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Trimble Business Center Group

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Hello fellow TBC’ers! Welcome back after a short hiatus. There’s a chill in the air in some parts of the world, others are warming up.

 

This week we take a look into a new feature in TBC v5.0, enabling directional arrows on GNSS baselines, level runs, and total station observation vectors. Sometimes it’s the small things that help most with useability, we on the TBC team hope these features help you out!

 

First, in the TBC Options, accessed from the Quick Access toolbar or under the File dropdown.

 

Check the box next to “Show direction arrows for observations”.

 

This shows an arrow just before each midpoint to indicate direction on each level run, RTK vector, GNSS baseline, and total station vector. In the image below, an example of GNSS baselines (dark blue), total station observations (light green), and level runs (lavender) are shown.

 

Here we have a different project, a loop traverse. Light green lines indicate that multiple measurements have been made and are used, dark green indicate a single observation.

 

When a traverse is adjusted using the Adjust Traverse command, the path of the traverse will be shown in pink to distinguish it from other observations, and mark it as adjusted. There are arrows near the end of each vector showing the direction of travel in the traverse, and upside down triangles indicate each position at which there was a station setup.

 

And that does it!

 

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

TBC November Power Hour - November 28th at 8am MDT
Three Survey Construction Workflows in TBC v5.00
 
Trimble Business Center (TBC) and Business Center - Heavy Civil Edition (BC-HCE) have merged with the new TBC v5.00 release. TBC v5.00 is now your single survey and construction office software. Join this session to get an overview of three survey construction workflows useful for geospatial professionals: Utility Modeling, Image Management, and Surface/Subgrades. Trimble Business Center (TBC) and Business Center - Heavy Civil Edition (BC-HCE) have merged with the new TBC v5.00 release. TBC v5.00 is now your single survey and construction office software. Join this session to get an overview of three survey construction workflows useful for geospatial professionals: Utility Modeling, Image Management, and Surface/Subgrades.
 
Joe Blecha

TBC v5.00 is released!

Posted by Joe Blecha Nov 19, 2018

TBC v5.00 is live!  Check out an overview of the new features, like terrestrial laser scanning support, point-based feature extraction, and digital cross-sections and cutting plane view enhancements, and more!

 

https://geospatial.trimble.com/blog/whats-new-tbc-v500

Hello fellow TBC’ers and happy November, we’ve made it past the spookiest time of the year, Trimble Dimensions is coming up, and now we’re approaching the end of… What year is it? 2018? How did that happen!

 

Consistency between deliverables —at least to perfectionists like myself— is of the utmost importance, and always a high priority. Without perfection, what are we, animals?

 

When creating drafting templates, some folks include a rectangle to match the dynaview to, others do whatever looks best. But here’s an idea from the ever teaching and extremely knowledgeable Alan Sharp: Include a bit of text outside the template to ensure the size and insertion point for the dynaview is always within reach and accessible! Brilliant, right?

 

 

 

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

No color, no problem, with point cloud ambient shading!

 

From time to time, you get a point cloud file from a third party that has no color and no greyscale. 3D points are good but not necessarily easy to make sense of when there is no color or intensity depths to it. It may just come as a big flat monotone blob that you can’t comprehend. Luckily, TBC has the right tool for the job!

 

Monochrome point cloud without ambient shading

 

No more, thanks to the [Ambient Shading] rendering option in TBC. This will bring shades of depth to your point cloud, whether or not it is colorized.

 

Go to the [Point Clouds] ribbon tab, and click the little sphere icon dropdown in the [Rendering] group. The [Ambient Shading] will give your point cloud a whole new dimension, turning it from a flat meaningless blob to an actual comprehensible 3D scene. (Check out the teaser of the new look and organization in TBC v5.0!)

 

Ambient shading option in the ribbon

 

Same monochrome point cloud with ambient shading turned on

 

'Tis the season for TBC and Autodesk (specifically Civil 3D) interoperability. Join our October TBC Power Hour to learn how the two software packages work together for you. Feature coding, attributes, and drafting will be covered. Sign up here for the live October 31st session. If you can't make it, still sign up, you'll get recording notifications and you'll be able to watch on-demand for free!

 

https://geospatial.trimble.com/Autodesk-Interoperability-Feature-Coding

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

 

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 

 

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 

 

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 

 

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

 

Corridors

#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

 

Specialty Solutions

#10 - Measuring Clearances - May 2017

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

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

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

#60 - Point Cloud Ambient Shading - October 2018

 

Platform

#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 

Come one, come all! Tip of the Week time is upon us. This weeks Tip is on a little known selection method that is shared with Trimble Realworks, the Freehand (or Lasso) Select!

 

We all know of the Rectangle Select, perhaps also the Polygon Select, they have their own icons in the quick access toolbar and keyboard shortcuts after all. This week’s tip sheds some light on a selection method users have a love/hate relationship with, the Freehand Select!

