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TBC Does That: Convert Point Clouds to Orthophotos

What TBC does

Do you find it helpful to have orthophotos showing your job site before, during and after construction? The SX10 scanning total station collects point clouds and images to archives information when surveying a job site; however, if there is an area not covered by an image, or if you’re using a different scanner that doesn’t collect images, you can use TBC to create an orthophoto by converting the point cloud into an image.

How this helps you

You'd like to have a nice image to assist further CAD design or impress your clients in a presentation, but the building facade or the retaining wall was not fully imaged. Instead of revisiting the job site just to collect a few more images, you can create a very realistic photo with a few clicks in TBC, as long as the object was covered with dense enough point cloud.

How it works

It all starts with a projection plane. Define a plane where the point cloud could project to, then configure the image diagonal corners to only include point cloud you want. Then you may choose the point cloud rendering as well as pixel size to finalize the image appearance. The generated image will be loaded to your project automatically.

Pro tip: The denser the point cloud, the higher quality the orthophoto.


The “TBC Does That” series, written by the Trimble Business Center (TBC) Team, focuses on the broad range of functionality that TBC delivers to you. Periodically we will release information to help you improve productivity by making the most of TBC’s built-in tools.