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Good morning TBC’ers! Have you ever created a surface and wished you were able to easily visualize the topography and elevation differences within it? Well today I will be demonstrating how to create surface contour lines that include elevation labels and colors. 


Once you have a surface created in your Plan View or 3D View, navigate to the Create Contours tool under the Surfaces Ribbon:

With the Create Contours command pane opened, select the surface you wish to add contours to from the Surface drop-down list. Enter a value for the vertical distance between contours in the Contour Interval field. The estimated number of contours appears under the Surface Information heading at the very bottom of the Create Contours command pane. Next, enter a value for the spacing of index contours in the Index Frequency box. Index contours are the major contours, while other contours are the minor contours.

To add elevation labels and colors, first choose a layer on which to place the contour object in the Layer list. You can then select a display color for the minor contours in the Color drop-down list, as well as a thickness for the minor contours in the Contour line weight drop-down list . Then you can select a color for the major contours in the Index contour color drop-down list, and set a thickness for the major contours in the Index contour line weight drop-down list. 

You  also have the option of checking the Color contours by elevation and Smooth contours check boxes. You can check the Color contours by elevation check box to override specified contour and index contour colors. You can check the Smooth contours check box box to round contours at each vertex. (For this demonstration, I chose to color my contours by elevation and to smooth my contours.) 

Lastly, confirm the style of your contour labels by designating your Text style and Distance between labels. To add additional elevation labels at the extents of the contours, check the Label ends of contours check box. 


With your input settings complete, you can click OK to display the contour lines and labels in the Plan View or 3D View. The following is my example of the resulting contour lines and labels from a top-down point of view in the Plane View:

Alternatively, here are the contour lines and labels displayed over the surface in the 3D View:


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

The US National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has released an update on the NSRS Modernization program slated for a 2022 release.

Today TBC only ships with the official geoid model 18 published by National Geodetic Survey (NGS), but some users need to use the NGS experimental geoid models 2019 for certain applications. More information about these geoid models can be found here: Experimental Geoid Models 2019 (xGEOID19) | GEOID | Data & Imagery | National Geodetic Survey .

We have converted the NGS xGeoid19B bin file to the GGF format, so it can be consumed directly with Coordinate System Manager. 


Download the xGeoid19B.ggf


Product Disclaimer

The GGF was converted from an experimental geoid model using a legacy Trimble software, we do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. Please use it with caution.  

Good afternoon TBC’ers! Today I will be showing you a handy shortcut to access additional help and guidelines if you are unfamiliar with a certain TBC command. First, we can launch the Command Pane by hitting F12 on our keyboard. With the Command Pane launched, we see a list of “All Commands” that is directly under “Recent Commands”. Right clicking on any command under “All Commands” reveals a Help option. Simply hovering your mouse over the Help option directs you to where a command is located in the TBC ribbon:


Selecting Help by clicking with your mouse will open the Trimble Business Center Help window. The Trimble Business Center Help window can provide a description of the command you selected, prerequisites needed to launch the command, steps to execute the command in TBC, as well as different scenarios you may encounter when utilizing the command and other related topics:


I hope this tip comes in handy next time you open a TBC project!

Good afternoon TBC’ers! Today I will be showing you a simple, yet extremely handy tool, to use when working with point cloud data: the Keep In and Keep Out command. The Keep In/ Keep Out commands are great to clean up point cloud data or aid in temporary point cloud selections by improving visibility. Once you have point cloud data loaded into your plan or 3D view, we can use the rectangle select or polygon select tool to highlight a region of your point cloud:


Next, navigate to the Point Clouds ribbon under Regions where you will find the Keep In/ Keep Out tools:


The Keep Out command hides all points within your selection boundary or selected point cloud regions:


In comparison, the Keep In command hides all points outside your selection boundary or selected point cloud regions:


It is important to remember that these commands do not permanently alter your point cloud data - you can simply hit “Restore All” to view your point cloud in its original form again:


The Keep In/ Keep Out commands can also be used in conjunction with the “Create Region” or  “Add to Region” tools. This is great if you are only interested in analyzing a small portion of your point cloud, so you can put unwanted points into a “junk” region:


I hope this tip come in handy next time you are working with point cloud data in TBC!

Good afternoon TBC’ers! Today I will be demonstrating an alternative way to import GNSS and aerial image data into TBC through the import pane. The import pane allows us to access additional settings that do not appear with the drag & drop method. First, at the very top of your TBC window, click on the import icon:


We now see the import pane appear. We can click on the “...” to access our data folder that we want to import:

When selecting GNSS data to import, we see two settings on the very bottom of the import pane that are great for troubleshooting GNSS data: “Force Static” and “Force Kinematic”. Setting the “Force Static” setting to yes is useful when your intention was to survey a single point, but it was recognized as multiple points in the field. For instance, this could happen if you adjusted the tripod position while still collecting points and recording epochs. Forcing static will make your multiple points one observation. 


Additionally, setting “Force Kinematic” to yes is useful when you suspect bad measurements exist in static data. Forcing kinematic can expose field errors caused by tripod tilting. You can then disable the bad session segment, and improve the quality of the static survey.


If we are importing aerial survey data with the import pane, we have the additional option of selecting our coordinate system units. This is a quick way to designate if we want our coordinate units to be measured in degrees, feet, or meters:

I hope this tip comes in handy next time you are importing your data into a new TBC project!