Skip navigation
All Places > Trimble Business Center Group > Blog
1 2 3 Previous Next

Trimble Business Center Group

180 posts

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to extract grid points from a scanned road along an alignment so the points can be staked out later on? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Create a Surface Elevation Grid command. The Create a Surface Elevation Grid command simply creates a grid that labels the elevation of a surface; the labels can be generated along an alignment. Surface elevation grids can be used in conjunction with contour lines to highlight changes in terrain.

 

To utilize the Create a Surface Elevation Grid command, follow these steps:

 

1. Make sure you have created a surface from your road scan, along with an alignment to represent the centerline of the road, prior to opening the Create a Surface Elevation Grid command: 

 

2. To associate the alignment to the surface, open the Properties Pane of your surface. In the Horizontal alignment box, select your road alignment from the list:

 

3. Navigate to the Surfaces Ribbon, and select Elevation Grid under Create:

 

4. Select the surface on which the grid will be based in the Surface list:


 

5. Select the layer on which you want the grid to reside in the Layer box, or select <<New Layer>> to create a new layer for the grid:

 

6. Select a style that controls for the text font, font style, justification, and size for the grid annotations in the Text style box, or select <<New style>> to define a new text style:

 

7. In the Grid spacing box, type a value for the uniform interval at which the grid lines or tick marks for the measurements will be spaced:

 

Note: The intervals of the grid spacing will be in the same units that your project units are set to in Project Settings.

 

8. Select an option for how the location of each measurement will be denoted in the Grid style box:

 

9. Select the number of decimals to use in the measurement in the Decimal precision list:

 

In this demonstration, I have set the number of decimals to be displayed to 0.1. 

 

10. Click OK:

 

The elevation grid is created along the alignment with a spacing of 2.5 meters. The elevation grid appears in graphic views and the Project Explorer

 

Here is my elevation grid with the Grid style set to ticks:

 

Additional properties, such as the grid’s insertion point, rotation, colors, and grid spacing can be set in the Properties pane. To adjust the grid spacing along the alignment, select the elevation grid to open its properties, then enter in a value in the Grid spacing (along alignment) box. For this demonstration, I entered in a value of 10 meters:

 

The grid spacing along the alignment is then updated in the graphical view to 10 meters:

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with surfaces and alignments in TBC!

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever extracted classified point cloud regions in TBC but noticed an object that was classified incorrectly and wished you could manually add the object to the correct region?  Well, today I will be demonstrating the Add to Point Cloud Region command. The Add to Point Cloud Region command dissociates selected scan points from their existing point cloud region and associates them with a different region.

 

To access the Add to Point Cloud Region command, follow the steps:

 

1. Automatically classify your imported point cloud with the Extract Classified Point Cloud Regions command; the Extract Classified Point Cloud Regions command is found in the Point Clouds Ribbon under Regions:

In my classification, I noticed a pole was misclassified as a tree (poles & signs are defaulted to red, and high vegetation is defaulted to green): 

 

2. Navigate to the Point Cloud Ribbon, and select Add to Region under Regions:

3. In the Add to region drop-down list, select the point cloud region to which you want to add scan points:

In this demonstration, I want to add the misclassified pole to thePoles and Signs region, and remove it from the High Vegetation region.

 

4. Click in the Scan points to add field, then, in a graphic view, select the scan points you want to add to the selected point cloud region. Depending on the type of selection you want to make, select either the Rectangle Select or Polygon Select command in the Status Bar at the very bottom of your TBC window:

Note: Utilizing the View Filter Manager is very helpful here as we can turn off the Building and Ground regions to make a more accurate point cloud selection:

 

5. Click the Add button:

The selected points are removed from their previous point cloud region and added to the selected point cloud region:

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with point clouds in TBC!

