As most Pathfinder Office and TerraSync users know well, the Data Dictionary Editor is a critical piece of the TerraSync workflow. With the support for TerraSync workflows in Trimble Positions Desktop, we lessened quite a bit of the reliance on the Data Dictionary Editor as schema is picked up directly from the source geodatabase. However, there are still important use-cases for the Data Dictionary Editor and being able to make fine grain changes to the presentation of the schema (and symbology) for the field TerraSync user. Users of Trimble Positions Desktop can export a TerraSync project to a DDF and then open this DDF for editing. After editing, the DDF can be brought back into Trimble Positions Desktop to ensure that it is applied for future check-outs. However, as the Data Dictionary Editor is a separate program (regardless of whether it’s installed through Pathfinder Office or Trimble Positions Desktop) that knows nothing about Trimble Positions, or where the DDF originated, it is too easy to make changes to the DDF that break the check-in when data is brought back from the field.
To address this long-standing problem, we have built a new dictionary editor, called the Positions TerraSync Dictionary Editor, that can be used to edit the dictionary ‘in place’ (i.e., directly from the Trimble Positions office database) and prevent breaking changes. It provides a subset of functionality from the original Data Dictionary Editor but should cover the majority of use-cases. It is currently being provided as a stand-alone tool although it could very well become part of Trimble Positions Desktop proper in a future release. In order to use it, you must be using Trimble Positions Desktop add-in v10.5.0.1 or higher.
- More streamlined workflow as dictionaries are edited directly inside a Trimble Positions Desktop project: no need to save to a DDF file, edit it, and then update from the DDF file.
- Protects against breaking dictionary compatibility with a geodatabase. The new editor is familiar with the geodatabase schema from which a dictionary is created and prevents changes that may violate it. For example, length of a text attribute cannot be larger than the length of the originating feature class field.
- Supports advanced Trimble Positions functionality, like adding additional photo/file attributes if a layer has attachments enabled or hiding large numbers used as minimum and maximum values for numeric attributes.
- Allows TerraSync to use symbology from ArcGIS map documents making dictionary creation much simpler.
The tool, along with basic documentation, can be requested from your Trimble distribution partner.
A customer recently reported an issue with the TerraSync check-out/check-in workflow when using layers with subtypes. Specifically, features collected with different subtypes (remember that each subtype creates its own feature type in the data dictionary) get checked back in to the geodatabase all under the same subtype. This problem doesn’t manifest itself until you try editing the project through the project wizard and running through to the last page and clicking ‘Finish’. Once you do that, all future check-ins will be affected even if you use the existing data dictionary. A workaround for this is to avoid editing the project through the project wizard after it’s created. If you need to access the ‘Save to DDF’ / ‘Edit DDF’ / ‘Update from DDF’ functionality for an existing project, that’s fine…but once you are done on that ‘Project Options’ page in the wizard, just click the ‘X’ or ‘Cancel’ to close the wizard window and do not click ‘Next >’ to proceed through to the end of the wizard. When using the ‘Update from DDF’ functionality, changes are stored immediately and you do not need to complete the wizard. You will need to take care when setting the metadata transfer fields and accuracy thresholds for such projects when you first create them.
This will be fixed in the next release.
Based on some recent support cases and discussions with dealers and customers at the Esri UC, we thought it a good time to have a discussion about geodetic topics relevant for high accuracy GIS data collection workflows.
On August 23rd next week, we’ll be discussing these topics in a Trimble Geospatial GIS Power Hour:
- What are the basic geodetic concepts necessary for GIS users?
- How are coordinate systems handled through differential correction?
- What is the impact of reference frame and epoch on both real-time correction and post-processing workflows?
- How are feature heights affected by coordinate system settings?
- How can users obtain the “best” accuracy when storing features in their GIS?
