Buying Guide

CAD Platform Options

IntelliCAD version

Carlson Software desktop modules can be installed as a standalone program or on top of your separately purchased, AutoCAD-based program.

In addition, the various Carlson office modules can be combined into one license, where all modules are easily accessible on your desktop.

Carlson includes the latest version of IntelliCAD with every purchase.

The IntelliCAD version can import and export CAD files to multiple file formats including; AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, Land Desktop, and Civil 3D.

Embedded AutoCAD OEM version

Carlson Survey and Takeoff can be purchased and installed standalone with embedded AutoCAD, ie Carlson OEM version.

The embedded AutoCAD OEM modules include a limited, stripped-down version of AutoCAD with functionality similar to AutoCAD LT.

The embedded AutoCAD OEM modules do not include IntelliCAD and do not require a separate purchase of AutoCAD.

The embedded AutoCAD OEM module(s) are a separate install as compared to the Carlson IntelliCAD modules, or separately purchased license of AutoCAD. Although both programs can be installed on the same computer, IntelliCAD and OEM modules cannot be combined. For example, if you own a Survey OEM license and Carlson GIS lntelliCAD license, you will need to access commands in both programs to work on a single drawing (.dwg) file. You would have to close the drawing out of Survey OEM, and then open in the GIS module to finish the job.

Whether you’re using Carlson Survey or Takeoff on the IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD OEM platform, the Survey and Takeoff functionality will be the same. Differences will be limited to the underlying engine, ie IntelliCAD or embedded AutoCAD.

• From a feature and functionality standpoint, the IntelliCAD version will resemble a full AutoCAD version. You should not expect the IntelliCAD modules to be the equivalent of today’s AutoCAD. IntelliCAD is a generic version of AutoCAD and will have the feel of an older version of AutoCAD.

However, IntelliCAD modules are more customizable, support LISP routines, and 3D drafting.

• Embedded AutoCAD OEM will resemble recent releases of AutoCAD LT. It will be missing some key functionality such as the ability to create aliases (command shortcuts) and load LISP routines.

• There is a price difference between both versions.

Every new license includes 90 days of maintenance upgrades for free. This ensures if a new version is released within 90 days of your purchase, you will automatically receive the newest version of the software. We recommend renewing your software maintenance annually as this provides new product enhancements, bug fixes, and ongoing tech support.

If your Carlson software product is renewed prior to the annual expiration date, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the respective software module(s).  

Upgrading Carlson IntelliCAD Products

Upgrading Carlson’s IntelliCAD desktop products is completed through the Maintenance Plan, which can be purchased directly through us.

If it is renewed prior to expiration, maintenance costs 10% of the retail price of the software. Add 10% for each year, a respective software module is not current/renewed from the original purchase date - not to exceed 50% of the current retail price of a respective Carlson module.

If your license is not currently on maintenance, you can pay the maintenance fee plus an expiration fee, which will upgrade you to the current version of the respective module(s) and include any relevant upgrades released within the applicable maintenance year.

Upgrading Survey and Takeoff Embedded AutoCAD OEM Products

The cost to upgrade Carlson’s OEM products varies depending on the module(s) and year it was originally purchased. Contact us for more info.

Carlson Survey IntelliCAD would be the preferred module.

You can import and export .dwg, .dgn, .dxf, landxml, and Civil 3D files from Carlson Survey.

Based on conversations with current surveyors, some individuals may need Carlson GIS for bringing in aerial overlays, importing Google Earth files, and/or soil maps.

If you are considering multiple software modules and interested in saving money, you might want to consider purchasing either Carlson Select Suite or Carlson Civil Suite.

You would want to consider Carlson Civil and Hydrology, but GIS has many unique tools for importing aerial imagery, soil maps, ESRI, and shp/kml/kmz compatibility, so consider the program as a necessity vs a want.

Since all three of these modules are included in the Carlson Civil Suite, it’s typically more cost effective to purchase the bundle.

Yes. Contact us and we will provide a demo key and/or setup a live demo.

We offer on-site and remote web training options for Survey & Civil software modules.

Please contact us to schedule a consultation.

Yes, please use the link below to find the appropriate webinar for your requirements.


Please visit the Instrument Compatibility page for more info.

SurvCE operates on Windows Mobile CE data controllers. SurvCE updates are not available beyond version 6.17.

SurvPC 7 operates on Windows OS 10 & 11 data collection devices.

No. Prior versions of SurvCE or SurvPC are not available to purchase.

We recommend Carlson Construction. The Construction module enables you to complete takeoffs, import/export machine control files, 3D modeling, and cut/fill estimating.

Yes, you would need to utilize a virtual machine program such as Parallels and the Apple processor chipset cannot be one of the new M chipsets i.e. 2020 or newer M chipsets are not compatible with Carlson Office modules.

Of course. We are happy to help and can provide a proposal to address your requirements. Please contact us.

Carlson PhotoCapture photogrammetry & Point Cloud solutions are compatible with most major RTK drone OEMs; Autel, Wingtra, DJI, Skydio, etc.

You should consider Carlson Listen Listen NTRIP, which is an annual RTK NTRIP correction subscription service to complement your drone surveying projects.

In addition, the Carlson BRx7 GPS can be utilized as your base station to transmit RTK corrections to your RTK-enabled drone during drone survey missions. We provide 10 ground control targets (GCPs) with each drone package.

Carlson Cloud setup instructions

BRx7 GPS Quick Reference Setup

Carlson BRx series GNSS is compatible with FDOT FPRN network. You will need to create an acct and follow instructions at the FDOT link(s) below.

Registration Steps


SurvPC RTK NTRIP inputs

IP address:

Port: 10000

Recommended Mountpoint: MSM4_NEAR

Note: The MSM4_NEAR mountpoint should only be used when you are <12 mi from closest base station. You will notice an increase in residuals every 6 mi from the base station with respect to Hrms & Vrms.

Listen Listen service is only compatible with BRx6+, BRx7, and RTk5 GPS models. This RTK correction service is to be utilized with your Carlson base and rover setup.

We recommend RTK Mobile as the cell service provider for monthly data plan and SIM card use. Note: RTK Mobile does not support BRx6+ GPS model.

Listen Listen setup instructions can be downloaded below:

Listen Listen setup

This service cannot be used to facilitate RTK drone surveys.

1. When you can't rely on a specific NTRIP network for results - high residual (Hrms & Vrms) errors, constant network maintenance issues, etc

2. No cell service or remote area - you would utilize UHF (400Mhz) or Spread Spectrum (900Mhz) communications

3. Good cell coverage, but limited NTRIP network availability - utilize Carlson Listen Listen to tighten residuals and eliminate rover interference, which would otherwise arise from using a regional NTRIP network, ie DOT or CORS network

Listen Listen NTRIP is utilized specifically for RTK drone surveying to receive RTK corrections between your Carlson BRx series or RTk5 GPS & RTK drone.

Contact us for pricing to establish Listen Listen NTRIP service.

Warranty & Repairs

If your Carlson instrument and/or data collector requires service or repair, please email carlsonrma@carlsonsw.com and include the following in the body of the email:

  • Your full contact information (name, address, email, phone)
  • Instrument model & device serial number
  • Detailed description of issue

Repair time may vary dependent on the extent of the issue(s). Cracked screens and damage to the outside of the instrument are not covered under warranty.