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to measure the clearance from a cross-over bridge down to a road surface to ensure heavy duty trucks can pass through the road? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Measure Vertical Clearance command. The Measure Vertical Clearance command allows you to select a point or CAD object and automatically compute the distance (clearance) between the selection and either the top or bottom of the point cloud at that location. You can then optionally save the distance as a Stored Measurement in the project. 

 

To access the Measure Vertical Clearance command, follow these steps:

 

1. Navigate to the Point Clouds ribbon, and select Measure Vertical Clearance under Measure:

2. In the Measurement direction list, select the direction for which you want to measure the clearance: 

Your selection determines whether the distance is measured upward or downward vertically through the point cloud to the most extreme scan point at that location. In this demonstration, I measured the clearance down from a cross-over bridge down to a road surface. 

 

3. Click in the Point or CAD object selection field and then, in a graphic view, select the point or CAD object form which you want to measure the clearance:

In this demonstration, I selected a point in the graphic view. The results of the measurement are displayed in the Results section:

The measured distance is also displayed in the graphic view:

4. Optionally, click the Save button to save the measurement in your project and display it nested beneath the Stored Measurements node in the Project Explorer

You can double click a measurement in the Project Explorer to view and/ or edit its properties (including its name) in the Properties pane.

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with point clouds in TBC!

Think about it, the capabilities of positioning a job and creating some reference scans with an SX10, then filling in the detail with the speed and efficiency of an X7. Both instruments working in unison with one another so when the data comes into TBC it is quickly combined and off you go.

 

Lets look at two cases here which should be fairly standard workflows where this could be used:

- RURAL: Road project where cracks in the bitumen are filled with bitumen which aren't adequately picked up with the SX10 but can be with an X7. Along with this due to the terrain and ease not all scan stations will leveled during pickup against the internal compensater for the X7.

The road has not been closed off during scanning meaning each site where the bitumen has been used to fill cannot be identified as pickup with the SX10, time constraints mean that the SX10 can't used a sole scanner, and positioning requirements mean the X7 can't be used as the sole scanner.

A project like this is used as an example at the end of this post.

 

- URBAN: Urban pickup including an entire multi-level car park, internals and externals, along with the surrounding area.

Again the area has not been closed off during scanning, however there was some field pickup done with the SX10 this time, time constraints mean that the SX10 can't used a sole scanner due to the number of setups needed, and positioning requirements mean the X7 can't be used as the sole scanner.

 

On paper this process works and is quite elegant, however in reality there are some large loopholes that we can get caught in when it comes to processing the data in TBC which should be considered so a successful outcome can be achieved. Along with this there are some issues with some of the processes in TBC meaning the full solution can be a little broken at times.

 

While as a whole the overall process is important, it should be noted the steps in bold below as there are some parts that can potentially have issues in this process:

Project Setup

Import Control (SX10)

Import Additional Data (X7)

Registration

Classify Regions

Process data

Export


PROJECT SETUP:

Set up project.

  • For projects on datum scale factors will be used, as a result needs to be considered here.
  • For Scale only projects, use a Blank project where a factor of 1 is set as the default.
    • This can be where custom scale factors can be set up too if needed.

 

This step is going to be important when considering what happens to the data on import especially with regards to scale factors.

 

 

IMPORT CONTROL (SX10):

Import control / GPS data first if it exists.

  • Make sure that control is set first, if there is no additional control specifications used this step can be ignored.

Import the SX10 and merge with existing control if needed.

  • This is associated with the control import in that we are concerned with the network coming in to set the correct location in TBC.

Perform adjustments and ensure the control is correct if needed.

 

TIP: Wherever possible use the same point name for different measurements to the same point from different data sources, and use the merge or rename point data on import. This will make it easier to control where data is placed on import.

 

This is a standard recommended process for all TBC projects, not just scan data.

 

--- This next part of the process has some particular points that need to be noted to ensure a successful time handling the data in TBC ---

 

IMPORT ADDITIONAL DATA (X7):

Import X7 / other scan data.

