President’s Message: TPC Merges GPS with GLO – Mark’s Tech Corner: Updates on Previous Articles: Fonts, File Viewers, Windows 8 – Eric Tanikawa: What New Users Say about TPC
TPC Merges GPS with GLO
One of our goals for Traverse PC’s PLSS tools is to merge GPS with GLO (so to speak). We want you to use GPS where possible, but stay true to the requirements of the BLM manual.
A user recently asked us if they could import GPS positions for township corners and have TPC generate equivalent data to the nearest link for distance and nearest minute for direction (they are surveying original townships in Alaska ). With a couple of very minor changes to the Traverse PC Precision tool, we were able to do just that. Here’s how it works.
Recall the GPS points into a traverse using the same sequence you would use to run the section lines on the ground. Set the Traverse View to PLSS distance and direction and set the units to Chains. Execute the Tools | Update Raw command in the Traverse View. TPC now uses the units of the traverse instead of the units of the survey so you’ll get PLSS raw data in chains.
Then, select the Precision adjustment from the Closure View. The distance precision now matches the traverse units, so you’ll see 0.1 Chns, 0.01 Chns, etc. Select 0.01 chns (nearest link) and 1 minute and TPC applies the precision to the raw PLSS data.
Since TPC adjusted the coordinates to match the precision, the areas and closure displayed in the Closure View are all correct, per the manual. Back in the Traverse View, you will see your raw data rounded to the nearest link and minute, just as if you had entered it that way originally.
The help topics have been updated to walk you through these same steps and explain what we now call ‘sticky adjustments’.
Of course, behind the scenes, there is a lot more to this than meets the eye. TPC had to learn to think in terms of geodetic precision just like it had grid precision. But the ground work that separates grid from geodetic has been well laid in TPC, allowing us to gracefully accommodate the merger of GPS and GLO.
John Balcom, MS, LS
Mark’s Tech Corner:
Updates on Previous Articles:
Fonts, File Viewers, Windows 8
Fonts: I talked about fonts in Traverse PC in our March eNewsletter. I want to give you an update because I asked all of you for assistance in finding some specific fonts.
We were looking for a Leroy True Type Font (TTF) to install in Windows. I hadn’t found one but one of our users sent us a link to Fonts 2 U and said they have a free Leroy TTF available. They do have one there but unfortunately, it is similar to the Leroy S-style font that you can mimic by using Arial Italic. I was still looking for a Leroy V-style font with no luck.
I finally took the time to wade through all of the fonts on my computer, comparing them to an image of the Leroy V-style font. The lower-case “a” was the really hard part as it is very distinctive. It took a while but I finally found one that is very similar and could be substituted! The RomanD Bold font works well and when I told my other customer about it, he was very pleased.
So, if any of you are looking for a Leroy S-style font, you can go to Fonts 2 U or use the Arial Italic font instead.
If you need the Leroy V-style font, try using the RomanD Bold font instead.
ESRI Shape File Viewer: I talked about various file viewers in the December 2011 eNewsletter. At that time, I hadn’t found any viewers for ESRI Shape Files. Now, several are available including ESRI’s ArcGIS Explorer Desktop. Now you can make sure you know what that file looks like before you send it to your client.
Windows 8: I talked about Windows 8 in the April eNewsletter: One of my customers thanked me for the information because he had installed Windows 8 on his wife’s computer and she had been really upset with him ever since! Wow! I’m honored that my work can even help with couples’ relationships. LOL
What New Users Say about TPC
Taking off with Traverse PC has been a joy ride for our new users! Some of the comments we hear are, “Pretty awesome COGO features,” “Wow! I’m learning this software pretty quickly!” or “I wish I had this software a lot sooner!” Surveyors are pretty sharp folks, and have quickly adopted our method of land surveying calculations. One surveyor likes the fact you can ‘drag & drop’ the survey anywhere on the page without changing the coordinates of the data. Another is excited that changing the drawing scale doesn’t change text font sizes. We are very pleased that so many of you have found that Traverse PC is a better way to
The “No CAD Zone” simply means that TPC doesn’t rely on any traditional CAD drawing engines (like AutoCAD, IntelliCAD, etc.). Instead, we use our own proprietary QuickView technology. With all due respect for traditional CAD drawing engines, surveyors don’t primarily do design work and that is what traditional CAD was really made for. Surveyors do surveying and draw maps! That’s why we designed Traverse PC the way we did.
Our new users enjoy the fact that we have all of the surveying routines they need: Intuitive COGO; easy closures; Compass, Transit, Crandall, Angular, Least Squares and other adjustment routines; compatibility with DWG, DGN, ASCII, CSV, PDF, GIS Shape, plus many more file types. In the traditional CAD world, these routines are either not readily available or are difficult to use.
The fact is, surveyors work hard to collect their data and they should be able to import it into software that respects the value of that data. In addition, it should be easy to turn that data into attractive and accurate drawings without a lot of work or worry. That’s what QuickView technology is all about; letting the data do the busy work so you can get on with all the other things that go into making your drawings stand out from the crowd.
Our new users are excited about how intuitive the program is and best of all, they really like our great technical support that helps them shorten their learning curve!
Jim Sollmi said it best, “I did not realize at the time I purchased the program that I was not only buying software, but I had purchased a company that truly cares about its customers and could ‘look over my shoulder’ to personally help me be a successful user.”