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Wednesday, August 28th - 8am MDT

Working with Coordinate System Manager (CSM)

If you are a beginner or a long-time user of TBC or Trimble Access, chances are you’ve used the Coordinate System Manager (CSM) utility, Trimble’s stand-alone utility to manage, customize, and export coordinate systems for use in field and office surveying work. Guest presenter Neil Robicheau from Frontier Precision will show you how to use CSM more efficiently to create custom systems, add local sites, datums, and geoids, and other best practices. Neil has 20 years of field experience with Trimble equipment and is a licensed PLS in Alaska and Washington.

Attendees will learn how to:

- Efficiently use CSM by grouping and defining coordinate systems
- Add local sites, datums, ellipsoids, and geoids to the CSM library
- Define custom coordinate systems, such as low-distortion projections (LDPs) and Modified State Plane systems
- Utilize custom coordinate systems in TBC and Trimble Access
- Work with multiple reference frames

Register here -…/2692601023029425933

See you then!

If you are new to TBC, welcome!  We are glad that you've chosen our product and hope you enjoy discovering the survey data processing, CAD capabilities, point cloud tools, deliverable creation options, and more featured in TBC.


Learning a new technical software can be difficult at times so we've created these two videos to help you get started.


Part 1 - Downloading, installing, and licensing - Getting Started with TBC - Part 1 - Downloading, Installing, and Licensing - YouTube 


Part 2 - Understanding the interface, menus, and navigating through survey data - Getting Started in TBC - Part 2 - Navigating the TBC Interface - YouTube 

TBC’s computation engine is always looking to compute grid coordinates (N,E,Elevation) and global coordinates (Lat, Long, Ellipsoidal Heights). But let’s imagine a scenario where you are measuring the coordinates of a point using both GNSS measurements and total station observations. Which method does TBC use to compute the points elevation and height ? 



We know that GNSS observations give us ellipsoidal heights measured from the reference ellipsoid. To be able to convert these heights into elevations (Orthometric Heights) we must subtract the geoid undulation (Geoid Height) from the elevation taken from GNSS observations. 




Let us look at the point quality hierarchy used in TBC : 


  1. Network adjusted 
  2. Control Quality 
  3. Survey Quality
  4. Survey Geoid Quality 
  5. Mapping Quality 
  6. Mapping Geoid Quality 
  7. Unknown Geoid 
  8. Unknown



In our example, our measurements are measured with survey quality. Hence, 

  • Total station observations produce:
    • Survey quality elevations
    • Survey geoid quality heights
  • GNSS observations produce:
    • Survey quality heights
    • Survey geoid quality elevations


Why? Because the geoid reduces the quality when converting from heights to elevations and vice versa. 



This means our GNSS observations has survey quality heights but the total station observations has survey geoid quality heights. 


So, to answer our original question, TBC uses the elevations from the Total Station observations and Heights from GNSS observation to keep the highest quality. 


For more information on TBC's computation engine, please check out our Power hour about Integrating multiple types of data here 

Have you ever wished for a more granular way to show and hide your data in a TBC view? The View Filter is definitely the right tool to turn to. Add a twist to it when combined with the Selection Sets!


Some of the objects can be individually toggled ON and OFF in the View Filter. That is the case for surfaces, geo-referenced images, scans, or point cloud regions for instance.


Others can be assigned to layers of your choice, which can in turn be turned ON or OFF in the View Filter. This allows you to control the visibility of subsets of your data. That is the case for points and CAD objects for instance.


This addresses the vast majority of our needs. But how to best proceed when your data does not support layers, or cannot be toggled individually? Use selection sets! Selection sets are an underused feature in TBC, and are well supported in the View Filter.


Take a UAV flight mission for instance. How can I hide one half of the images to let me focus on the other?


The View Filter lets me easily show/hide all Photo Stations, all Image Frames, or all Referenced Images, altogether.


