The 3rd annual Carlson Software User Conference was running true to its theme, “Partnering You with the World,” with attendees coming from many parts of the world: Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe and the U.S. The event was held in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bruce Carlson


The 3rd annual Carlson Software User Conference was running true to its theme, “Partnering You with the World,” with attendees coming from many parts of the world: Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, Europe and the U.S. The event was held completely within the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

Interest was strong in Carlson’s Surveyor+ GPS system, which was introduced in July 2010, and the new Carlson Supervisor tablet PC, which was revealed at the conference, also garnered much attention on the first full day of the event, Nov. 8.

“The new Carlson Supervisor fills a real ‘sweet spot’ for the site manager and land surveyor,” said Randy Noland, V.P. of Carlson Machine Control and Positioning. “It’s rugged and driven by a powerful 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. The seven-inch wide screen is the best I have seen in direct sunlight. The big screen is perfect for gloved fingers and large enough to be of use in a pickup truck, ATV, GPS pole or even in heavy equipment making the Supervisor suited for some machine control applications.”

Classes about Carlson’s new interoperability with Esri, its road rehabilitation routine now in Carlson Civil 2011, SurvCE’s increased capabilities, and 3D model building had strong attendance, while new users learned basics and long-time users honed their skills.

Guest Speakers

Keynote speaker Francois Erceau, vice president and general manager of Ashtech (formerly Magellan), presented an extensive overview of the GNSS industry. He noted that GPS remains the core, but that GLONASS, which is expected to be completed by next year, continues to be the ideal complement to GPS.

Other systems that he mentioned included: Galileo, which is “at least five years in the future,” the Compass BEIDOU system; and the Japanese QZSS, which could be operational by 2013.

“GNSS coverage will grow dramatically,” said Erceau, “but it will take some time. Future readiness will be nice to have, but the current GPS/GLONASS equipment will work until 2020 and more.”

“Much GNSS modernization will take place in the next 10 years, but much of it will be in the second half of that time,” he added. “Ashtech’s design of GNSS receivers will evolve as much and, remember, Ashtech and Carlson work together.”

Don Kuehne, Esri CAD Products Manager, talked about integrating GIS into civil design – geo-design, civil design on a geo-based platform.

“Carlson has partnered with Esri to connect your survey, design and land management expertise to the system of geographic information,” Kuehne said. “Within this emerging idea of ‘Geodesign’ the design task will make information-transactions against a model of reality stored in geographic databases. Accurate surveying will be key to the future of GIS.”

“The partnership with Ashtech has allowed our companies to win important bid opportunities and we are grateful to Ashtech for its assistance in spreading the use of FAST Survey and SurvCE around the globe,” concluded Bruce Carlson, president and founder of Carlson Software. “We are now teamed up with comprehensive machine control solutions, working on a wider variety of machines, from drills to dozers to bucket wheel excavators, than any other solution on the market. The ESRI relationship,” he added, “continues to grow, as we team together to bring high-accurate survey solutions to the world of GIS data collection.

Stephen Dargan came all the way from Australia to wow the audience with a video of Carlson Software machine control in use on huge bucket wheel machinery at International Power’s Hazelwood Mine in Victoria, Australia. Carlson Software, which is used by 90 percent of the U.S. coal mining industry, developed the bucket wheel machine control especially for the Hazelton mine.

He then went into the system and showed actual real time screen shots from the mine as it operated at night on the other side of the world. In addition, Dargan showed where mining technology has been, where it is now, and talked about where the technology is heading in the future.

Looking Forward

The 3rd Carlson Software User Conference will conclude with an in-the-field demonstration of the Carlson Surveyor+ GPS system and also a seminar on Carlson Software Investigation (CSI) Mobile software for law enforcement personnel on Wednesday, November 10.

The next Carlson Software User Conference is tentatively scheduled for April 2012. For more information about Carlson Software, visit www.carlsonsw.com or call 800-989-5028.