Skip navigation
All Places > Trimble Business Center Group > Blog

TBC 3.90 Overview and New Feature Videos Available on YouTube!

Check out TBC Survey's TBC 3.90 YouTube Playlist for two overviews and eight new feature videos that highlight new point cloud processing and extraction tools, the Legal Description Writer, new CAD commands, and more!

TBC 3.90 - YouTube 

Surface creation in TBC is definitely one of the software gems. TBC offers a lot of flexibility with appearance and creation of your surfaces. This week’s tip helps understand some of the controls you have over how your breaklines are triangulated. Here is how you might resolve the number of nodes/chords along the surface breaklines.

In Project Settings –Computations à Surface à Breakline Approximation Parameters there is a setting for Hz and Vt tolerance.



Here is a surface created using our Processing Feature Code Tutorial.


Now, let’s change the project settings and put e.g. 10m for the Hz tolerance.

And the result is a less sampled breakline with fewer nodes/triangles along the breakline.

Internally, what is happening is that there is a concept of mid-ordinate point to compute the distance of the node between the chord and the arc along the curve as illustrated by the graphics below.


We hope you find this tip useful regardless if you are going to be exporting surface or breaklines to other products doing contouring for your base map creation within TBC.



Happy Surveying,

TBC Team

Joe Blecha

TBC 3.90 Overview Videos

Posted by Joe Blecha May 22, 2017

New to TBC?  Want to learn more about what's new in TBC 3.90?  The TBC 3.90 short (5 minutes) and full (36 minutes) overview videos are here to help!


TBC 3.90 Short Overview:



TBC 3.90 Full Overview:


Wayne Boatright

Area Takeoff

Posted by Wayne Boatright May 20, 2017

In takeoff mode of HCE and using pdf files only(no cad files are available), is there a method for tracing an area, having curb islands, continuously and include curb islands and at the close of the area, the calculated area excludes the curb islands?  I have use procontractor and the calculated area of curb islands is eliminated if you keep the trace line continuous and back-trace  entry line to island.  I can't duplicate that with HCE. I have attached a screen shot for clarification.

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

Joe Blecha

TBC 3.90 Released!

Posted by Joe Blecha May 12, 2017

In time for a nice spring or fall weekend of survey data reduction, CAD drafting, point cloud feature extraction, or UAV data processing, we are happy to announce TBC 3.90 is available for download here.


Highlights include:

  • Create, edit, and transform linestrings, polygons, dynaviews, and best fit lines in the Cutting Plane View
  • Orthophoto creation from point cloud data and Ortho-Rectified Image creation from Trimble VISION or SX10 panorama images
  • SmartPick tool for semi-automatic extraction of face of curb and gutter geometry from point clouds
  • Legal Description Writer for cadastral survey projects for parcels, polygons, or closed linework
  • Ortho drafting, tracking, and snaps for CAD drafting and editing
  • Select similar, match properties, three-point circle, and three-point rectangle CAD drafting features
  • Mobile Mapping MX7 Support and Feature Extraction
  • UASMaster 8.1 with improved Batch Processing (one-click) processing solution

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 put the number corresponding to the bearing quadrant first, 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.



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


Happy Surveying,




TBC Team

Did you know you can use TBC as calculator? Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to use your calculator if you are doing some simple math like  adding or subtracting values before you key them in TBC or computing units.

First, open any command in TBC that expect some input e.g. Create Points, or Create Polyline and click in the coordinate field. You can see in the image below where we used “12.32+20” as an example and after hitting “Tab” got “32.320”.


You can do mathematical expression of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication (+, -, *, /). You can have multiple numbers e.g. “12+4+6” to get “22” or you can use “12+4*2” to get “20” (yes, we know the priority of operations :)).Note that you cannot use spaces “ “ between the number and mathematical operators. The numbers provided will be in project units.

If you have a units on paper in metric and your project is in survey feet or vice versa, you can do that as well. Let’s take an example of a project where you have setup of survey feet and you are keying in a value of 150m (meters).

Open a command e.g. Create Point and in the elevation field type in “150m” and hit “Tab”. You can use standard abbreviations for distance units like “mm, cm, m, km, ft”.

We hope this tip saves you few minutes on your daily work by not having to open a calculator to do some quick calculations.


Happy Surveying,

TBC Team

Finding the point creation and creation of linestring too slow? If you don’t need to change the elevation between two consecutive points then using Auto-Advance button next to the elevation field might help.

If you are in the e.g.  Create Point or Create Linestring command you will notice a tringle (“play”) looking button on the left of the elevation field as shown in the images below.



If you leave the elevation field blank and you press in the “Auto-Advance” button all the objects are going to be created at the elevation of 0 “zero”. If you provide any value in that field and have Auto-Advance activated all the subsequent objects will be created at the specified elevation. With Create Point you can then just continue clicking in the Plan View to pick a new location and hit “Enter”.



