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Trimble Business Center Group

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Are you a big fan of the Google Earth export in TBC? I sure am! It's handy for quickly sharing project data with clients in a digestible form. Did you know TBC has it's own background imagery? This is great for screenshots, deliverables, and—most notably—verifying that field data is in the correct coordinate system and things are (at least) close to where they should be!


Background Maps and Imagery are available in TBC Intermediate Edition and higher. If you're not sure what you're licensed for, go to Support > License > License Manager in TBC to find out.


Here I have a parcel which was keyed-in from a survey plan, (check out the CreateCOGO command on the Survey ribbon and this video to see how I did it), and I want to verify it's location to ensure my coordinate system is set up properly.


First thing I need to do, is log in to my free Trimble Connect account. I can do this from Options in the Quick Access toolbar.


Next, External Services - Profiles. If you don't have a Trimble Connect account yet, head over to and create a free account! We at Trimble are moving towards having a single login for all of our services, and Trimble Connect is that single account. If you have a Trimble Connect account already, click Create and choose a name for your profile.


Enter a name for your profile.


Then select Sign-In to open a login screen for Trimble Connect.


Select OK to close out of the options. To toggle the background map, select the Map toggle on the Status bar at the bottom of TBC.


This will open a Trimble Mapview background map by default. This shows roads and building footprints in most areas. 


What about background imagery you might ask? Well, we on the TBC team have the solution for you!


On the Project Explorer, right click on your project, select Properties. In the Properties pane, go to Type: and in the drop-down, select DigitalGlobe Imagery.


To better view your data over the background map, try toggling the background color on the TBC status bar, or adjusting the Transparency of the background map.


And there you go! Background Maps and Imagery built into TBC for quick verification of data.


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Hello and welcome for another—you guessed it!—TBC Tip of the Week! In this weeks segment we delve into the elusive donut surface. This is a surface with areas where a surface isn’t wanted in the final deliverable or volume computation.


Here I have a surface created of a surveyed property containing a house.


In the Surfaces ribbon, navigate to Surfaces > Create > Surface Boundaries.


In the Add/Remove Surface Boundaries command, select the surface you want to apply the outer and inner boundaries to, I have a poorly named New Surface(2).


Hold the Control key, and select each boundary. It is good to note, if there are multiple places within the boundary that you don’t want the surface, you can have multiple interior boundaries. For example dirt piles or a house and shed.


And there you go! Neat hey?


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Welcome back to another Tip of the Week! Amid the US government shutdown, you may be missing your OPUS post-processing corrections from the NGS. Fortunately for your static GNSS data, Trimble is not shut down and can supply another correction service, CenterPoint RTX Point Positioning. The best part? CenterPoint RTX-PP is available directly through TBC!


This feature is licensed in TBC Advanced and higher in v5.0.


Before getting into the how-to, I'll give a little introduction to RTX-PP within TBC. First and most notable: If your receiver is capable of tracking more constellations than just GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, (like BeiDou or QZSS), then RTX-PP will already get you one step ahead of OPUS. RTX-PP supports observations up to 24 hours in length, with a recommended length of at least 60 minutes.


There are three ways to post process static data using RTX-PP in TBC: 

1. Send to RTX-PP on import.


2. From the Project Explorer. Right click on the imported observation file, and click Send to RTX-PP.


3. From the Survey ribbon. Survey > GNSS > Send to RTX-PP.


If you want to submit the files directly to CenterPoint RTX-PP, that can be done from the website


Best of luck and thank you for reading!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Joe Blecha

TBC Tips of the Week Vault

Posted by Joe Blecha Jan 17, 2019

Here you'll find all TBC Tips of the Week linked and accessible for viewing (and re-viewing!):


