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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.  

Cartesian, grid-based coordinates are widely used as the reference vocabulary for surveyors on many projects, but for road and corridor jobs, (x,y,z) are replaced by (s,o,e) or Station, Offset, Elevation, referencing an existing or proposed alignment to determine project coordinates.  Roadway elements such as stormwater inlets, lighting handholes, and signs are often positioned by station and offset relative to the primary roadway alignment.


TBC makes field data prep and position calculation simple by offering the ability to define 2D or 3D linestrings by station and offset relative to an existing alignment (or any other line element, it doesn't have to be an alignment object) in the Create Linestring command.   


Take the storm water plans and schedule for a new sub-division as shown below:



The manholes and curb and gutter inlets are referenced to the Twelve Oaks Court alignment.  Let's use the Create Linestring command to key in a linestring representing the manhole structures at Station 2+21.15 at 30' left and right offset for staking in the field.


In TBC, you can georeference the PDF site plan or key-in the alignment from the plan sets:

The Twelve Oaks Court alignment is highlighted.  Now open the Create Linestring command, assign a name and properties to the proposed line as you wish, then change the Start Point > Type to Station/Offset from the drop-down menu.


Graphically pick the Twelve Oaks Court alignment that you've keyed-in, enter the Distance along (Station) value per the plan set - 221.15 and the Offset 30 (positive is right, negative is left relative to the alignment's direction).  If you've got elevation information, add it optionally as well.  You can always edit the linestring and add elevation information afterwards.


Click the Save button and enter the manhole on the other side of the street, at -30 offset value.  Hit the Close button to end the linestring and you've got a simple line, quickly created, for staking out two manhole locations in the field.



TBC - From Field to Finish (or in this case, from Finish to Field) with Confidence

Hello fellow TBC'ers, welcome back to another TBC Tip of the Week! In this weeks nugget of usefulness, I'll go over making layers unselectable. 


Do you have data you would like to see but not interact with? I can think of a few recent instances where I have! TBC has an excellent system in place for managing this. Read on for more!


Data visibility in TBC is controlled by layer in the View Filter Manager. It then would only make sense that controlling which data can be selected is also controlled by layer via the View Filter Manager, correct? Correct! The View Filter Manager can be launched from two places in TBC, on the Home Ribbon, at Home > View > View Filter Manager, and on the Quick Access Toolbar as shown below.


Once the View Filter Manager is launched, I have shown here a subdivision plan which I have brought into TBC as a PDF and georeferenced as a background image in the appropriate coordinate system. I have created points and linework for the parcels contained on the plan using the CreateCOGO workflow (see the July 2018 Power Hour titled "The Latest TBC Cadastral Workflows, Re-establishing Corners, Ground Labeling, Survey Plats, + More"  to learn how I did it!).


In the View Filter Manager, along the top we have shortcuts to aid in isolating and narrowing down data. The right-most shortcut is for the Advanced View Filter Settings.


The Advanced View Filter Settings allow you to toggle visibility and selectability of layers in your project. Notice my georeferenced image is toggled to not be selectable.


Un-checking the Selectable box only limits selecting data in the Plan, 3D, and other views. Data can always be selected from the Project Explorer.


This has been the seventy third TBC Tip of the Week!


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

TBC Power Hour: Scanning Workflows in TBC for Street Topo and Structural Facades


Wed, Apr 24, 2019 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM MDT

Trimble Business Center (TBC) introduced support for terrestrial laser scan data in the v5.00 release in November 2018. This allows you to integrate TX6, TX8, and FARO laser scan data into GNSS, digital level, total station, UAV, SX10, and the other third-party file formats TBC already supports, all in a single project. More importantly, the terrestrial laser scan data scales properly into your known projection or local coordinate system. Join this month’s TBC Power Hour to see how GEOVAL in France has leveraged the new support for terrestrial data and new point cloud and image deliverables to combine TX8 and SX10 data for geospatial topo and structural elevation models.
Attendees will learn how to:
- Import, georeference, and register scan data alongside SX10 and other survey data
- Use cutting planes for feature extraction and building elevation creation
- Apply feature coding for automated drafting, attribute assignment, and floor plan generation
- Create Orthophoto and Rectified Image deliverables


Register today!

