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Scanning Tip of the Week: Using Annotations to Add Details in Scan Projects

Scanning Tip of the Week: Using Annotations to Add Details in Scan Projects

Communication between the field and office has always been vital to any survey operation. This entry for the Scanning Tip of the Week will look at how annotations can be used in Trimble® PerspectiveTM to bolster your field operations.

Trimble Perspective

To create an annotation, first select the Annotation icon on the right menu bar in Trimble Perspective

This will open a window showing the option to create a new point. Select the Create New button to begin this process.

You will now have a couple of choices available to you. One of these options is to utilize the built-in laser pointer to accurately define targets in your project. Select the icon at the top of the screen showing a laser image that says Off. Note: This option is only available on Trimble scanners equipped with a laser pointer such as the X7.

The icon will switch to blue and say On. The X7 will turn to point the laser at the area of the scan centered on the screen.

To choose a new target, move your view as you normally would in Station-based View, swiping your finger to rotate your view. When the laser is close to your target, tap on the screen’s central crosshair to enable the fine adjustment mode.

Trimble Perspective

Arrows will now appear around the crosshair which can each be tapped to make small changes to the position of the laser. Now that you have the scanner pointing at your target, you have two point type options for your new point. Select the Point Type dropdown menu to change between Annotation or Precision Point

Trimble Perspective

Precision Points will allow the scanner to make a measurement to the location defined by the laser. To do this, give the point a Name and Description and tap the Scan Point button at the bottom of the screen. You can also take a photo of the target or location with the tablet, choose an existing image to attach, or select the Use for Georeferencing box. Note: A future Scanning Tip of the Week will cover georeferencing in detail. Once the point is scanned, you will have the option to use the Create Point button.

Trimble Perspective

Annotations can use the laser but can also be selected by tapping the area of interest on the screen. Doing so will introduce a blue circle centered on your target. Note: Zoom in on your point cloud to accurately select the point you want.

Trimble Perspective

Once satisfied with your selection and naming convention, tap the Create Point button to store the point. An icon will appear at the location of your laser or blue circle showing the Name given.

Trimble Perspective

The main annotation list accessed from the right menu bar will also contain the annotation for quick selection and viewing.

Trimble Perspective

Now that you know how to create an annotation, let’s go over a couple of uses.

One aspect that is difficult to relay to the office is the weather conditions during field operations. Wind can move objects such as light poles, causing them to align poorly between scans. Adding an annotation to these moving objects is useful to notify the person working on the data in the office that they should avoid checking registration here and chasing an alignment that cannot be resolved. 

Trimble Perspective

Another use for annotations is showing small objects or paint markings in the case of utilities. Gas lines are commonly marked with yellow spray paint which may be difficult to identify back in the office.

Trimble Perspective

Manholes are another difficult feature to identify in point clouds due to their orientation to the scanner resulting in less point coverage. Adding an annotation will make finding manhole locations in the point cloud quick and easy..

Trimble Perspective

Using annotations for point cloud descriptions is a great way to provide extra information to your project and can easily be done in the field. Maximize your time by creating these annotations while your scanner is in action. Stay tuned for future tips of the week and keep on scanning.

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About the Author

Jeff Turgeon is the Scanning Software Product Marketing Intern within Trimble's Geospatial Sector. He is a Canadian geomatics Engineer In Training with previous experience working for a British Columbia Land Surveyor. He was drawn to the geospatial industry for its development and use of technology, complex problem solving, global application, and focus on furthering efficiency and sustainability goals across an array of industries.

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