Earthscapes or Prolandscapes software?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by coolluv, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,864

    Earthscapes design software or Prolandscape and why? Good points and bad points of each.

    Thanks for your input.

    Dave...
     
  2. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    I can't speak negatively about Earthscapes, but when I did the extensive research for my business, Pro Landscape was the clear winner. Pro Landscape is updated yearly with new and easy to use features. They have outstanding customer support, including scheduled classes around the country and even a forum for users on their web site. The CAD planner is relatively easy to learn and makes beautiful plan drawings in multiple rendering modes. The imaging feature is simple to use and makes an outstanding presentation tool for your clients to understand your vision. The new 3D fly around feature allows you to get multiple perspectives on your plans or images as well as print or email any views you choose. The proposal feature allows you to keep track of what you are including in your drawings, price them out and create immediate estimates for your installation work. I especially enjoy the landscape as well as holiday lighting features to add additional interest to my designs. Landscape lighting is a huge new aspect to our services and allowing a client to see how and what will be lit as added lighting to every landscape installation. Pro Landscape also makes it relatively simple to add your own objects, photos and textures, which makes your designs unique to you.

    Both software companies usually exhibit at the same shows and offer you an almost side by side form of comparison. They will both be at MANTS in a couple of weeks in Baltimore as well as some of the other software companies.

    One thing you need to know, is no software is truly "design" software. They are all basically digital pencils in plan or CAD modes and presentation tools for imaging or 3D features. The plant libraries are helpful as well as hardscape materials and water features.

    Kirk
     
  3. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,864

    Thanks for your response I have been researching both and I'm leaning towards Pro Landscape. I have read all of your responses as well as others and you seem to have extensive knowledge of this subject.

    I don't do designs and haven't in the past and I realize that it is not going to make a landscape architect or landscape designer out of me but I would someday like to be able to do some small landscape work.

    I have no formal training but I have been reading everything I can get my hands on. I have been asked to do some design and installs on some of my customers properties but I have told them that I don't do that at this time.

    I take customer service and satisfaction very seriously and I would not want to design something that did not work or was wrong for that particular area. I don't want to misrepresent myself to my customers. I tell them that I'm still learning and I don't do things that I'm not qualified to do.

    Having said that I would like to play around with it and learn it in my spare time and continue to study and maybe take some classes. I have learned many things by reading and researching things online. I know I have many things to learn but I would like to take the time to learn and play around with some things and redo some of my own landscaping at my own house.

    I realize that it is quite a bit of money but it is something that I would like to eventually get into. I think it would benefit me down the road with my business. I would also get the software from Horticopia so that I could use that with Pro landscape. I think it would help me to learn all of the different plants for my region. I have purchased books on plant identification and I try to learn about a new plant every week, its uses and care and locations.

    This is not something that I want to jump into any time soon but I would like to start learning it so that in the future I could offer it as part of my services, and I think having the software would help me to see my designs and understand them better.

    I do have a construction background and I understand grading and drainage and wall construction. I can read blueprints and I'm certified in erosion control so I would like to get more familiar with design and plant identifications and uses.

    Anyway thanks again if you have anything more you would like to add feel free. I'm always looking for input from intelligent knowledgeable people.

    Dave...
     
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Dave, spend the time and money to learn design and plants before you go for the software. If you need plans or images, I'm sure you can find someone to help you until you reach that phase. To understand design theory, spatial relationships and materials will be key to good sustainable designs. Software can make it pretty, but your knowledge, skills and abilities will make it work.

    Horticopia is essential as a plant encyclopedia, selection and presentation tool. Version V has been just released and should make updates and information easier to obtain and use.

    If I can be of any help, don't hesitate to contact me and I can quickly overwhelm you with information. Education will be vital to your success. Check the local colleges or university for continuing professional education in the landscape field. UGA has some of the top names in the industry and hopefully the have some sort of short course program.

    Kirk
     

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