With Create Linestring, you can just hit "Enter" on the first dialog box in case you don't care about linestring name and changing the layer on creation. In the window for linestring editing, fter checking the Auto-Advance you can just keep selecting the new location in the Plan View in case you want to use constant elevation.

If you want to close the line on the same point as the starting point you can also check the “Auto-close in the top of the Edit Linestring Window.

The great thing is that next time you launch the command the previous settings (Auto-Advance and Auto-Close) will be already highlighted.

We hope this tip helps you shave off a few minutes in you daily work.


Happy Surveying,

TBC Team


Your TBC screen is getting full of data, turning the data on and off in the View Filter is getting very repetitive? You have a different data types in the project as well as survey data from different days that you want to analyze separately. If so, this tip is going to be very valuable.


You can open as many Plan Views and 3D Views as you want. Just go to the View ribbon tab and launch another Plan View or 3D View. A new tab will show next to your existing Plan View.

In the View Filter Manager, you can select “Copy View Filter” in the upper right. It will create a copy of the View Filter and then you can turn off the layers or survey data you do not want to see.

In the image below you can see the resulting CAD work on the left and the survey data on the right as well as the point cloud data in another 3D view following the two steps described above. Notice that the name of the Filter will be displayed in the brackets next to the View Name.

Using View Filters and multiple views can make handling complex data and project review and deliverable generation much easier to manage.


Happy Surveying,

TBC Team

Hello Everyone,


TBC v3.82 is now out and available for download here: Trimble - Survey - Office Software - Trimble Business Center - Your Complete Office Solution 


This release includes two new features: Cutting Plane View and Plane Definition Manager.  Working together these two features allow you to efficiently extract CAD data using user defined planes.  They are especially useful in creating section views from non-horizontal objects like building facades and surfaces.


See the following video for a demonstration on these new features: TBC v3.82 - What's New - YouTube 


Happy Surveying,




TBC Team

Don't know what to do with all that imagery?  Did you know that TBC can create panoramic images from Trimble VISION instruments such as the SX10, S7, S9, and VX total stations?  Perfect addition to your client requirements! 



The Process Panorama command allows the user to specify which of the stations to process and apply blending and balancing corrections to the images.  This produces clear and crisp panoramic images which can be outputted in several formats: KML/KMZ, HTML, and JPEG.  The TBC team personal favorite is the KML as shown in the third image.  Also, the button to the left of the station name will open a new Station View in TBC to verify position and imagery before generating the panorama file.





Once your panorama file has been generated, in this case a KML, you can view it in the desired platform.  This panorama was imported into Google Earth for a positional and image perspective.



Try out the Process Panoramas command and start being productive with Trimble VISION!


Happy Surveying,



TBC Team

Managing all that survey data can be a huge pain without the proper tools.  Trimble Business Center provides a variety of mechanisms for managing, editing, and performing quality checks on your survey data.  One of our crowd favorites are the various spreadsheets.  These spreadsheets can be accessed in the Home tab on the TBC ribbon (See image below).



The Project Settings can be used to show/hide what information is displayed in each of the spreadsheet types (see image below).



There are six spreadsheet types in TBC: Points, Occupation, Optical, Photo Point, Vector and Feature.  How can each one of these be useful to me as a user?  I'll show the Point Spreadsheet this week.


Points Spreadsheet

Useful for viewing point data with associated scale factors, feature codes, and attribution.  Hint: Data from here can be copied/pasted into another document, such as an excel spreadsheet, for further use.  A personal favorite is to view the points with the associated scale factors (Projection, Height Scale, and Combined Scale Factor).




Start utilizing the spreadsheet options in TBC and stay tuned for more on other spreadsheet options in TBC!


Happy Surveying,




TBC Team

Welcome to another TBC Tip of the Week.  Have you ever spent hours drafting and realized that you need to do some serious cleanup?  The Project Cleanup command in TBC gives you the ability to tidy up those CAD intensive jobs.  This feature removes unwanted clutter from your TBC project such as unused layer styles, snaps together those small missed line connections, filters out overlapping line segments, and various other helpful tools.



Get into TBC's Data Prep Module and benefit from the powerful functionality of the Project Cleanup feature.  The Data Prep Module provides additional features such as importing and georeferencing 3D PDFs and Digitizing Tools. See the following link for a YouTube Video covering the Data Prep Module workflow: Data Prep Workflow - Trimble Business Center - YouTube 


Until next week happy surveying!



TBC Team

Hello Everyone,


This week's tbc tip is on streamlined layer creation.  In the example below a linestring has been created along one of the painted road markings.  The layer for this linestring is currently set to "0".  If you would like to quickly create and change the layer of an object follow these steps:



Simply select the Layer field and press space bar.  This opens the Layer Manager and automatically creates a new layer from where you can type in a new name, layer color, line style, etc. 



Until next week....Happy Surveying!




TBC Team