Carlson SurvCE – a Data Collection Review (Part 3)

And here we are for part three. Today, we’re going to look at the different ways that we can collect data when surveying. But first….

I was asked today a question along the lines of “so why all the Carlson love?” It was asked tongue in cheek, but I figured that it needed to be addressed. Here’s the deal – whether you buy Carlson, TDS, Civil 3D, LDT, Microstation, or whatever, I still get the same amount of money each month. I’m not paid on commission, so I’m not trying to sell anyone anything. What I AM trying to do is to provide you, Constant Reader, the best possible solution so that you can do your job as quickly and accurately as possible. If I find a shovel full of dirt that may fill in a hole, I’m going to tell you about it. So there it is.

Today’s shovel full is one of the easier ways to survey out there. Click more to find out how…

OK, so today finds us on the Surv tab of Carlson SurvCE. This is where we actually do our data collection. Like all the other tabs, this one has 10 options for me to select from (I’m beginning to detect a theme of sorts…)

Our first option today is the “meat” of surveying – Sideshot/Traverse. When you click this option, you’re prompted to set up an occupy point, instrument height, backsight point, and target height. It also allows us to perform a remote benchmark.

Once we set our backsight, we can set the angle and read the distance. This provides us with a backsight check to determine that we have the correct points entered.

This brings us to the SS/TRAV screen, which can be displayed in either a text format or in a graphical format. I kind of like the graphical display – it shows me the points that I have selected and it also shows points as I store them. This can provide for a pretty quick visual check to make sure that the data that we’re collecting at least LOOKS right.

The text format looks like this: (pretty dull, if you ask me)

In graphical format, the left column of icons provide me with various zooming options, including Zoom Extents, Zoom In, Zoom Out, Zoom Window, Zoom Previous, and View Options. The right column contains the buttons that we press to do the work – R stands for Read, S stands for Sideshot, T stands for Traverse, O stands for Offset shot, C stands for Configure reading (recording sets of shots), and the small tripod takes us back to the backsight screen. Once you read the point, press S to store it, and you’re off and running with your data collection. Now, back out to the other screen to see what else we can do…

Just like SS/TRAV, the Stakeout option asks us to set up the instrument (backsight point.) Once that’s set up, we input the point that we want to stake out and it takes us back to the graphical screen, which tells us to turn to an angle right and move out a certain distance. From there, we read and recalculate.

Option 3 allows us to stakeout a line or arc. This is pretty much the same as staking out a point. We can define a line, define an alignment, define a 3 point arc, or define an arc by PC, PT, and vaule. If you’re playing along at home, you can definitely investigate these options.

Option 4 is an offset stakeout – this allows us to stake offsets from either a horizontal or vertical alignment.

Option 5 allows us to stake to a surface, provided we have one defined and loaded. We can also stake to an elevation, which will give us a cut or fill even if we don’t have a surface defined.

Option 6 is called Bldg Face Survey – I had to turn to my manual for this one (always helps to RTFM when you’ve got questions, no?) Here’s what the manual says about Buliding Face Survey:

This command enables points on both vertical and nonvertical planes to be coordinated by angle-only observations. This feature is most often used to pick up details of a building where the prism cannot be placed.

The building face is defined by observing three accessible points on the building or by entering their known coordinates. After angle-only observations are made, SurvCE then calculates and stores coordinates of angle intersection observation with the plane. You can use SurvCE to survey the vertical face of a building or other vertical planes.

That was quite a bit to type. You get the idea, so here’s the screenshot:

Option 7 is a remote elevation routine. It allows you to set up on a point with no known elevation, shoot a point with a known elevation, and assign an elevation to the point that you set up on. Pretty simple:

Option 8 is a simple resection tool. It’s fairly straightforward as well – you can set up on a point with no known coordinates, shoot two points with known coordinates, and figure the coordinates of the point that you happen to be set up on. You can set this to transfer an elevation as well or ignore the elevations.

Option 9 is the Set Collection routine. This allows you to collect and average sets of angles to more than one foresight.

Lastly, option 0 (10) allows you to review the set that you just collected.

Admittedly, one thing here that I don’t’ like….every time you enter one of these modes, you have to setup/verify your instrument setup (backsight, etc.) – I like it from the standpoint that it always forces your crew to check and verify that they’re correclty shooting the data, but it does get to be a pain at times. So, if you’re using this, get used to this screen:

That’s it for this installment. Stay tuned for a review of the COGO functionality of SurvCE and the Road portion of the review, as well as a screen we haven’t really looked at – the MAP window, which allows us to do CAD in the field….intrigued? Come back soon, you never know when I’ll post that!

Have fun!

One comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    Don’t listen to those critics who aren’t digging the Carlson love. Our survey crew just got the Explorer 600+ last week. Since I don’t have a big background in surveying, I’ve found your posts on the subject to be EXTREMELY helpful in getting up to speed on the terminology and UI familiarity I need to help them. Thanks for the Carlson love!

    (Now if I could just get you to set up my Figure Prefix database…)