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All Places > Trimble Business Center Group > Blog > 2018 > May

Believe it or not, Trimble is not just a provider of world-class field-to-finish survey CAD office software, we make industry-leading GNSS units too, among others!  And, we’ve help the broad geospatial community by publishing a new HTML JavaScript-based GNSS Planning Online tool.  Check it out at:

Set your position graphically or with Lat/Longs, enter height, elevation cutoff mask, day and time parameters, along with a constellation toggle to set the satellites you wish to use.

Hit ‘Apply’ and view elevation and satellite charts:

and a skyplot over your time and location:

In addition, check out the World View, plotting the location of satellites around the globe at the given time and mask, run time-lapse to put the satellites in motion, and overlay the TEC or Scintillation Ionosphere maps:

GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS constellations are supported and the new online planning tool is compatible with all web browsers.  English, German, Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, and French languages are supported.

In addition, get status updates for each satellite in the ‘Satellite Library’ tab, with information included like status, eccentricity, inclination, clock offset, and more!

Watch for the new tool to be linked in TBC in a future release!

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Did you know you can use the *.SHX file to assure that your point symbols used in TBC translate exactly into AutoCAD?  Thanks to Evelina from TBC’s QA team, here’s how...


Symbols can be assigned to points in TBC using the Point Symbol command.



However, when you export a DXF or a DWG from the Export command in TBC, the point symbols are not transferring to AutoCAD with the same appearance. These symbol differences are shown in the screenshot below.



To correct this, copy the file symbol.shx from the TBC installation folder to the Autodesk installation Support folder.


These are the default folder locations where each software program is installed: Trimble Business Center -  C:\Program Files\Trimble\Trimble Business Center and Autodesk Support folder - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD [Version Number]\Support.



If you’ve installed either software package in locations other than the default, the installation directory is likely different so first check where each program is installed. Search for the symbol.shx file from the TBC installation folder and copy it to Autodesk Support folder.


Once you copy the symbol.shx file, export the TBC project as a DXF or DWG again, then all of the default TBC point symbols will be visualized correctly in AutoCAD, as shown by the symbols below:



You'll only have to do this once to assure that your TBC symbols match in your version of AutoCAD.


Thanks Evelina!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Did you know you can easily apply a vertical exaggeration in TBC's 3D View?


With a project open to a 3D View, notice there is a VE:1.0 text string in the bottom left corner.  What's the 'VE' stand for?  You guessed it, Vertical Exaggeration, which will apply a simple scalar value to the vertical components of TBC data like point clouds or surfaces..



With the view active, press and hold the Ctrl and Shift keys on your keyboard, then use the mouse scroll wheel to change the vertical exaggeration.


Scroll up to increase the exaggeration:



And scroll down to decrease the exaggeration:



And, each 3D View can support their own vertical exaggeration scalar, so you can have multiple views open at the same time and visualize your data at different exaggerations:



View your data from multiple angles, multiple views, and multiple exaggerations to aid in your drafting, CAD, data reduction workflows!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Want a free trip (airfare, accommodation, and registration) to Dimensions 2018?  Submit an entry for Trimble's Field to Finish Competition and you could be headed to Dimensions 2018 to present your project and workflows on Trimble!

This week’s Tip of the Week is a user (more like Power User) submission.  Thank you to Pete Lichtenberg for this!

I learned a good way of creating a second surface from an original surface, similar to an old TerraModel routine. Select the original surface either in Project Explorer or Plan View. Right click and use "Select Members".


Now use the "Copy" command under "Edit" and tick "Relayer copied objects". Choose an existing layer or create a new layer. In this example I have created a new layer "TO_TOPSOIL_STRIPPED":



After clicking "Apply" the window "Move Objects" appears. Fill in "From:" and "To:" as below. Put in the Delta Elevation e.g. "-0.1", make sure "3D move" is ticked and click the button "Apply".



The windows "Copy Objects" shows up again. Just close it.

The members of the first surface, lowered by 0.1m are copied on to the Layer "TO_TOPSOIL_STRIPPED".

Now, select these newly created objects and create your second surface, which is vertically lowered by 0.1m.

Thanks Pete!

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Learn about how TBC Tunneling module can increase your capabilities to stake-out, as-built, and report on tunnels in this month's TBC Power Hour on Wednesday, May 23rd.


Going underground with TBC... in Tunnels


Register here today!

The projected surfaces feature within TBC 4.10 allows for the creation of a surface with a custom UCS. The custom UCS is defined by a plane definition, which is created from either several presets, or user input. This is different from traditional surface creation, where the surface geometry is tied to the WCS, or world coordinate system. Traditional surface creation can typically only model 2.5D topography, or non-vertical surfaces.


The projected surface geometry is tied to its’ custom UCS, therefore any calculations, comparisons, or reports will also be tied the UCS. This can lead to a few minor pitfalls when trying to compare two projected surfaces.

When trying to compare projected surfaces via a report, or cut/fill map, you may get this error mark:



This means that the surfaces you are trying to compare were not created using the same plane definition. The plane definition creates a local coordinate system which determines how TBC interprets the surface’s geometry. If two surfaces have geometries relative to different coordinate systems, TBC cannot compare them.


This would be like trying to compare two point clouds that are not georeferenced to each other, or trying to compare objects with coordinates generated from different datums.


You can check if surfaces are comparable by checking the projected surface’s projection orientation.To view this, go to the surface’s properties and scroll to the bottom of the pane. You should see a category “Projection Orientation.”



The projection orientation defines the surface’s normal axis. This normal axis is how TBC determines if two surfaces can be compared. The normal of a plane is shown below. The normal is a vector that is perpendicular to the defined plane.


If your surfaces have the same projection orientation, you’re ready to compare them, if not, you need to change one of the surfaces’ orientation by using the reproject surface command, found right next to the create projected surface command.



This command will allow you to rebuild a surface using a different plane definition. That way, you can make the two surfaces you are trying to compare have matching projection orientations.


Once in the command pane, select one of your surfaces that you are trying to compare, and then select the “Plane Definition” option. This is where you can select the plane definition that matches the other surface you are trying to compare. Once the correct plane definition is selected, hit apply.



Now you'll be able to create reports, or cut/fill maps between the surfaces.


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Interested in learning about the new Projected Surfaces workflow in TBC v4.10? We've got a new tutorial with instructions and data for you!
Check out the "Creating Projected Surfaces" tutorial under the 'Working with Point Cloud' header on our Tutorials page.