  • This process should be taken for imported scan data too from third party imports, especially Gridded / structured data.

NOTE: For importing data from external sources without TBC performing any changes to the data, particularly Scale, it is recommended to use the the Advanced option in the Import menu when importing the file into TBC and select Point Cloud from Unknown source. Otherwise a scale factor may be applied in the background on import.

 

  • TBC will import the data into the centre of the imported data.
  • This will also go great lengths to help make sure no unwanted scale factors will be applied through the shift.

 

BUG: Changing scan colour cannot be undone, however all other changes can be undone.

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Allow X7 data to be brought in at the central coordinate system to any other imported data, especially SX10 stations. Currently the X7 data only imports central to the data if GPS points are used, otherwise data is imported at an arbitrary datum location.

 

This is a recommended workflow for data import in general however due to the way TBC handles scales and projections, even in blank projects with a large shift, sometimes changes to the registration can occur which is undesirable. Using this workflow will ensure that the data holds a single centroid location making shifts minimal in the process.

 

REGISTRATION:

Pairwise registration of the X7 data to SX10 data.

  • Preferably use Pairwise Registration of the data, don’t use plane based, and where possible use more than 1 point to define the registration of the data.

 

NOTE: If there are leveled scans in the X7 data, be it one or many, this will force the level of the X7 data to be held constant in Plane-based and Pairwise registration.

This can be addressed by selecting all X7 scans in the Project Explorer and in the properties changing them to unleveled.

Once this is done the registration process will work. 

 

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Add a unlock leveling during pairwise and plane based registration option that is tuned on by default (meaning to keep the leveling in the X7 scans you physically have to turn it off), similar to the refinement process. 

Sometimes X7 data can be off and holding the level constant like this is generally pointless when registering data against SX10 data which will most likely be assumed to be correct due to the factors that have gone into registering the data in the field. This process currently doesn't make it immediately obvious that the level has been held as constant causing issues later on.

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: When selecting scan stations, see if scans taken at that spot are leveled. Currently to turn off the levels of scans you need to select manually each individual scan after expanding each scan station. When using X7 data there can be 50+ scans quite easily and this is an extremely tedious and time consuming process to do it for each individual scan.

EDIT: Retrying this, this can be done already, for some reason I wasn't able to change this in the dateset state I was working with. It would be nice to see this in the project explorer, so stations with leveled scans have a slightly different symbol or something.

 

We need to do better at visualising data from different data sources so we can focus on one type. At the moment we handle everything as an individual scan OR as an entire point cloud. When merging datasets we need to have the ability to easily turn off subsets to be able to work with one data or another when problem solving. 

 

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Ability to create registration sets easily. Currently this can be done in the pairwise registration tool, however it is a bit tedious and time consuming. It would be good to just be able to select different scans and add them to a registration set.

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Ability to turn on and off registration sets in the View Filter manager. Sometimes there are several scans you want to isolate. Particularly with regards to merging datasets from different instruments. It would be good to be able to turn off the X7 scans or the SX10 scans as a blanket set, or have subsets of scan groups which can be turned off at once so you can quickly just get to an area you want to focus on.

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Colourise scans according to Registration sets. This would help identify better what data has come from where in instances where the data has come from different instruments.

 

TIP: When using Pairwise, the optimise pair registration step can be run multiple times to improve results to a point, too many times and they can start to degrade (if this happens hit undo to go back a step).

 

Run a refinement

  • To do a final tightening of the network and get a report out we now need to run a refinement.

 

BUG: Running the refinement step when there is SX10 and X7 data in the project breaks the registration of data apart for some reason returning horrible results. Running this process with just one instrument type seems to work ok, its only when we have a combination it seems to break.

BUG: Output report becomes rubbish as a result of the breaking up of the scans in this process.

