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As the number one office solution for surveyors in the U.S., newly released Carlson Survey 2016 continues its development of survey features based on customer requests. The versatile and popular surveying software solution works like a surveyor thinks.

Highlights in the new release includes an added method to calculate a best-fit 3D line; improved cut sheet report with added functions to set and modify values for elevation, station, and offset, plus added method to import from TDS raw data; added method to renumber coordinates by adding prefix or suffix to point numbers; and for Deed Correlation, added method using polylines for input instead of points.

A Practical Guide to Carlson Software

Improve your Carlson Software skills

Carlson Survey’s 2016 version provides support for AutoCAD® 2016 and also works on AutoCAD versions 2010 and up.  All Carlson 2016 office software comes with the improved IntelliCAD® 8.1 built-in, which offers a CAD platform for no extra expense. Recently released, IntelliCAD 8.1 represents major improvements in its CAD engine technology, now including support for Microsoft Windows 10 along with multi-core processing when opening and regenerating files, which provides a 1.5 to 3 times performance improvement on multi-core computers.

The ability to apply full Field-to-Finish coding to all routines that draw points, as well as write comments or GIS attributes to further label points are other top features in Survey 2016. The core survey commands in SurvNET have also been improved, with an added method to draw the least-squares network graphics in the drawing.

To learn more about Carlson Survey, find a Carlson representative or dealer near you or request a fully functional 30-day product evaluation.

Carlson Survey is designed for use for land surveying. It provides a full tool kit for surveyors with everything from network least squares to surface modeling. Users get the ability to work seamlessly between the office and the field and they can establish company-wide design styles to ease and speed their work.

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  • Built on AutoCAD and IntelliCAD

    Carlson Survey will run in AutoCAD® as well as AutoCAD® Map, Land Desktop and Civil3D and also on IntelliCAD.

  • Project Setup

    Flexible data storage methods

  • Drawing Cleanup

    Fix common drafting errors

  • Drafting Enchancements

    Handy tools for working in AutoCAD® such as Join Nearest, Shrinkwrap Entities, Polyline Utilities, Drawing Inspector, Layer Inspector and Twist Screen

  • Data Compatibility

    Supports industry standard LandXML and scores of specific data conversions


  • Build Surfaces

    By triangulation or rectangular grids

  • Contouring

    One step triangulate and contour from 3D entities as well as contouring from surface files

  • Surface Manager

    Change surface display properties and adjust surface functions to add and remove points and breaklines and swap edges

  • Volumes

    Earthwork volumes between triangulation or grid surfaces

  • Pad Design

    Tie cut/fill slopes from pad perimeter to surface, build pad surface, calculate and balance volumes, and edit pad parameters


  • Design and Edit Centerlines

    Design or input alignments on screen or in dialog with graphics

  • Label Stations and Offsets

    Annotate station and offsets along centerline and at selected points

  • Calculate Offsets

    Reports stations and offsets for selected points along centerline

  • Create Offset Points

    Create points at specified stations and offsets

  • Spirals

    Flexible handling of the most complex spiral curves including “spiral-only” elements going arc-spiral-arc, arc-spiral-line and line-spiral-line


  • Create Profiles

    From surfaces, screen entities, points on centerline, etc.

  • Quick Profile

    One step profile creation with real-time update while adjusting centerline

  • Input-Edit Profiles

    Enter profile data in dual spreadsheet and graphic window, and design in reference to controlling profile grade points

  • Draw Profiles

    Draws profiles on grids or plan-profile sheets with auto-updating based on edits

  • Profiles To 3D

    Create points and 3D polylines from profiles


  • Import/Export

    User-defined import and export of point data along with conversions with specific other formats

  • Draw Points

    Draw points with settings for symbols, layers and styles

  • Point Groups

    Point group manager to define sets of point by filters

  • Coordinate File History

    Tracks all changes to points with report and undo functions

  • Fix Point Label Overlaps

    Finds point label overlaps with rule options to fix automatically

  • Point Tools

    Utilities for modify point labels such as move with leader, twist and resize


  • Data Collection Interfaces

    Upload and download to
    popular data collectors

  • Traverse Adjustment

    Spreadsheet editor for raw data with graphics and processing for traverse adjustments