All Photo Stations:

All Reference Images:

All Image Frames:

To only see a part of it, save a Selection Set and toggle it ON or OFF in the View Filter…


1) Select the data you want to hide (here a subset of the Photo Stations, Image Frames, and Referenced Images)


2) Open the Selection Explorer


3) Save the selected objects into a new Selection Set


4) Toggle the selection set OFF in the View Filter


5) And VOILA ! The A Selection Set is no longer visible...


Note that you can still toggle the rest of the data as usual in the View Filter.


This example shows how to hide a defined set of objects. Other options in the View Filter allow you to only see the set itself, hiding the rest of the objects. 


Hope this tip comes in handy, the next time you are using Trimble Business Center !


Do you ever create texts to nameboundaries in your project ? Do you ever wish that you could easily name these boundaries using the texts you just created ? 


If you do, I have some great news ! Because you can do exactly that using the ‘Name from Inside Text’ function.  


Below I have a line string starting from point 1032 to 1035 and as you are able to see, it has a closed line geometry. I have gone ahead and created some text in order to remember that this boundary was an ‘Enclosed Area’ in the field. 



Next, we will go to the Macros ribbon (Blue Arrow) and click the ‘Name from Inside Text’ function (Red Arrow) in the CAD tab. 


This will open the ‘Assign Names from Inside Text’ command and we can select the boundary along with the text in the plan view and click ‘OK’ to name the boundary. 


By opening the properties pane of the boundary we can see how the name of the line string has changed to ‘Enclosed Area’ 


Hope this Tip comes in handy the next time you are using Trimble Business Center ! 

"While I expected to learn a lot from the TBC development team, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I also learned from the other users. Not only were the attendees power users with extensive experience using TBC, but the best part was that so many of them used the software in different ways." - Mark Macfarlane, Senior Land Surveyor - WHPacific, Inc.


Three more days to apply for the TBC Power Week in Dayton, Ohio on September 9 - 13.  Learn more and apply here -


Application period closes end of day on Friday, July 19th

Ever look at your point clouds and how it is filtered with unwanted data ? Well Today I'm going to be showing you how to create new point cloud regions with only the needed data. 


Let's start with our scan data, as shown below. We can see that there are lots of unnecessary information presented in this scan and I am looking to optimize my view in order to maximize my work efficiency. 

We will start off by clicking the ‘Polygon Select’ shown in the red arrow and creating a boundary around the area you want. Then we can go to the ‘Point Clouds’ ribbon and hit ‘Create Region’ under ‘Regions Tab’





You are able to name your selection with any name you desire and we can head to the project explorer and right click our original point cloud and right click and select ‘Toggle Visibility’ to keep the whole point cloud from showing in our views.  




To go beyond this and remove more unwanted data from your selected region, we can select the unwanted region in your preferred viewing method and click ‘Keep out’  under the ‘Regions Tab’ to get rid of the selected area or ‘Keep in’ for vice versa



Now that your point cloud has been cleaned up, you are able to complete your workflow with ease ! 

Hope this Tip comes in handy the next time you are using point cloud data.  

TBC Power Hour Announcement - July 31st - 8am MDT



Join this month’s Power Hour session to learn how Trimble Business Center’s alignment, corridor, and surface design tools can assist you for takeoff, data prep, and as-built survey and construction workflows. With instruction-based templates and parameters, we’ll show you how to create everything from a simple haul road to complex highways to intersections, ramps, and round-abouts. Once the geometry is complete, compute quantities, cut/fill balances, and more with customizable reports, or export the linework or corridor information for field devices or machines. All within one package, TBC, that also supports your GNSS, total station, and laser scanning data. TBC, from field to finish with confidence (or from finish to field!). Register for free today!

Remember first opening up TBC and being overwhelmed with the amount of information presented ? Even now, when I am trying to perform minor workflows I get lost due to the amount of ribbons presented. With today’s tip, I will show you how to hide some unnecessary ribbons and hopefully you are able to save some time and increase efficiency. 



