There are few homegrown examples of landscape design software for Australia. gCADPlus, the landscape design tool that can be downloaded from this website is one of them. It was released in 2010 and based on GardenCAD, a software tool developed when one of the authors was trying to teach landscape students in a local college to use AutoCAD. The students were very frustrated with AutoCAD. They wanted a low-cost, simple, straightforward tool complete with a substantial collection of plant symbols designed around Australian plant species. As a sizable proportion of graduates from the course would go on to work in landscape architecture practices that used AutoCAD, so the gCADPlus interface is designed to mimic the AutoCAD interface.
The screenshot shown below shows a typical landscape plan developed in gCADPlus for revegetating an area in a Melbourne school. A series of menu items like those found in AutoCAD runs across the top of the screen. A set of toolbars is seen below the menu strip. At the left of the screen is a properties dialog box used to quickly change the color, linetype, layer, and size of the selected entity.
The main drawing editor shows the design and includes a plant schedule together with photos of species used in the design.
This movie shows how to manage a database of Australian native species when developing a design for the regeneration of a narrow site. A simple plan text database is attached to a CAD design created using gCADPlus, plant symbols are tagged with entries in the database and a schedule is generated. A second copy of the design is created in model space and displayed in layout space. Viewport layer switches allow for the display of both upper canopy and understory planting.
Here is another example of the use of gCADPlus in Australian conditions. Here it has been used to create a master plan for the development of a small-scale holding in country Victoria. The owners wanted to create a wildlife corridor to encourage the movement of native birds and animals through the site.