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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Trimble TBC v4.10 Simplifies the Creation of GIS Deliverables

June 14th, 2018 by Susan Smith

In May, Trimble announced version 4.1 of Trimble® Business Center office software designed for surveyors and geospatial professionals to simplify the creation of cadastral, GIS, infrastructure inspection and tunneling deliverables. Using new cloud-based data synchronization and workflow task management capabilities, Version 4.1 provides seamless integration with Trimble Access™ 2018 field software to improve field-to-office productivity.

According to Trimble company materials, Trimble Business Center version 4.1 adds new cadastral capabilities including proportioning, map checking and CAD drafting tools that streamline the creation of survey plans, plots and survey engineering digital deliverables.

GNSS field data from GIS receivers, including the Trimble Geo 7X, can now be post-processed within Trimble Business Center to achieve high-quality feature locations. Enterprise-level organizations may look forward to the flexibility to integrate both GIS and survey data within the same project environment and then link the high-quality locations directly to their Esri geodatabase.

For infrastructure inspection, construction as-built verification and volumetric applications, new projected surface tools enable professionals to analyze and compare data captured in the field against design. Point clouds from the Trimble SX10, Trimble VISION™ instruments, 3D laser scanners and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) platforms can be used for slope monitoring as well as to perform accurate volumetric, deformation and cut/fill analysis for retaining wall, dams and mining applications.

In an interview with Joe Blecha, Geospatial Office Software product manager, Trimble Inc., GISCafe Voice found out more about the new capabilities of TBC v4.10:

Can you describe the new capabilities – cadastral, proportioning, map checking and CAD drafting tools?

TBC v4.10 has reaffirmed its commitment to the cadastral surveyor by adding several tools – such as double proportioning, ground labeling, map closure from label precisions, alternate units support, and level editing improvements – to assist in completing field data reduction, processing, and plan set creation.

  • Double proportion allows for the re-establishing of a missing position based on four known markers.
  • Labeling in ground (or grid, or ground and grid) distances enables flexibility and customization for reporting.
  • Completing the map closure routine from labeled distance precisions makes the survey more transparent and easier to reproduce when needed.
  • Alternate distance units – the ability to work with two units within one project – adds information to reports, scale bars, and computations – not to mention eliminating the need for manual conversions.
  • Improved level data editor maintains the field integrity of the measurements (such as from the Trimble DiNi digital level) while allowing the user to copy and merge setups and turning points between different runs.

Re-establishing a section corner in TBC v4.10 with the Double Proportioning command


Labels to two decimal places for distance and nearest second for azimuth values, along with the computation of a ground scale factor in TBC v4.10

The latest release of TBC also strengthens its CAD capabilities by implementing a lock of feature coded geometry, new drafting templates and enhancements, and the projected surface object.

  • A new property of feature coded geometry is the ‘lock’ feature – when engaged, for example when the user makes a manual edit of a line vertex – the geometry will not be modified should the feature code library be re-processed, saving the user’s manual edits. Very useful on large data sets with multiple days of observations!
  • New drafting templates support the copying and pasting of data between sheets, new legend and labels in the cross-section sheets, and the importing of CAD data from a PDF file – which make creating custom and robust sheet sets in TBC more efficient.
  • The new projected surface object allows users to create surfaces on a user-defined plan – including inclined or vertical – for monitoring, volume computations, or visualization purposes for workflows involving sound walls, dam faces, excavations, and more.

TBC v4.10 locking the Edge of Pavement from being reprocessed once a vertex was added to the geometry

TBC v4.10 locking the Edge of Pavement from being reprocessed once a vertex was added to the geometry

A projected surface overlaid on a station-based panorama in TBC v4.10

How is the integration with Trimble Access 2018 field software greatly improved?

TBC v4.10 includes a new way to streamline design and survey communication from the office to the field and back to the office with Trimble Sync and the Trimble Sync Manager leveraging the Trimble Connect online platform.  The Trimble Sync function within TBC lets the user select point, line and polygon geometry, and/or surface data from their TBC project, send to Trimble Sync Manager on the Trimble Connect platform, and assign to a field user.  Once the field user logs into their data collector, the project – coordinate system, data, and all – load into Trimble Access 2018.00 and later.  The field user completes the survey work, from as-built, topo, staking, or whatever the task was from the office, and then sends the data to Trimble Sync Manager and TBC again for processing and review in the office.