First we must enter the ‘Support’ ribbon (White Arrow) and click on ‘Set Ribbon Tabs’ and we will get the following window below










In this window we are able to choose which ribbons we want to be displayed in TBC. If we click the drop down list ‘Current Ribbon Tab Layout’ we can see there are preset choices available. ‘Construction’ would be more suitable for a construction workflow while ‘Survey’ for more surveying focused workflow. 


as an example, lets imagine I was given a data set of point clouds taken from a SX-10 scanner and I was ordered to register the scans and clean up the data and create surfaces using those point clouds. Instead of having all of these extra ribbon’s open, I will go ahead and only keep the essentials. 



As we can see only the required ribbons are visible and allows us to navigate through the workflow with much greater ease. 


Hope this tip helps you finish your workflow with ease and efficiency. Happy Friday !



I would like to introduce a job to jxl bulk converter


cmd script name: start.bat

powershell script name: J2J.ps1



@echo off

powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy ByPass -File J2J.ps1 -noexit
timeout 5



Write-Host ++++JOB2JXL++++

$myJobsPath = "C:\Users\***\Desktop\Job2JXL\Jobs"      <-- JOBS PATH
$myAsciiPath = "C:\Users\***\Desktop\Job2JXL\Ascii"      <---Ascii File Generator PATH

$files = Get-ChildItem $myJobsPath
for ($i=0; $i -lt $files.Count; $i++) {

   $infileVN = $files[$i].FullName
   $infile = $files[$i]
   $infile_ = $infile -split '[.]'
   $infile_ = $infile_[0]
   Write-Host $infileVN
   & $myAsciiPath\AsciiFileGenerator.exe "$infileVN" "Trimble JobXML" "$infile_"


The JXL files will be saved with the same JOB files name.


i hope this helps.

Smart Text !! what a handy little tool, it lets us create texts by referencing to object’s attributes. Whether you are familiar with this function or it is completely new to you, I will walk through the process of applying smart text to CAD objects. Along with this I will showcase the new v5.10 feature of applying simple math using smart text.  


Below I have opened a project which shows a small neighborhood plan. First, to access the Smart Text feature, we need to go on the ‘Drafting’ Ribbon and select the ‘Text’ feature shown below in figure 1 in the red box.  


Figure 1 : Plan view showing the insert text feature


Afterwards, the create text command pane opens up and we can see the ‘Insert Smart’ in the blue box. I am looking to add the area of the enclosed area, highlighted in white and I will go ahead and click the ‘Insert Smart’ box.











The Insert Smart Text window above will open up and in this window we can classify what kind of attributes we want to reference. Since the object I am referencing is a 2D enclosed space I have specified I want the Area in the ‘Property’ drop down list. Since I am extracting features from an object I have specified this in ‘Extract property at/from’ and decided to Use project settings for the units ( we can change this later on )  




After pressing OK on the Insert Smart Text window we see the setting we just chose appear as Smart Text Codes in the blue box. These keyboard shortcuts can be found using the Help function on TBC which you can access by pressing F1 and by searching up ‘Smart Text Codes’. Then we can proceed to select the object in the plan view and the attribute will automatically appear and you can choose where to insert the text. You may hit the ‘Close’ button to exit the Insert Text window.














 By right clicking the smart text in Plan view we can access its properties. In the green box we can note the smart text code that was applied in the previous text. We are able to edit the text straight from the properties panel by left clicking the browse button “...”








In the figure below I have gone ahead and changed some parameters using the Smart Text Codes which can be found by pressing F1 and typing ‘Smart Text Codes. (A) specifies that I want the Area, (O) specifies the selected object, (T) indicates that I intend to display units suffix, (2) indicates that I want a precision of 2 decimal places, and (m) indicates that I want the Area in square meters. We can see how the text has automatically changed from 3360.0 square feet (Project settings) to 312.16 square meters.







