This week only – 25% off All training courses

The Future of Landscape Design Software


Where the technology is headed, and how you can keep up with it as it changes.

From last century to today, landscape design has gone from hand-drawing on paper, to CAD drawing in 2D, to designing and rendering in 3D. Many still prefer the finesse and artistry of drawing their designs by hand. Others would not consider drawing without professional design software. And three-dimensional renderings are now becoming more common, with many landscape firms offering their clients a 3D design option (for an additional fee, of course). The question we all want answered is, “What will landscape design technology look like in the future?”

We might be just on the cusp of a time when most of those who hand-draw finally make the leap to a software solution, to help expedite the process. The need to complete more drawings in less time is the main driver here. While hand-drawing will never go away, advances in computer-assisted drawing technology have made it very easy to justify the adaptation and change. Landscape designers who traditionally preferred to hand-draw are now, more than ever, using software solutions to help them speed up the process and increase their productivity.

And new innovations are appearing all the time. Recently, at a tradeshow, an iOS/Android app developer was showing off an Augmented Reality app he’s building that will take your SketchUp drawing and put it in any location. He said it’s a few years away from being ready for the market, but just imagine being able to put your client in their new outdoor living space and letting them see what it looks like from any and every angle before you build it!

There’s no doubt that in the next five years we’ll see a higher level of automation in CAD and 3D software, giving users the ability to complete tedious and time-consuming tasks even more quickly. Without a doubt the standard for landscape design will be 3D presentations.  While many solutions are working hard for market share, it’s very apparent that Trimble SketchUp is the dominant leader in the 3D realm.

How do you stay ahead of the technology curve? It’s next to impossible. A better strategy is to keep up with it. Invest in the latest versions of your chosen application, and regularly invest in training for you and your team.

What about the next 10 years? Well, it’s obviously nothing more than speculation on our part, but with the work being done by Google, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and IBM (see Watson), it certainly looks like we have a lot to look forward to.

What do you want your landscape design software to look like in the future? What should it do? Let us know! Email us at