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Alan Sharp

TML Update

Posted by Alan Sharp Jul 24, 2020

Trimble asked me today to start a post on the forum here on the TML Library update that was made the week of July 4th, and that I will update as we move into the future.


Trimble and Rockpile Solutions have formed a business partnership around the TML Macros. Originally the TMLs created by Trimble were developed to test the TML Programming environment to make sure that it worked and so we could test the TML programming language and it's integration with the TBC database and object libraries etc. The TMLs were also created to provide open source to potential TML Developers so that they could learn how to write TMLs and interact with the TBC platform. Many TMLs were created for these purposes between November 2018 when TML was first introduced with TBC v5.0 and today, however they are not as well known as they could be and also many needed updating etc to bring them into line with TBC v5.3+ going forwards. A large number of the TMLs had no icons, were partially documented and needed more detailed testing, and we collectively needed to create a long term game plan.


Rockpile Solutions in that same period of time was formed by my colleague Peter Kistler. Trimble worked with Peter to assist him to develop a TML Licensing System and TML distribution platform and that has evolved nicely to the current release introduced the week of July 4th 2020 as TML Status 3.0.


TML Status 3.0 can be downloaded from the Rockpile Solutions website at and is the best way to manage your TML Library. The command is running all the time in background and will tell you when you don't have a license to run a selected command, will tell you when a command you are running has been updated, and will manage your Toolbox License (annual subscription) if you have one, allowing you to assign seats to users in your organization in line with the number of seats that you have available.


When we updated to TML Status 3.0 we also adopted all of the currently available TMLs. We now support those all centrally under a common Toolbox system, common menu configuration, and we have updated all commands to have new Icons, Tool Tips, Command Names for the Menus, the layout and location on the menus as well as the icon sizing etc on the menus. In addition, all of the TMLs were converted into compiled TMLs (the source code versions are still available on the Trimble TML Macros forum if you need examples to work from. The TMLs went through extensive testing, and validation, we added the F1 key to provide access to help pages and help training videos on the Rockpile Solutions Community pages. This gives us an easy way to provide up to date information about each command and to provide training assistance when you start to work with the commands.


Having said all of the above, the changes made the week of July 4th were major changes - the Website, Forum, the TML Status Server and Every TML Command (~70 commands) were affected and in addition we added a host of new commands and updates to commands. In this process we have found a few things that have tripped up based on older versions of the software in use and also users only doing partial updates - creating a mix of the pre July 4 and Post July 4 solutions which have thrown a few "Exceptions or Traceback Errors". In all cases that we are aware of they have been addressed and people are up and running, however if not, please don't hesitate to call or email me on +1 720 323 0481 / and we will take care of getting you up and running swiftly. 


We have tested everything going back as far as TBC v5.1, however we recommend where possible you use TBC v5.3 or the upcoming TBC v5.31. We thoroughly test on the current release and the next release coming, and if we find busts on older versions we will endeavor to fix things so they work on all in use versions of TBC, however in some cases TBC updates have broken commands and so they will now work best on the latest releases of the software.


To install everything correctly, you should do the following steps


  • Download and install TML Status v3.0 this has an all new look as shown below. You can download this using TML Status or you can download it from You will find the download link in blue in the center of the home page.
  • Shut Down and Restart TBC
  • Run TML Status v3.0. The first time you run TML Status you will be asked to complete your User profile and then you will need to open and review the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statements for Rockpile Solutions. In order to run TML Status you will need a Trimble ID (you can get one of these from and select Sign In and then Create a New Trimble ID. Enter your email address and the password that you want to use for your Trimble ID.In TBC, you then need to use Support, Options and select External Services profiles and create a Trimble ID Profile (v5.30) or a Trimble Connect Profile (older versions of TBC). Enter your email address and Password (for your Trimble ID), then tap Test Settings to check that it works, then Tap Sign In and then Tap Set as Active. The Trimble ID is then saved and will run every time you start TBC.
  • The first time that you do this after July 4th 2020, we recommend that you select every TML in the list of commands available, and check the checkbox in the Update column. This will ensure that your entire TML library will be updated to the latest TMLs available, and will ensure that after a restart you will have the full system installed correctly. We do not recommend that you do a selective partial install, as that may leave some legacy elements behind that may cause some issues in the new setup.
  • As a part of this update, you will get the new Menu manager command. This manages the 3 Macro Menus for TBC and ensures the correct layout, sizing and locations of all commands. Menu Manager runs each time you start TBC and can be accessed from the Tool Shed menu once everything is installed correctly.
  • After downloading and installing the updated library, TML Status will close, and you should now shut down TBC and restart the program. All new TMLs are loaded at run time for TBC. The first time you do this after a full update, TBC will take a little longer to start than normal. After the first restart, TBC will start at the normal speed thereafter.
  • If everything was installed correctly, then the TBC Menus should now have 3 menus for the Macros - each will be prefixed with the orange R as shown below.  


