Potential Issue with Post-Processing SSF Data from a Centimeter R2

We have recently become aware of an issue in the new release of Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.5.0.1 that can negatively affect the accuracy of post-processed SSF data from an R2 receiver with centimeter capabilities. The Desktop add-in is not consistently recognizing the R2 receiver capabilities as stored in the SSF file and thus not always using H-Star for post-processing. We will likely re-release the Desktop add-in v10.5.0.1 (with a new build number) to resolve this and will publicize the re-release through the appropriate channels.

Thanks to Jay @ Seiler Instrument for the initial report.

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New Release – Trimble Positions Desktop add-in

We are pleased to announce a new release in the Trimble Positions suite: Trimble Positions Desktop add-in In addition to bug fixes, usability and performance improvements, and support for ArcGIS Desktop 10.5, this release also adds support for post-processing data collected using the Trimble TerraSync software with centimeter configurations of the Trimble R2 GNSS receiver and Trimble Geo 7X handheld. Highlights include:

  • Performance improvements when downloading large numbers of forms collected with the Trimble TerraFlex software. In addition to improving performance in the existing form download workflow, there is also now a new workflow option that allows the user to ‘download and mark as exported’ in a single step which bypasses the review list and increases the maximum number downloaded per attempt (from 250 to 1000 forms).
  • Support for collecting and editing features in geometric networks. The Trimble Positions Desktop add-in now properly handles field-collected updates to features in feature classes that participate in geometric networks (e.g., pipes or valves). If the geometry is updated, connected features may also be updated accordingly as per the Esri handling for geometric networks (e.g., moving a hydrant would also move that vertex of the coincident, or ‘connected’, hydrant lateral feature). New features can also be collected and checked-in but they will not be connected to the network by the add-in.
  • Support for Esri ArcGIS Desktop 10.5. Support for ArcGIS Desktop now extends from 10.1 through 10.5.
  • Feature type library. The feature type library will speed up project creation for users who create multiple projects from the same feature classes in their geodatabase. Users can store their metadata field settings, accuracy requirements and TerraSync data dictionary settings in the library, then automatically load them during new project creation when the same feature class is used.
  • Support for handhelds and GNSS receivers with centimeter accuracy. The Trimble Positions Desktop add-in can now post-process data collected in the Trimble TerraSync software, the Trimble Positions ArcPad extension and the Trimble Positions Mobile extension with centimeter configurations of the Trimble Geo7X handheld and Trimble R2 GNSS receiver. Note: Centimeter-capable versions of the Trimble Positions ArcPad extension (which will also support ArcPad 10.2.4) and the Trimble Positions Mobile extension will be available soon.
  • Additional per-feature GNSS metadata available. An extended set of per-feature GNSS metadata is now available for transfer to feature class attributes, including horizontal and vertical accuracies, feature height (HAE or MSL; of a point feature or first/last vertex in a line/polygon feature), current easting/northing or longitude/latitude values (in the current map coordinate system; of a point feature), and project/session information. This applies to the TerraSync, ArcPad, and ArcGIS for Windows Mobile workflows, and in the case of ArcGIS for Windows Mobile, is also available in the field (see Note above for availability of the Trimble Positions Mobile extension).
    In addition, the dockable window’s ‘View Positions’ grid (that shows all of the positions in a feature) has been expanded to include position solution information, DOPs, and additional GNSS metadata. The grid can be exported (per feature) to Excel via right-click.

Additional information is available in the release notes:

Note: Please be aware that this release of the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in requires a schema upgrade in the office database. After uninstalling the old version and installing the new version, please run the Trimble Positions Desktop Configuration tool and click ‘Test current configuration’ to upgrade the schema. Please make a backup copy of the office database prior to the upgrade if you think you may need to roll-back to the previous version.

