From Coding to Stakeout – 9 new ways Leica Captivate v3.0 can increase efficiency

Improved workflows with Leica Captivate v3.0

Leica Captivate

As with everything - time is money, also in the Surveying and Construction world so today we show you 9 areas in which we have made improvements in Leica Captivate v3.0 that will help speed up the work process and make it more efficient.

1) A more efficient way of handling control data

These multiple changes are described in a previous article on Leica Captivate v3.0 , please read it for details. Leica Captivate v3.0 allows linking several jobs containing control and design data to one working job. This way, all Setup, Stakeout and Alignment data used with a working job is automatically activated when selecting the job in the home panel. It also allows using control data from more than one job in parallel and hiding jobs from the home panel to keep it tidy and only show what is needed at the time.

Leica Captivate

Control and design jobs can be linked to the working job.


Leica Captivate

In the new Job Management panel, jobs can be set to
visible/invisible for the Home panel.

2) Faster Coding and linework

The coding and linework functionality in the Measure app is one of the most used features and we have done several changes to make this even faster.

Firstly, we have added a hotkey to access the Load Code Template panel. This allows easily changing the sequence of codes when switching between cross sections.

Further, we have added five new hotkeys that allow switching a highlighted code box between being a linework code and a non-linework code with just one button press. It also allows starting new lines quickly. For instance, if measuring a tree and then wanting to start a line of trees, press the new hotkey User - Begin line and the code is changed to start a line of trees.

Leica Captivate

The new hotkeys to quickly switch coding between linework and non-linework

The third change is a small improvement but will make a difference for everyone working with attribute values. When an attribute value was selected, pressing the "Enter" button would close the selection list but not move the focus to the next field. This now works with the new version, making the entry of attribute values a much smoother experience.

And, last but not least, a change in multi-coding which may be most useful when surveying cables, pipelines or similar objects – it is now possible to permanently keep multi-coding on. This allows subsequent measurements of multiple points with the same coordinate but different codes. Permanent multi-coding might be useful when, for example, several cables or pipelines join and need measuring simultaneously.

Leica Captivate

Joining pipelines to be measured

Leica Captivate

Multi-coding enabled to measure the joined pipeline

Besides this, we have disabled the re-sorting of the code boxes when multi-coding is permanently on, making the point storage much faster.

3) Easily create Stakeout reports

Surveyors might need to quickly and easily provide reports about the points which were staked . This information may be needed in various formats and with varying content from the same job. While the job can contain a mixture of data (measured, control, staked), only the stakeout data is relevant for such a report.

Leica Captivate v3.0 now supports the export of user configured cutsheet data directly from within the Stake points app. The needed data can be provided in the required format and content directly from the field without the need of office software or further editing of the files.

Leica Captivate

The cutsheet content can be defined and stored for later use.

Leica Captivate

Cutsheet content as displayed in Microsoft Excel

4) Accessing functions faster

When working in any software, each button press needs time. So the fewer buttons to press, the more time is saved. We have therefore added new hotkeys to allow faster access to often used functionality.

The new hotkeys allow the following:

  • Choose the nearest point when staking points with a GS sensor. This function was until now available in the tools menu and is now a hotkey for faster access.
  • Access the lights and accessories settings to easily turn on or off the laser pointer while working in an app
  • Access the ID templates panel to easily change the point numbering rule (e.g. with every new cross section to be measured)

5) Easier instrument configuration

We have made 2 changes to the general instrument configuration.

The first change is in the Transfer User Objects tool which now allows excluding the jobs when transferring the settings from one instrument to another. Up until now, jobs had always been included, which made it necessary to delete them on the new instrument. Now the settings can easily be transferred to new instruments without the need of removing jobs afterwards.

The second change is a general one in the entire system – everywhere a password can be entered, there is now a check box allowing to display the password in plain text. This makes entry of complicated password less error prone, which can, for instance, make SmartNet logins much easier.

Leica Captivate

Password displayed as clear text

6) More point information

Leica Captivate allows offsets for measured points and multiple elevations for staked points to be entered while in the app. However, once the points were stored, these values could no longer be changed. With the new Leica Captivate version, the offsets and multiple heights entered for each point are shown in the Data Management and, if needed, can be edited and updated later, before bringing them into the office.

For staked points, the stakeout results, shown in the Stake apps, are now also shown in the Data Management for each point, allowing them to be re-used later. This can help, for instance, if a peg gets knocked over on a building site and needs to be re-placed and re-labelled.

Leica Captivate

Showing the Stake results in the Edit Point panel

7) Saving on setups

There are two changes that can help save time on setups. The first may reduce the number of needed total station setups to do a survey and the second could speed up the Orientate to line setup method.

When starting a survey job, the surveyor will assess the area to be surveyed and then decide the best locations to set up the total station – usually trying to minimise the number of setups. While measuring, the surveyor may realize that additional points need measuring and would require an additional setup, sometimes for just a very small number of points. To save on additional setups, a Measure Hidden Point function is now available on the CS20 also in TS mode. It allows using the CS20 internal Disto for measuring distances to the points hidden from the total station and then calculating the coordinates for these points. This may save having to do an additional Setup and can reduce the time needed for a survey job significantly.

Leica Captivate

Inside the new Measure Hidden Point app for TS mode

To directly save time on setting up the instrument, we have extended the Orientate to line setup method. It is now possible to select an existing point to define the line to orientate to, instead of having to type in the point coordinates. Further, the line to orientate to can now define any azimuth instead of being fixed to the northing or easting axis. This makes the Orientate to line method much more flexible, allowing to fulfil more setup requirements.

8) Increased proficiency in the Road app

When staking a Road alignment, there may be single points in the blueprint (design) that do not belong to the alignment. For instance, if there is a fire hydrant in the blueprint with a location given by a chainage and offset, it will be useful to be able to stake that single point while working on the road and without leaving the app. So we have extended the COGO Tool within the Road app with new methods that allow creating points with chainage and offset information.

Leica Captivate

3 new methods available in the COGO Roads tool

Leica Captivate

New points created along the alignment with equal chainage increments,
distance and height offset

It is now not necessary anymore to calculate coordinates for these points or to leave the Roads app to enter and use them in Leica Captivate.

Further, Leica Captivate v3.0 now shows the length of an alignment as meta data when selecting an alignment. Easy access to alignment length information can be beneficial, for instance if the client wants to know how many lineal meters or feet there are in total for a particular section.

9) Improved speed when handling CAD data

For very large CAD files, Leica Captivate would occasionally experience performance issues when displaying them in the 3D viewer. For Leica Captivate v3.0, we have greatly improved the performance of showing CAD data so that the 3D viewer is now able to handle large CAD files smoothly.

And that's it - our 9 improvements to speed up the Leica Captivate work processes. One final improvement is the ability to optionally view DTMs as 3D surfaces. This one was not done for efficiency but for better visibility. Have a look at the screenshot below.

Leica Captivate

DTM shown as 3D surface

How can the new release be obtained?

If you want to download the new Leica Captivate v3.0 field software, it will be available on Leica myWorld after Dec 1st 2017. For the installation you will need a Customer Care Package (CCP) license valid until at least December 1st 2017. If you have any particular questions or wishes, please contact your local Leica Geosystems representative.

Elke Hacker,

Senior Product Manager Field Software, Leica Geosystems

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