   The menus for Data Prep, Modeling and Tool Shed should look as follows after a correct installation. If you did not    install all the available commands, then the layout will be the same but the commands that you did not install will be    absent from the menus.


   Data Prep




   Tool Shed


   If they do not look like this or at least very similar to this, please call us so we can get you set up 100% correctly.


  • At this point you should be ready to Rock n Roll.


Troubleshooting Notes

  1. If on start up TBC appears to stall it is likely that you have a "Traceback" error - hover over the TBC Icon in the taskbar, if a Traceback dialog is open on one of your screens, you will see it on the hover over as a pop up. Select it so you can see it, make a note of the TML command that it is referencing or the error that it is showing or make a screen grab of it and send it to us at along with a contact number where we can reach you. The first step of troubleshooting any of these if directly attributed to a specific TML is to use TML Status to update that TML and restart TBC. If a problem persists send us the email and we will call you to troubleshoot the issue.
  2. We have seen one issue with TBC v5.20 where Menu Manager would not install correctly. That was addressed on July 23rd and an updated Menu Manager posted that solves the problem. Download the updated Menu Manager using TML Status. 


If we see other issues, we will post them in this Blog as a reference for you to use.


The link below provides access to the Rockpile Solutions document that covers the licensing, installation and management of your RPS Command Library. Please use this as your reference if you are having any type of issue.


Click Here for the RPS Command Management and Licensing document.


Licensed vs Unlicensed TML Commands

As a part of the agreement with Trimble, we have agreed to support and maintain all TMLs provided by Trimble previously. This does mean that to receive fixes or updates you will use TML Status to update them as and when issues are encountered.


The "Trimble" commands will be maintained as license free indefinitely with the capabilities that were available when we took over their support. We do receive requests daily for improvements to many commands. If we develop an extended version of a command, we will create it as a hybrid command that has a license free and licensed component of the same command. In these scenarios, when running without a license, the extended functionality will be displayed in Orange Text so that you can clearly see which parts are licensed and unlicensed. When you have a license, you will have the full command with all capabilities available to you.


The Rockpile Solutions commands are licensed under subscription agreements valid for 1 to 3 years (see below)


TML Commands vs TBC Native Commands

You can tell a TBC Native command based on

  • The icon colors are in most cases Black, Grey and Blue
  • The commands will typically be found on the main TBC Menus (those without the Orange R in front of them


You can tell a TBC TML Command from Rockpile Solutions based on

  • The commands will be on a menu with the Orange R prefix
  • The command Icons will be Black, Grey and Orange


If you have support issues on any TML Command, please call us on +1 720 797 1001 or +1 720 323 0481 or post your issue on the community forums and we will be happy to engage to resolve the issues. All commands have extensive help and we hope that the combination of full documentation and video tutorials will get you fully productive quickly.


RPS Command Toolbox Licensing

The TML library has been broken down into three primary Toolboxes as follows

  • RPS Data Prep Toolbox - Provides a powerful toolset to supplement TBC data prep capabilities. Tools to manage layers, clean up and sort CAD or PDF data and to perform data modifications, edits and create new objects
  • RPS Modeling Toolbox - Provides a powerful toolset to supplement TBC surface, cross section and corridor modeling capabilities. Tools that manipulate and correct surface models, imported PDF or CAD cross section data and corridor models. Tools to enhance model or takeoff drawings and provide enhanced reporting and data output capabilities
  • RPS Tool Shed Toolbox - The RPS Tool Shed contains a selection of tools that do not specifically fit into the Data Prep or Modeling Toolboxes. These can be licensed as a collection or individually on request. For example if all you need is the Moss Export you can request a license just for that command.


