A Practical Guide to Carlson Software Fundamentals 2020


This new Carlson Software 2020 book focuses on effectively using this powerful software, providing you with skills that other professionals are using in the workplace every day.  ISBN 9781934865477

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Welcome to the next generation of training materials for Carlson Software, the Practical Guide.

The Practical Guide books have been formatted to maximize learning by starting all lessons with an explanation of the concepts and processes that will be covered; followed by real world examples in step-by-step exercises that you can perform yourself with the included dataset.

Carlson Software offers an extensive product line of desktop software solutions including Carlson Survey, Carlson Civil, Carlson Hydrology, Carlson Mining, Carlson Takeoff, Carlson Construction, and many more. While each of these applications has their own set of unique tools and functions, they also all share an extensive set of tools for setting up projects to store and organize project data, working with point data, working with digital terrain models, exchanging data with various other formats, as well as basic CAD drafting, editing and labeling functions.  The mastery of these areas of commonality between all the Carlson desktop applications is the focus of this book.

Carlson Survey users!  Get the most comprehensive set of Carlson Survey training material available with our Complete Carlson Survey 2020 Training Bundle with AutoCAD.  It includes our Carlson Software FundamentalsCarlson Survey and AutoCAD 2020 books at one low price.

A Practical Guide to Carlson Software Fundamentals features 80 exercises organized into 34 lessons in 6 chapters. Each lesson includes detailed descriptions of processes and theory with many illustrations and diagrams, to help you understand “why”, not just “how”.

This new, large format book is spiral bound, to lie perfectly flat on your desk.

This new Carlson 2020 book focuses on effectively using this powerful software, providing you with skills that other professionals are using in the workplace every day.

Instructors: this book is used in classrooms worldwide. Find out more about using it in your next class.

After completing this book, you will be able to:

  • Navigate the Pull-down Menus and Ribbon Menus
  • Set up Carlson Software to use the Project approach
  • Work with Coordinate Files
  • Draw Points into the Drawing
  • Edit Points in the Drawing and External Point Database
  • Create Point Groups
  • Prepare Surface Data using Points and 3D Polylines
  • Create Surface Models
  • View and Edit Surfaces
  • Perform Surface Inquiries
  • Generate and Label Contours
  • Perform Basic Drawing and Editing in CAD
  • Import and Export Land XML Data
  • Work with Google Earth and World files
  • Work with Centerlines
  • Generate Linework Labels
  • Convert Carlson Point Blocks to Civil 3D Points
  • Convert Civil 3D Point, Surface, Alignment and Label objects to Carlson data

Download pdf sample

Features and Benefits of all Cadapult books:

  • Lessons build upon one another using a contiguous dataset, providing consistency through the entire book
  • Skills learned through easy-to-follow, step-by-step procedures
  • Sequential exercises that follow one logical, real-world example project
  • Flexible datasets allow you to “skip ahead” to a relevant lesson, or use as an on-demand reference guide
  • Detailed explanations and chapter summaries facilitate learning and retention
  • Written by instructors with decades of industry and teaching experience
  • Tested and refined in classrooms with a broad cross-section of students

This book has 314 pages, organized into 6 chapters, in a large-format, spiral bound volume.

Authors: Rick Ellis, Douglas L. Aaberg, PLS and Duke Gardner

ISBN 978-1-934865-47-7

Written, printed and published in the United States of America.

Meet the Authors

Rick Ellis of CADapult Software SolutionsRick Ellis, president of Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc, has worked with and taught AutoCAD Civil 3D, along with Map 3D and other Autodesk products since the mid-90s. He is the Author of several critically acclaimed books on AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Map 3D, Land Desktop and Carlson Software; including the Practical Guide  series.

Rick continues to use AutoCAD Civil 3D on projects in a production environment, in addition to teaching classes to organizations both large and small around the country, helping them get the most out of their design software investment.

This practical background and approach has made him an award winning speaker at Autodesk University, a member of the national speaker team for the AUGI CAD Camps and a sought after instructor by organizations around the world.


Douglas L. Aaberg, PLS is a licensed Professional Land Surveyor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in the State of Colorado. His career in the Land Surveying/Civil Engineering business spans four decades. Having used Carlson Software exclusively since 1998, Doug is a recognized expert in applying the continually expanding capability of Carlson’s programming to the everyday “work flow” of land surveyors and engineers. After owning and operating his own company for fifteen years, Doug now dedicates his time consulting to both large and small land survey and engineering firms through on-site training, remote support and individually tailored documentation.

Duke Gardner has served the land surveying and civil engineering communities for over 35 years in a wide variety of support roles. His focus on the theory as well as the practice skills needed to achieve successful implementation made him an excellent partner in the author team for this guide.

Weight 2.4 lbs
Dimensions 11.25 × 10 × 1.5 in