BUG: The registration report is 50-50 on if the report produces percentages as a factor of 1000%, sometimes the report works correctly so XX.XX% others in the same dataset its X,XXX.XX%

 

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Ability to get a registration report out of pairwise or plane based steps, or some sort of report without needing to run the refinement step first. Not everyone wants to do a refinement, and as seen above this process can break up the registration of the data. In cases where we need to do this step to get the report out, if something goes wrong there is no way to check the data before running this step. Also users may want to check data quality along the way, and currently TBC doesn't have that ability.

 

ABOVE ALL CHECK THE REGISTRATION VISIBLY AGAINST MULTIPLE AREAS OF THE POINT CLOUD.

 

TIP: For road pickups create a surface on the road using the point cloud and ensure that it is flat, if it looks like swiss cheese there may be two levels of data being looked at and the registration process needs to be done again.

 

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: In the properties of a STATION in TBC show the scale factor that has been applied to data, especially scan data. We show the rest of the data here, and it might not be editable here as this is a project setting, however the ability to see what the scale factor is on the data is important to see that a change has been made. At the moment it is hard to get this information out...if at all.

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: Similar to SX10 data into blank projects, specify the scale factor for X7 data on import into TBC. 

ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: In the Georeference scans option handle it similar to a site calibration where users can enter specific parameters they want to see in the shift for the data, not just X,Y,Z. Also allowing users to define the centroid parameters, scale factor and location if one is desired.

 

Using the above workflow ensures that the same centroid is being worked off in both datasets and no scale factor will be applied. This process will also hold scale factors better in jobs where one is being used.

 

CLASSIFY:

Run the region classification process

  • It is important this is run after the above checks to ensure everything matches up to give TBC the best chance at correctly registering the data.

TIP: The classify regions tool can be run on regions that have already been classified like the Default region to help get more data classified. Once a subsequent classification is done the data is placed in a new region, this can be added to the main region using the Add to region tool which will also remove the empty region.

 

This step should only be run once the data has been checked and the data is registered correctly.

 

NOTE: If the classification process results are weird / poor then look for separation / ghosting in the point cloud between different scans. If this happens then registration needs to be run again to tighten the point cloud.

 

--- This next part of the step is back to being fairly straight forward. ---

 

PROCESS DATA:

There are many ways this can be done in TBC to a multitude of levels. Multiple bug and enhancement requests have been reported in the forums.

 

EXPORT:

Use one of the export processes to export the data. Multiple bug and enhancement requests have been reported in the forums. This is a specific one to the X7 workflow.

 

BUG: TDX format doesn't appear to export colourised scans that are colourised in TBC. If they are done in the tablet and imported colourised that way then it exports correctly. Its only if the colourisation step is done in TBC that while it views in TBC as true colour it doesn't appear to be exported as such.

 

 

SUMMARY:

The process works and CAN work well, however there are several considerations that need to be made.

  • Do standard processes where control needs to be set before importing additional data.
  • Leveled scans from the X7 have an impact on how the registration process works
  • Scan registration Refinement processes break the registration of scans when using different data sources.
  • Care needs to be taken when creating regions of the scan data, breaking the output report.

 

--//--

RURAL CASE STUDY:

Green SX10

Yellow X7 <- Some leveled stations

TBC cannot register the two data types just from the imported data, below is as close as it gets.

Another example of this the blue is the ground from the classify regions tool. The red is a second pass of the classify regions tool on the resulting original Default layer. A clear indication that something was wrong was the miss-classification of the ground region.

The gap here is 1.3m between the two datasets.

Resulting surface - highlights the issue in another way.

 

IF WE TURN OFF LEVELING:

Registration significantly improves across the project.

This is the result 

 

Running a refinement process to get a report:

Running a refinement on this breaks them apart again:

Erin Johnson

Tip #125: Create a 3D PDF

Posted by Erin Johnson Sep 25, 2020

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to save a 3D model as a PDF for data sharing or presentation purposes? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Create 3D PDF command. The Create 3D PDF command saves your 3D model as a PDF which can then be viewed or manipulated in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader as in the 3D view, enabling you to explore your model from any computer or mobile device with 3D PDF support. 