Field Data

#4 - Spreadsheets - February 2017

#5 - Process Panorama - March 2017

#18 - Visualizing Survey Data in Google Earth - July 2017

#19 - Investigating Data with Point Derivation Reports - August 2017

#27 - "Sunny" Level Editing - February 2018

#33 - Easy *.job to *.jxl File Conversion - March 2018

#43 - New GNSS Planning Online Tool - June 2018

#62 - Observation Vector Arrows - December 2018 


Adjustment & COGO

#1 - Coordinate Controls - January 2017

#9 - Bearing/Azimuth Angle Controls - May 2017

#22 - Transform Survey Points - January 2018

#29 - Sources of Default Standard Errors - February 2018

#34 - The Power of the Comp Engine and Point Derivation Report - March 2018

#47 - Network Adjustment North/East Components - June 2018

#58 - Average Points vs Merge Points Command - September 2018 

#65 - OPUS Alternatives—Post Process Static Data from TBC - January 2019 


CAD & Drafting

#2 - Layer Manager - January 2017

#3 - Project Cleanup - February 2017

#6 - Using View Filters - April 2017

#15 - Using the Best-Fit Line Command to Draft Catenary Lines - June 2017

#16 - Using Selection Sets for Time Saving - June 2017

#24 - Label Style Previews - January 2018

#25 - Hiding the Dynaview Frame - January 2018

#32 - Customize Drafting Templates - March 2018

#42 - TBC Point Symbols in AutoCAD - May 2018

#44 - Locking manual edits to feature coded geometry - June 2018

#45 - Creating Arcs with Polylines - June 2018

#46 - Ortho Snap Modes - June 2018

#48 - Object Snaps - July 2018

#52 - Creating a Point On-Line Between Two 3D Points - August 2018

#56 - Smart Text in Plan Set Templates - September 2018

#61 - Consistent Drafted Deliverables - November 2018 


Surfaces & Volumes

#11 - Breakline Tolerances for Surfaces - May 2017

#26 - "Draping" Ortho Images on Surfaces - February 2018

#28 - Staking Cut/Fill Data - February 2018

#39 - Reproject Surface to a New Plane Definition - May 2018

#40 - Offsetting a Surface - May 2018

#41 - Vertical Exaggeration in 3D View - May 2018

#54 - Speed up Surface Volume Calculations - September 2018

#66 - Donut Surfaces (Multiple Surface Boundaries) 



#13 - Using the Explore Objects Command - June 2017

#30 - Re-using Road Corridor Templates - March 2018

#53 - Undefined in Corridor Template Instruction - August 2018


Data Prep

#7 - Auto-Advance - April 2017

#8 - Doing Math in TBC - May 2017

#49 - Image Georeferencing - July 2018


Specialty Solutions

#10 - Measuring Clearances - May 2017

#12 - Creating Orthorectified Image for Facade Reconstruction - Using Multiple Stations - May 2017

#17 - Quick + Clean Facade Segmentation for Orthophotos - July 2017

#23 - Maximize your PC's RAM for Improved Point Cloud Rendering - January 2018

#60 - Point Cloud Ambient Shading - October 2018

#63 - Point Cloud by Boundary - December 2018 



#14 - Customized Keyboard Shortcuts, Ribbons, and the Quick Access Toolbar - June 2017

#20 - Tricks and Right-Clicks - August 2017

#21 - Tips and Zips (Importing a .zip file) - October 2017

#31 - TBC Help is Closer than You Think - March 2018

#35 - Where are all the TBC Report Settings at? - April 2018

#36 - Your New Home Page... - April 2018

#37 - Version Upgrade Eligibility - April 2018

#38 - Available License Servers - April 2018

#50 - Graphic Selection Methods - August 2018

#51 - Quick Zoom Extents - August 2018

#55 - Save Reminders - September 2018

#57 - Context Menu Customization - September 2018

#59 - Freehand (Lasso) Selection - October 2018 

#64 - View Filter Manager Shortcuts - January 2019 

#67 - Background Map to Verify Data 

Here we go, 2019! Is it just me or do the work days seem to continually have less time in them?


For this week’s TBC Tip of the Week, we highlight some shortcuts in the View Filter Manager which can reduce the amount of scrolling required to find that pesky layer, and quickly isolating the desired layer(s).