 

To use the Freehand Select, begin by choosing Polygon Select from the Quick Access Toolbar.

 

Once in Polygon Select mode, the Freehand Select can be started in 3 easy steps:

  1. Click and hold the left mouse button then press and hold the Alt key.
  2. Move the cursor slightly.
  3. Release the left mouse button then release the Alt key.

 

Again, those steps are:

Left click and hold, Press Alt and hold.

 

Move the cursor slightly, release the left mouse button, release the alt key.

And voila! Freehand selection.

 

Now you can move your mouse and draw a line with which to select objects in Plan View or 3D View. When you are done drawing a selection area, double click to make the selection, just like with Polygon Select.

 

Again just like Polygon Select, drawing the selection clockwise will select only objects completely contained in the selection, and drawing counter-clockwise will select all objects which are partially contained in the selection area.

 

By doing this I have easily cropped this tree from the point cloud! I have the point cloud colored by elevation here.

 

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Hello folks and welcome here to yet another TBC Tip of the Week! Happy Friday, Happy Monday, or Happy whichever day you happen to stumble upon this tip!

 

Today we will be taking a look at two similar but different commands under the CAD Ribbon, Average Points and Merge Points. Each has distinct functionality that is useful in situations with different intended outcomes.

 

The Average Points command computes the simple mean of all points selected — the average horizontal and vertical positions — and creates a new point with lines drawn from each of the points involved in the average. Below, we have three total station observations to the same point, and we want to take the average of these points to use as our observed point.

 

In the drop down for each point under Status, points can be enabled or disabled to easily filter outliers.

When it is computed:

 

The resulting point 100 is an arithmetic 3D mean of points 16, 17, and 18.

 

Now onto the Merge Points command! This one has a little more to it and is more flexible than the Average Points command so long as the points are all sideshots (not station setups). In the image below, under Filter Points by ID, are two options. Given the points are the same coordinate quality, identical will merge all points with identical ID’s. For example, if there are 4 points with ID ‘A’, and 3 points with ID ‘B’, these will be merged into two separate points A and B. Ignored will merge all points regardless of ID.

 

Filter Points by Distance will, you guessed it, filter points based on the distance of each selected point to the position of the specified final point.

 

When points being merged have different qualities ie. Control vs Survey vs Mapping vs Unknown, points can be merged with points of different qualities, however only a point of the highest quality in the selection will be used for the final point. Below, I have added a point of unknown quality using the Create Point command. TBC will merge lower quality points with higher quality, but will not merge higher quality points with lower quality. Under Selected Points, you may select which point will be the final position, and which points will be merged by checking the Included boxes. The distance each point will be moved to be merged is dynamically updated under Distance. To change the point ID of the merged point, you can enter it under Point ID.

 

This will merge all 4 points with point 16, and will name the resulting point 16.

 

There you have it! Depending on the desired outcome of your survey and your knowledge of how it was conducted, you can merge or average points to best suit your needs.

 

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

Hello fellow TBC’ers and here we go with another Tip of the Week! I hope you’re sitting down for this one, that’s the most comfortable way to read after all :)

 

Minimizing the number of clicks to perform common tasks is always a high priority here at Trimble, and we have efficiency in mind. The context menu is a great example of this. The size of the context menu can be adjusted to contain the right amount of commands to suit your common workflows, whether that’s 5, 7, or 20!

 

This can be adjusted in the Options, accessed either under File or in the Quick Access Toolbar.

 

Select Context Menu, and here we can adjust the number of the most recent commands which will be included in your right-click context menu.

 

I have opted to use 8 commands.

 

And here is what it looks like with 8 commands included!

 

And there you have it! Another TBC Tip of the Week, let me know in the comments if you found this helpful and share something you’ve found in TBC that should be a tip!

 

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence

Howdy folks! Happy Friday, and welcome to another TBC Tip of the Week!

 

Did you know a large portion of the work in TBC drafting routines can be done once and repeated in every project using templates and styles? Additionally, project specific text elements can be auto-filled with smart text. I love it when I only have to do something once!

 

In TBC, the first thing we do while setting up a project is ensure our company and user information is correct. All this information needs to be contained on our plans as well.

 

It would be pretty nifty if all these details could be automatically inserted and updated on our plan sets, wouldn’t it? Well fear not! This feature is called Smart Text. Below is a demonstration of the text inserted into my block.

 

And here is the text used to insert this from the project setting information.

 

An explanation of Smart Text controls is documented very well in the TBC help section. Which is accessed by pressing F1 and searching for ‘smart text’. Smart Text can be used to relay a wide variety of information, such as: your company name and contact information, the slope of a line, area of cut/fill, volume of cut/fill, easting, northing, elevation, and height just to scratch the surface.

 

Smart Text can greatly reduce the amount of manual data entry required on drafting projects, and can bring significant gains in productivity and significant reductions in frustration.