Good day and welcome back to another TBC Tip of the Week! Spring is in the air! Or perhaps will be in the air soon for my northern friends, or perhaps fall is in the air for my southern friends!


In large datasets or cluttered projects, (OK, I’m not saying you have cluttered projects, but I occasionally do!) we might want to run a command on all data to which that command can apply. How do we do that with as little input to TBC as possible? Let’s discuss!


TLDR for those in a hurry: Ctrl + A in any selection box in TBC will select all currently displayed data within TBC that is eligible for that command.


Here I have a project I have prepared to send to the field using Trimble Sync Manager, it contains control points, linework, a georeferenced background PDF of the plan, and a design surface. I have already logged into my free Trimble Connect account from File > Options in TBC to use Sync Manager.


I will now open the Send to Sync command found at Home > Data Exchange > Send to Sync.


Now, in the Send to Sync command, we need to select our data. We can do this in a variety of ways, but typically in a new project like this one I want to select everything in the plan view to send it to the field. To do this, simple click on the All box, and press Ctrl + A on the keyboard, just like in your other favourite desktop applications!

Notice the points, lines, and surface have been selected, but not the georeferenced background image.


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Welcome back to the seventy first TBC Tip of the Week!


Exterior scans are easy to view, simply view as-is in TBC! Though, what about interior scans? These can be a bit more challenging without going through extensive manual segmentation and mastering the limit box. Lucky for you, TBC has a clever rendering option to see into scans!


For a more natural viewing, I first set the Projection Type to Perspective. This command applies a more natural view to the point cloud, sometimes in Orthographic it can be confusing if the cloud is being viewed from above or below, not with perspective!

Point Clouds > View > Projection Type (Down arrow next to Orthographic)


Here I have an SX10 scan of a tunnel. Pretty challenging to see what’s going on inside the tunnel! 


Let’s try a rendering mode called "See Inside". It can be found at Point Clouds > Rendering > See Inside


This view allows us to easily see inside the tunnel, much easier to interpret the scene! Using the limit box to investigate scans is (nearly) a thing of the past with TBC! "See Inside" works with your TZF, FLS, and SX10 scans. It dynamically removes all the points sitting between you and the scanner and showing their back to you. It literally removes all the obstructing points from the scene, leaving a clean view inside the scan. 


This can be useful in many situations, particularly indoor scanning projects!


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) With Confidence

Good day, welcome back to another TBC Tip of the Week! In this weeks tip, we will look into how TBC handles the drag and drop importing of files. Do you use it already? Did you know you can often skip the import pane all together? Let’s look into how this works and how to tell that dragging and dropping is the way to go!

When a file is imported using the Drag and Drop method, the default import settings for that file type is always used. If you know which file types you want to use the default settings for, those types can always be dragged and dropped into TBC!

With a TBC project open, I want to import a .JOB file from Trimble Access. I will first check the import for .JOB files to see what settings exist for these files. Select Import from the Quick Access Toolbar.

In the Import command, select the ellipses and browse for the folder containing the files you wish to import.

Below I have examples of a .JOB Trimble Access file, a .T02 GNSS observation file, and a .JXL jobXML file from an SX10. Clicking on each one, I can see the available settings for importing these files, and what the defaults are for those imports.
.JOB file (left), the option to merge the data contained in the file on import with other project data. Ask me on import is the default.
.T02 (middle), what type of data is this? Static or Kinematic? If you always process one type, you can force TBC to read the .T02 as that data type. Both of these can be set later in TBC.
.JXL (right), the option to merge the data contained in the file on import with other project data. Ask me on import is the default.

So! You might say “I want to be asked on import”, or “I occasionally bring in Static and Kinematic GNSS data”. Then do we have a solution for you! Instead of navigating in the pesky import pane, you likely have a File Explorer window open with your data already. Simply Drag and Drop the data into the TBC Plan view window! You can select multiple files and drag them in at once.

