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eNewsletter: December, 2015

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eNewsletter – December, 2015

eNewsletter: December 2015Holiday Office Closures, President’s Message: Traverse PC’s New CAD View, Mark Lull: Coordinate Conversion During Import and Export, Oliver Bochsler: Online and eReader Learning Guides, Eric Tanikawa: Year-end Tax Savings Available

Holiday Office Closures:

Our offices will be closed on Friday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday.
We will also be closed on Friday, January 1st for the New Year’s Day holiday.

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISP

President’s Message: Traverse PC’s New CAD View

We added a new CAD View to TPC Desktop 2016 so you can work with CAD files directly. It’s pretty neat!

Sometimes, the job requires you to work with CAD. The engineer sends you a CAD file for the project. Or the architect asks you to add some more details to the drawing you sent them. Or you need to add your survey work to the in house CAD files for a project. For some of these jobs, TPC’s new CAD View is an entirely new and better way to work with CAD files.

Send CAD Entities and Layers to the Drawing View

In this newsletter, I want to focus on just one of the things you can do with the CAD View – sending CAD entities and layers to the Drawing View.

For years now, TPC users have been importing CAD files into the Drawing View to fill in missing site data, plan their as-built survey work, select features for stakeout or whatever else. TPC imported the whole file and converted the CAD entities to its own drawing objects. It took a few steps and you often ended up with way more stuff than you needed. Well this whole process just got a lot easier and whole lot better.

Now you can simply open a CAD file in the CAD View, use the layer, pan, list and zoom tools to evaluate what you need, select it and send it to the Drawing View. Your drawing now contains just the entities or layers you need – not the whole drawing.

This new process has a lot of advantages:

  1. The Drawing View doesn’t need to render the drawing – the CAD View does that, and it does it really well. This is same technology that commercial CAD programs use. We leave the details up to them.
  2. Since you are bringing in just the entities or layers you need, your TPC drawings stay small and fast.
  3. Since you are bringing in just the entities or layers you need, your TPC drawings aren’t cluttered with dozens or hundreds of layers you don’t care about.

You can bring in entities and layers as you need them. Start with the site grading, then later on, bring in the underground utilities, then the foundations, then the parking structures, and so on. Get what you need, when you need it.

The No CAD Zone®

For those of you who are wondering, TPC has never been and still isn’t a traditional CAD program just because it has a CAD View. Working with CAD files more efficiently is a great addition, but it doesn’t make us a CAD program any more than working with shape files makes us a GIS program. We’re still the No CAD Zone® with great new tools to help you collaborate with those unfortunates who still use traditional CAD programs.

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISP

Mark Lull - Traverse PC Technical Support

Mark Lull: Coordinate Conversion During Import and Export

TPC Desktop 2016 lets you convert coordinates when you import or export.

Here are a couple of examples

  • You have a survey in Feet, but you are given an ASCII coordinate file to import that is in Meters. The ASCII import allows you to convert the units of the imported points from Meters to Feet during the import.
  • You are given an ASCII file with Ground coordinates but TPC stores all it’s coordinates in Grid. The ASCII import allows you to automatically convert the imported coordinates from Ground to Grid based on the CRS of the survey.

Settings Dialogs

Convert On Import
Convert On Import

The Settings dialogs allow you to convert coordinates both on import and export. Just tell TPC you want to convert coordinates, then select the Settings button to open the Coordinate Conversion dialog and tell TPC how you want to convert them.

If you turn on [x] Details when importing, TPC will include the raw coordinates along with the converted coordinates in the report.

Converting Coordinates in the Survey

The Coordinate Conversion dialog lets you convert coordinates that are already part of the survey. You will use the What list in the dialog to tell TPC what part of the survey to convert. If you imported a traverse from a data collector, you can convert just that traverse from ground to grid.

Mark Lull, Technical Support

Oliver Boschler - Traverse PC Software Developer

Oliver Bochsler: Online and eReader Learning Guides

Did you know that you can access the Learning Guides inside TPC Desktop from the Tasks Manager by clicking any of the guides in the Getting Started section of the Tasks Manager? In all versions before TPC Desktop 2016, theTPC Desktop Documentation had to be installed. You can easily do this from your Version Support Page on theTraverse PC website. A link to your Version Support Page can be found in the Tasks Manager in the TPC Onlinesection. The link you need is called TPC Desktop [version] Home. (You should be aware that the Version Support Pages are not accessible from anywhere but the Tasks Manager or from a link we email to you.)

TPC Desktop 2016 is just around the corner so I wanted to let you know that we have made this even simpler than it was before. While you can still install the TPC Desktop Documentation the way you had to in the past, you don’t have to in TPC Desktop 2016. You will now be able to click a Learning Guide link in the Tasks Manager and, if you haven’t installed the TPC Desktop Documentation, load that document right from our website. Instead of having the document on your computer, we simply link to the PDF version online and your web browser displays the file.

Another benefit of our online guides is the eReader version. It’s available to TPC Connection members at no additional cost and can be installed on eReaders or tablets. (Those of you who aren’t TPC Connection members can puschase the eReader Learning Guides on our website for $50.) These versions of the guides are available in both EPUB and MOBI formats so your eReader or tablet should support it. They have also been formatted with live links to TPC’s website, our email addresses and bookmarks to the various sections within the documents. This makes it very easy for you to get to whatever you need right from your eReader or tablet!

Oliver Bochsler, Software Developer

Eric Tanikawa - Traverse PC Sales

Eric Tanikawa: Year-end Tax Savings Available

You still have time to significantly reduce your 2015 business income tax bill. Here are a couple of year-end tax-saving moves to consider.

Traverse PC qualifies as computer software for your business expenses as a Section 179 deduction. By definition:  Any “off-the-shelf” computer software that (a) is not custom designed, and (b) is available to the general public is qualified for the Section 179 Deduction in the year that you put the software into service. TPC meets all the criteria so this is a great time to purchase TPC Desktop or update your old copy so that you can deduct the costs on your 2015 taxes!

Another way to save on your taxes is to buy a pickup, van, or SUV which is a “heavy” vehicle. That means one with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) above 6,000 pounds. You must also use the vehicle over 50% for business.

  • Thanks to the Section 179 instant depreciation deduction privilege, you can probably claim a current-year write-off for up to $25,000 of the cost of a new or used heavy SUV that is placed in service before the end of your business tax year. Contact your tax pro for full details on Section 179 deductions, because there are some important limitations.
  • After taking advantage of the Section 179 deduction, you can follow the “regular” tax depreciation rules to write off whatever is left of the business portion of the heavy vehicle’s cost over six years, starting with this year.
  • 50% first-year bonus depreciation for new (not used) vehicles expired at the end of 2014, but expect Congress to restore this valuable break for new vehicles that are put to work by Dec. 31, 2015. If that happens, your allowable first-year depreciation write-off for a new vehicle can be even higher.

You can usually find a vehicle’s GVWR on a label on the inside edge of the driver’s side door where the hinges meet the frame. First-year depreciation deductions for lighter vehicles are much stingier. The maximum 2015 write-off is only $3,460 for new light trucks and vans (or $11,460 if first-year bonus depreciation is restored), and it is only $3,160 for new cars (or $11,160 if bonus depreciation is restored).

For much more information, you can go to section179.org. In addition, make an appointment with your accountant for information specific to your business and needs.

Have a safe holiday season!

Eric Tanikawa, Sales