  • SurvNET

    Advanced network least-squares for total station, GPS and level data

  • Field-to-Finish

    Draw points with styles and in point groups set by point descriptions and draw linework by several flexible methods

  • Field-to-Finish Inspector

    Inspect all field-to-finish elements, see description source and re-draw based on descriptions edits

  • COGO

    Streamlined inverse, traverse, sideshot, intersections, interpolation, translate, rotate, scale and align

  • Coordinate Transformations

    Transform coordinates and screen entities between lat/lon and grid projections as well as local to local by Helmert and least-squares methods

  • Deeds

    Enter deed by description, read deed data from deed file, deed reports, deed correlation and generate legal description from drawing

  • Cut Sheets

    Create custom cut sheet reports with reference grades and station-offsets


  • Label Areas

    Customized area label styles and several methods to select areas to label

  • Size Areas

    Sliding side area, hinged area, area radial from curve and bearing area cutoff

  • Lot Manager

    Lot definitions by point numbers with functions to create lots, conduct mapcheck for closure, edit in spreadsheet with graphics, report lots and draw lots

  • Lot Layout

    Size lots along alignment with controls for target area, setback and frontage

  • Offsets, Intersection and Cul-de-Sacs

    Layout for ROW and EOP linework


  • Angle & Distance Labels

    Flexible routines to label linework in all possible layout combinations plus available rules to automatically fix label overlaps and revise labels when entities move

  • Curve Labels

    Label curve data in stack, along arc or in table

  • Survey Text

    Routines to create typical plat labels such as offset and building dimensions

  • Label Elevations

    Label spot elevations along an alignment

  • Linetypes

    Draw special linetypes

    System Requirements

Raw Data Editor with Graphics

Lot Editor

Lot Editor

Lot Report

Lot Report

Sample Resulting Plan/Plat

Sample Resulting Plan/Plat

Point Groups Manager Dialog

Point Groups Manager Dialog

Edit Deed Dialog

Edit Deed Dialog

Deed Reader Dialog

Deed Reader Dialog

SurvNET Graphics View

SurvNET Graphics View

3D Objects Created With Field to Finish Coding

3D Objects Created With Field to Finish Coding

3D Drive Simulation of Subdivision

3D Drive Simulation of Subdivision

The #1 office software solution for surveyors in the United States, Carlson Survey provides support in its latest release for AutoCAD® 2007-present and comes with IntelliCAD® 8.0 built-in. The following is a list of additional improvements:

Field To Finish – Added special pipe feature coding with ability to create pipe network (.sew) file. For tree feature coding, added option for drip as diameter instead of radius, added option for solid circle for trunk and option for relative tree size for the symbols. Added control for separate layers for the point attribute block and point node. Added new AFIT special code for making a curve tangent through a series of three curve points. Added method for dynamic templates with variable horizontal and vertical offsets by using the OH and OV special codes. Added settings file default distinct point layer prefix/suffix. Added separate text size settings for attribute text labels and point block attributes.

Edit Field To Finish Codes – New command to go directly to the code table editor.

