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eNewsletter: May 2012

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President’s Message: “SIMPLE Civil 3D Strategies” – Mark’s Tech Corner: The Most Powerful COGO Tool – The Traverse View – Eric Tanikawa: On My Own!

President’s Message:

“SIMPLE Civil 3D Strategies”

We found an article in the April 2012 Point of Beginning magazine that we thought was pretty amusing. It is on page 40 and its title is “SIMPLE Civil 3D Strategies”.http://digital.bnpmedia.com/publication/?i=104962 In the article, the author describes five tips that “can help land surveyors more easily navigate the Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D landscape.”

The first tip in the article is “Remember That Points Are 3D Objects”. Well, duh. Everything has three coordinate values in TPC (X, Y and Z) and always has (even if you aren’t using the Z coordinates). Why do we need to remember that? Oh, that’s right! We’re talking about AutoCAD here so 3D vs. 2D can be problematic. The tip talks about flattened objects causing problems when manipulating the points. (Wow! This is surveying software?)

The tip then goes on to say that “Another frequently encountered problem is that the software automatically scales the points in the vertical dimension when converting between grid and ground” and then lays out a four step process to “fix” the “problem”. This really got us shaking our heads!

In TPC, we simply select the appropriate distance and direction types and then get to work! Do you need to work with a traverse on a state plane coordinate grid? Tell TPC that’s what you want. Need a field traverse in the file to be on ground? No problem. Just tell TPC. Need your drawing on ground but all your data is on the grid? Once again, no problem. Tell the drawing to display on ground. Simply tell TPC what you need and it takes care of it for you without any “SIMPLE Strategies”.

Traverse PC is land surveying software and has been developed that way for 25 years. It isn’t some drawing package that has been added onto in order to make it sort of do surveying. We develop the tools we surveyors need and use and the software just works that way. We don’t need “SIMPLE Strategies” to make TPC do surveying because TPC simply does surveying – SIMPLY. No “SIMPLE Strategies” required.

John Balcom, MS, LS

Mark’s Tech Corner:

The Most Powerful COGO Tool – The Traverse View

When surveyors are looking for a better software package to get the job done, they frequently look for a specific list of tools they expect the software to have. Because of this, Traverse PC has had to include a few tools in the program just so we can say we have them. That way, prospective TPC users won’t automatically dismiss us just because we don’t have a check mark in that box.

One example of this is the Compute Coordinates tool. This tool allows you to create a point at a bearing and distance from an existing point. I never use this tool because the Traverse View makes this tool completely redundant and useless (in my opinion). If I need to create a point at a bearing and distance from another point, I either open the traverse the other point is in or create a new traverse and recall the existing point. I can then create as many points as I need at whatever bearings and distances I need. It’s simple and intuitive.

Another COGO tool that I rarely use is the Horizontal Curve tool. (Notice that I didn’t say I never use it.) The Traverse View can be formatted so that most curves can be directly entered in it without using a COGO tool. If your data provides chord bearing and distance and radius for the curves you will be entering, simply format the Traverse View for them. If you need to enter curves using radial bearings and radius, format the Traverse View that way.

Once you understand how you can format the Traverse View for the data you have and for what you need to do, you will find that most of your work becomes very simple. The Learning Guide has a chapter on how to format the Traverse View. It isn’t a very interesting chapter but I believe that understanding it is critical to your ability to work in the most efficient way possible.

Of course the Traverse View can’t replace all COGO tools and learning how to use the COGO tools to manipulate your data the way you need is also very important. Things like learning how to use the Right of Way Offset tool to create parking lot stripes or sets of steps can be a lot of fun. But that is a topic for another time.

Eric Tanikawa:

On My Own!

Been laid-off and no one is hiring? Then you decide to go out “On your own!” The cost of survey equipment is scary! Then after paying for your business licenses, insurance, and your accountant, you still need software to calculate and produce the maps for your clients. Your next step is surfing the internet, and when you find out the cost of CAD software you have a mild heart attack! Okay, the big companies, the big guys, the heavy hitters can afford CAD software, but come on, I am a small private surveyor!

Traverse PC has answered the call for the small up-and-coming surveyor. That is why we created the “Private Surveyor Plan!”

Here’s how it works:

  • You purchase a 90-Day Limited Time License (LTL) of TPC Professional for only $500 .  Use its POWER to complete the work at hand. 
  • Buy additional 90-Day LTL’s only when you need them. No Work – No Cost.
  • After buying 5 LTL’s, the Power of Pro is yours.
  • Free Tech Support is provided with each LTL.  TPC’s technicians will assist you whenever needed to resolve any problems that arise.
  • Purchase TPC Pro outright at any time and get credit for all your LTL’s.
  • Available only for TPC Desktop Professional Edition (TPC Pro).

We understand that production of jobs is important for work and cash flow. The cost of $500 versus $4000 is huge, let alone the learning curve of a CAD software. In addition, do you “really” need all the design functions in CAD software that you will never use? Plus, do your really need to be saddled with all of the work-arounds and “SIMPLE” CAD strategies that come along with CAD? Is this money well spent? At Traverse PC, we don’t think so.

Real Surveyors Use Real Survey Software.

Traverse PC has provided practical solutions by surveyors, for surveyors for 25 years!