In addition we offer an RPS All Tools Package which incorporates all of the commands available today as well as anything we may introduce during the subscription period of your license.


Click Here for the RPS Data Prep Toolbox Data Sheet

Click Here for the RPS Modeling Toolbox Data Sheet

Click Here for the RPS Tool Shed Data Sheet


You can order TML Toolboxes from the Rockpile Solutions website at Toolboxes - Rockpile Solutions  


The RPS Toolboxes are licensed via an annual subscription, providing access to the tools for one year for one person. Subscriptions can be purchased for up to 3 years in advance, with the All Tools package, this gives you a price lock in for the 3 years of the subscription, and full access to any tools that we create and introduce during that period.


If you would like to discuss licensing please call us on the phone numbers or email addresses listed in this blog post.


Thanks for your interest in the RPS Command Library - we look forward to working with you


Alan Sharp

Partner / Marketing Director

Rockpile Solutions

Two issues affecting Trimble Business Center (TBC) have been identified in association with Windows 10 version 2004 (May Update):


  • When installing Trimble Business Center (TBC) on a PC running Windows 10 version 2004 (May Update), the installation may fail and Windows may display a blue screen. 
  • When Windows 10 version 2004 (May Update) is applied to a computer with a previous version of Windows that already has TBC installed, the update may fail and Windows may display a blue screen.


Please read the attached document for instructions to resolve this issue.


Thank you for your patience!

Alan Sharp

Please Share Your Data

Posted by Alan Sharp May 6, 2020

Please Help Us to Help You


A vast majority of technical issues that get reported on the Forum are "Data Related". This morning there have been at least 4 posts where people are asking for help and are having issues with one command or another and the majority of them are most likely Data Related. Without the Data it is almost impossible to give you the help you are asking for - please provide the data and in the data try to do one or more of the following to assist us


1) Set up a View Filter that shows the data that has the problem and tell us which view filter to look at

2) Send only the data that has the problem to us as a VCL export to minimize the information we have to look through

3) Highlight the area of the project to look at specifically Pre and Post Problem

4) Tell us the command that you are running and the settings that you are using and the data that you are selecting to do the computation or report or whatever. If possible Name the Lines / Boundaries, Points etc in such a way that we can easily find them

5) If possible record a short video of the problem - this way we can see the settings and view filters that you are using to recreate the problem. Screenshots also work to assist diagnosis.


It often takes a lot of time to open the file and just find the problem you are asking about, any help that you can provide would help enormously. And remember that without the data it is often going to be impossible to answer the question unless someone else has asked the same question previously and we already know the problem / Answer / Work Around.


Please also remember to tell us which version of TBC you are running. We will likely run the test in the latest release version first, and if it works in that release it is likely that you may need to upgrade to the latest version in order to get a fix if it turns out to be a bug in an earlier version.


If you feel that you cannot share the data through the forum, please email me the files or a link to the files to /


Thanks for your assistance



Trimble Business Center v5.3 Released yesterday (April 27 2020). Hot on the heels of the 5.21 Release that was made a few weeks ago by the CEC Division at the ConExpo Trade Show in Las Vegas. The 5.30 Release is packed with New Features, Product Enhancements and important Bug Fixes for CEC Users, I provide a summary below.


Installation Improvements

The TBC Team are striving to make installation faster and easier with a new Online Installation Option that reduces Installation Time by 25% for a first time installation and >50% for an upgrade from 5.2x.




Hot New Features - Command Line CAD Data Entry

In line with the demand for more CAD Tools, to facilitate people to do more of their finishing work in TBC, Trimble have added Command Line Functionality to the software, to allow Keyboard Hounds to use keyboard entry to rapidly enter common CAD Data using enhanced and refactored CAD Commands like Join, Break, Fillet, Chamfer, Clip, Polyline, Linestring etc. The Command Line can be toggled On and Off using a Toggle Switch in the panel of Toggle Icons at the base of the TBC Window. The Command Line provides access to 26 refactored commands and increases productivity when using these CAD Commands. The command list uses shortcuts that mimic other industry software like AutoCAD to make it easier for AutoCAD users to migrate to TBC.



