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Earlier this week I wrote a post on the concept of employing NOT Keys in Description Key matches. Hopefully, you'll spend a few minutes scratching you head and consider how NOT Keys might help you and your organization. Someone asked for a bit More clarity...

A Simple NOT Key Structure for Manholes

MH[~ E, D, S, T]

Every day we have to go out and collect information. Most of the stuff will be what we expect to find, but some percentage always will be different and/or outside of the norm. How well our systems and processes cope with THAT difference is a significant productivity issue.

From my perspective that post and the basic NOT Key discussed was an example of employing "non-sequential" thinking to solve a common pattern matching problem that many survey and civil engineering firms face every day. On the surface what appears to be an old "familiar" sequential character-matching routine takes on a whole new light in Civil 3D's new more structured world. 

Are Description Key Sets really survey "language" translators? You bet!

Kirk Beats Spock A Lot of the Time

Simply put: "If then" logic alone is not always the most productive approach when we are faced with lots of complexity. The trap of "If then think" is you have to guess correctly about what you are going to need and get when you ask the question. "If then think" can and will force and focus you down into the DETAILS when those details are NOT on the critical path to a workable solution. 
Human beings are particularly good at this "other" thinking as Captain Kirk always liked to remind Spock.
Did you know that a group of wildlife grad students sent the CIA and the FBI a really good guess at Osama's location way back in 2007. Their work was based on the migratory habits of birds. They nailed what the house (his nest) would look like, but picked a town (his preferred environment) 135 miles away and a bit further west. It was a bit closer to his known starting point in Tora Bora. Missed by that much.

Structure and Process

Model-based software like AutoCAD Civil 3D has both STRUCTURE and PROCESS built in "ByDesign" because of its Object Oriented Programming (OOP) roots. Therefore, Civil 3D is chock full of similar issues where you can employ that known and predictable STRUCTURE and PROCESS to your productive benefit. If you know and obey the rules of the game - the Civil 3D Truths, you come out way ahead. 

The More important thing is to ask the "proper" questions about that built-in STRUCTURE and PROCESS as I try to point out in an upcoming article on AutoCAD Civil 3D Implementation that I did for the May 2011 AUGI World.

Customize Civil 3D from Scratch?

Only if you want to work More than way too hard. Potentially there thousands and thousands of Civil 3D Styles and Sets that can deliver publication of the civil engineering design data in almost any form we can imagine. Is one Civil 3D template going to do that for you? 
Speaking of Star Trek - you all DO remember about The Trouble with Tribbles

We don't need More Civil 3D templates or even More Civil 3D Styles. We need a standardized way to build and manage them. That is closer to the real world critical path to working Template Collection Solution.

Get the Jump and Get to Work

"It won't be any tribble at all" - Scotty