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Trimble Access and Trimble Business Center

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OleManRiver
(@olemanriver)
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Has anyone used the description fields in access and also incorporate it into the Trimble Business Center work flow.  I see many ways it could be a practical field but looking for ideas workflows of every day uses for those. 

Also why does Trimble make it so hard to utilize the notes in a Trimble access job and not have a easy report to use when qa/qc back in the office. I would love a nice job report not in html that i could use and have right in my project so no more scanning daily field books. Basically create an easy readable digital field book.  I will always have field book in field but sometimes it can be a note attached to a point and only way so far is to navigate through all the data to see it. I want to have a word document report i can have open just like i do with scanned in field book so i can know what to look for. Even a pdf would be nice.  I love a lot of the reports and ability to customize them. But the html doesn’t make it easy to incorporate into an overall project report to send to client as required on a few jobs.  So combining check shots field notes and other reports all into one overall pdf is tedious. Not bad but nots as streamlined as I would like. 

 
Posted : January 21, 2023 7:33 am
fugarewe reacted
Totalsurv
(@totalsurv)
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OleManRiver
(@olemanriver)
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@totalsurv yeah I signed up for that also. We are currently in the stages of Trimble Connect and sync as we move from other methods to upload and download data. 

I have slowly began finding all the custom exports and reports and developed a few that streamlined a several step process. But I want to use more of its power and I surely know it has a lot. I find something useful every day that cuts a 3 step to a one step process for example. I spent 3 hours one night playing and finally took a 10 step process and 30 minutes down to a 10 minutes 4 step process. Took a little trial and error but once i got it down and my cad showed my cad boss he was like wow. 

If we were not so much in doing everything drafting wise like auto drafting in civil3d from points and i do it in tbc that saves time. And when a blunder is caught later i can simply redraw in tbc. Some are simple drawings and if I ever get the time to figure out how to get the auto drafting from tbc into civil3d and my surfaces from tbc to civil3d without some rework on civil3d side i will save a ton of man hours over the course of a job. Civil3d is powerful and i am slowly learning it but tbc is much quicker on some of the same task. 

 
Posted : January 21, 2023 8:18 am

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fugarewe
(@fugarewe)
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Great question @olemanriver! I’m looking forward to seeing what people say.

I’m always in a rush when it gets to the point I’m looking for the field notes so my workflow varies on how spazzed out I am (I still don’t have an ideal solution for this).

That said, I’ve generally stopped using the *.RAW textfile to hunt for notes. My current favorite options are to create a “Points and notes report” or a “NZ fieldbook report.” (Getting these reports thru TBC is a little clunky, I think you have to download the *.xsl file from the website linked in one of the options of the reports dropdown of TBC; but there’s also the option of downloading the “ASCII File Generator” and the entire reports list from the Trimble website).

The “Points and notes report” sounds perfect but it doesn’t just include user-generated notes. The NZ Fieldbook report is friggen awesome, but you still have to hunt for the notes.

 

@totalsurv I hope that webinar ends up being productive - I hate being a wet rag but I’m going to pass on using my workday to attend - my experience is that they show the same rigid workflows designed for perfect/unrealistic data. Imho they need to get a surveyor to host these webinars and not the marketing team. But hey, maybe this one will cover something helpful, like how to make sense of the xml code that is used to manipulate/customize the reports. Or how to incorporate the pictures taken with the data collecto into a reasonable workflow - how about a report that allows you to click on a point in TBC and have the picture come up.. or how about a document that pairs any points with their corresponding images.

 
Posted : January 21, 2023 11:20 am
OleManRiver
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@fugarewe yeah they also focus on the big picture not the little things that come in between for sure.  I mean the old sdr33 electronic field book allowed me to find notes easily for a point or even comments like this area has ongoing construction as I am doing this topo etc.  we use to use. - *********** then write the notes ***************.  In sdr33 we kept a field book but that was in late 90’s.  I mean i can attach pictures to points multiple pictures. I can make a note in the job but having that note in a way that’s applicable and easily read by cad tech or surveying tech or even the pls when he is reviewing the data is still behind. I have not used python or macros in so long I might try and get one built just for that purpose.  But time is not my friend. I have heard others say the use the description 1 and 2 field for notes instead of the note feature. But that still means i have to export it and I want to keep all that withen the project. Its awesome that i can open any tbc project click on any point and know exactly what jxl or job file it came from. Thats data tracking and I want the same for notes.

 
Posted : January 21, 2023 11:53 am
Totalsurv
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@fugarewe They can be watched anytime after the event. I have found them useful hope they continue to do them.

 
Posted : January 21, 2023 2:58 pm
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Rover83
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We use the description fields all the time. Using those, plus defined attributes for certain feature codes (CB types, tree size/type, etc.) really helps. You can see the description fields in the Points Spreadsheet, which helps with viewing such notes directly in TBC.

The Notes are OK, but we tend to avoid their use for now, at least until I can convince everyone to go paperless for field notes.

When we export processed & adjusted points from TBC, we carry the description fields and the attributes into a couple of extra columns, and then we have custom point import formats that carry those values into Civil 3D.

As a result, we can see both description fields and the attributes directly in CAD as part of the point (and not random text off to the side). Change the point label style, and we have dynamic labels. Cuts the copy/paste/edit needs by a ton.

 

For reporting, custom stylesheets are the way to go.

It's important to remember that Trimble serves a ton of customers over a huge market, so what we think is a "good" report might be back-asswards to a lot of other firms and areas.

For instance, I like the format of the NZ Fieldbook Report, but it has a some info that I consider unnecessary (I don't care about the azimuth and ellipsoid distance for GNSS obs, and I don't need the date and timestamp of every observation, just each base setup, and I want a summary report of all topo obs, control, monuments, etc.)

I use the HTML output format in my custom sheets, because I can take advantage of collapsible tables, one for each setup/base station.

We use them almost exclusively for QC/QA at this time, but we are moving more and more toward full-digital notes. We are running into a lot of resistance over the "need" to keep paper notes for "legal" purposes.

I'm not buying that, but as long as the crews are having to write notes in the book, we're having them stick to booking anything that is not directly related to a single point.

It still cuts down on the need to manually write things in the book, I'd say by at least 30-40%. Way faster for a crew to tag a feature code, then write in Description 1 and Description 2 anything that they want to alert the office to regarding that point.

 

Personally, I love the Power Hours. I don't know of any other manufacturer that hosts webinars where you can ask direct questions of the development team. I think the newer ones have become more commercialized, but there is still a ton of good information in them, and they do answer questions posed by attendees.

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 7:44 am
OleManRiver
(@olemanriver)
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@rover83 that’s what i was thinking about using the description 1 and 2 for. I have some stake out we have to report things for and addiing that information to the point seems logical. So far i have only one civil3d user who is with to try new things. I did a custom export to display the delts so it essentially becomes a point label in civil3d. If i could automate the math to add the thickness of materials plus the deltas i would be golden. The negative sign throws the client for a loop. Its a cut so higher which is satisfied requirements but we have to go through and change it to a +. So it shows high to him. They had been exporting the regular pnezcode and doing it all in exell. But I switched it around and took the design number north east elev and delta to meet clients needs which saves me time in the long run. I have an old friend that is a programer and code writer and he has geodetic surveying and gis background. I sent him the link to Trimble TML launguage and drew up a sketch format I would like and he is going to play around when he gets time to see if its something he thinks he can do for me. I also want a field book type report that shows notes attached to a point or where it is inseted in job easily readable and survey friendly as close to how we currently write in field book

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 8:46 am
Jitterboogie
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@rover83 

I miss using the process.

 

We had it worked out to:

PNEZD1D2 A1-6

And this was correlated to the C3D template and included the UDP process for all drains inlets manholes and structures. And the associated line work figures etc.

Powerful workflows to save tons of time and or easy blunders.

OleMan has a copy.  He's seen the magic I refer to.