Hot New Features - Quadri Connector for Trimble Business Center

This one is awesome.



A few years ago Trimble acquired Vianova Systems, a Civil Engineering Design software company in Norway, with strong market presence across Scandinavia and Northern Europe, The crown jewel of the Vianova company back then was the unique Civil Database called Quadri. The Quadri Model BIM Server can be hosted on a Private Cloud or Corporate Network, and provides a connection Hub for Civil Designers using Novapoint Software, allowing them to save their model data as it is being developed into the Quadri Civil Database. This allows engineers of different disciplines to create models using each others data as a reference in real time, and it saves having to create a federated model at the end of each work period by aggregating files from all of the engineering teams engaged on a project. Because Quadri can be hosted outside a firewall on a private cloud, it provides the ability for Engineers, Owners and Contractors to collaborate freely outside of the limits of corporate IS restrictions.


A Quadri connector plugin is now available for Trimble Business Center and more will follow for Trimble and Non Trimble authoring tools including Sketchup, Revit, Tekla, Civil 3D, OpenRoads Designer, Quantm providing the ability to connect Engineering and Construction disciplines like never before.


Watch these Trimble Videos for more information


Quadri Model to TBC



TBC to Quadri Model


Click Here To Download Video


Quadri and Quadri Connector Installation Guidelines


SIngle Sign On for Trimble External Services Using Trimble ID

Trimble External Services like Connect, VisionLink, Works Manager, Machine Data Service, Clarity, Trimble Library and our own Trimble Status all use your Trimble ID for Login. You can now create a single Login profile that is applied to all these services.



Hot New Features - Vertical Design Continues to Evolve

The Create Vertical Design Tools go from strength to strength. The Vertical Design system is now being extensively used for Data Prep processes globally, and is proving highly effective and extremely productive. The Vertical Design Tool has been enhanced in this release as follows


Vertical Design - More Corner Case Support

Because of the great feedback we are getting from users pioneering the use of Vertical Design the tool now better supports many Corner Cases that you have reported - areas where the rules would fail have been reduced significantly, and geometry computations have got stronger, resulting in a better finished product with fewer rules.


Vertical Design - Multiple Line Elevations With a Single Rule

Where you have 2 or more lines that terminate or cross at a common point, if you now add an Elevation Rule to that location it will apply to all lines passing through the same location.



Vertical Design - Full support of Object Snaps and Better Use of Grips

Near Point Snap is now enabled whenever you are in the Vertical Design command, providing quick and easy snapping to linear features. In addition full support has been made for all of the two point snap functions like Perpendicular and Tangent, as well as for all the Point Snaps.


Moving Vertical Design Rules with Grips is now easier, the rules maintain their attachment to the source and target lines where possible.


Vertical Design - Addition of Lock and Unlock Rules

The new Lock and Unlock rules allow you to unlock a portion of a 3D line used in the vertical design, allowing Vertical Design Rules to influence the 3D Geometry of the Unlocked portion of a line.


Vertical Design - Additional Methods To Control Cross Slope

A new property “Cross Slope Method” has been added to the Vertical Design properties. This provides different means of computation of cross slopes (Slope, Offset, Dynamic, Quick Mode). These influence the computations of a Vertical Design, and can improve speed of computation for large Vertical Designs with many instructions.


Vertical Design User Interface Improvements

Various additions have been made to the User Interface including additional controls and additional information for the user. In the Lines List we now show the type of line (Alignment or Linestring for example). Right Click controls to center the current view on the selected rule or line, to delete a rule or reverse a rule while maintaining the endpoints, to remove a line from the vertical design, edit a line, view the profile of a line.


Coordinate System Manager Updated

The Coordinate System Manager has some new and updated Coordinate System definitions including the updated Geoid Model for the HS2 Project in the UK and a new Zone Group “Germany / GK (NTV2)” using the Datum Grid




Trimble Access Road Strings Export From a Corridor Surface

The Trimble Access Road Strings Export that used to only support output to GENIO format now supports output to LandXML format in the same way. LandXML provides support for Station Equations and all International Units whereas the GENIO format did not support US Survey Foot units. This process also sets the “flags” on the Tops and Toes of Sideslopes so that you can use those strings for Slope Staking operations.




