Land Desktop Discontinued

The king is dead! Long live the king!

Well, we all expected it would happen some day and we now know for sure. Land Desktop 2009 and Land Desktop Companion 2009 will be the last versions of the venerable Autodesk civil application. Read more after the jump.

From what I understand, after the first week of July, Land Desktop and Land Desktop Companion will no longer be available for subscription and by spring of next year they will be off the price list entirely. However, the LDT Companion will be available as an extension download via the subscription center.

Over the next few days and weeks, I’m sure you’ll hear a blizzard of info on this as the news hits the street. We’ll keep you posted here and in the EECasts with real news (and only a little bit of speculation 😉 )

More importantly, we’ll be here with expert advice and concrete solutions to help in the migration from Land Desktop to the Civil 3D and the new Autodesk product for the civil industry, AutoCad Civil (more on this later).

Not sure if you’ll interpret this as good news or bad, so I’ll forgo my usual “enjoy” sign-off with a request…

Please comment!


  1. So it’s not really going away, just not as easily available as it was before.

  2. ALLEN JESSUP says:

    I’d wondered if that would be the case when I saw LDT2008 as a download on the subscription site. I’d be just as glad if it disappeared altogether. I’m tiered of working in mixed environments. If I could concentrate on just Civil 3D I could learn the ins and outs of it better.

  3. larry richards says:

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank you. It’s about time.

  4. Robert Indri says:

    Sucks to be the people that waited to switch.

  5. James Murphy says:

    A little sooner than I thought. I would of expected for them to make sure the bugs and kinks were worked out of the survey extension in my software of choice before closing the door.

  6. Joe Bouza says:

    It should not come as a surprise to any of us; we have been hearing “rumors” of this sort for a few years, now. I reality, LDT remains with us in the incarnation of C3D.

    I have deleted my LDT shortcut from my desktop to force me to only use C3D (it’s working), and the more I use it the more I recognize elements, dialog box’s and the general paradigm of LDT within Civil 3D. Yes, C3D has it “own work-flow” but this is only a new path to the same end. So fear not Desker’s of impending doom but revel in the passing of the torch – the knowledge you have accumulated from LDT will serve you well in the “land” of Civil 3D.

    Remember in the words of Don Reichel… “The only Constant is Change” …embrace it!

    Joe Bouza, P.E.

  7. Rick Graham says:

    I’m glad to see it go away too. Don’t get me wrong, LDT was (and is for some) a viable solution but to stay competetive in todays ever-changing market, it is my thought that you also need to stay above the technology curve and embrace any new technological advances. It now forces some peoples hands to **** or get off the pot (especially where I’m at).

    I’m not telling my users/boss that it will still be avaialable though! 🙂

  8. R.K. McSwain says:

    1. Can you define “From what I understand…”

    2. Are you saying that LDC will not be built for AutoCAD 2010 and therefore not included with C3D2010?

    3. If the answer to #2 is yes, then what will be available for download after 2010 is released, just LDC2009?

  9. From our understanding

    Land Desktop 2009 and Land Desktop Companion 2009 are THE last releases of Land Desktop. What will be available for download (for subscription members) is the last release of Land Desktop.

    There will be NO Land Desktop 2010, for release online or shipped with Civil 3D 2010 (or whatever the next release will be).

  10. ALLEN JESSUP says:

    From what I’ve been able to find out. LDT2009 will only be available as a download. A DVD will not ship whith C3D2009. There will be NO LDT2010! Not as a product. Not as a Companion. So no download.

    I also heard that there may be a dumbed down version of C3D released this year or next.
    Go look about two posts up. It’s not so much a dumbed down version, as a version without a bunch of functions most users never use.-JW

    Remember. I’m not a person who has direct knowledge. I’ve just done some research and am passing on what I feel is the latest info.


  11. Steve Rogers says:

    I shan’t miss it, as I barely use it any more. And then it is to help out with the one out of the three users in our office who still prefers LDT, but now even he will be giving it up, I’m sure.

  12. ALLEN JESSUP says:

    Yes. I saw the newer post when I came back. I can certainly see where not everyone needs Hydrology. But since Map has the only built in functionality for drawing wide translation of coordinate systems. I would think that would narrow the market for that product considerably.

    I kind of harkens back to where you bought the base LDT package and then could add the surveying or civil design module.

    I think I would have rather seen a version that would do Survey, Surfaces and maybe alignments and profiles. We could give that to the Surveyors and have them work in a C3Dish environment without having all the Civil design capabilities that they never use.

  13. Kevin Cobabe says:

    Bye Bye, all I use now is GeoPack and C3D anyway unless it’s for my LD group. Now I will be answering more questions daily on how to do this and how to do that. At least I have templates, part libraries, custom assemblies, etc… already built so all those users have to do is pretty much plug and play. I’m just glad our LD group is chaning their standards to something better defined (NCS).