😉 😎 

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 9:01 am
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christ lambrecht
(@christ-lambrecht)
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1. We enter part of our Linework codes as notes in Trimble Access because we were used to when we worked with the dc-format in the old TGO. We found the key-in for notes faster then the descriptions fields - where you have to erase your previous input when the note is blank, the note field does not remember the previous entry, but you can use ctrl-c & -v

2. I have a small utility that reads a jxl flie and reads the notes and cjecks what was the last point shot. It then writes that note in the desription 1 field. When we import the jxl in TBC we see our notes as a description.

There are a lot of Trimble notes entered in Access, our own fieldnotes always start with an * so we can distinguish them from the Trimble notes

 

3. I’m from Belgium, we left paper fieldnotes since 2010. No legal problems, Trimble Access records every action and nothing better then a digitally stored note. You can’t lose them, they don’t blow away in the wind, you can add pictures and can even draw on them.

(We note our inverts of manholes on a plot afterwards, these are the only papernotes)

 

I.ll have a look tomorrow if I can attach the routine here. Or if someone can add a jxl I’ll have a look at the output.

 

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 11:42 am
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OleManRiver
(@olemanriver)
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Today a last minute request from a client on total length of pipes and such. All he needed was a report. I used the built in one from Trimble on TBC for area length count. I think if I tweak it a little to make our logo and clients logo and figure out if i can have it pull a date from the different jxl files and add that for field work done I would have a nice little report. Seems this will be something they want on a variety of different things so streamline this will be nice. 

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 2:28 pm
OleManRiver
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@jitterboogie That civil3d thing is mind blowing. To me still i am a realist in the fact that when a code is messed up keyed in wrong the amount of time to fix it in civil3d to re draw vs tbc is no fun. I am trying to teach guys how to do basic linework now and double code. And its new to them. I been using tbc so far to atleast get the linework correct. And when they don’t double code i add the join to point number command in tbc and re draw its easy. I am sure civil3d is more powerful though. But tbc can do blocks labels and etc. i just hope i can have it all figured out before we have a big mapping job. Lol.

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 2:43 pm
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Jitterboogie
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@olemanriver 

yeah, that package is a two step process.  Access to TBC via the fxl work. and first pass QC

TBC to C3D for final QC and delivery to the client internal or external.

Boom!

 

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 2:46 pm
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fugarewe
(@fugarewe)
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@rover83 I think your answer takes the cake. Sounds pretty handy to be able to get the descriptions into CAD attributes and then into label-styles.

I’m guessing a good first-step towards working this idea into a finished product could be to start with having the attributes on a no-plot layer so they’re just visible when drafting, but ya, sweet.

I bet getting the PNEZCodeD1D2 out of TBC is relatively easy, and if you can watch past the first minute of this video, I think this guy shows how to get the points imported into C3D and Labelled:

Todd Rogers: Points with attribute

This post was modified 6 days ago 2 times by fugarewe
 
Posted : January 23, 2023 10:04 pm
lukenz
(@lukenz)
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Posted by: @rover83

For instance, I like the format of the NZ Fieldbook Report, but it has a some info that I consider unnecessary (I don't care about the azimuth and ellipsoid distance for GNSS obs, and I don't need the date and timestamp of every observation, just each base setup, and I want a summary report of all topo obs, control, monuments, etc.)

That data is there for NZ cadastral surveying so you can enter the vectors straight into a traverse spreadsheet which is how all boundary work is adjusted here. All boundary work is grid bearings on local circuits which are similar to your LDP's it sounds and distances are reduced to ellipsoid for consistency across the country, ground distances are only for construction.

Can see it's not much use for topo/construction surveying or boundary work stateside with the many orientation/distance options it sounds like can be used.

Timestamp useful for cadastral where you may only take ten points for a whole days work and need to work out double tie timing for GNSS/how long an instrument was set up for etc.

The Leica dealer here has something similar also for the same reason.

 
Posted : January 23, 2023 11:12 pm

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