New Surface Modeling Tools - Flatten Surface

This is a great new tool for “Despiking Surfaces” created from e.g. Point Clouds. The tool allows you to select a surface, optionally select specific areas of the surface to despike, and enter a tolerance for the “Despiking” (the spike from the surrounding triangles that is used to identify the spike). You can run the command repeatedly to iterate to the desired solution - maybe 4 or 5 iterations will be required to get the desired result. The use of boundaries allows you to constrain the despiking to specific areas of the surface only.



Continuous Product Improvements

Thanks to the Trimble Forum, and from continuous requests streaming in, we have made many enhancements and eliminated numerous bugs and defects as a result of your feedback - here are a few that made it into this release


  • DGN and DWG File Import now supports Mesh Solid Objects
  • DGN importer now supports multi model DGN Files - Each Model is created as a separate Selection Set on Import - this means we now get more data out of DGN Files, when the data is split across multiple models.



  • PDF Output now provides better support for High Resolution Aerial Images
  • PDF Output now fully supports TBC Lineweights correctly
  • Drill Plan Report now can generate a Design Hole Report without any Quality Hole data from Groundworks
  • Feature Processing - Named Polygon Feature Labeling - allows the feature Code Processor to place the Name Attribute of the Polygon feature at the Centroid of the polygon that is created.




  • Cut and Fill Plan Areas were not being reported when the Cut Fill Map was almost 0 - this was fixed in this release
  • CAD Cross Section Conversion - a couple more corner case issues have been trapped further increasing the robustness of this fantastic tool
  • Field Data Bugs reported in v5.21 and SCS Data Manager have been addressed
  • Advanced View Filter Settings Improvement - You can now group select and turn Selectable Flag On and Off facilitating easier protection of data in a model.
  • Georeference PDF Plan Sheets against an Alignment - If the Station and Offset View for an Alignment is Open and the Active View when you are trying to place PDF Sheets, you can now Enter Station and Offset as the Coordinates for the Target Locations of the Georeferencing process. This increases productivity significantly when placing sheets into drawings.
  • Corridor Surface Instructions - We added the ability to clip a Surface Instruction in a Corridor Model Template to another surface so that they tie correctly. This is really helpful when building Corridor Models from Surface Models, where the surface ties are less than perfect.



  • Inverting Layers, Layer Groups and All Layers / Layer Groups - Another relatively small change that has a huge impact on productivity - watch the video



  • Subgrade Adjusted Surface “Walls” removal - watch the video - this is awesome work



  • Moving Imported PDF Section Sheets from One Sheet Set To Another - When working with PDF Section Sheets, sometimes you may bring in e.g. 50 Sheets and hope that you can process them as one set using Multi sheet view, only to find a lot of data on one layer that makes it hard to work with - no longer a problem - you can now create a second Sheet Set and move a selection of Sheets from one to the other by changing the Sheet Set Property on the Sheets - Watch the Video to see how



  • Added Sticky Buttons to the Break Line and Delete Line Segment Commands - this allows you to break a single line in multiple places or break a sequence of lines in a single location each depending on the state of the Sticky Button. On the Delete Line Segments command, the Sticky Button allows you to delete multiple segments from a single line or a single segment from a sequence of lines depending on the state of the sticky button. Again two small changes that deliver productivity gains for Data Prep.


There are many more Bugs, defects and enhancements - these are the Highlights for me - as with each release, the product is getting better and better and faster and faster with your input.


Tunnel Modeling Improvements

The Trimble Business Center Tunnel Module continues to grow in strength with this release with new abilities to create and edit the following data types via the Tunnel View


Shape Geometry

Set Out Points (Drill and Blast)

Horizontal and Vertical Offsets


Template Positions


You can also now see corridor models in the Tunnel View


Point Feature Extraction From Point Clouds

The Point Cloud team have added enhanced methods of extraction Pole and Sign objects from Point Clouds using both Automatic and Manual approaches.


