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 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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Geo 7X Firmware

Earlier this year, an operating system update (6.7.16) was released for the Geo 7X handheld. Support cases submitted to both Trimble and Esri have indicated that ArcPad users with complex projects are running up against memory problems with increased frequency after upgrading their devices to this new OS version. Customer and dealer testing indicates that there is ~4MB less memory available to the application compared to the old OS version.

This issue is being investigated internally. Initial testing suggests that any high-memory use application could be affected including ArcPad and ArcGIS for Windows Mobile + Trimble Positions. At this time, it is recommended that Trimble Positions users with larger field projects stay at the previous operating system version (6.7.15) until further notice.

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Support for ArcMap 10.3.1

We’ve been asked on several occasions about support for ArcMap version 10.3.1 in the latest version of the Trimble Positions Desktop add-in (version Initial testing indicates that upgraded installations will generally work (i.e., ArcMap was upgraded after Trimble Positions Desktop was installed) but that new installations on ArcMap 10.3.1 will not see a properly registered add-in.  There are 2 workarounds:

  • Manually add a registry entry to mimic what the installer is supposed to be doing. This will preserve the proper uninstallation behavior of the app. The name of the new registry key should be:
    (or if x64, HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\ESRI\Desktop10.3\Settings\AddInFolders)
    …and then you’ll create a new string value that points to the path c:\program files\trimble\trimble positions desktop add-in\addins.
  • Manually register the PositionsDesktopAddIn.esriAddIn by double-clicking the file in c:\program files\trimble\trimble positions desktop add-in\addins. This will copy the .esriAddIn to Esri’s staging area (c:\users\<user>\documents\arcgis\addins) and ArcMap will pick it up there. In this case, an uninstallation of Trimble Positions Desktop using the Control Panel will not remove it from ArcMap and you’d have to use the menu options within ArcMap to remove the add-in.
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