PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR SURVEY-How Would You Rate the Cost of Your CAD Software?



In this week's PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR SURVEY I am asking how you would rate the cost of your CAD software. As ubiquitous as it has become, your CAD software expenditure is certainly not something you can afford to take lightly, particularly in these difficult economic times.

Whether you're a professional land surveyor, engineer, architect, or designer of any kind, I bet that you have a strong opinion on this subject. I do too, but I'm going to hold off telling you my opinion for now until mostly everyone has had a chance to vote and leave their comments.

So, please vote on the PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR SURVEY-How Would You Rate the Cost of Your CAD Software? below, and leave your comments telling us what you think about the cost of your CAD software.

How Would You Rate the Cost of Your CAD Software?

  • Too Expensive (62%, 46 Votes)
  • Somewhat Overpriced (22%, 16 Votes)
  • Priced Fairly (14%, 10 Votes)
  • Somewhat Underpriced (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Too Cheap (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 74

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Eric D. Colburn, PLS, "The Geo-Business Innovator", helps geo-professionals improve through innovative solutions, mastery of marketing and business growth strategies, and coaching/training. Eric is a successful, serial entrepreneur, podcaster, industry writer, product development consultant, and RI licensed professional land surveyor.

Posted in Associate Membership, Business, Land Surveying, Surveying Software, Surveys Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
5 comments on “PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYOR SURVEY-How Would You Rate the Cost of Your CAD Software?
  1. Kurt Lang says:

    This is a very hot topic. I personally feel the software industry is taking advantage of the ‘hold’ they have over our businesses. The cost of the software, constant upgrades, hardware upgrade costs, training, support and the loss of productivity during the learning curve does NOT justify the perceived return on the alleged efficiency of an upgrade. And then, to try to be forced to spend major dollars on upgrades in a very down economy, when we are trying to keep people employed, and maybe breakeven from month to month, is totally ridiculous! We have investigated other means of doing our cadd design and drafting but am finding out, there is no easy solution. If anyone has any bright ideas, I’d certainly love to hear them.

  2. Allen McCreless says:

    Althought it is not a CAD package,we use PC Survey, it is a good and solid no frill software package for land surveyors. It comes with COGO, DTM, Survey and Layout modes, and you can purchase the geo refrencing option. It produce a good quality clean plat. It does not have all the features of Auto Cad or some of the other high end products, but I really like its ease of use. I have been using PC suvey for 8 years and have not seen any other product that gives you the function and ease of use for under a thousand dollars.

  3. J.M. says:

    I am with Kurt Lang on this one. My company has been using Autocad for 10+ years. And it would seem that Autodesk at every turn has its hand in your pocket. Not only do you spend $3000 – $9000 per seat of an autodeck program but there help menus and tutorials don’t give you the big picture so you can set it up and costumize it quickly an be productive. I find it to be alot of trial and error. If I need help I have to pay for a book or a class or subscription. I wish autodesk would take the civil out and make a new product called autocad survey.
    We spend to much money on everything in the surveying profession. $10,000 on software $30,000 on basic EDM $45,000 on Robotics $50,000 on GPS, $100,000 on scanning. What is it about us surveyors that companies think we are loaded?

  4. hdpenn says:

    I have used AutoCAD since Version 11 in various employment. When I bagan a small business in 2008 offering CAD services I had to find less expensive CAD options. Land Survey Software / AutoCAD was too costly for my small budget so I turned to Intellicad (1/10th the cost). I now use progeCAD Pro 2009 with DpCogo installed to handle all of my Civil Survey and Architectural needs. See the CAD products page at to view less expensive options.

  5. Being the survey manager for one of our 5 offices that currently has survey personnel we are faced with similar challenges as the comments above. In all honesty though, having worked in the AutoCAD/Microstation arena for the last twenty years, this latest move by AutoCAD to its Civil 3D suite has us all looking at other options. The learning curve is tremendous and we still need to get product out the door for less money and in shorter time. I thought these packages were developed to help us get home a little earlier and with a little more money in our pockets…! All I find is a need to stay later and get paid less for the same product we are ultimately responsible for, for years to come. If another tech savvy help desk person tells me the angles I’m computing are coming up wrong because of a code writing error I will be heading back to the drafting board and my 11c or an old version 11 I still have in the closet somewhere.
    It feels like we move one step forward and a half step back……but, hey, we’re still moving forward….I think…!

    Yours frustratingly


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