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Trimble Business Center Group

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September's TBC Power Hour Announced!
Join us for an introduction to Trimble Clarity - Trimble's web-based geospatial data viewer and collaboration tool - to be released with TBC 4.00 at Intergeo!
We'll spend the hour discussing Trimble Clarity, the benefits and features of the online web viewer, how to share Trimble Clarity presentations, and its integration with TBC.
Note that there will be only one session - 8am US Mountain time.

Have you signed up for tomorrow's Power Hour? We'll be talking about Network and Traverse Adjustments in TBC, when and how to use each approach, and working through data sets to showcase each routine.


Check out more details here:


Geospatial Webinars 

Bet you didn’t know about this week’s TBC tip!  You can enter azimuths into any angle control box and automatically change them to the corresponding bearing value.  This is very useful for speeding up key-in of cadastral map data.  The image below shows a typical angle control, in this case, in the CreateCOGO command window.  You can find the angle control in various other commands throughout TBC.



To change an entered azimuth value to bearing simply enter a "1" followed by a space, and then the azimuth value.  See image below for an example of this.



Once the azimuth has been entered and you have moved to the next line the value automatically updates to the corresponding bearing.  In the CreateCOGO command, this also updates the line command box shown below with the same bearing value.




*The correct bearing will always be computed, if you type 1 and then a space for any azimuth entered.

his is another tool in your TBC toolbox for being more efficient and getting the job done faster!


Happy Surveying,




TBC Team

This week we are exploring the right-click mouse button in TBC.  There are many reasons why it is useful to know what this button can do for you especially the time you can save.  


The primary function of the right-click mouse button in TBC is to allow quick access to many of the commonly used commands.  By right-clicking in the plan, 3D, station, or cutting plane view will open the right-click Context Menu.  See the image below for a description of the Context Menu and it's functions.




The Context Menu can be used with any selection of objects or when no selection is made.  In this example, I have selected a point cloud region in TBC and opened the Context Menu.  


Users can change the amount of commands displayed in the Recent Commands group by accessing the Project Options.  See images below for location.





Several new groups are available when using the Context Menu during a command operation.  The image below shows the various shortcuts available while using the Create Linestring command.  The quick access run commands are available in this menu to remove the need to navigate back to the Command Pane window while running the command.  Now you can focus on the current object and workflow with ease.



Don't forget to send us your Tip of the Week recommendations and until next week, happy surveying!




TBC Team

Using TBC to troubleshoot your field surveys is like detective work. Wondering how a specific point location got computed? Looking at the point properties doesn’t tell you much about the point info? In that case the tip below will be very useful. Point Derivation Report will be your best friend.

In this example, there is traverse, static GNSS, and differential leveling observations for establishing a survey control network.  Point 1011’s coordinates are calculated by all three observation types followed by a network adjusted value.

To create the Point Derivation Report select and right-click to view the shortcut menu and press Point Derivation Report.  You can generate multiple reports by selecting several points before running the report command.

The Point Derivation Report created from TBC is in HTML format and will be opened in your selected browser.

There are several elements to this report:

  1. The first section details the survey data and comparison of the calculated position values for each observation and coordinate

  2. The second section shows the calculated GNSS vector length and precisions
  3. The next section shows the terrestrial observations (total station) and their components

  4. This section describes the leveling observations used to calculate the elevation value for the selected point

  5. Finally, this section describes any effice entered, imported, or adjusted coordinates used in the calculations


Here is an example where this report can be used to find errors in a survey.  The observation in red is outside of the computation tolerances set in the Project Settings.  This information can be used to fix blunders by enabling/disabling observations, changing point ID's, and other raw information.



The Point Derivation Report can help you find all those pesky survey errors and clean up survey data to make a error proof deliverable.  Until next time, happy surveying!




TBC Team

Hi TBC Community - next Power Hour is set!


Register today! Fresh off our highest-ever attended (more than 1300!) Power Hour session in July, let's keep the momentum going! Register today for August 30th's Power Hour - Network Adjustment vs. Traverse Adjustment. This power hour will discuss the differences between the two and when and how to utilize in TBC.

