Rob Koot

Editing tally and joint map files

Blog Post created by Rob Koot on Apr 4, 2016

The Tally files are a collection of files that record attributes and relationships. The tally file holds the attributes for each joint of pipe, the joint map file records the relationship between welds/bends/loose ends and the joints of pipe. The joint map file can also record additional weld attributes, bend attributes, and loose ends.


The tally file and its associated files are stored in the Trimble Data\Common\Tally folder on the controller.

The Tally folder contains the following files:






Attribute data for each joint



Unique ID, status flags, and timestamp and position information for each joint

Joint map


Joint map records, including any additional attributes recorded and timestamp and position information for each weld, bend or loose end



Configured tally options


Any modifications to these files must be performed on the master tally files. The process of merging tally files from multiple crews can add and modify (update) the master, but it does not subtract from the master.


Editing the tally file

The tally .csv and index .idx files work together, and rely on the lines numbers in one file lining up with the line numbers in the other file. In addition, the unique joint ID in the tally must match the unique joint ID at the corresponding line number in the index file.

The best (and safest) way to delete or rename a joint in the tally file is to use the Tally and Joint Map Updater utility. This utility has an Edit button where you can delete and rename joints in the master tally file. When you use the utility to make these modifications both the csv and idx file are modified to ensure they rename in sync.

To download the Tally and Joint Map Updater utility go to then click Downloads on the right and browse to Trimble Access Pipelines. There is also a Release note document here and we update this utility from time to time so I would recommend checking the release notes from time to time to see if there are updates.


Deleting a joint map

The Tally and Joint Map Updater utility also has an option to delete a joint map record. However, because the joint map file is not directly related to another file like the csv and idx, you can delete joint map records with an editor such as Notepad ++ if required – but remember to only delete from the master joint map file.

Adding or removing attributes in the joint map file

Additional weld attributes and bend attributes can be recorded during joint mapping, and later during the as-built process are automatically retrieved and recorded with the as-built survey positions.

The additional attributes to record are configured in Pipeline options, and once set ‘cannot’ be changed. The header line of the map file records the attribute names, and if you really do need to modify this, then you could carefully modify the header. This header is the only place Pipelines determines the additional fields, so the header is the place where it ‘could’ be modified. However, the map file is a comma delimited file, and if you do make any modifications to the header, through the addition or removal of additional weld or bend fields, then you MUST ensure that the appropriate changes are also made for each and every weld or bend line, as appropriate, in the map file. Microsoft Excel is good at managing comma delimited files, and would probably be a good tool to use to do this.

Renaming attributes in the joint map file – and the relationship to the fxl

If you rename an attribute name in the header file, then you are not adding or removing columns, so there is no need to make any changes to the rest of the joint map file.

However, you probably need to update your FXL. The FXL plays two important roles with respect to the additional bend and weld attributes. Firstly it provides things like field validation and drop down lists when initially collecting the attributes. Secondly, the fxl file is the mechanism used to record the attributes at survey time – for example, if WELD COATING is an extra attribute recorded at joint map time, then the WELD code used at survey time must have an attribute called WELD COATING in order to have this attribute filled in automatically from the joint map data.

Error checking with the Tally and Joint Map Updater utility

When the utility is run to either preview a merge or actually merge data, it checks the master and new joint map files to identify problems with duplicate IDs. The following checks are performed:

  • Check for any duplicate joint map IDs
  • Check for any duplicate joint map definitions - where there is another joint map ID that lists joints ahead and behind that have already been used in another joint map
  • Checks through all weld joint maps to ensure that a joint ID is not referenced as a joint ahead or a joint behind more than once.

If the report says there are issues with duplicate joint ID’s or definitions, then the master joint map file should be analyzed and the duplicates should be resolved/deleted.