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GPS Modeling Software

Discussion in 'Computer Applications and 3D Modeling' started by Xcavating, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Xcavating

    Xcavating Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Lake County, IL
    I use Earthworks for all our estimating needs. I am very familiar with it and its easy and accurate. Only problem is that I can not build GPS models with it and Trakware does not intend to offer any GPS modeling software.

    We currently run Topcon GPS, one machine control dozer and a rover and do smaller commercial jobs (15000 cy or so).

    We have been outsourcing our GPS modeling in the past, but are now interested in learning to build our models in house.

    I'm currently looking at Insite and Carlson. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Bliz

    Bliz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Occupation:
    Excavator/Logger
    Location:
    9 Miles from Quebec
    Carlson without a doubt. It has a learning curve but with your prior estimating experience, you'll have no problems. I just went through the same thing and after weeks of research decided on the Auto-Cad based take-off suite from Carlson. Fortunately for me, I had a company near by that also went through the same thing and they settled on Carlson and love it. By the way, they used Earthworks, which I almost bought before I talked to them. Good Luck.
     
  3. Xcavating

    Xcavating Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Lake County, IL
    Thanks

    Thanks. Carlson is one of the popular choices, unfortunately a bit more costly from what I understand.

    I looked into Insite software. Seemed fairly easy to use, however kinda cheaply done in my opinion.

    I'm really stuck on how much I like Earthworks and wish they had GPS modeling. Looks like I might have to get over that and plunge into Carlson.

    Hoping I might get a few other opinions on what some of you other contractors use.
     
  4. Brad SEIN

    Brad SEIN Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    SE Indiana
    I have used Carlson Takeoff for 8 years and really like it. I originally purchased it along with a rover to basically do my own plans and designs, and in turn layout. Most of the jobs I do are for farmers or businesses that never had a plan. So I sort of backed into takeoff calculations.
    I use takeoff more for design and 3d model building than for actual takeoff. I still do the takeoff, just after I build my existing and design surfaces. There is a learning curve, and I had no CAD experience, but like anything if you want to learn it you will. Takeoff is so powerful and has so many other functions that it's worth the money. And it is very expensive.

    I have had Trimble GPS equipment and have used some of there stuff a time or two. Use business center for transfers and such. They have a very capable takeoff and design package that is very similar to Carlson. It is also as expensive and lacks some of the analytical features. I don't know if Topcon has anything or not? My opinion I like the Carlson for models because of the ease of clean up, and ability to check models for errors. I have control on my dozer and put a rover on the pan from time to time. Good models are invaluable, and a bad one can ruin a job.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  5. Bliz

    Bliz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Occupation:
    Excavator/Logger
    Location:
    9 Miles from Quebec
    Xcavating, From my review of the Insite web-site, it appears the take-off package is $7,495.00. The Carlson, for the entire suite, which has a lot more capabilities, is $8,100.00. Shop the Carlson price via the web and you'll do better than list.
     
  6. Hairy Cat

    Hairy Cat New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I use Carlson with AutoCAD. I end up having to upgrade every few years for both CAD and Carlson. How much per year are you paying to outsource the file-work? How many files are you getting for your money? There is no free way forward and this may be just weighing out the best of the available options.
     
  7. Hairy Cat

    Hairy Cat New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Kansas City
    If anyone ever wants to off-load some of their file-work, I do pretty good work. I'd bid the work before going forward so you'd know your cost for a good surface model.

    Just a thought. Anyways, I've been doing our in-house models since about 2004.
     
  8. fixou812

    fixou812 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    677
    Occupation:
    Millwright Equipment Mechanic Welder
    Location:
    Buffalo NY
    Don't know if this applies or may help.
    Saw last week on tv...how it's made "
    Mold making models for video games and movies using lazers and computers
    it may be available on YouTube
     
  9. Mat

    Mat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Occupation:
    Business Manager
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    I know this is an old thread but I thought I would give my two cents. I work for a company that all we do is build machine control models all day every day. We have been building models for over 11 years. In our experience Carlson is a good software but has its limitations when it comes to true accuracy of the surface. We have found that using good ol Terramodel is still the most accurate. Of course we have a few addons to our Terramodel to beef it up a bit but we still get the best results with Terramodel. A lot of the new software has automated many of the functions which is great to those who don't know what they are doing but bad for accuracy. The model/tin ends up having these weird triangles that bunch up then spread out randomly instead of having a nice smooth surface with well spaced our triangles that aren't too large. I would always advise to hire a company that specializes in building models because that is what they do. But of course I would say that. That is what I do for a living.
     
  10. JG1982

    JG1982 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I was wondering if anyone has used the Topcon software 'Magnet office' ? I have been using it for a few years now but haven't had the chance to try anything else. If anybody has used Magnet and some of the other software, I would love to hear comparisons from first hand users. My experience has mostly been good with it, although finding any kind of support for it is a nightmare. I've done some larger jobs with it and it tends to slow down if the project file is especially large, is this a problem with all CAD programs? I have a parking lot I'm doing for a few car dealerships (The site is about 110 000 m2, 300mb file size) and it tends to slow down if i have too much line work displayed along with the TIN.
     
  11. Mat

    Mat Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Occupation:
    Business Manager
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    JG1982 That is interesting. We just finished a parking lot job almost 4 times (about 80 acres) the size of job you are talking about and the Terramodel file fully loaded with multiple surfaces was only 17MB. After we exported it for our client in Business Center is was only 5MB. The only time we ever see things get a little bogged down in Terramodel is when we are doing large heavy highway jobs or if we import a file that has a lot of block elements. But the block element issue is easily resolved.