Setting out a surface tin in Emlid flow

Hello, new to the community here but love the RS2+ units I have. Ive searched the pages and cant seem to find anything about it yet (maybe ive missed it) but is there any future plans for the ability to setout a surface tin in the Flow App? This would be very handy across the entire survey industry that works in 3d I believe. Feel free to point me to the thread if there is one


A TIN is at it’s core simply a set of points with a linear interpolation between them. The interpolation may be accurate to the surface, or it might not be.

I’m curious about what you are suggesting Flow provide?

Hi Dave, I guess im suggesting Flow to have the ability to import a surface tin file and then similar to the point stakeout feature in the flow app would be a surface staketout/setout option where you can choose the surface file, then wherever you go with your rover within that imported surface you then get a - cut or +fill height to the reference surface you chose. I know you could essentially upload a bunch of points to do this but you would then have to change your stakeout point to your nearest point everytime you moved. if a surface setout was available in Flow it would be alot easier especially on large scale projects


I think he basically just wants to be able to go anywhere within a certain bounds and know his position in comparison to a design elevation. Staking a surface. In my opinion, this isn’t feasible unless you are using it much more powerful data collector. Not going to happen on mobile devices. What I have done in the past is to create a grid of points attached to the surface in CAD and then import those.


Yes that easy and works, I was hoping to hear from the Emlid team themselves to see if something is or could be in development. Its going to happen eventually just wondering if Emlid are the first to crack it

Fieldgenius for Android has a surface staking to landXML files feature. I use fieldgenius with my RS2 units and it works great (but I wish I had a higher power tablet). Here is a video showing it in action:


Hi Rion,

Welcome to our community!

Thank you for your warm words about Reach RS2+!

As for the TIN surface import and stakeout, we collect such requests, and I’ve noted yours as +1.


Great thanks! I believe you would see a large interest in people wanting to use this feature. To go one step further for the request, if the flow app could continuously measure a chainage and offset from string and display a cut fill to a design tin at the same time whilst roaming around then it would be invaluable for many many people and projects…


Being that this is largely a function for construction, we would need to have localization first.


Hi Michael, that’s not true in all use cases but yes the ability to create a localisation would be needed for majority of construction/civil projects.

Nothing is an absolute and as long as you are 100% on true State Plane and the design was on State Plane with no scale factor you will be fine. Out of curiosity what work are you doing that you don’t need a localization?

You are correct, sometimes (not often) you get lucky that a project is setup that way and obviously you check that the survey control agrees with the chosen predefined projection throughout the project. I’m in Aus and my idea if emlid can add those features above to the flow app would be that site foreman can walk/drive around getting basic design surface checks anywhere on the project. Works perfectly already with points/lines in the app but they need to know which to use. Using a surface stakeout for them in this easy to use setup would make it near childproof.

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I assume Austria? and not Austin? Lol, I am in Austin. That would make more sense because the United States has horrendous control of our coordinate systems. