from me in the preceding 12 months. These 1-2 hour sessions are something new I’m trying for 2014 as a way to provide my customers between 18 and 24 hours of training over 12 months.

In January, March and other odd-numbered months, we will spend approximately 2-hours introducing you to Carlson Software. These will be repeat sessions meant to accommodate new users coming on through the year. These sessions will cover settings & setup (using the IntelliCAD/for AutoCAD version), importing points, overview of Field to Finish, surface creation, deed entry and annotation, centerline definition and stationing and creating profiles. There will be time for questions at the end.

In February, April and other even-numbered months, we will hold 1-2 hour training sessions on other, specific features in Carlson Software. Some topics we have planned are for survey traverse adjustment, surface modeling and drafting of pipes and structures in hydrology. These sessions will also be interactive and you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions.

The fine print: There will be a limited number of “seats” available for the sessions (limits of the technology). If we start bumping up against the limit of attendees, only one person per company will be able to attend each session. If we have plenty of seats available, that won’t be an issue.

You can pre-register for the January, February and March 2014 events here

The topics, date and time for future sessions will be posted later. After pre-registering, we will confirm your recent purchase and, if you are eligible to attend, I will send you the meeting login information.


Job Opening in Charlotte NC area

Charlotte area firm seeks survey technician with AutoCAD and survey-specific software experience. Knowledge of Carlson Survey and SurvCE a plus. Preferred candidates will have experience in both field and office and across many survey disciplines.

Pre-employment drug testing and background check required, salary dependent on experience.

If you are interested in this position, please email your resume to and I will forward it on to this employer.