A far, far better way

Surveyor gives first impressions of new Trimble TSC7 Controller and Trimble Access 2018 Software.

For surveyor Scott Lyttle, a consistently well-performing controller is the right-hand tool that helps him manage the diverse tasks and environments of land surveying.

With an eye toward new ways to improve workflows as he leads survey crews for Flatirons Inc., Lyttle agreed to test Trimble’s new TSC7 Controller and Trimble Access 2018 software.

Flatirons, a provider of surveying services based in Boulder, CO., uses a wide range of Trimble products and software for its work spanning the Front Range of Colorado and neighboring states. As senior survey crew chief for Flatirons, Lyttle keeps in his truck a Trimble S5 Total Station, R10 and R8 GNSS receivers, and a TDL 450.

“For a data collector, I always have the TSC3, the previous model, with me,” said Lyttle, who has worked in surveying for eight years, starting with his schooling in New Zealand. “Essentially all data acquisition is done through that.”

Lyttle has served as a beta tester using the TSC7 and Trimble Access 2018 since late 2017, putting the solution through the paces in his daily work in a variety of jobs and settings, and giving feedback and suggestions to Trimble’s development teams as they prepared to go to market.

Article courtesy of Trimble Geospatial – Learn More.

SX10: Why this game changer is winning fans

Trimble’s SX10 has redefined the capabilities of everyday survey equipment – a full total station technology plus a high-precision scanner in one revolutionary machine.
It has been embraced eagerly by the market globally and the regions serviced by UPG are no exception.
We spoke to three organisations that have adopted SX10s into their operations …

Safer for all

RPS Ipswich’s surveyor manager Damian Ling said their acquisition of an SX10 was not only making work more efficient it was making life safer for their team too.

‘We chose the SX10 for a number of reasons but the fact it is a high precision survey instrument and a scanner in one unit was right up there,” he said.

“It means our team are spending less time doing their surveys and scans and therefore are out of harm’s way.

“We have been able to reduce sub-contracting traffic control on site which is a time and cost saving too.”

Damian said the SX10’s position as a cutting edge instrument also meant clients could see that their quality assurance standards were being met, something that wasn’t necessarily as easy to achieve with other instruments.

“They can see we are adopting new technology and that’s giving them confidence in us. The results from the SX10 just further enhance that,” he said.

Damian said Trimble’s workflow was also a big plus.

“Trimble has a nice, efficient workflow from survey and scan to processing to results. It is a lot simpler and easier to use than other systems we’ve tried,” he said.

And while the SX10 of course isn’t a guarantee that tenders will be won, Damian said the SX10 was helping put RPS Ipswich in the top contenders.

“The time savings, the cost reductions, the increase in safety and the speed of capture and creating results are just some of the aspects setting us up well in the tendering process,” Damian said.

“The SX10 is giving us an advantage.”

Going to the next level

For Lucas Flumm, survey manager at Kennedy Surveying in northern NSW, the SX10’s high quality scanner was a major reason for the company acquiring it.

“I’ve used a lot of scanners of all kinds,” he said. “and the main thing for us with the SX10 is that it is a multi-station with a good quality scanner. It captures point cloud data much more akin to dedicated High Definition Scanners which is excellent for 3D modelling.

“The point cloud capabilities are important for us and many of our jobs. The SX10 has made capturing that data possible and it is paying off for us and for our clients.”

Lucas said the SX10’s tablet had been somewhat of an unexpected benefit too.

“I am really enjoying using the tablet. It is definitely making working quicker and easier.

“We’ve found that basically we’re using the SX10 on any job we can.

“It is proving invaluable in hard to access job sites.”

A recent job to scan a building internally and externally had brought home the SX10 advantage for the Kennedy team.

“It was a scan of a very busy building in the Byron area,” Lucas said.

“If we had been using a conventional set-up the job would have taken at least a week, which would have been a huge imposition and difficult to achieve without huge disruptions.

“With the SX10 we completed the survey in eight hours.

“Not only does that make the client happy, we also captured all the data required more accurately and efficiently than conventional methods would have.”