 

Note: In the 3D PDF, points appear as solid black dots, and images do not appear.

 

To access the Create 3D PDF command, follow these steps:

 

1. Filter your view and set properties and layer options to ensure that your model displays all and only the objects you want in the colors and styles you want to appear in your PDF.

 

2. Navigate to the Drafting Ribbon and select Create 3D PDF under Print:

Alternatively, you can select the Print icon in the Quick Access toolbar and choose Create 3D PDF:

3. Type a path and file name for the exported file in the File name box, or click the Browse icon to browse for a location and specify a file name:

Note: By default, the exported file is given the name of your project.

 

4. Enter the User name as you want it to appear at the bottom of the PDF (4 in the final image below):

5. Enter any Description text about the model or project that you want to appear below the PDF’s 3D view (3 in the final image below):

6. In the Company Information group, enter your company name, website, email, or phone number as you want it to appear at the top of the PDF (2 & 4 in the final image below):

Note: You can leave any of the user, description, and company boxes empty.

 

7. To have the user and company information you entered update/ overwrite the same fields in Project Settings > General Information, leave the Modify project settings box checked:

8. To upload your company’s logo or another icon/ image and place it at the top of the PDF (1 in the final image below), leave the Include icon box checked; click the Browse button and browse to the file. A preview of the icon displays in theIcon box:

Tip: Square image files up to 512 x 512 pixels work best.

 

9. Click OK to create the 3D PDF. The PDF reader opens:


 

In the reader, the navigation gestures are different than in TBC:

  • Zoom in/ out: right-click and drag up/ down
  • Orbit (around the center of view): click and drag
  • Pan: press [Control] and click and drag

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with 3D models in TBC!

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to export your extracted feature attributes to an external GIS software? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Export Feature Attributes command. The Export Feature Attributes command exports feature attributes from your TBC project to Excel or as a CSV spreadsheet file. Each record in the exported file includes an ID for the selected object, associated feature code, easting/ northing/ elevation coordinates (points only), and each associated attribute value.

 

Note: You can export feature attributes from your project only if the features have been processed. 

 

To access the Export Feature Attributes command, follow these steps:

 

1. Navigate to the GIS Ribbon, and select Export Feature Attributes under Data:

2. Click in the Objects field and select the objects whose feature attributes you want to export either in the Project Explorer or graphic view. Click the Options button for additional selection options. Regardless of your selection, only feature attributes will be exported.

 

In this demonstration, I extracted tree points and attributes from my point cloud.

 

3. Select the appropriate category of feature attributes you want to export:

         A.Points only: Only feature attributes for points included in your selection are exported. Northing, easting, and          elevation distances will be exported in the units specified in the Units > Distance in the Project Settings dialog. 

         B.All objects: Feature attributes for all objects included in your selection are exported. 

 

You can also choose to display column names and units by checking theInclude column names and Include units boxes:

 

In this demonstration, I chose to export all objects, and to display column names and units. 

 

4. Select either of the following options:

         A.Load data into Excel: The feature attributes will be exported to an Excel spreadsheet.

         B.Save data into CSV file: The feature attributes will be exported to a .csv file.

 

5. Click the Apply orOK button. Apply causes theExport Feature Attributes pane to continue to display after the export is complete. OK causes the pane to close after the export is complete. 

         A. If you selected theLoad data into Excel option, an Excel spreadsheet opens showing the feature attribute data:

 

         B. If you selected the Save data into CSV file option, you are prompted to enter a name and location for the file:

 

Your CSV file will then be stored in the desired location:

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with feature coding & attributes in TBC!

If you know anyone who would be interested, feel free to pass along the link to our latest position now open in the Geospatial Support group. We are looking for an experienced Surveyor to join our team!  The position will be located in Westminster, CO or Dayton, OH.
 

