Carlson Works – Estimating, Planning & Building with Carlson Construction

By Karen Cummings • June 8th, 2015

“The more you get to know it, the more you can do it with it,” says Sean Roberts, an “outsetter” for Van Etten/Blijdorp in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands, of the Carlson Software he uses for his job.

Sean Roberts uses Carlson SurvCE and Carlson Construction software.

Sean Roberts at work

While not technically a surveyor, Roberts, who hails from Australia, does all of the measuring for the drawings, revisions, and laying out of the roads, parks, channels and other projects that Van Etten/Blijdorp is involved in. And, he uses Carlson Software products to accomplish his tasks.

“The company has been in business for more than 50 years and we’ve been using Carlson now for nearly four years,” he says. “We started with SurvCE [data collection software] on the Carlson GPS receiver and expanded to Carlson Survey [office design software] and then moved over to Carlson Construction for its estimating capabilities, 3D drawings and the ability to make 3D models for machine control.”

Knowing that “cycling is a ubiquitous mode of transport in the Netherlands,” as noted in Wikipedia, it is understandable that quite a bit of Van Etten/Blijdorp’s work is concerned with bike paths. Actually, these are much more than “paths,” as again noted in Wikipedia, “the needs of cyclists are taken in account in all stages of urban planning,” with priority often given to the cyclists. So they are more of an intricate network of roadways with dedicated cycling bridges and tunnels, and either entirely independent of motorways and other busy roads or running adjacent to them.

Van Etten/Blijdorp set up the 3D model for machine control on this project

Van Etten/Blijdorp set up the 3D model for machine control on this project

Roberts recently found himself setting out a flyover for cyclists. “On one of the bike paths, I needed to peg out the earthworks batters that adjoined the flyover; but the slopes weren’t consistent.  There were some spiral elements in them,” explains Roberts. “That’s when Scott Griffin [Carlson Sales Director] helped me by showing me how to draw variable slopes using Construction.”

Carlson’s renowned field-to-finish – between SurvCE and the office design software – is one of Roberts favorite aspects.

“Here [in the Netherlands] most of the utilities’ infrastructure is laid underground. The local councils here have us dig  trenches to determine the layout of cables, water and gas lines when they are preparing for large works like the relaying of sewers or the landscape renewal of a neighborhood,” he says. “We go in ahead of time and measure everything – they require that everything have an x,y and its z value.

Blijdorp used Carlson SurvCE and Carlson Construction to build this channel.

A channel Blijdorp built.

“I do it all in field-to-finish – all of the cables and pipes each have their own code so it’s easy to translate to the drawing,” he adds. “Once you download it all, half the work for the drawing is already done.”

Having the ability to make 3D models for excavators and bulldozers is another valuable aspect of Carlson Construction according to Roberts. “We recently finished a project where we needed to dig a kilometer-length waterway,” he says. “We made the 3D models for the excavators, then they could grade and level it without the need to peg out.”

Designing with Carlson Construction software

Screen shot from 1km waterway work.

While Roberts thinks Carlson is easy to learn and use, he notes that he had prior experience with AutoCAD® and built on that experience when he was learning Carlson. But, he adds that he is “constantly discovering new stuff I can do with it.”

Another of Roberts’ favorite aspects of Carlson is making the 3D drawings. “It’s brilliant,” he says, thanks to all of the icons available to make drawings more real-life.

And yet again, Carlson’s customer support stands out. “The service we get here in Holland from Carlson is ideal,” he says. “If we have a problem, they come out and show us how to do it. They are always there to answer our questions.”

About Blijdorp. As part of Loonbedrijf Van Etten, a large contractor in the agricultural/civil works field in the Netherlands, Blijdorp works on land improvements (e.g. fencing, drainage, grading), dikes, channels, landscaping, roads and sewer construction.

Contact: Grondbewerkingsbedrijf Blijdorp b.v.
Hoekerstraat 11
3133 KR  Vlaardingen
The Netherlands
T: +31 10 435 96 87

About CarlsonEMEA. Carlson Software’s wholly owned subsidiary, Carlson EMEA BV, has its main office in the Netherlands with representatives in other EMEA regions to support its business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Carlson’s solutions span the land surveying, GIS, civil engineering, construction and mining industries. CarlsonEMEA representative Rob van Etten, a GNSS hardware and software expert, is based in the Netherlands, +31 36 750 1781,

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