Lucas said the sheer scale of cloud point data that was gathered was taking things to the next level.

“We can now provide incredible detail, especially to civil engineers. It has added value to the clients.

“And we’re finding the SX10 is making us more competitive when tendering for jobs.”

He said acquiring the SX10 from UPG had been a ‘great experience’.

“They’ve been very supportive and while I’ve found I haven’t needed a lot of help, whenever I’ve asked for it I’ve got what I needed quickly and accurately from the UPG team,” Lucas said.

Above and beyond

While Downes Group was already a ‘Trimble shop’, the acquisition of the SX10 wasn’t just a matter of buying the brand by any stretch of the imagination, according to director, Simon Passlow.

“The SX10 is a good fit with our existing service delivery, regardless of brand,” he said.

“We undertake significant transport infrastructure projects and often the job includes structures, such as bridges.

“Engineers aren’t always able to articulate what they need at the time of survey – with the SX10 we are able to collect a wide scope of data, conventional and point cloud.

“This means the engineers have access to a wealth of data which really gives them options.”

Simon said this aspect of the SX10 had already demonstrated its worth on a recent project. A conventional survey was commissioned on a bridge and completed. After the engineer was in receipt of the data specified in the scope of works, he had additional queries which were able to be quickly resolved by extracting measurements from the point cloud model in TBC. Previously, the Downes team would more than likely have had to return to the site, an impost on time and cost for both parties.

“The brief was for a conventional survey, but with the SX10 we were able to do scans regardless with minimal extra set up or time required,” Simon said.

“In this case that paid off for us and for our client.”

Simon said the use of Trimble Business Centre (TBC) to produce and extract the data was also a plus.

“As with any new tech, there is a learning curve with the SX10 but it has proven relatively easy to get what we want out of it. Feedback from users experienced on other systems is that the process of managing and editing ‘regions’ in TBC point clouds is more efficient than that of other vendors.

“The UPG team has also been invaluable in getting us up and running with the SX10.”

State-of-the-art achievement

UPG’s southeast Queensland sales manager Rod Yann said the SX10’s acceptance by the market was testament to its state-of-the-art capabilities.

“We’re confident the SX 10 will soon become the standard for geospatial professionals, providing data capture capabilities way beyond current similar technologies,” he said.

“Early adopters of the SX10 and its capabilities are paving the way for the future.

Rod said the SX10 was the result of Trimble’s approach to advancing technologies by taking an idea and, with the company’s vast array of expertise across its various divisions, creates a product that pushes the envelope.

“This SX 10 is not a Robotic Total Station that measures quickly, it is the first robotic Total Station with true laser scanning capability,” he said.

“The big data that is collected extremely efficiently by the SX10 can be data mined at a later date or enhanced as an upfront data deliverable that is visually rich.

“It’s a big leap forward and our clients are seeing for themselves the advantages that it is bringing.”

To find out more about the extraordinary SX10 and how it can transform your operations, contact your UPG representative today.

An insider’s guide to saving time and money in the field

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Carlos, Geospatial Sales Consultant from our Melbourne office, offers advice about how you can acquire spatially accurate Geospatial data using the new Trimble Geo 7 series handheld…

“As an avid user of the Trimble GNSS GeoExplorer handhelds throughout my time in Local Government GIS, it’s now my job to recommend the best Mapping and GIS solutions for my clients. So, I want to talk a bit about my experience with Trimble’s new Geo 7 series handheld – the only mapping device that can access all available/planned satellite constellations and that has an in-built laser rangefinder for remote positioning. I’ll focus on how the high-accuracy GPS and laser rangefinder can keep your field workers safe and save you time and money on field data-capture projects.”

Why can’t I just use my phone?

“Day in and day out, GIS/Asset departments across Australia manage data, data and more data. There was a time when GIS/GPS data was inaccurate, incomplete and just plain ‘dirty’. So organisations began using Trimble high-accuracy GNSS devices to collect field data in order to ensure data integrity and accuracy; because the last thing they wanted was inaccurate data.