Trimble Sync – selecting data to send to Trimble Sync Manager and Trimble Access – in TBC v4.10

The improvements are all about efficiency through seamless integration between office (TBC) and field (Trimble Access) and not just an enhancement to the AccessSync workflows in Trimble Access today.

What features have users specifically asked for in this release?

The brand new Tunneling module responds and delivers for current Trimble Access Tunnels users and Trimble (or non-Trimble) customers looking to get their tunneling data into a survey CAD package that understands tunnels.

Working with attributes of points collected in the field has also never been easier with enhancements to search, spreadsheet, reporting, and exporting of attributes and feature information. These enhancements were largely driven by Departments of Transportation (DOTs) in the United States.

Complementing Trimble Geospatial’s GIS portfolio, TBC v4.10 can post-process SSF data collected in TerraFlex with TBC’s industry-leading GNSS processing engine. Enterprise and multi-disciplinary GIS and survey firms can now work with the SSF data in a CAD environment, alongside their survey data.

TBC v4.10’s Aerial Photogrammetry module includes UASMaster v9.0, which has added many new features, among them the ability to process photogrammetry data from a variety of UAV platforms – such as oblique images from multi-copters or handheld image sources. TBC can also now import, process, and create deliverables from senseFly’s eMotion software via the *.jxl export. Look for future third-party UAV support natively within TBC.

Dense point cloud reconstruction from oblique images in UASMaster v9.0

Same data in TBC v4.10, with a digital surface contour model and Surface Slicer View

Can you describe a common workflow for this new Vertical Solution?

There are many new vertical solutions in TBC v4.10, including the on-boarding of TerraFlex users with SSF post-processing, a literal vertical solution with projected surfaces, or the new Tunneling module. But I’ll focus on the inclusion of UASMaster v9.0 in TBC v4.10. Customers with third-party UAVs – such as a fixed wing taking nadir images or multi-copter taking oblique images – can now remain in the Trimble ecosystem for all their software processing and deliverable creation requirements.  Start in TBC, set your coordinate system or local site, import ground control points (GCPs), then send the data to UASMaster, import and setup the images, complete processing and deliverable creation (such as point cloud or orthomosaic images) and send to TBC for manipulation of the UAV deliverables to create survey and/or CAD deliverables, like digital surfaces, drafting sheets, or exports to another CAD package. With TBC v4.10, Aerial Photogrammetry workflows have gotten more flexible and more powerful.

What are the features of the new Tunneling Module?

The TBC Tunneling Module can create new tunneling objects or edit existing tunnel definitions, define setout points for the field, visualize the designed tunnel shape as a mesh or in cross-section view, and apply as-built data to generate custom reports or plan sheets. These new workflows are consistent with the Trimble Access Tunnels module for creation and editing the tunnel, to parallel the existing road corridor creation and editing workflows, and to leverage the drafting and reporting routines already on-board TBC for a completely integrated new tunneling experience.

Designing, reviewing, and visualizing tunnel geometry and shapes (cross-sections) in TBC v4.10 Tunneling module

Custom tunnel over/under-break drafting in TBC v4.10 Tunneling module

 Can you describe the process from field work to synchronization to office to product being consumed by managers and CAD drafters?

The new Trimble Sync and Trimble Sync Manager workflow really starts in the office, with the selection of data from the TBC project. This data then gets assigned to the field via the Trimble Sync Manager. Trimble Access 2018.00 and the connected user accepts the data and begins their task, whatever it is – from topo, staking, or as-built work. Once completed in the newly redesigned and refreshed Trimble Access 2018.00, the user sends the data back into the office and Trimble Sync Manager, which can then be brought into TBC for reviewing, reduction/processing, and drafting, just like any other data. The transfers include the project settings – such as coordinate systems, units, and precision values – promoting efficient and accurate data transfers between office and field surveyors. The new workflows streamlines the communication between office and field personnel through a system of notifications, as well as ensures system level integrity through efficient information data flow.

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Categories: analytics, ArcGIS, asset management, Big Data, climate change, cloud, data, disaster relief, Esri, field GIS, geospatial, GIS, government, location based services, location intelligence, mapping, public safety, resilient cities, spatial data, subsurface utilities, survey, transportation, Trimble, underground mapping, utilities, utility geographic information systems

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