Another Note: If you have issues upgrading the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in and the old version still appears, it may be worth manually cleaning the entry in ArcMap’s AssemblyCache after uninstalling the old version and before installing the new version. It’s generally in the following location on Windows 7 (AssemblyCache is a hidden folder):



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Trimble Positions @ Trimble Dimensions

Attending Trimble Dimensions User Conference 2016 next month? Our engineering team will be there as will a few dealers who have helped customers successfully implement Trimble Positions in their office-field-office workflows. Here are a few session highlights:

The Successful Implementation of Trimble Positions and Terrasync for Locating Utility Structures

Joe Madej (Seiler Instrument), Jay Riester (Seiler Instrument)
Wednesday, Nov 09, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Titian 2301A

Integrating GNSS Data Collection in Custom ArcGIS Workflows

Dejan Mitrovic (Trimble), J. Matthew Morris (Trimble)
Monday, Nov 07, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Titian 2303

Come say “hi” and get your questions answered!

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Trimble Positions & TerraSync Webinar – Recording Available

The recording from our recent webinar is now available for watching. If you’re curious, this is from the first session…the one without the audio problems at the beginning.

Using Trimble Positions to Integrate TerraSync with ArcGIS

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Upcoming Trimble Geospatial Webinar – Trimble Positions and TerraSync

Join us next week on October 5th (8a/4p MDT) for a webinar covering the TerraSync workflow in detail. We’ll review functionality added in the last release as well as a few features coming in the next release. Please pre-register for the seminar here.

Companies today are driving for greater efficiencies in their field data collection workflows. Having direct integration with your Esri® GIS instead of dealing with import/export formats is one way to increase data quality and productivity in your organization. If you currently use Trimble TerraSync™ field software and GPS Pathfinder® Office to manage your field data collection, this webinar will show you how the TerraSync workflow in Trimble Positions can streamline your office-field-office data collection workflow to provide complete confidence in the data going into your Esri ArcGIS® environment.

Topics Covered Include:

  • An introduction to Trimble Positions
  • The advantages of direct integration with ArcGIS using Trimble Positions
  • The TerraSync workflow – from data dictionary creation through to checking in the collected data to your GIS
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Trimble Positions Desktop update

In early March, we released Trimble Positions Desktop add-in as part of a full-suite release. After the release, with the help of our user community, we found a couple issues that warranted fixing. A new installation package was posted around April 17th. In the intervening weeks, a few other issues were reported with the add-in and the Session Processor that we decided to fix as well. New installation packages for both Trimble Positions Desktop add-in and Trimble Positions Session Processor were posted yesterday, May 25th.

The following issues were addressed collectively in the 2 updates (these are not yet reflected in the release notes which have not been updated since the original release):

  • Positions Desktop add-in installer does not include VS2013 C++ runtime DLLs required for post processing components
  • Positions Desktop fails to recognize that a TerraSync project is “generic” in certain cases
  • ArcMap may fail to start if user deletes the current SQLite database that Positions Desktop is using
  • SessionProcessor app.config file is not set correctly when installed with ArcGIS 10.4
  • Log4net messages are not going to proper log file when multiple add-ins are installed
  • Positions Desktop installer does not register add-in on ArcMap 10.3.1
  • PFO fonts are not included in the installation
  • Data Transfer utility is not putting backup SSF files in a proper folder
  • Data Transfer utility logs are not going to a known location
  • Projects that use layers with alias names can’t be checked-in using the ArcPad workflow (nothing visible when user clicks “Check Contents”)
  • Positions database created in Oracle using ODBC connection fails
  • Non-nullable feature class attributes are marked as non-editable in TerraSync workflow DDF files
  • Z coordinates for updated GIS features are always in meters and do not observe vertical coordinate system units
  • Log reports COM error when trying to check-in ArcPad project data

Although the version number ( did not change, there is a build number that is visible on the main add-in Administration window. The build for this ‘update 2’ release is 7.4789. The original release had a build number of 7.3877 while the first update had a build number of 7.4401. update 2 version

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A New Release and a Known Issue

Although we were somewhat quiet about it, we did release a new version of the Trimble Positions Software Suite last month. Highlights of the release include:

  • Enhanced TerraSync and TerraFlex workflow support
  • Improved post-processing options
  • Increased device support
  • Database management improvements
  • Additional troubleshooting options
  • Support for ArcGIS for Desktop 10.3.1 and 10.4 and ArcPad 10.2.3

Release notes are currently available although the rest of the documentation is still in-progress. We also intend to publish additional videos showing the new and expanded workflow options.