  • SurvNET – Added error report for individual observations to track down blunders. Added import for TDS GPS vectors.
  • Edit Process Level Data – Added support for processing with zero horizontal distances.
  • Carlson Cloud – New command for communicating with SurvCE for sending messages, data files and crew locations.
  • Report Distance Scale – Added methods for grid/ground factors on-the-fly in addition to a fixed factor.
  • 3D Transformations – Added 3D coordinate transformations.
  • Point Group Manager – Added method to create point group by offset distance from alignment polyline.
  • Move Point Attributes With Leader – Added controls for attribute order and ability for curved leaders.
  • Import Text/ASCII File – Added method import from text with fixed widths and method to use inclusion/exclusion perimeters.
  • Legal Description – Added method to report station/offset using a reference centerline. Added method for reporting with geodetic mean angle and geodetic distances.
  • Cut Sheet – Added method to get station/offset from the point description coding. Added field for design point description.
  • Offset Points By Interval – New command to create offset points along an alignment.
  • Label Coordinates – Added options to include a description, to use Mtext, to draw the labels at an angle and option for mleader.
  • Draw Legend – Added method to put each symbol or a specific layer.
  • CRDB – New coordinate file format built on SQLite database for better performance than MDB.
  • Search Published Control – New command to look up points from NGS geodetic control database.
  • Edit-Process Raw File – Added method to display only selected point range and hide the rest.
  • Field-To-Finish – Many new coding methods for tree surveys including coding by description sequence, by GIS attribute or by user-defined special characters. Also added method to draw circle for drip radius, method to draw circle for truck radius and method to draw polyline for treeline perimeter. Added function to generate tree table and reports based on tree coding in the point descriptions. For general point reports, added option to use the report formatter and include fields for the dwg description and code full name. For GIS labeling, added settings for decimal places and custom symbol attributes as reals. Also for GIS processing, added support for using GIS attribute for special codes such as horizontal offset. For ROT special code, added method to rotate by description using companion codes.
  • Edit-Multiple Point Attributes – New user-interface with tabbed dialog. Added method to change attribute colors. Added ability to toggle visibility of attributes.
  • Edit-Process Deed File – Added method to use label precision for calculating closure.
  • Twist Screen Surveyor – Added option to use grid mapping angle.
  • Inverse – Added option to report distances as delta north-south-east-west. Added option to report lat/lon. Added option whether to report coordinates.
  • Draw Locate Points – Added method to create points by entering lat/lon.
  • Bearing/Bearing Intersect – Added support for geodetic bearings.
  • Distance Between Entities – Added average distance to the report.
  • Map Check By Screen Entities – Added options whether to auto-select entities and set max offset.
  • Best-Fit Point – New command to average points and report statistics.
  • Cut Sheets – New spreadsheet interface, import from SurvCE and plan view labeling methods.
  • Lot File Manager – Added function to hatch lots.
  • Angle/Distance Annotation – Added settings for bearing quadrant labels. Added control for arrow size for end point leaders. Added separate settings for justification of angle and distance labels. Added option for prefix for distance labels.
  • North Arrows – Added ability to add custom north arrow symbols.
  • Label Coordinates – Added style for labels along X/Y axis.
  • Label Lat/Lon – Added real-time display of lat/lon while picking points to label.
  • Area Labels – Added option to use grid to ground conversion to label geodetic areas.
  • Geodetic Single Proportion – New command to split line by proportion between record part and total distances.
  • Geodetic Double Break – New command to break two intersecting lines based on mean bearing.
  • Geodetic Middle Break – New command splits line to make lines with same geodetic length and mean bearing.
  • Grant Boundary Adjustment – New command to apply Grant boundary adjustment on closed polylines.
“We have been using Carlson Survey since 2007. Fantastic product at a fair price. Easy to learn and use. If you need technical support, a real person will answer the phone. I am a loyal user!”
— Larry Medrano
President, Precision Surveys, Inc.
Albuquerque, New Mexico


“Carlson is a real time saver for me. Plus, I’ve found that creating points and working with points in Carlson is a complete bonus.”
— GaryAnoszko
Head Surveyor, Payne and Dolan Inc.
Waukesha, Wisconsin


Carlson Survey does it all for us – it’s a big time saver on all different levels. Platting seems to be easier because bearings and distances work better. The topography works a lot better – you can get TOPOs out quicker and the changes are minimal. Field-to-Finish is better because it connects all the line work for you. It just makes the whole process a lot easier. Every surveyor should have Carlson in their cad toolbox! It’s the complete survey package with the best technical support on the market.

– Reed Adams, LS
Director of Land Surveying, Koontz-Bryant
Richmond, Virginia

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Click here for the Online Manual

Your Choice of CAD

Carlson Survey is offered in two general product configurations:

  1. As a third-party “add-on” to AutoCAD® or “stand-alone IntelliCAD” through the included copy of IntelliCAD.
  2. As a “stand-alone AutoCAD” product which features an embedded AutoCAD “OEM” graphical engine.

For details on the underlying CAD engines, click here.

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Contact your Carlson Software Representative or Certified Dealer for sales assistance including questions regarding NetworkingMaintenance, and Financing.