InstantOn Basic and…

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Track Civil 3D Data Edits in Survey and Beyond

Tags track, points, figures, survey, survey db, QA, QC, implementation, Project Management

Lots of Survey and civil engineering design firms love our  InstantOn Basic and Jump Kit products because they reduce for them lots of the upfront work it takes to get AutoCAD Civil 3D producing real work in many releases. The Survey functionality inside C3D and IOB has vastly improved in the last couple of releases. The “I like IOB” by Survey folks always leads to questions about Civil 3D Points, Description Key Sets, and Figure Prefix libraries.

Field Crew Reengineering?

Survey Crew in 1893

Few folks want to have to reengineer field crew daily work habits because of new software in the house.
Honestly, Civil 3D is today very friendly about allowing that as I and others have previously posted.
We have clients who literally changed almost nothing in their field operations.
When the Jump products supply a thousand Keys in managed Sets the odds are we’ve got you covered. Clients get NCS Standards compliance; more flexible Point symbol and annotation display ; and better and faster figure construction too. Deliverable production performance improvement is a given with Civil 3D and IOB.

To employ Civil 3D is not rocket science. IOB makes Civil 3D user productivity faster and easier - lots easier. IOB can produce this because of its complete, integrated solutions to the common problems faced by survey and civil engineering organizations of all sizes.

Track Survey and Design Changes

Clients often ask how to track changes to Survey data in Civil 3D. That bears directly on point data, figures, and the eg ground surfaces we are typically charged construct and deliver. That tracking problem is pretty much also the same issue when it comes to tracking Civil 3D Feature design changes downstream in the project too.

User Accountability

Whatever method you employ to track requires a level of personal USER discipline. It’s all about daily personal behavior. Software features can encourage and enable good or at least better behavior, but that’s it unless you find it necessary to spend a lot more and modify most of your workflow in fundamental ways.
User accountability matters most.
Make it more transparent.

Autodesk Design Review

 Autodesk Design Review

I’ve previously posted that you already own and/or can download a great tracking tool in Autodesk Design Review. You really can’t beat the free and visual markup combined with other functional and light weight features that Design Review supplies to anyone who can install and will use it. BUT…

We don’t use electronic markup. People can’t… Yada, yada, yada”

Honestly, mostly I find most of these objections are simply excuses like the “dog ate my homework”. I also hear them often directed at and about non-CAD people. However, I also find many of the CAD users and complainers don’t use the Design Review tool themselves.
If you do, they will. If they won’t, Ok.  Civil 3D Users can still gain much from the Design Review productivity benefits. If you don’t use it, the Others won’t. Search for Design Review here for more important reasons to employ Design Review every day.
Nuff said.

Why It’s In There Functionality

I’ve also posted before that you DO need to employ and regularly update ALL of those not-so-silly Description fields in every Civil 3D Feature. Someday someone will have to follow your work.  It might be you, but human memory is a self-edited story. We forget. It seems the smarter and more skilled we are the more often we forget this simple human fact. I know I do. J
Feature and Style Descriptions are great way to build an “why it’s in there for” audit trail.
That’s another reason why every Civil 3D Style. Label Style, and Set we make is documented in-depth that exact way.

Survey Query in Civil 3D 2013

User Transparency fundamentals matter More in complex software. They reduce uncertainty, fear, and doubt.

What It’s There For

BUT the built in Civil 3D Feature and Style Descriptions are not really all that visual and not very flexible across drawings in a project environment. By this I mean, you’ll have to open THAT specific drawing to see what’s gone on unless the Feature in question is sharable via data shortcuts or by a Survey Db.

Xref (external reference) access to Descriptions is problematic. In most of the reference vehicles the Description sharing is still fairly spotty in Civil 3D.

Points ARE Trackable and Flexible

Users can easily employ Style and Set tools to massage Civil 3D Point Features to display exactly what they need at the moment.

Tracking edits and changes by COGO points works thanks to the unique features of Civil 3D and the external and sharable Survey Db.

More next time on how to put Track By Points to work for you.

Links to all the posts in the Track By Point series:

Track Civil 3D Data Edits in Survey and Beyond

Quality Assurance Tracking Point by Point

QA Tracking By Point In Practice