One item of note for the new release of the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in The components for post-processing use Visual C++ 2013 x86 runtime DLLs and those should be installed to enable proper operation. Otherwise, an error will be shown when attempting to download base station data. If you experience this problem please check if you have the appropriate Visual C++ 2013 x86 runtime installed using the Control Panel’s Programs and Features applet. Among the installed programs there should be the runtime as shown in the image below. The runtime version could be 12.0.21005 or 12.0.30501.

Visual C++ 2013 runtime screen cap

If the runtime is not installed, it can be installed from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40784. Please, make sure to select the ‘x86’ version. Please note that installing a new version of the Visual C++ 2013 runtime for a specific processor architecture will uninstall older versions for both architectures.

We will soon update the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in installer to install the Visual C++ 2013 runtime to avoid this problem.

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New TerraFlex Desktop add-in Compatibility – Caution

As per the announcement last week, a new version of the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in (v3.5) was posted today. This version contains some important new functionality: support for auto-collected fields, support for standalone geodatabase tables, and the ability to upload features outside of a task. These have been high on the list of customer requests and we’re happy to finally be providing them.

Unfortunately, we do not expect this new version to be compatible with Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.3.0.2 the way previous versions were (when installed side-by-side). Because of limitations in the way the .NET Framework loads dependent assemblies, the two add-ins will effectively share dependencies that have the same name even though they are registered with ArcMap from different folders. As there have been a few significant changes in some of the underlying components, an attempt by the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.3.0.2 to use the newer components, or an attempt by the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in v3.5 to use the older components, would likely fail at some point in the workflow.

In addition, there have been changes to the configuration structure. Instead of both add-ins sharing a common configuration folder (typically <user>\AppData\Roaming\Trimble\Positions\10.1), the Trimble TerraFlex Desktop add-in now has its own configuration (typically <user>\AppData\Roaming\Trimble\TerraFlex\3.2). For dealers and other advanced users who have a requirement to run both add-ins side-by-side, there are options for sharing configurations, assuming the add-in versions are compatible.

Rest assured, we do intend to include all of this new TerraFlex workflow support in a near future release of Trimble Positions.

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ArcPad 10.2.3 not (yet) supported

Within the last week, Esri released ArcPad 10.2.3 into their customer portal. At present, we do not support this version in Trimble Positions. In fact, installing Trimble Positions ArcPad extension will cause ArcPad 10.2.3 to stop functioning. It is our intent to support this version in a future release.

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2-Point Offsets in ArcPad using the Geo 7X Rangefinder

ArcPad has long supported 2-point offset constructions (bearing-bearing or distance-distance) for points and line/polygon vertexes. When using an optical rangefinder (e.g., LaserAce or TruPulse), the rangefinder button can be used to populate the data for Reference Point A then Reference Point B in succession. This is partially enabled through ArcPad changing control focus after the first reference point is shot.

In the Geo 7X Rangefinder workflow, pressing the rangefinder button on the device launches the rangefinder app. After a point is shot (by pressing the device button again), you click the checkmark icon to return to ArcPad. This should populate the data for Reference Point A and move the control focus to Reference Point B. Unfortunately, when you then try taking the second shot and returning to ArcPad, control focus is no longer on Reference Point B because of the application switching. The result is that Reference Point A gets replaced with the new shot and there is effectively no way to populate Reference Point B automatically from the rangefinder on the Geo 7X.

We are discussing this issue with Esri and will update our user community when we have something to share.

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