The Evolution of Civil Engineering Software
Historically, an abundance of caution has been the standard applied to civil engineering data. Double and triple-checking calculations by hand, computer, and peer review has been prudent and expected. Advances in 3D design software have opened new doors to data integration for the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Yet, the evolution of civil engineering has lagged.
Computer-Aided Design or CAD/CADD came into existence during the 1960s and soon began revolutionizing design processes that had been strictly manual. CAD quickly began to increase productivity while it simultaneously established a database of a design’s parts and pieces. The database could then be used in the design manufacturing process.
Over the next 40+ years, as CAD technologies advanced, software platforms began to diverge and become specialized to the specific needs of users in various design disciplines such.
- Mechanical engineering
- Civil engineering
In the subsequent evolution from CAD to 3D modeling programs like Revit BIM, civil engineering seemed to lack any urgency to move into this more dynamic form of design development.
In 2019, Esri, a global pioneer in GIS-based problem solving, and Autodesk, the world-leader in AEC industry software, announced a partnership. And, this collaboration has unlocked a new world of possibilities.
In unison, Esri and Autodesk have increased the ease of integrating the vast troves of GIS data that already exist with the software programs used to design the built environment. The effects have impacted building and infrastructure design and everything in between. Tedious and time-consuming processes are now streamlined.
Huge and unwieldy GIS data sets have recently become easier. The Autodesk Connector for ArcGIS has been introduced to help civil engineers reliably bridge the gap between Civil 3D and GIS data.