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These days I do lots of City Standards work. For reasons that are apparent in the marketplace this sometimes involves the Microstation and Autodesk CAD war. There’s often an ESRI flavor of the month added to the shenanigans. I recently posted about the on-going problem of System Lobotomies.

One supposes I get called for this service because I have some extended experience resolving the people challenges, the technical system issues, and the implementation mechanics of these mixed CAD|GIS|BIM theologies. I do try to make more competency produce real results. In July and August I shared posts on systematic Key related Standards development.

When Everyone Becomes a Heretic

Vendors love their users to live and work in captured environments. They construct their software, generic installs, etc to do this. Don’t blame them. It’s the Value Chain thing. This is the shared Brand building social miracle that makes profitable software sales companies.

In reality the bonded or some say, “indentured” software user experience often appears antithetical to user and organizational productivity. Working together is hard to do when the people in the next cubical are disciples of that other technical religion.

Oh. Please don’t read me wrong. The vendor competition and software difference is most often a good thing. We get better software often only because of the competitive battles. If there is less of open conflict going on, users usually appear to get less for the money. Well, actually it seems to many that users get more not so useful features – these toys are designed to counter sales objections. The good news -historically near the end of tougher times we do get competitive software that works together better.

A Mutually Assured Developmental Peace

The iceberg of the Great Recession did this in the AEC marketplace. Fewer boats and users means more people crammed into and sharing the remaining lifeboats. We must bail and row together or go down with the ship. This is a good.  We discover our technical religious differences are not so great. We have more things we can agree to.

Let’s Get Civilized

Late last week we released another continuous development update to our Civilized NCS Keys.

The new free download of the Standard Civil NCS Key in now available in PDF format on

Get the Standard Civil Keys

The Keys to Better Layer and Symbol Standards Arrive

The Standard Civil NCS Keys include and list all of the AIA National CAD Standards Major and Minor Keys and list Civil and Survey Key additions. The published list self-documents NCS Major, Minor, and Civil Keys.

The Civilized Keys download simplifies compliance with the NCS Layer and/or Level standards for civil engineering, survey, and governmental organizations of all types and sizes.

I trust you can find more shared meanings in them. Most folks do.

The Standard Civil Keys offer:

  • Civil and Survey discipline Keys often with a choice of Keys
  • Keys included were derived and compiled from a large number of sources including commercial firms, government agencies and organizations from a wide range of geographies.
  • The Standard Keys have been under continuous development and refinement since the release of NCS 3.0
  • Fully Support NCS 4.0 and the current NCS 5.0 release
  • The Keys are software and vendor agnostic
    • They may be employed in any CAD, GIS, or BIM production or documentation environment

The Standard Key List is available to Production Solution product customers in raw Microsoft Excel spreadsheet form.

The updated Standard NCS Key list will be included in Production Solution product development and management Excel tools and documentation in future builds of the Production Solutions.