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eNewsletter: April, 2015

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eNewsletter – April, 2015

Check out Tony Cavell’s article, “To Think Like a Surveyor” in the April issue of The American Surveyor

 President’s Message: Adding USGS quad maps to Google Earth,  Oliver Bochsler: Where in the World are My TRB Files?,  Eric Tanikawa: Eats Crow!,  Mark Lull: Learning to Use Traverse PC

John Balcom, President, MSE, PLS, GISP

President’s Message:
Adding USGS quad maps to Google Earth

You will want to read Oliver’s section of the March eNewsletter to see what Traverse PC is planning for Google Earth. You’ll have lots of fun with it.

But I have been using Google Earth for a long time now and I have used some other really great add-ons.

One I like is called QUADS.  It adds USGS quadrangle maps to Google Earth.  The principal component of QUADS is a Google Earth network link that plots approximate USGS quadrangle boundaries and provides direct access to 122,353GeoPDF maps. So in Google Earth, you get an index and can then download individual maps.

We can all tell our stories about how inaccurate USGS quadrangle maps can be, but then sometimes, that’s all you have to work with.

Do you have a Google Earth add-on you really like? Want to share the link with others who might find it helpful? Just drop us an email with the link.  We’ll check it out and pass it on.

John Balcom, MSE, PLS, GISP

Oliver Bochsler, Software Developer

Oliver Bochsler:
Where in the World are My TRB Files?

One of the best ways to stay prepared in case of a computer meltdown is backups. Here at Traverse PC, we believe in maintaining backups.

TPC Desktop 2015 R1 (coming soon to our TPC Connection members) has a really nice feature that extends the power of survey backup (TRB) files. Instead of TPC only saving a single survey backup file per session, we now maintain a series of backups for the survey you’re working on every time you press the save button! Don’t worry, TPC has a maximum number of backups it’s allowed to maintain when you press save (the default is three). This can, of course, be changed via the Program Settings | Survey Data tab.

The new Current Survey Backups dialog box lets you view all of the current survey backups (ordered by date modified), open a backup version and delete unwanted backups. TPC is smart enough to not overwrite the original TRV file when you open a backup survey, unless you press save while a backup is open.

So where in the world are your TRB files? They’re still stored in the same folder as the TRV file. You’ll notice that the new survey backup files have a number after the TRB in their name but don’t fret, they’re exactly the same as the old TRB files.

We hope this new feature helps our users feel safe knowing they have backups being made of their survey every time they press save. Always practice safe computing.


Oliver Bochsler, Software Developer

Eric Tanikawa, Business Manager

Eric Tanikawa:
Eats Crow!

I have been ruthlessly reminded of my epic prediction failure about Kentucky Basketball winning the NCAA Basketball tournament. Obviously, the Duke Blue Devils ran away with another championship trophy! So as I am being forced to “eat crow”, I found a crow recipe to share with you!

Crow In A Blanket
4 pieces of crow breast meat (no bones) per person
wild rice
bacon strips
salt and black pepper

Rub each crow breast piece with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece with a strip of bacon and place 2 wrapped pieces in aluminum foil. Cook at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Serve hot with steamed wild rice, generously buttered.

Being wrong about Kentucky is a reminder that I speak with many folks who were wrong about their software and hardware choices.

Okay, let’s all accept the fact that Windows XP is oficially dead!  (Let’s bury it already!)  This is a new era with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and soon Windows 10 (to be released later in the year). What happened to Windows 9 you ask? Well, Windows 7 8 (Ate) 9, and soon 10 (very bad joke).

TPC Desktop 2015 has met and exceeded all expectations. With its LandXML interface supporting Cgpoints, Parcels, Alignments, and Surfaces as well as its Automatic Lot Setbacks, it is blowing the doors off the competition (just like Duke did).

And now, get ready for TPC Desktop 2015 R1 for our TPC Connection members only with the new Google Eagle KML interface and more.

Traverse PC is definitely the “right” software for all the “right” reasons for surveying.  You won’t have to “eat crow” if you choose Traverse PC.

Eric Tanikawa, Business Manager

Mark Lull, Technical Support Manager

Mark Lull:
Learning to Use Traverse PC

You might think that someone in my position would be spending most of their time resolving program problems or doing testing.  But that really isn’t the case.  My main job is to make sure that all of our users are successful in using Traverse PC.  To that end, I spend most of my time working with users to help them understand the easiest ways to accomplish their goals in TPC.

I always recommend starting with the Learning Guide.  The Learning Guide starts with the underlying concepts of Traverse PC and works through many of the specific functions that are available.  If you are new to TPC, I would urge you to work through each chapter in order through at least the chapter on Using COGO.  Please pay special attention to the chapter on Traverse View Formats as the Traverse View is the heart of TPC.  Much of your COGO just happens in the Traverse View without you having to think about it if you understand how to format it for the data you have available.

Once you have worked through that, the first half of the Drawing Learning Guide shows you how Traverse PC creates your drawings for you with very little user interaction required.  Work through the Drawing Learning Guide chapters in order through the chapter on Using Drawing Templates.

Once you understand the basic procedures shown in the first half of the Learning Guide and the Drawing Learning Guide, you have the skills you need to jump into any chapter in any of our Learning Guides without being lost.

Always keep in mind that Traverse PC is a toolbox full of various tools to help you accomplish the task at hand.  We don’t show you how to do a job from A to Z because we all like to work things out our own way.  We show you how different tools work and then you can use them any way you need to to get the job done.

And just like the tools in your toolbox, each tool can be used for a variety of tasks, not just the ones they were originally developed for.  Just like you have used a screwdriver to open a can of paint, as a mini pry-bar or even as a wood chisel, most of TPC’s tools can be used for a variety of tasks.  For example, you can use sideshots in a traverse to draw calls to remote monuments or to show portions of the adjoining property lines.  You can use the Right-of-Way Offsets tool to draw parking lot striping or sets of steps.

Once you understand how TPC is designed to work and once you master just a few of the many tools available, you will easily be able to make the surveying decisions you make every day.  You will also be able to use your data on multiple drawings and if you need to change something, just change it and have the update show up on every drawing automatically.

Our Online Videos are also a useful way to learn how TPC works but they aren’t really a step-by-step follow-along-as-you-work kind of tool the way the Learning Guides are.  They are very useful for getting the “feel” of how things work in Traverse PC and I definitely recommend them for that.

Each of us learns in different ways so I encourage you to do what works best for you.  We have a lot of resources available to help you learn so don’t hesitate to use them.  And don’t forget to give me a call if you get stuck!  Remember that my main job is to make sure that you are successful with Traverse PC!

Mark Lull, Technical Support Manager