I have no idea if there already commercially exists Civil 3D based data collection system. With the advent of very fast tablets, data collection in the field using Civil 3D as the platform provides new level of productivity.
Leica MobileMatrix and Carlson SurvPC run in ArcGIS. These are not cheap solutions. MobileMatrix is a pretty expensive data collection system.
Carlson Field runs in AutoCAD and is not a cheap solution.
Why not develop a data collection system for Civil 3D? It would definitely be a better platform thus provides betters solution.
Trimble, as I'm sure we all know, has some pretty great solutions for data gathering. Their software, Business Center, is far from Civil 3D, but it's not exactly a slouch. That's the closest that I've used to an "all in wonder" for Design/Build.
The Mapping and GIS users have been asking for an AutoCAD based data collection for years. I have even talked to the product manager(s) over the years for something. They all said the same thing, "Use what's available now and import the ESRI shp files". I say if I need to use ESRI shp files why not just use ESRI as the GIS/Mapping system.
I ask out of curiosity, what features would a Civil 3D data collector have? What would you want it to do that your current data collector won't. What would speed up field work and reduce collection errors?
I think we will start seeing tablet-based data collectors, but I don't know how viable Civil 3D would be as a platform for that. Civil 3D is almost seven thousand dollars for a standalone license. That's a big investment that would have to provide significant efficiency increases in order to pay for itself.
A Civil 3D data collector would certainly save office time. Imagine receiving the field data with all the linework attached, alignments created, surfaces created, survey database populated. That would make a CAD jockey's job much easier, but there is an important question that would determine the success of the product: Will it save field time? Field time is way more expensive than office time.
Leica Mobile Matrix runs in ArcGIS as a plug-in thus providing you all the power of ArcGIS in the field.
Carlson SurvPC also runs in ArcGIS but its GUI is so designed for SurvCE users. It is in fact SurvCE in ArcGIS as far as GUI is concerned. What you see in your data collector is a single application window for SurvPC.
Carlson Field runs in AutoCAD.
But as a Civil 3D user, a surveyor, and a civil designer, I need Civil 3D in the field that works synchronously with data collection. I can't imagine the full COGO/CAD power of Civil 3D at your disposal when doing offset measurements specially when doing structural asbuilt surveys. In addition, your doing your job in real 3D with all the dynamic and synchronous civil 3d objects right before your eyes in the field.
Very rigorous data reduction method like least squares can now also be done in the field.
In my opinion, data collection in civil 3d platform provides new level of productivity in the field.