Shift + Click on the expand toggle. Holding Shift, select any toggle to open/close all Layer Groups.



Right click on any Layer Group that contains layers, (not an empty group), Right Click, and select View All or Hide All. This doesn’t toggle the surface layer group, as that would cause more harm than good in quickly finding a point or line that didn’t make it to the correct layer.



Right clicking on a layer, and toggling View All or Hide All. This will turn on/off all layers in the Layer Group which contains the layer.


And that concludes this week’s TBC Tip of the Week! It’s all about shaving off those seconds in the work day!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Start your 2019 by learning how to integrate Sonarmite bathymetric data with SX10 topo scans in TBC v5.00.  Join our free TBC Power Hour on January 30th, guest hosted by Chris Guagliardo of Keystone Precision in Maryland, US.


Learn more and sign-up here -

TBC December 2018 Power Hour - 
The TBC Team… Live! Part 2
Wednesday, December 19 - 8am MDT


For a return of a TBC holiday special, the December Power Hour will be a live session featuring a cross-section of team members as we answer TBC Community questions, ask some TBC trivia questions (with some cool swag giveaways), and showcase some of our favorite TBC features.


You’ll get to meet some of the people behind TBC and get to know their work and personalities.  And, we’ll show you all the updated resources and learning tools for you to implement TBC for your survey and construction project needs.


This session is for everyone, from the seasoned TBC veteran to the new surveyor looking for a single geospatial and construction survey office software.  Register here:

Hello and welcome to another TBC Tip of the Week! How do you like TBC v5.0 so far? Let us know!


In this tip we highlight one of the sample TML’s (Trimble Macro Language) available with any license of TBC advanced or higher. This macro is PointCloud by Boundary. This allows for repeatable selections of points using complex (or simple!) polygons.


Here we have a dataset collected by an SX10 of a road overpass in Germany. By using the PointCloud by Boundary macro we can repeatedly trim only the focus of the scan from point clouds throughout the life of a project. A surface boundary or any polyline/linestring can be used.


Here I have a surface boundary from a previous job.


On the Macros ribbon, select the macro (or what is usually a command) PointCloud by Boundary.


For this macro to work, the Polygon Select option must be used.


Select the Boundary: box to put the mouse focus there.


And select your polyline/linestring to get the point cloud selection.


And there you have it! This selected area can then be made into a new region using the Create Region command on the Point Clouds ribbon, added to an existing region, sampled to create a surface or many other things. Here that selection is with the ground extracted, spatially sampled, and a surface created.


Hope you enjoyed this week’s tip! If you have any suggestions for future tips, or have any questions leave us a comment!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Hello fellow TBC’ers! Welcome back after a short hiatus. There’s a chill in the air in some parts of the world, others are warming up.


This week we take a look into a new feature in TBC v5.0, enabling directional arrows on GNSS baselines, level runs, and total station observation vectors. Sometimes it’s the small things that help most with useability, we on the TBC team hope these features help you out!


First, in the TBC Options, accessed from the Quick Access toolbar or under the File dropdown.


Check the box next to “Show direction arrows for observations”.


This shows an arrow just before each midpoint to indicate direction on each level run, RTK vector, GNSS baseline, and total station vector. In the image below, an example of GNSS baselines (dark blue), total station observations (light green), and level runs (lavender) are shown.


Here we have a different project, a loop traverse. Light green lines indicate that multiple measurements have been made and are used, dark green indicate a single observation.


When a traverse is adjusted using the Adjust Traverse command, the path of the traverse will be shown in pink to distinguish it from other observations, and mark it as adjusted. There are arrows near the end of each vector showing the direction of travel in the traverse, and upside down triangles indicate each position at which there was a station setup.


And that does it!


TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

TBC November Power Hour - November 28th at 8am MDT
Three Survey Construction Workflows in TBC v5.00
Trimble Business Center (TBC) and Business Center - Heavy Civil Edition (BC-HCE) have merged with the new TBC v5.00 release. TBC v5.00 is now your single survey and construction office software. Join this session to get an overview of three survey construction workflows useful for geospatial professionals: Utility Modeling, Image Management, and Surface/Subgrades. Trimble Business Center (TBC) and Business Center - Heavy Civil Edition (BC-HCE) have merged with the new TBC v5.00 release. TBC v5.00 is now your single survey and construction office software. Join this session to get an overview of three survey construction workflows useful for geospatial professionals: Utility Modeling, Image Management, and Surface/Subgrades.
Joe Blecha

TBC v5.00 is released!

Posted by Joe Blecha Nov 19, 2018

TBC v5.00 is live!  Check out an overview of the new features, like terrestrial laser scanning support, point-based feature extraction, and digital cross-sections and cutting plane view enhancements, and more!

Hello fellow TBC’ers and happy November, we’ve made it past the spookiest time of the year, Trimble Dimensions is coming up, and now we’re approaching the end of… What year is it? 2018? How did that happen!


Consistency between deliverables —at least to perfectionists like myself— is of the utmost importance, and always a high priority. Without perfection, what are we, animals?


When creating drafting templates, some folks include a rectangle to match the dynaview to, others do whatever looks best. But here’s an idea from the ever teaching and extremely knowledgeable Alan Sharp: Include a bit of text outside the template to ensure the size and insertion point for the dynaview is always within reach and accessible! Brilliant, right?




TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

No color, no problem, with point cloud ambient shading!


From time to time, you get a point cloud file from a third party that has no color and no greyscale. 3D points are good but not necessarily easy to make sense of when there is no color or intensity depths to it. It may just come as a big flat monotone blob that you can’t comprehend. Luckily, TBC has the right tool for the job!


Monochrome point cloud without ambient shading


No more, thanks to the [Ambient Shading] rendering option in TBC. This will bring shades of depth to your point cloud, whether or not it is colorized.


Go to the [Point Clouds] ribbon tab, and click the little sphere icon dropdown in the [Rendering] group. The [Ambient Shading] will give your point cloud a whole new dimension, turning it from a flat meaningless blob to an actual comprehensible 3D scene. (Check out the teaser of the new look and organization in TBC v5.0!)


Ambient shading option in the ribbon


Same monochrome point cloud with ambient shading turned on


'Tis the season for TBC and Autodesk (specifically Civil 3D) interoperability. Join our October TBC Power Hour to learn how the two software packages work together for you. Feature coding, attributes, and drafting will be covered. Sign up here for the live October 31st session. If you can't make it, still sign up, you'll get recording notifications and you'll be able to watch on-demand for free!

Come one, come all! Tip of the Week time is upon us. This weeks Tip is on a little known selection method that is shared with Trimble Realworks, the Freehand (or Lasso) Select!


We all know of the Rectangle Select, perhaps also the Polygon Select, they have their own icons in the quick access toolbar and keyboard shortcuts after all. This week’s tip sheds some light on a selection method users have a love/hate relationship with, the Freehand Select!


To use the Freehand Select, begin by choosing Polygon Select from the Quick Access Toolbar.


Once in Polygon Select mode, the Freehand Select can be started in 3 easy steps:

  1. Click and hold the left mouse button then press and hold the Alt key.
  2. Move the cursor slightly.
  3. Release the left mouse button then release the Alt key.


Again, those steps are:

Left click and hold, Press Alt and hold.


Move the cursor slightly, release the left mouse button, release the alt key.

And voila! Freehand selection.


Now you can move your mouse and draw a line with which to select objects in Plan View or 3D View. When you are done drawing a selection area, double click to make the selection, just like with Polygon Select.


Again just like Polygon Select, drawing the selection clockwise will select only objects completely contained in the selection, and drawing counter-clockwise will select all objects which are partially contained in the selection area.


By doing this I have easily cropped this tree from the point cloud! I have the point cloud colored by elevation here.


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence