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Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
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Posts: 869
October 10, 2018 4:40 pm  

After reading these responses I have realized that my biggest problem is with the User Interface. We made all the fields in Access but it really looked little different than Excel. I guess we need to figure out how to do a proper UI.

Steven Provenson
My Stripper Name is; Just A. Surveyor
Excuse me while I whip this out!


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half bubble
(@half-bubble)
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October 10, 2018 7:36 pm  

Another vote for QGIS. I'm slowly importing all my old files (GeneralCADD and Carlson DXF/DWG) into QGIS and storing them as GeoJSON in a couchdb database, which then replicates to other machines. QGIS is the "user interface". CouchDB is the database and the backup system. With recent enough versions of both on Ubuntu-flavored linux, it "just works". All pushbutton stuff, hardly any learning curve, nowadays.

Poor business management has been the only reason that land surveying has not risen to the level of other professions in eyes of the public. -- Dan Beardslee


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Stephen Ward
(@stephen-ward)
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October 10, 2018 8:52 pm  

@just-a-surveyor  Find a local community college with computer programming courses and see if one of the students will tackle your Access database as a project.  My brother was in such a program a decade ago and wrote a custom Access database for me.  He set it up with a front end that eases data entry and formats searches, basically lipstick and a skirt to pretty up the basic bones of Access.

Never let someone owe you more than you can afford to lose.


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Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
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October 11, 2018 7:31 am  

@Stephen-Ward, I like that idea. 

Steven Provenson
My Stripper Name is; Just A. Surveyor
Excuse me while I whip this out!


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fvidania
(@fvidania)
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October 11, 2018 7:44 am  

+1 qGIS. 

You can do something simple as a SHP file. You import the polygon and input the data under each field. However it´s not easy to search your jobs. (you have to go to Search + "state" + "Florida" ) and it will select you all the polygons (jobs) done in florida. but if you are not good with computers it can take some time, although everything is on youtube ;). 

If you really want a database, you need a good UI as they have told you already. If you want a Geo-Database you can try PostGIS. Although this is hard to set up. 


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Plumb Bill
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October 11, 2018 8:42 am  

You can search "My Places" in Google Earth if you use the search window in the bottom of the "My Places" pane (not the one at the top of the program).  Works really well, I just tried it.

I was experiencing Google Earth slowdowns and crashed myself a while back, so I started paring down what I permanently kept to native Google Earth conent > Folders, paths, polygons, and associated text that I entered and photos that I linked.  This resulted in the program remaining perfectly stable.  Other content generated from outside sources like CAD, ESRI, Trimble, Websites etc.  I saved in a separate Folder and only loaded temporarily.  I think those are the source of the corruption.

I couldn't function without Google Earth! 

 


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PPI Curated Bundles -- Everything you need to pass

Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
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October 11, 2018 9:57 am  

As far as what I place in Google Earth I keep it short and just drop a pin flag and job number at the job location. 

Steven Provenson
My Stripper Name is; Just A. Surveyor
Excuse me while I whip this out!


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Williwaw
(@williwaw)
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October 16, 2018 9:58 am  

It occurred to me that you could make a very simple but effective data base using just Excel and be able to plot it to identify a key job number or other record index that could be searched in the excel file for all the detailed record you'd like. In excel you'd create your data base by making the first column a job number (rather than a point number), second and third column would be your northing and eastings for the location of the work, fourth column rather than an elevation you could substitute a numerical code of your choosing that might for example reference whether the job is tied to CORS or is on a local system, or whatever. Fifth column rather than a point description you could substitute a client or file name, road, whatever that would serve to jog your memory. Once you have the excel spreadsheet to your liking it's just a simple matter of doing a 'save as' to a comma delimited .csv file that can be readily imported into CAD. Once you've plotted the .csv file you would be able to quickly ID any previous work in the area and using the "Point (Job) Number",  and use that number do a search of your excel spreadsheet to garner all of the associated details.  

So easy even a caveman stripper could do it.

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.


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Cameron Watson PLS
(@cameron-watson-pls)
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October 16, 2018 10:32 am  

If all your jobs are on a common coordinate system that would work beautifully.  If that common coordinate system was State Plane and you're current with your Autodesk subscription you would even get the aerial map overlay to correspond with the points you imported.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.


