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eNewsletter: August 2012

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President’s Message: Web Drives – Mark’s Tech Corner: COGO Tools Used For Unintended Uses! – Eric Tanikawa: Bratwurst! (Camping Style)

President’s Message:

Web Drives

At the Hawaii conference this past February, I included some information on how I am using DropBox to store survey data on the web. I just create a \DropBox\Surveys\ folder on my PC and all my surveys are synchronized to a web copy of the same folder. You can get 2 GB free when you sign up and more if you want to purchase it. Now I can access from any computer or mobile device and from anywhere. I’m only limited by cell service or WiFi. I like DropBox because I can have both public and private folders, allowing me to share some survey data with others as needed.

Since then, I have added Google Drive. It comes with 5GB free, but I had signed up for 20GB last year for my Picasa pictures. Google combines them, so now I have 25GB out there on the cloud.

Some of you are already running TPC Desktop on a Windows tablet. This is the perfect world where you can open your surveys in TPC directly from the cloud. Without a Windows tablet, it is still pretty simple to access the survey you want on your mobile device and transfer it over to a notebook.

I’m just throwing a couple options out there that are obvious ways to replace your old VPN access (if you did that) and those long drives back to the office just to retrieve a file. Technology gets one point for cloud based drives.

John Balcom, MS, LS

Mark’s Tech Corner:

COGO Tools Used For Unintended Uses!

In our last eNewsletter, I talked about the Traverse View being the most powerful COGO tool in your tool bag in Traverse PC. I also alluded to how you can use the Right of Way Offsets tool to create a set of steps or even parking lot stripes. This is typical of how all of the tools in Traverse PC are designed. We include tools that are designed for a specific purpose but we intentionally make them flexible enough so our users can adapt them to whatever circumstances and projects they encounter. Here’s how that works.

In our first scenario, our task is to create parking lot stripes for parking spaces that are 10′ wide by 16′ deep. (We aren’t going to lay out an entire parking lot here, rather we will create the parking spaces along one side of the lot.)

We start by creating a new Parking Lot Stripes traverse that contains the end points of the side of the lot where we need the striping. The Traverse Format is not all that important for this traverse but the Traverse Settings will be important later. When we create the traverse, we set the Traverse Settings to how we want the parking spaces to be drawn. We specify what line type and line weight to use for both the Control Points and Sideshots. The Control Point settings will draw the side of the parking lot (if it isn’t already being drawn by another traverse) and the Sideshot settings will control how the parking spaces (stripes) are drawn. (Don’t worry if you don’t set this up initially, you can always easily change the settings later.)

Once we are in the Traverse View, we recall the endpoints of the side of the parking lot (or the dividing line between lot lanes) into the traverse. In our example, this side of the lot is 138.993′ long and our parking lot isn’t square so we can’t simply divide the line into 10′ segments. We have some choices to make. We calculate the distance our first line needs to be from the start of the line (as well as the distance the last line needs to be from the end of the line), select the end point of the line in the Traverse View and choose COGO | Multiple Points.

We enter 10 for the Horizontal (spacing) and TPC calculates that it can create 13 points. We enter the First Distance of 10.271 for our first stripe and choose Compute. TPC inserts the 13 new points into our traverse. Now it is a simple matter to create the stripes!

We choose COGO | Right of Way Offsets, choose Left, 16 feet, Multiple 1 and Create Offsets. When we choose Compute, TPC creates our stripes! We now simply delete the points we don’t need and this side of the parking lot is done.

Obviously there are many considerations in laying out a project like this. For example, by our previous calculations we found out that the available length of the line for parking spaces is only 109.38′ so we can’t simply use 10 foot widths. We either have to move one end of the line or split the line into smaller segments that the Right of Way Offsets tool can calculate for us automatically if we choose. That is why all of the tools in TPC need to be flexible enough to support all of the different things you run into.

Now we’ll create a set of steps. This is really simple. We start with a traverse set up as above and recall either the top or bottom of the steps into the traverse. Now we do a Right of Way Offsets and choose the side (Right or Left), put the depth of each step in the Distance Field, set the Multiple to the number of steps we need, turn on both Create Offsets and Create a New Traverse and choose Compute. Our steps are created and drawn automatically (automagically?). Easy!

These are just a couple of examples of how you can use the tools in Traverse PC for things they were never intended to do. Understanding the tools that are available to you and how they work lets you make the program take off and fly!

Eric Tanikawa:

Bratwurst! (Camping Style)

As you looked at the pictures from our 4th of July party on our facebook page (facebook.com/TraversePC), did you wonder what I was doing? My job is company cook!

So here’s my Bratwurst recipe:

  1. Poke the casings on the Bratwurst
  2. Fill a pot with 2 bottle of Dark Beer & 16 oz of water and heat it on a camp stove
  3. Add to the pot: Bratwurst & slices of Red Onions
  4. Slow cook the Bratwurst for about 30 minutes
  5. Then, if you have a hot dog stick & a campfire going, you can roast these Brats over a fire for about 5 more minutes!

Now for the really important step –
Bratwurst devouring methods:

  • Barbaric (but fun): Leave the Brat on the stick – just add mustard and… Chomp!
  • Traditional: Brat in hot dog bun with sauerkraut, onions, mustard and a grin
  • Hoity Toity: Brat on a plate on a table with sauerkraut, onions and grilled zucchini with knife, fork and napkin
  • Surveyor: Occupy your chair, Beer at angle right, Brat at angle left, Consume both, Backsight the campfire, Foresight your next Brat & Beer!