The order in which data is selected to import can affect project computation results, typically when points have overlapping point numbers. In the GIF above, I am prompted for a scale factor because the .JOB file I am importing was created with either a Local Site or Scale Only coordinate system.

And there we go! What did you think of this one? Let me know in the comments below.


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Leverage the details and data of dense point clouds like never before with the enhanced Cutting Plane Views in Trimble Business Center (TBC) v5.00. Join us for an in-depth demonstration of how Ben Brookman at BCZ Engineering in Galesburg, Iowa used the Trimble SX10 and TBC to help structural engineers and architects transform an old barn into a reception and banquet hall.


Session is free to all and if you are unable to attend live, register anyways and view the recording on-demand! Wednesday, March 27th at 8am US Mountain Daylight Time

If you’re anything like me, trying out new things is the most time consuming part of the day. TBC has long had guided workflows to ease this process and help accomplish common tasks quickly. In this weeks tip we will find and explore those guided workflows!

They can be found in two places.

   1. The Support ribbon, Learning section, Help. Support > Learning > Help

   2. Press F1 to open the TBC Help, scroll to the top, and select the top line: Trimble Business Center Help.


This brings us to the TBC Help home page, here we have a link to the TBC Tutorials, and—drum roll please!—the fast-track instructions for major workflows.

Each of these workflows contain instructions and links to the applicable commands to complete the task from start to finish. Let’s open Process Terrestrial Photo Stations under the heading Photogrammetry to take a look!


As you can see, we are provided two columns. Steps: provides instructions, and Commands: provides links the the desired commands. Having this open on the side of your screen or another window provides instructions and links to complete a new task in a reasonable amount of time, and provides instruction to aid in the learning process! Neat hey?


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Good morning, afternoon, evening, and goodnight! Welcome back, here we go again!

For many of us, monitor real estate is a precious resource that we need to make the best use of to optimize productivity, and more importantly, sanity. I find myself keeping the properties pane open all the time when working in v5.0+. The downside, I sacrifice some space for the plan view and running commands. That doesn’t have to be the case! The Properties pane can be docked along with the Project Explorer and View Filter Manager, and cycled through using Ctrl + Tab.

Open the Properties pane by right clicking anywhere (or on something) in Plan View.

Click and drag the title bar of the Properties, and move the cursor to the top of the Project Explorer or Plan View so the box outline is shown as below.

The Project Manager, View Filter Manager, and Properties can be selected using the tabs at the bottom.

The panes can also be cycled using Ctrl + Tab.

TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Are you a big fan of the Google Earth export in TBC? I sure am! It's handy for quickly sharing project data with clients in a digestible form. Did you know TBC has it's own background imagery? This is great for screenshots, deliverables, and—most notably—verifying that field data is in the correct coordinate system and things are (at least) close to where they should be!


Background Maps and Imagery are available in TBC Intermediate Edition and higher. If you're not sure what you're licensed for, go to Support > License > License Manager in TBC to find out.


Here I have a parcel which was keyed-in from a survey plan, (check out the CreateCOGO command on the Survey ribbon and this video to see how I did it), and I want to verify it's location to ensure my coordinate system is set up properly.


First thing I need to do, is log in to my free Trimble Connect account. I can do this from Options in the Quick Access toolbar.


Next, External Services - Profiles. If you don't have a Trimble Connect account yet, head over to and create a free account! We at Trimble are moving towards having a single login for all of our services, and Trimble Connect is that single account. If you have a Trimble Connect account already, click Create and choose a name for your profile.


Enter a name for your profile.


Then select Sign-In to open a login screen for Trimble Connect.


Select OK to close out of the options. To toggle the background map, select the Map toggle on the Status bar at the bottom of TBC.


This will open a Trimble Mapview background map by default. This shows roads and building footprints in most areas. 


What about background imagery you might ask? Well, we on the TBC team have the solution for you!