Joe Blecha

TBC Power Hour Vault

Posted by Joe Blecha Jul 27, 2017

Here you'll find links to recordings and tentative schedules for the TBC Power Hour sessions:



August - Volumetric Computation Workflows

September - Survey Feature Coding and Attribution

October - How to integrate total station, level, and GNSS data

November - How to seamlessly integrate Survey data with GIS data

December - Trimble V10 Point Clouds From Pictures: Data Capture and Processing Demonstration



January - Working with Level Data

February - Efficiently Create Survey Drafting Deliverables

March - Integrating RTK, Total Station, Level and User Entered Data

April - Working with Total Station Data

May - Network Adjustment Workflows and Best Practices

June - Advanced Drafting Workflows

July - Efficient As Staked Workflows using TBC and Trimble Access

August - Utilizing Trimble Access Pipelines Module and TBC to Streamline Pipeline Workflows

September - Baseline Processing Workflows

October - Topographic Map Creation Using Trimble SX10

November - Trimble SX10 Roading and Corridor Workflows using Trimble Access and TBC

December - UAS Processing using new TBC/UASMaster Workflows



January - New TBC Tools For Cadastral Survey Workflows

February - Data Traceability Using Customized Reporting

March - Streamlining Workflows Using Templates, Styles, and Libraries

April - TBC for Machine Control

May - Enhance Your Deliverables Using Trimble VISION and TBC

June - Field to Finish with Confidence

July - Defining + Working with Grid + Ground Coordinates

August - Traverse Adjustment vs. Network Adjustment


Coming Soon:

September 27 - Introducing Trimble Clarity - register here

October 25 - Legal Description Writer and Map Closures in TBC

November 29 - Site Calibrations and Local Site Settings

December - 


Got a suggestion for a TBC Power Hour topic?  Want your favorite TBC personalities to break down a specific topic or workflow in TBC?  Comment below!


Have you signed up for our July Power Hour yet? We'll be talking about working with grid and ground coordinates with Mark White, Duncan-Parnell's training and support manager. Check out the session's topics and sign up today!


Geospatial Webinars 


If you are having troubles registering, please use this link to sign-up: 

We'll be talking about working with grid and ground coordinates with Mark White, Duncan-Parnell's training and support manager. Check out the session's topics and sign up today!

Managing data and planning for projects is complemented using the Google Earth viewing options available in TBC.  The first option is using the Google Earth command.  This  feature allows you to transfer survey data through a KML file into Google Earth.  

The offset fields allows you to apply necessary translations to the data to better match imagery in Google Earth as they may initially line up to a certain accuracy.  Offsets vary depending on the accuracy of the imagery in Google Earth. Rectifying and combining images taken from differing orientations and altitudes will cause the superimposed survey data to appear to be located incorrectly.

The Altitude mode allows you to export the data with two methods:

  • Clamp to Ground ensures all points are located at ground level.
  • Absolute ensures all points are displayed at their correct elevation based on the offset value you enter in the Elevation box.

The Google Earth command supports viewing these data types from TBC: HALs, baselines, contours, line and point features, observations (displayed as lines), photos, trajectories, and event markers.



Another option for visualizing data in Google Earth is using the KML/KMZ exporter.  How do you choose which export option to use for Google Earth?

  • Output kml file creates a KML (.kml) file that contains 3D geographic coordinates only. It does not include photo images.
  • Output kmz file creates a ZIP file that contains a KML file and all referenced photographic image files. The images can be viewed by selecting the image icons in the browser used to open the KML file.

The same offset and altitude options exist in the KML/KMZ exporter.


Now you can view your data in Google Earth for project planning and management and an added deliverable for clients.




Note: The difference between KML and KMZ files is that the KMZ file is a compressed version of the KML.  


Don’t forget to send us a message if you would like to see a certain feature highlighted in next week’s tip.

Have fun this week using TBC and as always, Happy Surveying!




TBC Team

This tip of the week is brought to you by one of our Application Engineers, Arnaud Lezennec.  Thanks for another great tip Arnaud! 
Application Engineer, Arnaud Lezennec. Thanks Arnaud

One of the many deliverables you can create in TBC using scan data is orthophotos.  Cleaning your scan data is necessary to produce orthophotos, but can be time consuming depending on the density and size of the point cloud.  This tip demonstrates a workflow to clean up your scene in seconds.

  1. Open the “Create Orthophoto” command and define the projection plane on the facade of the building.

  2. Next, clean up the data from within the Cutting Plane View
    1. Open the cutting plane view for the same plane

    2. In the cutting plane view side panel, check the box “Apply cutting plane” and set a thickness (2.0m here). This will filter out the data further than 2m from the plane

To refine the scan points used to create the orthophoto, you can:

  • Adjust the thickness in the cutting plane view. This will take more of less points around the plane
  • Use the standard “Keep In” and “Keep Out” workflow to clean up you scene further with a polygonal selection, now that the view is much easier to understand


Your scans are now clean to create an orthophoto for drafting, export, or final deliverable. 

