Is Civil 3D the only tool you need?


Lately, at my office, we’ve been discussing what other resources might benefit a civil / site engineering staff person.  Naturally, this has drifted into what software programs are out there to supplement the power of Civil 3D.  Well, I took a different approach and began thinking about reference books, training material, that sort of thing.  This is what I came up with…

One of the first books that I bought right out of college that did me absoultely no good, but man it was a BIG book and made me look cool was called the Civil Engineering Handbook.  It was thick and expensive; made me feel smarter just holding it.  Can I tell you that to this day, over 15 years since I bought that book, have yet to actually use it for anything?  Lessoned learned….

landdevhdbk.jpgSo with that experience behind me, I found the next book I just had to have.  It was called the Land Development Handbook. It was not as thick but certainly as expensive.  So I was hesitant to buy it at first.  But after reviewing it and also noting that it was written by an existing land development firm, it seemed like a safe bet.  And then some!  This was perfect for me being a recent graduate, having no real experience in land development.  I now had a “mentor” I could go to, to get the entire picture; from local government planning to storm drainage design to boundary surveys.  It was all in there. And, it has been updated to a second edition, covering all of the technological advances that have occured in GPS, computing, etc.  So this is my pick for the recent graduate, aspiring engineer type.

civildraft.jpgNow, if you’re the person who maybe went to Community College for technical drafting and didn’t get all of that high-faluttin math, don’t worry.  I haven’t used anything beyond high school trigonometry ever.  But, the above book may be too much to digest initially.  What I would recommend for you folks is a more recent publication. It’s called Civil Drafting For The Engineering Technician. Yes, it is about drafting, but more importantly, it gives you a foundational overview of how everything fits together and what exactly it is that is being represented by those squigly lines us engineers like to draw. 

The irony is that both of these books were essentially born out of the frustration that there was not an existing book that addressed these needs of the civil / land development student.  Yes, we had other books we bought.  But those seemed to focus on other aspects of civil engineering and not the beef stew that land development is (land planning, surveying, environment, government, construction, etc).  Hopefully these resources will give you the help you’ve been looking for!Next time – on to the Software tools….

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About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

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