Scanning Module Enhancements

The scanning module has been further enhanced through the following


Enhanced Point Cloud Scaling

  • Grid Scaling and positioning of .e57 files
  • Import LAS / LAZ files with known coordinate systems


TDX Exporter Exports X7 TZF Files

  • Export to TZF-formatted files instead of RWCX files as in the past
  • Enables full point cloud processing functionality when the TDX file and associated TZF files are imported into a different TBC / RealWorks project


Import Trimble X7 Colorized Scans

Import dialog box has been updated so that the “Colorize uncolorized scans” option is automatically disabled if TBC determines on import that all of the scans have already been colorized, still providing you the options to create panorama images as media files and create 3D panoramas from station views.


Compute and Save Vertical Clearance




Create High and Low Points in Point Cloud




All in a great release - Kudos and thanks to the Trimble Business Center Development Team

Alan Sharp

PUG 2020 in April Postponed

Posted by Alan Sharp Mar 19, 2020

Due to the Corona Virus issues sweeping the world right now, and in line with CDC and WHO guidelines to "Flatten the Curve", we are postponing the April PUG event in Colorado until further notice. We have an event provisionally planned for October this year, and all being well if the health and well being issues have passed we will continue to execute that plan. Please watch this space for notifications on future events.


We apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause, we will be organizing On Line training opportunities to replace the face to face opportunity that PUG represents for the near term at least.


Thanks for your continued support and stay healthy


Ed Shapell                                                                            Alan Sharp

Consulting Services Director                                                Partner / Marketing Director

Trimble Inc.                                                                           Rockpile Solutions

Alan Sharp

My New Contact Details

Posted by Alan Sharp Jan 25, 2020

As many of you may be aware, I am leaving Trimble at the end of next week to join Rockpile Solutions. Rockpile Solutions is being hired as an Authorized Trimble Consultant to provide various services including


  1. The continuation of the development of the CEC Community Forum for Trimble Business Center
  2. The Power User Group Training Sessions worldwide
  3. The continued development of the TBC User Community
  4. To assist Trimble to build out the Training Portal for Software Certification
  5. To provide consulting Services with Key Accounts and Major Projects globally


We will also be available to Trimble dealers and customers globally to provide advanced support under a Rockpile Support Services Agreement should you want to tap into our support or training capabilities. 


In addition Rockpile Solutions will be providing TML and TBC Programming Services as an Authorized Trimble Developer. We will also be continuing to develop the TML Macro Programming community with assistance from key Trimble personnel like Gary Lantaff and the Product Management Team. In this role we will be providing tools like TML Status, the eCommerce requirements for licensing and sales of TML Subscriptions as well as providing QA, Testing, Documentation and Marketing Services as well as TML Tools for 3rd Party TML developers.


Rockpile Solutions will also be developing additional software solutions that provide solutions that integrate with and leverage the solutions offered by Trimble.


While our main focus will be in the CEC sector, we are open to providing solutions to Trimble CEC and Geospatial Customers globally, and will be working closely with the Trimble Channel partners.


As of February 1 you can reach me at the following contact locations



Mobile: 720 323 0481 (for those of you that have my 720 347 2850 number it will be changing over this coming week)



It will likely take a few weeks to get all of the systems and people in place for this transition to be completed, and I look forward to continuing to work with you in 2020


Thanks for all the fun times and support that you have given me and Trimble over the years, I really appreciate the connections and contacts that I have made through Trimble and it's global channel partners over the past 32 years and I hope that we can continue to evolve together over the coming years.


Thank you


Alan Sharp

Alan Sharp

Coordinate Systems Use

Posted by Alan Sharp Jan 22, 2020

In this Blog I will capture questions and answers asked about Coordinate Systems in TBC. I hope that you find the information useful. By Coordinate Systems I am referring to functions including


  1. Site Calibration
  2. Coordinate System Manager
  3. Change Coordinate System
  4. Point Clouds and Coordinate Systems


Let me know if you have questions in this area and I will try to answer them for you



Alan Sharp

Earthworks Takeoff

Posted by Alan Sharp Dec 17, 2019

There are always a lot of questions about how to do Takeoffs most effectively in TBC. In this Blog I will try to capture some of the key Takeoff Workflows for you. Please ask Takeoff Questions here and I will try to answer them for you.



