The Separation of Civil 3D Powers

Tags implementation, management, Project Management, DREF, XREF, data reference, reference, base map

People tend to ring me up and ask the same stuff over and over. (Like things really change between releases or something ;). That’s a good thing for me and I trust for them too. Posts are often a somewhat imperfect answer to the issue at hand and maybe help get us on the right track.

Look 4 The Right Tracks 

In a time long ago and far away I wrote a series of posts I called Basemap Wars.

The posts arose because our old LDT, Eagle Point, and ACAD Layer based management approaches to Plan Set creation and maintenance do still work in AutoCAD Civil 3D.
However, this old school method is really more cumbersome and more man-hour intensive than necessary today. You can put down the shovel and step away from the ditch.
Model based software is a revolution in productivity unless we unintentionally bury it in refuse.

Obviously, Feature Data Shortcuts and the Feature and Style based nature of Civil 3D create new potential ways to get your Basemap done. Here’s a listing of those posts.
(You can also just search for “basemap” in the blog search box too.)

Basemap Wars (Episode IV)

Basemap Wars (Episode V)

Basemap Wars (Episode VI)

Basemaps -  A Graphic Reprise

If you seek and find, you’ll also discover this important post again related to Basemaps and Plan Set publication.

Ya Can’t Touch This…Surface

On reading some folks say, “Oh My God!” Other say, “I should of thought of that.” Some say, “No way.” Others (who already get it) just polish their metals and take their bows.
Que the John Williams’ Star Wars theme.

I cannot apologize for the Yoda speak - the Noun Verb syntax I intentionally employed in the posts. It seemed important to make the point about our necessary divergence from our verbal Do this to That past.

The Separation of Powers

Really. I didn’t start this post to rehash previous posts. They’re simply essential background knowledge. Then once you get that you gotta Do the Do to gain the skills that really allow you and your users to get more out of Civil 3D in production.
The posts proclaim that Publish on Demand can be made real at less cost. They just say,

Separate the Features from the Style

If you believe Feature and Style are the same thing, you won’t separate and manage them discretely. That might cause everyone a little less confusion in the short term. Unfortunately, mashing them together in the old ways may cause more confusion in the long run.  Not good.
You see, the process of Feature and Style management often appears to come down to almost doing the same exact things in practice and everyday workflow inside your projects.
How? Read the posts. There's a recorded session or two about this too.
That’s handy and consistent, but none-the-less confusing to newer Civil 3D users and their organizations.

A Brief Digression that Really Isn’t

I’ve intentionally used an allusive reference to the Separation of Governmental Powers as expressed in the US Constitution here. The framers knew people were going to try to mess around with the Powers for the best of “reasons” and potentially with the best of intentions. They’d already come to blows over these very issues on more than a few occasions.
Yes. There’s a reason only one man has ever been allowed armed into Congress. What? Why? Who was he?

If you set off to build a better form of governmental system you’ll thoughtfully build in the protections to protect yourselves from gross missteps; allow for minor corrections; and keep all the parts manageable in both purpose and size.

We The People

Limited government works better, because it can DO less. When you’ve got a problem this isn’t at first intuitive until we recognize limited government means citizens must do more. That’s a good thing.
Real need can be very motivating. Active involvement is critical to all human endeavors.

However, citizens (or organizations) doing more for the government is a waste. Frankly, doing more for government has most often had horrible consequences. This reality is firmly implied in our founding documents and well-supported by previous and subsequent historical events. It is certainly worth substantial consideration.

Consideration being study, thought, and fruits of that (money) merged together by definition.

Lean Management

Our AutoCAD Civil 3D management systems must be lean & mean, simple, and flexible or we may lose competitive advantage we may gain. That advantage arises from the applied software and technical skills of real people working on real projects that get designed, then published, then built, and then maintained.

Older hand drafting and CAD systems required more particulate management. It was practically the only way to produce consistent work and simultaneously keep project man-hours constrained. Simply put, we had too many parts to keep track of. Today we have both more and less. I think do less and get more makes more sense. Call me crazy.

Our management system also must provide us with healthy feedback loops that our citizens (users, managers, and partners) actively participate in or else.
For most human beings that feedback loop must be visual to be effective.
I always tell people, “Publish every day and hopefully multiple times a day.”
That’s something worth searching around here for.  That too is certainly worth consideration.

We built all this thought out, balanced, and human factors management approach into the Jump Platform Products as we say “ByDesign”.
That’s why we call them Complete Template Solutions.
All the parts are there.
The reasons for parts and their arrangement might initially confuse you, but they’ll certainly become more clear to everyone after some real world use.
That’s the nature of innovation.

It Makes a Jump Product Worthy of Consideration