This concludes another TBC tip of the week.  Happy Surveying!



TBC Team

This week’s tip of the week is inspired from a comment on a previous tip (Thanks Barney Brotherhood !).  Selection Sets are used to create groups of object(s) allowing for efficient segmentation and selection for future calculations, drafting, and modeling.  The Selection Explorer in TBC enables users to create, modify, and remove Selection Sets.

In this data set, there are several types of data such as post-processed baselines, total station observations, leveling lines, control coordinates, and network-adjusted points.  We will create a group (Selection Set) of all observations going to and from point 1011.

Follow these steps to create a Selection Set:

  1. Select all data going to and from point 1011 by clicking and holding the left mouse button and dragging to the left across all data surrounding point 1011

  2. Once the data is selected, navigate to the Data tab in the TBC ribbon, select the Selection Set dropdown list, and select Selection Explorer.  The Selection Explorer is used to manage and view Selection Sets in the TBC project.

  3. In the Selection Explorer, use the top toolbar buttons or right click on the selected data list to save the selection as a new set

  4. Name the selection and press OK

  5. Once created, the newly created set is displayed in the Selection Explorer.  TBC automatically creates Selection Sets for any data imported into TBC as well.

  6. To turn Selection Sets on/off, tab to the View Filter Manager and select the second drop down list to choose the desired selection set(s)


Another tip - You can access the Selection Explorer from the right-click menu



Enjoy utilizing the Selection Explorer and Sets to efficiently segment and manage your survey data!

Please comment on this post or send the TBC team a message on Trimble Community if you would like to a see a certain topic in a future tip of the week.

Happy Surveying,




TBC Team

Joe Blecha

TBC Tips of the Week Vault

Posted by Joe Blecha Jun 23, 2017

Tip #15 - Using Best-Fit Line to Draft Catenary Lines


Did you know you can use the Best-Fit Line to draft catenary power lines in TBC?  This accurate and time-saving tool creates a 3D linestring that can then be used to compute and document minimum clearances, in a Plan Set, or exported in a third-party data format.


Here’s a typical situation:



Station View in TBC - Panorama and Point Cloud data


Powerline and tower data has been collected by a Trimble VISION instrument.  Included in the data are points along the powerline, either through scans and/or Direct Reflex (DR) topo in the field, or Virtual DR in TBC.  


In this example, the powerline data is a part of some SX10 station setup scans.  After refinement with the Classify Regions and Keep In/Keep Out commands to extract the power lines you wish to draft, view the powerlines in 3D View:


Point Cloud only view in 3D


Point Cloud Data after Region Classification, Turning Regions off in View Filter, and using Keep Out to Remove Points


Using the Polygon Select tool, create a selection polygon around one powerline at a time to select each point on the powerline.  Open the Best-Fit Line command in the CAD tab (licensed by the Advanced Drafting module) and match these settings:


Best-fit Line Command and settings


Click OK and repeat for the other two power lines.


Finished 3D Linestrings


Once completed, you’ll have three 3D linestrings for use in your TBC deliverable!


Station View with Power Lines Drafted


Special thanks to Chad Lewis for the data set and workflow suggestion this week!

Customized Keyboard Shortcuts, Ribbons, and the Quick Access Toolbar - Tip of the Week #14


Did you know that you can launch commands using customized keyboard shortcuts and customize ribbons in TBC?


In the Support tab, click the Define Command Shortcuts command.


In the Define Command Shortcuts window, select the TBC command in the left drop-down box and match to a pre-defined keyboard shortcut in the right drop-down box.  The command can also generate an Excel spreadsheet to report on all defined keyboard shortcuts with the Excel Report button.



Link as many TBC commands as you want, your changes are automatically saved to TBC’s active layout.  The active layout, which includes the keyboard shortcuts and the Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar layouts, can be saved to a *.bin or *.xml file and exported to other TBC workstations or for retention when updating to the latest TBC release.


Right click to the right of the commands in any TBC tab and select either of the Customize... options.



In this window, you can drag-and-drop commands to the existing or user-created Ribbons or to the Quick Access Toolbar.  To export your changes, use the Export button at the bottom of the menu and save a *.bin or *.xml file.




To import a *.bin file on another workstation or to reload after a new TBC install, use the same approach, except click the Import button.  Navigate to where the *.bin or *.xml file is saved, select it in the Import window, and your custom Keyboard Shortcuts, Ribbons, and Quick Access Toolbars will load in TBC.


Make TBC fit your drafting and workflow needs with Define Command Shortcuts and Customize Ribbons and Quick Access Toolbar and work more efficiently today!