I will be posting Links and Content Download for all the TBC Power Hours for Construction on this Blog going forwards. The Power Hour concept was initiated by the Geospatial Team a couple of years ago and has been hugely popular with the Geospatial Survey Community. The 2+ years of one hour a month rapidly build into a hugely valuable resource for our user base and cover a wide variety of subjects. Some of the presentations are made by Trimble Product Specialists and some are made by customers to give Real World experiences and projects to other users to highlight what is truly possible etc.


We hope that you find them useful, please comment on the Power Hour Sessions as you see fit, we love to get your feedback and to hear how they are helping you to "Transform The Way The World Works".


Thanks for your support and interest



In TBC v5.1 and earlier, the way to handle PDF Cross Sections was to use the Digitize Cross Sections workflow. This entails a time consuming process of scaling each section manually and then digitizing the surfaces from the sections that you require i.e. Finished Grade, Subgrade, Existing Terrain etc.


In TBC v5.2 to be released shortly, we showed the PUG attendees in US last week some new tools that we have implemented in TBC to do this work in a faster and more effective way, that is more enjoyable as well.


In this Blog I am going to provide a number of videos that show the steps to


  1. Import the Vector PDF Section Sheets into a Project
  3. Auto Extract the vectors from the PDF File pages
  5. Sort out the data in the sections into separate layers
  7. Prepare the extracted data for 3D Conversion
  9. Convert the Linework into 3D Objects using the Create Stored Cross Sections from CAD (we modified this command to facilitate the creation of Stored Cross Sections or 3D Linework from the PDF data)
  11. Manipulate the 3D Linework to create the linear features for the project
  13. Use the 3D linework to create surface models
  15. Add the Surface Models to a Corridor and assign materials to determine volumes


Along the way you will find many Tips and Tricks to make your process faster. If you have questions on these workflows, please ask them here so we can keep all the related Q&A together in this one Blog Post.





In line with some of the other Blog Posts - I decided that I would start to capture commonly requested information about working with SCS900 and Siteworks products and TBC combined. In this Blog I will post information that you will find helpful if you are looking for answers or tools to solve data type issues when working with SCS900 or Siteworks. If you have questions in this arena, please ask them in this Blog so that we can contain all related information in one place.


Hope that this is helpful



As you dig deeper and deeper into TBC and use it for more and more tasks in your daily workload, you start to ask "how do I do this or that" when the tools that are provided may not do what you specifically want. In this Blog I am going to start to capture Tips and Tricks relating to CAD Drawing and Editing that may be useful for you to know when you start to use TBC's CAD capabilities more.


If you have specific How To questions relating to CAD Editing please put them in this BLOG so we can keep all this type of information together in one place.





I get a lot of Questions around creating and managing data for the GCS900, Earthworks and Siteworks / SCS900 systems. So much so that I feel that the creation of a Blog Post (that is easy to locate) that captures all of the issues that I hear about in one place for the benefit of all users out there. 


Please post Questions and Answers to commonly encountered data management issues here so we can create a really useful Blog for field system Managers and Users.





Alan Sharp

Image Management in TBC

Posted by Alan Sharp Jul 29, 2019

I am often asked for more detail on the use of Digital Globe Satellite Imagery in TBC - here are some FAQs and Responses


Question 1

Is TBC directly connected to the Digital Globe Image Server when you turn on the background map function?


Answer 1

Yes - the Trimble ID login gets you to Connect Services and those services parse your project data and send on the request to the Digital Globe Image Server to retrieve the image set for your project / graphical display area. We do not make a copy of the Digital Globe Satellite Imagery so it is 100% up to date with the Digital Globe Images that are available.


Question 2

Is the Digital Globe Imagery the highest resolution imagery that is available from that service provider?


Answer 2

Yes - Google Earth is higher resolution in some areas because they supplement the Satellite Imagery with low elevation image data from terrestrial flight imagery. Digital Globe Imagery is all Satellite based imagery.


Question 3

What is the accuracy of the Digital Globe Imagery?


