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eNewsletter: April 2012

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President’s Message: Automatic Closure Settings – Mark’s Tech Corner: The Value of the TPC Connection – Zero to Topo in Two Days! – Eric Tanikawa: Yes, We Can!

President’s Message:

Automatic Closure Settings

Quite a few of you have asked for a way to set the closing points and closing angle in a traverse, so that you can quickly check your closure. We’ve been giving this some thought, and have a slick way to make this work with any data collector, have it integrate with GPS data and set you up for least squares analysis – all at once. Sounds pretty neat, and it is.

How it works

You include ‘=’ in the descriptions of your closing points. This provides added flexibility in closing out on the initial occupied point or backsight (Closed Loop) or any other points in the survey (Closed Point-to-Point).

Most data collectors will let you add an ‘=’ to a description, so this is a very generic solution. In addition, the ‘=’ format creates a permanent record of the points you closed out on.

If you are using Least Squares, you can also specify the ‘=’ character for redundant observations. You now have the best of both worlds – 1) automatic closure checks and 2) redundant observations.


Here’s a quick example, closing out on your initial backsight, which can be a conventional or GPS control point. The closing points 15 and 16 each contain information in the Description about the points they are closing back into. As a result,

  • 15 becomes the closing point and references the correct closing point 12
  • 16 becomes the closing angle turned from 15 and the resulting bearing/azimuth is compared with the inverse from 12 to 11 (the correct closing bearing/azimuth).

Using this method, you can close out on the initial point 11 or the initial backsight, 12. Both are considered to be a closed loop and will generate an area.

The help topics include a complete write-up, with a number of examples and we will have a video out soon.

Those of you on the TPC Connection can start using the new Automatic Closure Settings right away (we will send you an email with a link to download the update). Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until our next major release later this year.

John Balcom, MS, LS

Mark’s Tech Corner:

The Value of the TPC Connection – Zero to Topo in Two Days!

Here at TPC we try to provide the kind of technical support that we wish allcompanies would provide to their customers. (Yes, we have to get technical support too!) We pride ourselves on making sure that our customers are successful with using Traverse PC. After all, you have invested in us so we want to invest in you. (I always appreciate it when my customers – my friends – tell me how much they appreciate my help and patience.)

The TPC Connection is an annual subscription that provides a number of benefits to our customers for a very low cost. It provides unlimited, priority technical support (TPC Connection members jump to the head of the line for technical support), online training, all program updates (including major releases) and the ever-popular Traverse PC cap.

I started working with a new user last Thursday. He had absolutely no experience with Traverse PC before so we were starting from scratch. I started by showing him the basics of the program – how we let the data do the major work and how updating the data anywhere it is used updates it everywhere it is used. Then we moved on to importing his data and creating the traverses he needed. I left him there and he worked on the project on his own.

On Friday, I showed him how to create a contour surface from his data and how to work with breaklines to get everything looking correct.

We got back together on Monday and as soon as his screen popped up on my monitor I said, “Wow! That looks great!” His drawing was pretty much done and he just had a few minor things to do to finish it up! He had gone from knowing nothing about the program to having a beautiful, finished drawing in just a short time. It was very gratifying to me.

“With the help of Traverse PC and the TPC Connection, I was able to complete a contour map and survey plat in only two days with no prior experience with the program and virtually no CAD experience. The value and ease of the program made a perfect fit with our small business.” Kevin J. McMahon, PS, CFM – Owner, Gulf South Associates – Biloxi, Mississippi

Thanks for the kind words Kevin!

Eric Tanikawa:

Yes, We Can!

Can you do Compass rule adjustments?—Yes, we can! Can you do Transit rule adjustments?—Yes, we can! Can you do Crandall rule adjustments?—Yes, we can! Can you balance angles?—Yes, we can! Can you do Least Squares adjustments?—Yes, we can! How about your cogo routines? Yes, we can! Readily available! Easy to do!

Okay, I am sounding like an infomercial, but the truth is, I do get a lot of these questions on a daily basis, and eventually these surveyors become part of our Traverse PC family. They have left behind their AutoCAD software, because regular surveying routines are a “headache” to do in AutoCAD! The inefficiencies of AutoCAD build your frustrations in wasting time & money. Don’t get me wrong, AutoCAD is a good “Civil Engineer” design program, but was NOT built for the land surveyor. Spend “thousands of dollars” to use less than 1% of the program?

We have several surveyors who bought an “IntelliCAD” system, and ran into many road blocks on certain functions, and when the frustrations build-up they give us a call. What we showed them in a few minutes of what they been working on for days or even weeks with the IntelliCAD system, needless to say, they were stunned!

Can you import HP-48 w/TDS or SMI?—Yes, we can! GPS? GIS?—Yes, we can! Are you compatible with CAD? Yes, we can!

We are Traverse PC! 25 years of what REAL SURVEYORS use!