All, 

 

As you may be aware, there was a bug discovered in the release of v5.32 that prohibited proper imports of total station data using the standard resection method. We now have a patch available to resolve the issue, and can be done by utilizing the check for updates routine within the product, or going to the download page here. I want to apologize for the inconvenience this has caused everyone, and appreciate your patience as we worked to provide a solution. 

 

Have a great weekend!

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to compare topo shots to an original ground surface model? Or have you needed to measure the clearance from the top of a tunnel or bottom of bridge steel to the road surface? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Points to Surface command. The Points to Surface command simply measures the difference in elevation from one or more points to a surface.

 

To utilize the Points to Surface command, follow these steps:

 

1. Navigate to the Surfaces ribbon, and select Points to Surface under View:

 

2. Click in the From field and then use a graphic view or the Project Explorer to select one or more points you want to measure:

 

3. In the To field, select the surface to which you want to measure:

 

4. Click theApply button at the bottom of the command pane.

 

Measurement information, including the delta elevation (distance from point to surface), is displayed in the Report Delta Elevations table for each selected point. Note that you can click any column header in the table to resort the rows in the table based on ascending or descending values in the column. If you make additional measurements, they are added to the table, which is cleared only when you close the Points to Surface command pane.

5. To view the measurement information in a Points to Surface Results report, select in the table the rows you want to include, or select no rows to include them all, and click the Show Report button located just above the table:

 

Note that the report is not stored with the project and is viewable only at this time. The report will open in an internet explorer page:

6. When you are done, click Cancel to close the Points to Surface command pane.

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with surfaces in TBC! 

Hello TBC users,

 

Trimble Business Center v5.32 users are currently experiencing difficulties when importing all total station data in which a Standard Resection is used as a Station Setup. Data such as point clouds and total station vectors do not appear after import. Please review the attached Support Bulletin for more details. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

 

 

Sincerely,
Jeff

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever been preparing a plan set, such as an alignment or curb lines, for field staking and wished you could join lines and arcs with tangent arcs of a specific radius? Or have you wanted to join line work to create a sloped transition? Well, today I will be demonstrating how to create a fillet or chamfer line segment for two non-parallel line or arc segments with the CAD Command Line.

 

A fillet is a tangent arc at the intersection of two non-parallel line segments, creating a rounded corner. A fillet line segment requires two specified line/ arc segments and a specified radius:

 

A chamfer is a straight segment across the intersection of two non-parallel line segments, beveling a corner. A chamfer line segment requires two specified line/ arc segments and either one distance(1), two distances (2), or a distance and an angle (3):

To fillet using the CAD Command Line, follow these steps:

1. Press [F3] to open the CAD Command Line.

2. Type f or F at the command prompt, and press [Enter]:

3. Skip the Layer, Color, and Line style lists below the command prompt; they do not apply to this operation.

4. Based on the Segment target type highlighted at the prompt, pick the first line segment in a supported view (Plan, Sheet, or Cutting Plane), or type a keyword character to use another mode. The options are:

         A. Segment - Type S to fillet just selected segments. Then pick the second segment in the view.

         B. Entireline - Type E to fillet an entire selected line. Then pick the line.

 

In this demonstration, I chose to fillet selected segments:

5. If needed, enter T to toggle Trim off to retain parts of the segment beyond the fillet. Otherwise, those parts will be removed. The command remembers your selection the next time you run the operation.

6. Enter a radius or pick two points in the view to specify the radius. The corner is filleted. If the selected segments do not cross planimetrically, the arc connects the segment end points in 3D. The command remembers the specified radius used the next time you run the operation.

7. Continue to pick pairs of line segments to fillet using the same radius. A preview of the fillet that would be created based on the last selection is shown as you work.

