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Installing, configuring and learning to use the Trimble Positions Software Suite is not necessarily difficult, but it can be a time-consuming process with many steps. Add to that the fact that Trimble Positions supports differential correction in both ArcPad and ArcGIS for Windows Mobile, and you can quickly become bogged down in filtering through directions that apply to your workflow and those you can ignore.

If you prefer to avoid the time, hassle and confusion, and want to get up and running quickly, check out our Trimble Positions Jump Start Program.

If you are the DIY-type and want to tackle this on your own, we have put together a comprehensive list of support notes and links to help get you going with the Positions extensions.

Do I need to switch from GPS Analyst to Trimble Positions?

If you have moved from ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 to 10.1 or higher, GPS Analyst is no longer supported. Read our support note on Trimble Positions for ArcPad/GPScorrect Users for details on what software you need and how to make the conversion.

How do I know if I’m installing the right version?

It is important to make sure all software and hardware is compatible before you begin the installation process. You will have Esri software and Trimble software on both the desktop and the mobile device, and every piece must fit together to work properly. Trimble’s MGIS compatibility chart has the answers you need. Check the chart to ensure your version of Positions Desktop Add-in is compatible with both your version of ArcGIS Desktop and your version of Positions on the mobile device. Also make sure your mobile version of Positions is compatible with you mobile device, the receiver and your version of ArcPad or ArcGIS for Windows Mobile.

What is the Desktop Database?

In the following installation instructions, you will find references to the Desktop Database. This is one of the biggest differences between GPS Analyst and Trimble Positions and can also be a source of great confusion. This database is not your geodatabase where your GIS data is stored. This database is specific to Trimble Positions and runs in the background. Once configured, you won’t even notice it’s there. However, you should have at least a basic understanding of what it is and why it is important. Trimble’s Development Team Blog, a phenomenal resource for all things Trimble Positions, has two great posts regarding this database. The first describes what it is, and the second describes how to set up a shared database using SQL Server.

Installing, Licensing and Configuring the pieces of the puzzle

ArcPad Users

Download, install, license and configure all the software pieces in the following order:

–       ArcGIS for Desktop, download from the Esri Customer Care Portal

–       ArcPad on the desktop and handhelds, download from the Esri Customer Care Portal

–       Trimble Positions Desktop Add-in (Support Note)

–       Trimble Positions ArcPad extension on the handhelds only (Support Note)

ArcGIS for Windows Mobile Users

Download, install, license and configure all the software pieces in the following order:

–       ArcGIS for Desktop, download from the Esri Customer Care Portal

–       ArcGIS for Windows Mobile on both the desktop and handhelds, download from the Esri Customer Care Portal

–       Trimble Positions Desktop Add-in (Support Note)

–       Trimble Positions Mobile extension on the handheld AND Trimble Positions Mobile Project Center extension on the desktop (Support Note)

How do I deal with datum transformations in Positions?

If you are familiar with integrating GPS data into your GIS, you are well aware that datum transformations are one of the most important issues to tackle. Add in the complexity of post-processing with Trimble software or getting real-time differential correction from a VRS or local base station, and you can quickly become overwhelmed. Miss one step or do one incorrectly, and all your data is shifted.

As mentioned before, Trimble Positions supports both ArcPad and ArcGIS Mobile, but unfortunately, datum transformations are handled differently in each. Please refer to the support note that applies to your workflow for detailed instructions on where and how to set your datum transformations.

There is also a good blog post from the Trimble Positions Development Team on Coordinate Systems and Datum Transformations in Positions.

Where can I learn more about using the Trimble Positions Software Suite?

Start with the User Guides available on Trimble’s Positions Software Suite Website.

If you are new to using ArcPad or ArcGIS for Windows Mobile, online or onsite training is highly recommended and worth your time. Frontier Precision offers a variety of training options.

Get in touch with us if you are interested in the Positions Jump Start, technical support or training.