Answer 3

The Digital Globe Imagery is typically accurate to better than 10m with a >90% confidence in that accuracy. If you see errors greater than that it is likely that it is to do with the Coordinate System and Projection that you are using in your project and the "reprojection" of the Digital Globe Imagery that TBC is doing. Please share example projects where the errors are greater than these stated accuracies for us to take a look at.


Question 4

How old is the Digital Globe Imagery?


Answer 4

The Digital Globe Imagery is typically updated every 2 years on a rolling coverage basis. When compared with Google Earth imagery it can be both more current or older because the rolling update cycles of Digital Globe and Google are not the same.


Question 5

Why do Trimble use Digital Globe Imagery vs Google Earth or other Image Servers?


Answer 5

Digital Globe is a) Global and b) cheaper to offer as a service than other providers. While Google is higher quality image data it is significantly more expensive to license than Digital Globe. With the advent of Drone Flying being common for contractors, many projects have high accuracy high resolution data of their own available. We don't see the need to contract with a higher quality image provider because we would have to pass that cost on to you as consumers and  we feel that it is a "fill in" rather than a primary service. You also get the optional Street Maps within this background image function which allows you to map Haul Roads and Site Access Points accurately from existing infrastructure. Trimble Sketchup for example has recently licensed Nearmap for high resolution imagery, however that covers urban areas more than green field areas which may be good for Architects but less so for Civil Contractors. It is also not a Global Coverage service.

  • First you need a Trimble ID - if you don't have one go to this website and follow the steps to Sign Up for a Trimble ID (this will give you a Connect Services Login (uses your email address and password)


      Click Here For Link


  • Now that you have a Trimble ID - In TBC go to Support - Options - External Servces - Profiles and create a Trimble Connect Service Profile. Enter your rimble ID Username and Password and then tap "Test Settings" and if it passes, Tap "Sign In" and then "Set as Active". This will start the service each time you start TBC.
  • Now you need your Project to have some data in it (a Point or Line is a minimum) and it must also have a coordinate system - that can be a Site Calibration File imported (DC, CAL or CFG file) or can be set using a Coordinate System (Projection and Datum etc.)
  • Now you can tap the Background Map Service Toggle Button at the base of the graphics screen area -  to activate the Map Service.
  • Once active if you want to toggle between Satellite Image and Street Map you can go to Project Explorer and go to the top of the tree and find the Project Name and then look at its properties - In the Background Map section the Type can be "Trimble Mapview" (the Street Map) or Digital Globe Imagery (The Satellite Imagery). Here you can also set the Transparency of the Background Map.


Here is the result of showing the imagery behind a TIN Surface Model of the Trimble Building Facility in Colorado, USA.



Hope that this is useful information



I see a lot of traffic internally and through the Forum on this subject and have decided that a Blog Post where we can capture all "Working With AutoCAD and Civil 3D questions" in one place as a resource for you all to use. Please post questions here relating to anything regarding AutoCAD, Civil 3D, DWG, DXF, Trueview or related activities. We will use the Q&A as a resource to improve TBC going forwards and hopefully you will get answers to commonly asked questions and problems. 


My colleague Mike Carris is our resident Civil 3D Guru, he worked for several years as an Autodesk Trainer for Civil 3D so he knows the system better than most. He has a number of videos (K-APP) that are available on the Trimble Library that you may also want to review as a part of your quest to make Autodesk data more usable in TBC. The link here provides you with a Voucher to access some of these K-APPs for free on Trimble Library (this one covers CAD Data Objects and how to manage those in AutoCAD / Civil 3D i order to create those objects in TBC


Understanding CAD Data kApp Voucher Code


The Voucher will add the K-APP to your personal Trimble Library. Trimble Library can be accessed from the Support Menu Ribbon in TBC or at the following link


Trimble Library Link


You will need a Trimble ID to access the Trimble Library - you can get a Trimble ID at the following link if you don't already have one


Trimble ID Link


To kick this off, the first post, which I will complete next week (but am publishing now), posed some questions to Mike as a response to some user questions this week - Mike is going to provide a more detailed response to me shortly, however his initial responses are pretty handy to have today.


Let us know what you need to understand and we will collectively try to assist you