Now for the brand new feature implemented in TBC v.5.10 : Imagine a scenario your customer has told you the enclosed area will be split up into 6 equal parts to be developed into various projects and want to know what the area of each part will be. Well using this handy new trick we are able to compute basic math straight from the text editor. Shown in the figure below, in the red box we can see the mathematical computations following thevertical bar ‘|’. Since we want to divide the area into 6 equal parts, I have used the division symbol ‘/’ followed by the number of parts I want, which in this case is 6. We can see that the area has reduced to 52.03 square meters. This feature is not limited to the demonstration I showcased, for example, it can be handy when wanting to label the elevation of the top of the curb that is 10 cm above the ground or many other interesting ideas !





Don't forget, you can always look up these smart text codes and appropriate shortcut codes using a touch of a button, pressing ‘F1’ and typing in ‘Smart Text Codes’


So next time you have a big project and want to label your attributes, this feature will save the day and save you lots of time. Hope this tip comes in handy and have a safe weekend !

Ever look at your Station View after importing your scan data and see that two images aren't lined up? You think to yourself, “Oh, I probably forgot to check the ‘Remove Parallax’ box at the bottom of station view panel”


BUT the checkbox is checked and you think to yourself, “What should I do remove this pesky parallax?”


Well, I'm glad you asked because I have the answer!


We must first define what causes parallax, parallax is caused by the displacement of the position of the camera fixed to a specific subject. The graphic below shows a representation how the subject (the man) appears in different positions for the two cameras. Scanning takes multiple pictures of the same subjects in different positions as the scanner is rotating around. When merging these images together, the subject will appear unaligned to each other.










Looking at the Image above, we can see that in the blue box, I have checked the ‘Remove Parallax’ box but there is still parallax visible in the image seen in the red box. To fix this issue, we must divert our attention to the orange box where we can manually change the viewing distance. Depending on the subject you wish to see without any parallax, you must estimate the viewing distance to the subject and enter that value in the orange box. For this Image, I estimate that the road is approximately 20 meters away and I will change the viewing distance to 20 meters.





Viewing this image we can see that I changed the viewing distance to 20 m as stated above and my parallax between the subject (road) has been removed.


So, if you are experiencing parallax at a specific subject you may want to view in the station view, try changing the viewing distance ! Hope this helped !

Site Modeling in TBC


June 26th 8am MDT


Join this month’s power hour as we introduce new tools to complete site design models in TBC v5.10. Draft and prepare field models for retaining walls, curb and gutter, corridor geometries, detention ponds, structural footings, and more with greater ease and efficiency with the new Create Side Slope command. This session is essential for surveyors and contractors alike - anyone working on a construction site for that matter - as site modeling workflows can be made easy with TBC v5.10. See you then!

TBC v5.10 is here, released today!


v5.10 strengthen TBC's position as the single office software of choice for surveyors and construction professionals.

- Save time + clicks by creating + editing feature libraries + attributes directly in TBC

- Bring BIM data into geospatial workflows by exporting georeferenced IFC models for stakeout in Trimble Access field software

- Inspect your CAD linework with the new Detect Crossing Geometry command to deliver the highest quality results to clients

And much more!


Check out to learn more and the v5.10 Release Notes and ReadMe for all the new features.


TBC - Field to Finish with Confidence

May 29, 2019 - 8am Mountain Daylight Time


While direct measurements between positions in a network or boundary contribute to establish redundancy, it is not always possible.  Enter relative positional precision, set forth by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and adopted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) for land boundary surveys.  Join this month’s TBC Power Hour to learn how to use the network adjustment routine in TBC alongside the NSPS/ALTA Relative Precision Report to compute relative precisions between measurements.  The primary application is for official ALTA boundary surveys in the United States and many State Standards for using GNSS in the course of boundary surveys, but this routine also provides a quality check between any set of measurements across GNSS, total station, and level sensors for TBC’s global users.