  14. Joe Bouza says:

    Are there links to an autorized autodesk statement to this effect?

  15. It should be mentioned that even though AutoCAD Civil will not include Map 3D it will still have the ability to set coordinate systems, and do coordinate system transformations.

    It will not be able to do the geospatial analysis that Map 3D bring to the table.

  16. Joe,
    When we make an announcement of this magnitude you can bet the house on it. EE & don’t trade in rumor or speculation. Engineered Efficiency is a partner with Autodesk in the ISV program, so we have a responsibility and legal requirements to match up with their policies regarding public statements about software and other matters that could effect their shareholders.

    In other words, we are an authorized statement. With that said, I’m sure there will be a press release with a much more banal and legally sanitized take on the matter.

  17. kas kinkead says:

    We will be migrating the entire office to acad2009 eventually along with a major upgrade to all workstations. Acad Civil sounds like it could be a good fit for us. I could never get everyone to use all aspects of LDT, call it lack of imagination or resistance to change.
    Where can I find out more on acad civil?


  18. Joe Bouza says:

    Hi James, Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  19. jc davis says:

    After learning of this several items come to mind that are both good and bad.
    Companies that are having trouble with Organizational buy in will have their hand forced per-say which is a good thing.
    Also companies just now looking at this will be moving rapidly forward to adoption which in long term, gets everyone working, industry wide with this technology, and in turn provides more input which creates even better feature functionality for the future.

    The down side is companies that sit on LDT which force firms to export back to an LDT format to maintain consultant-client work share in the future.
    Other concerns are what tools will be available to Autodesk clients to create Civil 3D objects from current LDT projects and standards? For many AEC firms this will present adversities that will impact them significantly.
    One thing for sure, In order to be in business we all understand we are in a forever changing industry and sometimes we forget that in order to be successful, we must remain adaptive to the changes this industry brings.
    I do believe that the workflow and design approach impacts Civil 3D brings, coupled with the Civil 3D object creation and standards needed for AEC firms to move forward will require firms to re-think their processes on how they leverage their resellers/consultants as well as their organizational plans moving forward.

    For the industry as a whole this a good thing which creates solutions for tomorrows market place while providing tools that allow us to create better overall designs and meet the needs for tomorrow. Unfortunately, many firms will not be up to these challenges and if they choose to face these head on, will require significant resources moving forward.

    JC Davis

  20. Sean Hulbert says:

    It is not going ot be easy and we will face challenges. If not we WOULDN’T HAVE JOBS!!!! C3D and LDT do the same things…..assist drafters/designers/engineers in creating construction drawings. Thanks EE Staff and specifically James, I alwasy enjoy your classes at AU.

    What is the deal with the streets in Dallas…..I never got the answer????

  21. Perry Nikolai says:

    I will be glad to see it gone, I’ve removed the shortcut from my desktop already. The ONLY time I use it any more is to help out with the surveyor in our office who still prefers LDT, but now hopefully even he will be giving it up!

  22. DJ MATT says:

    If Civil 3d performs all of the functions that LDT does, why issue LDD companion? If it is just to placate old users, that is fine, but the C3D Appearance is different. I’m not used to LDT, but I do have issues with working COGO in C3D, NOT so much in LDD companion tho’.

    Comments on this please?

  23. Civil 3D is (was?) a BIG change from LDT, not just an upgrade.
    So as you posit, LDT is included to help with the transition.
    Also, never forget the ever-present Autodesk marketing machine.
    Step one, create new product. Step two, get as many people to buy it as possible.
    Even if that means giving it away to everyone who buys LDT (as was originally done) or make LDT only available to those who buy Civil 3D (as is currently done).

  24. DJ MATT says:

    Thanks Mark; The question I still have: Does C3D do exactly everything that LDT does? My friend who is versed in LDD doesn’t think so. DJ MATT [PE]

  25. Almost everything. There are a few gaps, most notably no truly integrated H&H functionality (although the Intelisolve extensions for Civil3D attempt to fill that void). However, the number of ppl actually using the Pipes module of LDT Civil Design likely numbered in the 10’s 😉

    The simply fact is that for the tasks that C3D and LDT both do, C3D does them so much more efficiently. Therefore, when comparing the two, be sure to look at the products as a whole and see which one, in the end, provides the best solution.

    I’d be happy to hear from any users that switched to Civil3d, were properly trained on it and it was setup properly (and by properly, I don’t mean a three-day Essentials class) and then switched back to LDT. All our clients claim they would never go back.

  26. DJ MATT says:

    Mark; c3d Sounds like a better alternative to me..Do you know where such training exists? I’m in Sausalito CA nr San Francisco

  27. DJ MATT says:

    Sorry–I’m now looking at the training blog on the website

  28. I would NEVER go back…there are a few obscure routines that very rarely get used in LDT that are not in Civil3d.
    As for training – you are looking in the right place!