Rwandan Student uses Trimble Business Center for Dissertation

Ruhengeri Mary's Shrine topo map
Automate the geocoding process while building topographic maps
In December 2019, Emmanuel Dukuzimana successfully earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from the Department of Land Survey at the Institut D’Enseignement Supérieur De Ruhengeri (INES), Rwanda, upon completion of his dissertation “Geocoding Development for Topographic Map Production – Trimble Business Center.” Boris Skopljak, Geospatial Strategy and Analytics Marketing Director at Trimble, corresponded with Dukuzimana throughout his research and provided assistance on the use of geocoding with Trimble Business Center (TBC).

Dukuzimana made use of the feature and attributes library in TBC, Feature Definition Manager (FDM), to expedite the creation of geocodes for total station field data. Accurate geocodes help produce surveying deliverables such as topographic maps and 3D representations of landscape more quickly. TBC offers three categories of features: line features such as roads, stairs, and fences; polygon features such as buildings, gardens, manholes and verandas; and point features like trees, flags, and statues. Dukuzimana mapped the Ruhengeri Mary’s Shrine, an important local landmark offering a variety of terrain and multiple structures.

Q. How were you introduced to surveying?

A.  I have loved this field since my childhood. As far back as I remember, I have been interested in the way things around me worked. During my studies for an A2 diploma in Forestry, I enjoyed a class called “Forest Engineering.” During this lesson, I acquired some surveying principles and basic engineering knowledge. We used surveying instruments such as Dumpy levels and N-frame levels.

Q. Why do you want to become a surveyor?

A.  A surveyor plays a big role in the world’s transformation in areas such as sustainable cities and climate change and solving global issues like urbanization, migration and resource scarcity. A surveyor can work in many sectors, including local government institutions, NGOs and private sectors. All of these types of institutions need surveying data in order to make decisions that are fair to the community. I want to participate in the development of my country. 

Q. What is your favorite field activity when surveying?

A.  Activities like cadastral survey and setting-out are most useful in my country, but I am interested in each and every activity that is included in land surveying. I like working with surveying instruments, including total stations, levels, laser scanners and GNSS systems, and want to learn more about UAV surveying and point cloud functions. 


Q. What is your favorite routine or feature in TBC?

A.  TBC is a very well-designed package. You can process GNSS data, terrestrial data, ground survey and photogrammetric data. Everything a surveyor may need in data processing can be found in TBC. I enjoy using TBC because it is an all-in-one software.

Q. How did Trimble Business Center help you complete your dissertation?

A.  TBC sped up my work by automating the geocoding process for my topographic map. There are built-in libraries of features and attributes that make the work go faster. Everything is clearly seen in TBC. This not only helped me complete my dissertation project but also to be confident in my working career.

Q. What were the greatest challenges when collecting the field data and how did you overcome them? 

A.  Field surveys are always risky in various ways, including physical hazards, instrument damage, inaccurate measurements, and climate issues. During my field data collection, I faced the problem of heavy rainfall on two out of five days. Fortunately my Trimble M3 Total Station performed well and the weather did not affect the accuracy of my collected data.

Q. How do you see Trimble hardware and software shaping your career path?

A.  In my experience with Trimble products, I have found them to be durable instruments that provide accurate data for high-quality deliverables. As the Trimble logo states “transforming the way the world works,” Trimble products helped me to successfully complete my studies and start my surveying career. I used Trimble products during my dissertation project for data collection and data processing. I want to learn more about Trimble products and hope to work with TBC as well as other Trimble products at my future jobs.

Q. Why did you choose to map Ruhengeri Mary’s Shrine?

A.  My university is on property belonging to the Catholic Church, and Mary’s Shrine is located near my school and my home. These were important reasons why I chose to map there. It is also a large area that contains many interesting features to be mapped.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give to a student getting started in surveying?

A.  Firstly, this profession needs passionate people. If you decide to start surveying you must breathe it, love it and give it your full effort. Curiosity to continue learning about new technology is very important, and always ask the experts about what you don’t understand, as I did with Mr. Boris [Skopljak, former TBC product manager and market manager and currently a Trimble Geospatial Marketing Director]. Surveyors have to be self-motivated, innovative and seek solutions to problems.