8. Press[Escape] to close the command, and press [Spacebar] to rerun the command.

 

To chamfer using the CAD Command Line, follow these steps:

1. Press [F3] to open the CAD Command Line.

2. Typecha or CHA at the command prompt, and press [Enter]:

3. Skip the Layer, Color, and Line style lists below the command prompt; they do not apply to this operation.

4. Based on the Segment target type highlighted at the prompt, pick the first line segment in a supported view (Plan, Sheet, or Cutting Plane), or type a keyword character to use another mode. The options are:

         A. Segment - Type S to chamfer just selected segments. Then pick the second segment in the view.

         B.Entire line - Type E to chamfer an entire selected line. Then pick the line.

In this demonstration, I chose to chamfer selected segments:

5. If needed, enter T to toggle Trim off to retain parts of the segment beyond the fillet. Otherwise, those parts will be removed. The command remembers your selection the next time you run the operation.

6. Based on the One Distance mode highlighted at the prompt, enter a length for the chamfer segment, or enter a keyword character to use another mode. The options are:

  1. One distance - Enter O and then the distance from the corner at which you want the new chamfer segment to begin (or pick two points in the view to specify the distance). The command remembers the last distance used the next time you run the operation. 
  2. Two distances - Enter W and then the distance from the corner at which you want the chamfer to start on the first segment. Then enter the distance from the corner at which you want the chamfer to start on the second segment. Alternatively, you can pick two points in the view to specify each distance.
  3. Distance with Angle - Enter A and then the distance from the corner at which you want the chamfer to start on the first segment. Then enter the angle from the first segment at which you want the chamfer to start on the second segment. 

For this demonstration, I entered two distances. The chamfer is created. If lines do not cross planimetrically, the chamfer line connects the segment end points in 3D.

7. Continue to pick pairs of segments to chamfer using the same modes. A preview of the chamfer that would be created based on the last selection is shown as you work.

8. Press[Escape] to close the command, and press [Spacebar] to rerun the command.

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are preparing a plan set in TBC!

Jeffrey Ryan

TBC v5.32 Now Available

Posted by Jeffrey Ryan Aug 31, 2020

Hello Business Center users,

 

TBC v5.32 is available for download today, Monday, August 31st, 2020.  Download here, or use TBC's Check for Updates routine within the software. This release contains a number bug fixes. To review a comprehensive list of all resolved issues, please visit the Release Notes here.

Thank you!

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever wanted to simulate a drive across a road surface to visualize and check for accurate topography? Well today I will be demonstrating TBC’s 3D Drive View command. The 3D Drive View simulates a drive across an alignment that has a horizontal component (HAL) and a vertical component (VAL), or across a surface. Where the 3D View is an orthographic view, the 3D Drive View is a perspective view. 

 

The View Filter Manager allows you to control the visibility of surfaces and objects displayed, and you can edit objects to see the results while driving through your model. When driving, you can also “look” in any direction; the direction of the vehicle is controlled independently. 

 

To drive along a road surface in a 3D Drive View, follow these steps:

 

1. Select the surface in the Project Explorer or 3D View, and do one of the following:

         A. Right click and select New 3D Drive View from the context menu:

         B. Select 3D Drive View from the Corridor Ribbon:

 

A 3D Drive View opens with the viewpoint set at an arbitrary location on the surface . In the Plan View, your 3D Drive View location and direction is represented by a blue vehicle or yellow bulldozer icon. When you change your view from facing straight ahead, the direction of the viewpoint is indicated by the red line emanating from the center of the vehicle icon:

 

2. Specify a starting location on the surface by:

         A. Clicking in the Location box and picking a new location in the graphic view

         B. Typing a new coordinate in the Location box and pressing [Enter]:

 

3. Move across the surface by:

         A. Clicking and dragging the Speed slider:

         B. Typing a speed (in kilometers or MPH) in the box next to the Start button and clicking Start:

         C.Pressing the [Up Arrow] and[Down Arrow] keys on your keyboard to change the speed by smaller increments

