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Tip of the Week #10 – Measuring Clearances with Trimble SX10 data

By Riley Smith posted 05-17-2017 17:23


This week’s topic is a very specific workflow but often required for many topographic and as-built surveys near power infrastructure.  Whether it is to design future utilities and structures near power lines or checking clearance for traffic beneath and above, the everyday surveyor needs efficient tools to measure and extract this information.


There are several ways of doing this.  To simply measure distances and angles for clearances, you can use the Measure Distance command.  Pick two points and view information such as the slope/vertical/horizontal distance values as well as coordinates of the measured location.  This command works with point cloud data as well making for a useful QA/QC tool.  These measurements can be stored using the Save button.




You can also perform similar measurements in the Station View using a combination of imagery and point clouds from the Trimble SX10 with the Virtual DR tool.



The next method is using the point to surface command.  This requires the user to have field or office measured points on the power line as well as a surface generated for the ground surface.


First, select the data you would like to use to create a surface.  Use the Create Surface command to generate a TIN model.


Next, Select Reports -> Report Options and double click Point to Surface Results.  Select your created surface and any points on the structure you would like to check the clearance on.  In this case there are four points (6 - 9) that are located on four different power line wires.



Press Apply in the Point to Surface command to view the results in the command.  You can also generate a report of the point to surface comparison and utilize as a project deliverable.



That's all for now folks.  Have fun using the many tools TBC has to offer.


Happy Surveying,



TBC Team