OK, after the comments by Anthony and John, I’m taking an intermission from my review and actually getting into the comparison. I want to add a word of caution to readers here, though – read carefully before you proceed.
The following statements are by a user who has been hammering at Civil 3D all day every day for over a year, and only been working off and on with Carlson for a few months at most. The opinions here are mine, and mine only. The view could possibly be skewed by my knowledge of one product over the other, and the amount of pre-configured setup that I already have defined in Civil 3D. This is in no way intended as being negative toward Carlson – if you know there’s something I’m doing wrong, email me posthaste.
Now, for the comparison so far. You’re going to have to click more to get this – I’m not giving it away for you email subscribers.
Setting up a project – This brings back memories of the LDT days. If you’re using Vault with Civil 3D, the sheer ease of setup is easier in Civil 3D. However, the workflow (while being documented) still has some people scratching their heads.
Importing Points – There are a lot of options here. Too many. I like some of the features of Carlson here, but to give the final word, I’d need to get the Field-To-Finish set up correctly. Right now, since I’ve got my Civil 3D install set up the way I do, I’m much happier with it. There are other considerations, but I can’t talk about them right now.
Creating a Surface – Point to Civil 3D, hands down. Creating a surface is much easier, even though Carlson gives you some options that are not available in Civil 3D (the ability to select spot elevations entered as text and convert to elevations, for example.) Modifying a surface in Civil 3D is much easier than Carlson as well, but I haven’t gotten that deep into how that’s done with Carlson yet.
So, from now on, I’ll try to wrap up each installment with this overall synopsis and comparison. And I think you’re caught up with me, so I’ll let you continue with your eager anticipation for the next chapter.