         D. Pressing the [Page Up] and[Page Down] keys to change the speed by larger increments

 

4. Change the direction of travel across the surface by:

         A. Clicking the left and right arrow buttons to turn in ten degree increments:

         B. Pressing the [Back] and [Forward] to turn in five degree increments

 

The drive stops when it reaches the end of the surface. For the 3D Drive View across a surface, the location (coordinate), surface elevation, and surface slope (of the current triangle) are shown in the upper left corner of the 3D Drive View:

 

The 3D Drive View can be floated and moved to a second monitor by right clicking in the 3D Drive View and selecting Float View from the context menu: 

 

To hide or show context values, click the Project Settings icon:

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with road surfaces in TBC!

Jeffrey Ryan

TGO Converter End of Life

Posted by Jeffrey Ryan Aug 27, 2020

Hello TBC users,

 

Sending a friendly reminder that the Convert TGO Project command used to migrate data from TGO to TBC will be sunset effective September of 2020. If you’re still using TGO, or have legacy projects that have not been transferred over to TBC, we suggest you do so before September. Please review the attached document for more information.

 

Thank you!

Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever georeferenced an aerial image and wanted to save the contents of your Plan View to view your georeferenced image in an external viewer? Or have you wanted to export the aerial image in a format that can be loaded into Google Earth for presentation purposes? Well, today I will be demonstrating the Capture Image command. The Capture Image command saves the contents of the active Plan View as both a georeferenced image (in a .jpg, .png, .tif, or .gif format) and a placemark KML file (.kml) that can be viewed in Google Earth. You can capture all of the content displayed in the Plan View, or you can use a plotbox to select content you want to capture.

 

Note: A georeferenced image file is actually made up of two files: the image file itself and the world file (.tfw) accompanying it that contains the georeferencing data. 

 

To access the Capture Image command, follow these steps:

 

1. Navigate to the CAD Ribbon, and select Capture under Images:

 

2. With the Capture Image command pane open, define the name, file extension format, and location of where the georeferenced image and KML file will be stored on your computer. 

 

Note: The PNG (.png) and TIFF (.tif) file formats produce transparent KML images when viewed in Google Earth. The JPEG (.jpg) and GIF (.gif) formats create an opaque (non-transparent) KML images when viewed in Google Earth. Note that white objects (i.e. lines, points, point names, and features) can be more difficult to view in a transparent image. 

 

3. Optionally, in the Resolution drop-down list, select the resolution at which the image in the Plan View will be captured. 

 

If you are capturing the contents of the entire Plan View, the resulting image's resolution is the size of the Plan View (excluding the frame) multiplied by the DPI value you select in the Resolution drop-down list. If you are capturing the contents of a plotbox, the resulting image's resolution is the size of the plotbox multiplied by the DPI value you select in the Resolution drop-down list. If you reduce the size of the Plan View or plotbox prior to capturing the image, the file will be smaller in size and lower in resolution. Conversely, if you increase the size of the Plan View or plotbox, the resulting image will be larger in size and higher in resolution. Consider how, and on what device, the resulting image will be displayed when choosing a capture area and resolution.

 

4. Optionally, to capture the contents of plotbox rather than the entire Plan View, do the following:

      A. Click the Create Plotbox button located at the top of the Capture Image pane to display the Create Plotbox pane:

      B. After you create your plotbox, select the plotbox you want to use in the Select plotbox (optional) drop-down list.

 

 

5. Click Apply. The newly captured image file name is added to the Image list:

You can do any of the following in the image list:

  • Hover your cursor over the file name to display the full path to the file’s location
  • Click the file name to view the image in an external viewer
  • Right click the file name and select Delete to delete the image file and its related world file and KML file from the project
  • Double click the row header button for any file in the list to open the folder in which the image file, world file, and KML file are stored

 

You now have three new files stored in your computer that can be used to share or visualize your data in a different viewer:

 

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are working with georeferenced images in TBC!