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A Harris
(@a-harris)
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October 16, 2018 1:54 pm  

Been using ZTreeWin for 28+ years.

Punch in any word, survey, name, number that is in the file and it will deliver a list of files that contain what you are wanting.

RPLS NE Texas
d[-_-]b


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Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
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October 17, 2018 6:46 am  
Posted by: A Harris

Been using ZTreeWin for 28+ years.

Punch in any word, survey, name, number that is in the file and it will deliver a list of files that contain what you are wanting.

So.....this ZTreeWin, is it a Data base? I looked it up and am a bit curious and it actually reminds me of what I have seen others using but I cannot find a video (with sound) that explains what it does and how it "do" it.

Steven Provenson
My Stripper Name is; Just A. Surveyor
Excuse me while I whip this out!


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Andy J
(@andy-j)
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Posts: 2574
October 17, 2018 7:12 am  
Posted by: Plumb Bill

You can search "My Places" in Google Earth if you use the search window in the bottom of the "My Places" pane (not the one at the top of the program).  Works really well, I just tried it.

I was experiencing Google Earth slowdowns and crashed myself a while back, so I started paring down what I permanently kept to native Google Earth conent > Folders, paths, polygons, and associated text that I entered and photos that I linked.  This resulted in the program remaining perfectly stable.  Other content generated from outside sources like CAD, ESRI, Trimble, Websites etc.  I saved in a separate Folder and only loaded temporarily.  I think those are the source of the corruption.

I couldn't function without Google Earth! 

 

 

 

WOW!  How in the world did I NOT know about the lower search bar???  SHeesh!  I use google earth for a TON of stuff, and have used geocoders to convert all my spreadsheet project data to placemarks, along with bench runs, published control, etc.    Thanks for the tip!  


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PPI Curated Bundles -- Everything you need to pass

A Harris
(@a-harris)
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Joined: 8 years  ago
Posts: 7215
October 17, 2018 8:53 am  

ZTREEWIN is a search engine that finds words inside files on your computer

RPLS NE Texas
d[-_-]b


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SellmanA
(@crashbox)
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October 21, 2018 12:49 pm  

This is a great topic, and one that perhaps should be given stronger consideration IMO (especially by myself).

When I set mine up, I'll probably use LibreOffice or MS Access as a front end, with PostgreSQL as the engine since I have prior experience with the latter. I should add that PostgreSQL is a free, robust, enterprise-level DB which might be overkill for most here but you would never outgrow it.

Database design/setup can be rather complex- it is better to take considerable effort and get it right the first time. Just my opinion.

The worst surveyor is an engineer who thinks they are a surveyor; the second worst surveyor is an appliance operator.


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Jon B. Gramm
(@jon-b-gramm)
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October 22, 2018 2:27 pm  
Posted by: SellmanA

This is a great topic, and one that perhaps should be given stronger consideration IMO (especially by myself).

When I set mine up, I'll probably use LibreOffice or MS Access as a front end, with PostgreSQL as the engine since I have prior experience with the latter. I should add that PostgreSQL is a free, robust, enterprise-level DB which might be overkill for most here but you would never outgrow it.

Database design/setup can be rather complex- it is better to take considerable effort and get it right the first time. Just my opinion.

If you have experience with PostgreSQL, working with PostGIS would be an easy transition, and a worthwhile endeavor. Using QGIS which supports PostGIS databases natively, would provide a graphical solution, as well as spatial relationships that would be easily queried, and viewable.

I agree that there can be consider effort in designing a project management database, but I am constantly amazed at how quickly a great deal of work can be accomplished, through a properly set up spatial database.

I am also constantly amazed at how many surveyors cringe in fear when the word or term GIS is used.

The funny thing to me is how many people use Google Earth and other free imagery providers and only place a pin on a location, when with about two more minutes of effort they can place that pin, properly projected, with complete project information within Federal, State, Local, and private boundaries, along with PLSS, Found Monuments, terrain, hydro, land use, mineral, and just about any other information available, and have all of this information overlaid on imagery which can then be exported to GEOPDF, or Geo-referenced images.

I understand the philosophy of "getting out of it, what you put into it" but I have found I have gotten much more out of GIS, and database management systems than what I have put into them.


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