Posted by:Steve Lappin

I am a Landman, not a surveyor, and much of my work involves field mapping of geology sample points, claim posts, etc for mining companies.  Also I plot mining claim and land status maps based on courthouse and BLM research.

I use Autocad LT to create my maps, which after rotating, scaling, and shifting can be dropped in on top of their GIS maps within mapping grade tolerances.

However, a very good client of mine thinks I need to spend $6000 on Acad Civil 3d, so I can directly import the points from my Trimble to Civil 3d, thus creating a GIS smart map. I would consider the expenditure except for all the negatives I have read about 3D.

I believe my computer is up to the task of Civil 3D: Windows 7 Pro, I7 processor, 16 gigs ram, plenty of HD space; not sure about the video card.

The learning curve is the most common complaint. So my question is:Will  I be able to jump right in and plot non-projected maps  just as I had been in Acad LT 2007, then learn all the other stuff as needed?

I do have a limited understanding of GIS and projections and have messed around some with Arcview and Manifold and MapInfo, not that I could sit down and edit a map with any of them, but I do have a basic understanding of shapefiles, tables, etc.

I've read a lot of raves about Carlson and I know they have a GIS system but I worry that the product would not be entirely compatible with the client's Civil 3D mapping.

What say you, is Civil 3D going to satisfy my everyday drafting need and allow me to progress into GIS, or will it just be another unused dog on my desktop.

Thanks, and sorry for the long post.

Stephen Lappin
Grand Junction, CO

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