 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s TBC Tip of the Week, if you have suggestions for future tips, or inquiries about ways to streamline your workflow, let me know in the comments!

 

TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.

 

 

P.S. TBC_OhYeah@trimble.com isn't a real email address, but it should be.

Good day folks! Happy Friday, we made it through another week of productivity in TBC!

 

Have you ever found yourself plugging away on a big project, and realize it’s been a few hours since you last saved? A power failure could have been disastrous! Sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder that saving is important.

 

In options, which can be accessed in two ways:

 

In the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of TBC.

And under File > Options.

 

 

Under General > Project Management, there is a setting for ‘Save Project’ Reminder.

 

This will prompt the user to save at a variety of time intervals. The prompt will look like this:

 

Utilizing this feature in your day to day workflows can help by giving you the gentle reminder that saving is important, and can help prevent the ever frustrating redoing of work! Have a great weekend!

 

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

Happy September TBC’ers! This week we discuss a project setting which can greatly reduce the processing time required for volume calculations between large surfaces. Often the need for a fast rough volume arises. This is how you do that!

 

Here I have two (small) surfaces between which I wish to generate an Earthwork Report and calculate a volume. The green (Plan View & 3D View) surface is the Original Ground, and the purple (Plan View2 & 3D View2) surface is a gravel pile.

 

Go to Project Settings.

 

Computations > Surface. Under General, Volume computation: The default setting is Track All Triangles.

 

Using Track All Triangles will provide the most accurate volume for your surfaces, but is quite computationally intensive. For doing rough work, or rough volumes where time is of the essence, change this setting to Do Not Track Breaklines.

 

Using Do Not Track Breaklines will reduce the computation time by up to 95% in our tests. This large time savings was when using two dense surfaces created from point clouds were being used for the volume computation, such as UAS or laser scanning data. For a detailed explanation of what these settings do differently, take a look at TBC Help (accessed by pressing F1 in TBC) and search for “do not track breaklines”, or “track all triangles”.

 

To perform a volume calculation, generate an Earthwork Report under the reports command in the Surfaces Ribbon.

 

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence

Hello folks and welcome to the reading of another TBC Tip of the Week. Thank you to the very knowledgeable Alan Sharp for this tip, he sure knows TBC!

 

When modelling and creating a corridor in TBC, it is common for many templates to be used. Would you believe me if I told you most corridors can be modelled with just one? There is a trick to this! (Hint, it’s using the ‘undefined’ (?) character in template instructions)

 

Here I have created a corridor using an imported alignment.

Alignment

 

I will now create a template using Corridor > Corridor > Insert Template with Begin station: 0+00.00.

Insert Corridor Template

 

In the Edit Corridor Template command pane, Under Offset/slope from: select 1 > HAL (HAL is my alignment name). This selects the start point for the instruction to be referenced from. Under Offset: select Table.

Edit Corridor Template - Create Instruction

 

Select the three ellipses to open the table.

 

I filled the table out as below. For the pavement of my corridor, I want a gradual change from 0’ from the alignment to 12ft from station 1+80 to 2+20. I want a 12ft width until station 3+00 where I have an intersection and want to have a gap in this template. I want the template to resume at station 3+80.

Instruction Table

 

I set the Slope % to -2.00% and named the instruction EOPR (Edge of Pavement Right). Click Add.

 

The instruction is shown on the plan (and 3D View). Notice the use of the ‘undefined’ (?) character has created a gap in the instruction in the template. This allows the input of repeating sections of a corridor quickly and easily.

End Result of Corridor Template

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence.

In many situations it is useful to create a point between two 3D points, with an interpolated elevation and a desired horizontal offset from one of the lines; here's how that can be done easily and efficiently!

 

I have two points separated by 141m horizontal, 10m vertical. In the plan view I have the point elevation displayed.

 

Short version:

Create Linestring between the two points. (direction matters)

On the Edit ribbon, use the break line command.

Create a point at End of line. (In Create Point drop-down)

 

Detailed version: 

First is to Create Linestring between the two points, starting from the point you want to set the offset distance.


I have drawn the line from point 1 to 2. After opening the Create Linestring command, you can press "Enter" to skip the first menu, and go directly to selecting the start and end points of your line. After clicking the two points, pressing "Esc" twice will exit the command.

 

Next, go to Edit > Lines > Break

 

Select the line (if it's not already), and enter the distance along the line you would like to create the new point. (This is why the direction the line was created matters) I would like my new point to be 50m from the start point.

 

Hit Break or press "Enter" on the keyboard.

 

Next, CAD > Points > Create Point (select the drop down) > End

 

Select the end of the broken line, and click Add or press "Enter". A point will be created here.

 

 If the linestrings are not desired, they can be deleted.

 

And there you have it! 

 

TBC - From Field to Finish With Confidence