Please click the link below to register for one of the two offerings: 8a/4p MDT (UTC-06:00)
In case you hadn’t discovered it yet on your own, there’s a new home on the web for all Trimble Geospatial products and solutions:
We spent a considerable amount of time updating (long overdue) our Trimble Positions content including workflow descriptions and diagrams. In keeping with the organization of the site, Trimble Positions content is split between the Office Software section and the Field Software section. Please take a look and let us know what you think.
Trimble Positions Desktop add-in
Trimble Positions Field extensions
We wanted to let you know that the downloads have been updated for the latest release of Trimble Positions. Of particular note is the availability of the centimeter-capable versions of Trimble Positions ArcPad extension v10.2.4.1 and Trimble Positions Mobile extension v10.2.1.3.
With regards to the updated installer for Trimble Positions Desktop add-in, there is no change in version and it remains v10.5.0.2 although with a build number of 8.1684 as shown in the administration window. The only material changes were updates to the installer to fix missing tools and components as well as to improve product uninstallation. For users who have inquired about using Trimble Positions Desktop add-in alongside Esri’s Attribute Assistant add-in, please contact us through your Trimble Distribution Partner.
We are pleased to announce a new release in the Trimble Positions suite: Trimble Positions Desktop add-in 10.5.0.2. This release focuses on improvements to the TerraSync workflow and also includes a number of important bug fixes. Highlights include:
- New toolbar to access TerraSync tools. There is now a new “Trimble Positions TerraSync” toolbar provided by the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in that can be used to directly access the standalone Trimble Positions TerraSync Tools (formerly known as the Trimble Positions Pathfinder Office Tools). These tools now include: Data Dictionary Editor, Data Transfer, Configuration Manager, and SSF Record Editor.
- Create waypoint files for TerraSync. Also included on the new toolbar is a tool for generating waypoint files for TerraSync from features in your GIS.
- Create SSF background files for TerraSync. Also included on the new toolbar is a tool for generating SSF background files for TerraSync from layers in your GIS.
- Support for multiple images per feature in the TerraSync workflow. You can set up multiple image fields per feature in the TerraSync DDF, and all captured images will be stored using attachments in the GIS.
Additional information, including an enumeration of bug fixes and what field workflows they apply to, is available in the release notes:
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):
For those of you using Trimble Positions Desktop add-in with ArcGIS Desktop 10.4 and above, you have likely noticed peculiar behavior the first time you run ArcMap after installing the add-in. Specifically, you will see an entry for Trimble Positions Desktop Add-In in the Customize…Add-in Manager… menu, but NOT in the Customize…Extensions… menu. If the Trimble Positions Toolbar is visible and has enabled buttons, clicking on one of the buttons will cause ArcMap to crash. The next time (and every time thereafter) you start ArcMap, everything behaves correctly. The underlying problem is an Esri bug (BUG-000102715) that is causing the add-in to only partially load the first time it is run. Esri has indicated this will be fixed in the next update to ArcGIS Desktop 10.5, but that there would need to be specific requests made for them to consider a hotfix for earlier versions.
In December of last year, we announced the release of Trimble Positions Desktop add-in 10.5.0.1. In January, we found an issue with improper recognition of centimeter R2 receiver capabilities when post-processing SSF data. We are happy to announce that this issue has been fixed and the installer download has been updated. As a reminder, all Trimble Positions downloads are available here.
A word on build numbers
At the time we blogged about it on December 16th, the download had technically already undergone one revision since being posted initially (and quietly) several weeks earlier. With this recent update to the installer download, there are now 3 builds of the 10.5.0.1 release that have been made public. Although there were only minor differences (fixes) between these builds, we do recognize the potential for confusion and would like to provide the summary below. As a reminder, the build number is available at the top of the administration window.
|Build Number||Approx. Release Date||Changes
|7.9024||Dec. 5, 2016||preliminary 10.5.0.1 release
|7.9324||Dec. 15, 2016||additional translations, GPS leap second
|7.9622||Jan. 25, 2017||fix for cm R2 post-processing from SSF
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.
We are pleased to announce a new release in the Trimble Positions suite: Trimble Positions Desktop add-in 10.5.0.1. 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):