On the Project Explorer, right click on your project, select Properties. In the Properties pane, go to Type: and in the drop-down, select DigitalGlobe Imagery.


To better view your data over the background map, try toggling the background color on the TBC status bar, or adjusting the Transparency of the background map.


And there you go! Background Maps and Imagery built into TBC for quick verification of data.


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Hello and welcome for another—you guessed it!—TBC Tip of the Week! In this weeks segment we delve into the elusive donut surface. This is a surface with areas where a surface isn’t wanted in the final deliverable or volume computation.


Here I have a surface created of a surveyed property containing a house.


In the Surfaces ribbon, navigate to Surfaces > Create > Surface Boundaries.


In the Add/Remove Surface Boundaries command, select the surface you want to apply the outer and inner boundaries to, I have a poorly named New Surface(2).


Hold the Control key, and select each boundary. It is good to note, if there are multiple places within the boundary that you don’t want the surface, you can have multiple interior boundaries. For example dirt piles or a house and shed.


And there you go! Neat hey?


TBC - From Field to Finish (and back!) with Confidence

Welcome back to another Tip of the Week! Amid the US government shutdown, you may be missing your OPUS post-processing corrections from the NGS. Fortunately for your static GNSS data, Trimble is not shut down and can supply another correction service, CenterPoint RTX Point Positioning. The best part? CenterPoint RTX-PP is available directly through TBC!


This feature is licensed in TBC Advanced and higher in v5.0.


Before getting into the how-to, I'll give a little introduction to RTX-PP within TBC. First and most notable: If your receiver is capable of tracking more constellations than just GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo, (like BeiDou or QZSS), then RTX-PP will already get you one step ahead of OPUS. RTX-PP supports observations up to 24 hours in length, with a recommended length of at least 60 minutes.


There are three ways to post process static data using RTX-PP in TBC: 

1. Send to RTX-PP on import.


2. From the Project Explorer. Right click on the imported observation file, and click Send to RTX-PP.


3. From the Survey ribbon. Survey > GNSS > Send to RTX-PP.


If you want to submit the files directly to CenterPoint RTX-PP, that can be done from the website


Best of luck and thank you for reading!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Joe Blecha

TBC Tips Vault

Posted by Joe Blecha Jan 17, 2019

Here you'll find all TBC Tips linked and accessible for viewing (and re-viewing!):


To download a PDF containing all below tips (as of April 1, 2019) click here.






Field Data


#4 - Spreadsheets - February 2017


#5 - Process Panorama - March 2017


#18 - Visualizing Survey Data in Google Earth - July 2017


#19 - Investigating Data with Point Derivation Reports - August 2017


#27 - "Sunny" Level Editing - February 2018


#33 - Easy *.job to *.jxl File Conversion - March 2018


#43 - New GNSS Planning Online Tool - June 2018


#62 - Observation Vector Arrows - December 2018 


#82 - Lock Leveled Scan Data for Registration and Geo referencing Purposes - August 2019