“We now live in a time where consumer-grade GPS is all around us, from our phones to our in-car navigation systems, but one important note is that consumer grade GPS will not provide the high-accuracy GPS available through GNSS handheld devices such as the Geo 7X. So why would organisations jeopardise the very foundation they’ve built and start using consumer phones and tablets for their GPS data capture projects, risking their data integrity and accuracy?

 “In an age when organisations are trying to use these phones and tablets for field data capture, the question constantly being asked is, “how can I get higher accuracy with my device?” This question ultimately leads to calling us for advice, scouring the internet for information, looking for software, bits and pieces to connect to their devices to try and achieve the higher accuracy that a Trimble Geo 7X was built to achieve natively. The time spent searching, buying and testing a “cheaper” alternative ends up costing the same, or even more, than a purpose-built GNSS handheld receiver.

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High-accuracy GPS will save you time and money

“The Geo 7X comes in a 1cm, 10cm, and <1m Submeter option depending on the accuracy requirements of the user. What this means for users is that they can capture field data and be guaranteed to achieve their desired levels of data accuracy to maintain data quality standards in their GIS. Whether the users are working under dense tree canopy or in a built up urban environment, the Geo 7X with Floodlight Technology permits field data collectors to keep working even in these harsh GNSS environments – where satellite signals are weak to non-existent. The ability to keep working means that field workers can get the job done more quickly, saving field workers time = saving time and money.”

Keeping your field workers safe

“With the introduction of an in-built laser rangefinder, known as Flightwave Technology in the Geo 7X, the days of carrying a GNSS handheld and a laser rangefinder are no more. Whereas in the past, data collectors weren’t able to record inaccessible positions; the in-built laser rangefinder now means you can reach previously impossible locations. Remote positioning ensures that your field teams are safe out in the field, for example, a data collector doesn’t need to cross a road onto a road median strip to capture data; this can now be captured from the safety of the sidewalk. Pole capture projects don’t need to be done on foot, data collectors can now stay in the safety of the vehicle and use the laser rangefinder to remotely capture the position of poles.

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From the field to the office

“The Trimble field-to-office workflow is one of the many reasons customers use our solutions, because it has been developed for GIS and non-GIS users alike to ensure that anyone can pick up a Trimble handheld device and start collecting data out in the field. The Trimble Geo 7X can be used with Trimble Terrasync or is compatible with other leading field data-capture solutions such as ArcGIS Mobile, ArcPad and GBM Mobile. Best part is, all the highly-accurate field data goes straight back to your desktop GIS through Trimble Pathfinder Office desktop or Trimble positions export functions, whether you need the data in a shapefile format, CSV, KML, MapInfo TAB, etc.”

Resist the temptation to go cheap

“I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the Geospatial industry to understand what’s important to organisations that capture, manage and analyse Geospatial data. When I see managers searching for lower cost options for Geospatial data capture, I say if you want GIS/Asset data that is reliable, consistent and accurate you need to get past the temptation to go with the ’cheap’ option and focus instead on the benefits that high-accuracy will bring to your organisation now and in the future.”

Geo 7X – summary of benefits

  • Use the leading GPS equipment from Trimble that has been proven to work time and time again for the transportation, utilities, natural resources and government industries
  • Quickly set up field data capture forms and upload to GNSS handhelds;
  • Easy field-to-office for GIS and non-GIS users, the Trimble workflow allows you to import field data directly into your GIS;
  • Take the guesswork out of determining the accuracy of your data with a high-accuracy device, whether you are working in open areas, dense forest or urban environments;
  • Stay connected to satellites with access to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou and QZSS satellite constellations;
  • Stay safe by using the in-built laser rangefinder for remote positioning;
  • Consistently capture data at your required accuracy level (1cm, 10cm, <1m Submetre) without the need to look for 3rd party software, external cables, poles and antennas;
  • Comply with your organisation or client data capture accuracy requirements; and
  • Collect clean, accurate and consistent data every time

Contact Carlos

Carlos Zelada – Geospatial Sales Consultant

carlos_zelada@upgsolutions.com

03 9518 7400