Adjustment & COGO


#1 - Coordinate Controls - January 2017


#9 - Bearing/Azimuth Angle Controls - May 2017


#22 - Transform Survey Points - January 2018


#29 - Sources of Default Standard Errors - February 2018


#34 - The Power of the Comp Engine and Point Derivation Report - March 2018


#47 - Network Adjustment North/East Components - June 2018


#58 - Average Points vs Merge Points Command - September 2018 


#65 - OPUS Alternatives—Post Process Static Data from TBC - January 2019 




CAD & Drafting


#2 - Layer Manager - January 2017


#3 - Project Cleanup - February 2017


#6 - Using View Filters - April 2017


#15 - Using the Best-Fit Line Command to Draft Catenary Lines - June 2017


#16 - Using Selection Sets for Time Saving - June 2017


#24 - Label Style Previews - January 2018


#25 - Hiding the Dynaview Frame - January 2018


#32 - Customize Drafting Templates - March 2018


#42 - TBC Point Symbols in AutoCAD - May 2018


#44 - Locking manual edits to feature coded geometry - June 2018


#45 - Creating Arcs with Polylines - June 2018


#46 - Ortho Snap Modes - June 2018


#48 - Object Snaps - July 2018


#52 - Creating a Point On-Line Between Two 3D Points - August 2018


#56 - Smart Text in Plan Set Templates - September 2018


#61 - Consistent Drafted Deliverables - November 2018 


#76 -  Referencing to object attributes and creating smart text - June 2019


#79 - Naming Bounding Geometries using 'Name from Inside Text' - July 2019




Surfaces & Volumes


#11 - Breakline Tolerances for Surfaces - May 2017


#26 - "Draping" Ortho Images on Surfaces - February 2018


#28 - Staking Cut/Fill Data - February 2018


#39 - Reproject Surface to a New Plane Definition - May 2018


#40 - Offsetting a Surface - May 2018


#41 - Vertical Exaggeration in 3D View - May 2018


#54 - Speed up Surface Volume Calculations - September 2018


#66 - Donut Surfaces (Multiple Surface Boundaries) - January 2019 


#87 - Setting maximum edge length to trim surface edges - September 2019






#10 - Measuring Clearances with SX10 Data - May 2017


#13 - Using the Explore Objects Command - June 2017


#30 - Re-using Road Corridor Templates - March 2018


#53 - Undefined in Corridor Template Instruction - August 2018




Data Prep


#7 - Auto-Advance - April 2017


#8 - Doing Math in TBC - May 2017


#49 - Image Georeferencing - July 2018


#74 - Create Linestring by Station + Offset - May 2019




Specialty Solutions




#12 - Creating Orthorectified Image for Facade Reconstruction - Using Multiple Stations - May 2017


#17 - Quick + Clean Facade Segmentation for Orthophotos - July 2017


#75 - Removing parallax from station view - June 2019


Point Clouds


#23 - Maximize your PC's RAM for Improved Point Cloud Rendering - January 2018


#60 - Point Cloud Ambient Shading - October 2018


#63 - Point Cloud by Boundary - December 2018


#71 - See Inside Point Clouds - March 2019


#83 - Scan registration QA using cutting plane view - August 2019


#85 - Using 'measure point' tool to identify scans - August 2019 


#92 - More efficiency with scan registration - November 2019








#14 - Customized Keyboard Shortcuts, Ribbons, and the Quick Access Toolbar - June 2017


#20 - Tricks and Right-Clicks - August 2017


#21 - Tips and Zips (Importing a .zip file) - October 2017


#31 - TBC Help is Closer than You Think - March 2018


#35 - Where are all the TBC Report Settings at? - April 2018


#36 - Your New Home Page... - April 2018


#37 - Version Upgrade Eligibility - April 2018


#38 - Available License Servers - April 2018


#50 - Graphic Selection Methods - August 2018


#51 - Quick Zoom Extents - August 2018


#55 - Save Reminders - September 2018


#57 - Context Menu Customization - September 2018


#59 - Freehand (Lasso) Selection - October 2018 


#64 - View Filter Manager Shortcuts - January 2019 


#67 - Background Map to Verify Data - February 2019 


#68 - Dock the Properties - February 2019


#69 - Guided Workflows Directly from TBC Help - March 2019 


#70 - Drag and Drop Data Import - March 2019  


#72 - Selection Box in Commands - April 2019


#73 - Make Objects Unselectable - April 2019 


#76 - Customizing the Ribbon Tabs - June 2019 


#80 - Even More Granular Visibility with Selection Sets - July 2019 


#81 - How the Geoid affects Height and Elevation computations - August 2019


#84 - Adding to layer using plan view - August 2019


#86 - Creating different viewpoints using the 'Defined Views' command - September 2019


#88 - Easy navigation to commands using the 'command pane' - September 2019


#89 - Presentation of your data using TBC - October 2019


#90 - Modify your selections using Advanced Select - October 2019 


#91 - Help getting started with major workflows instructions - November 2019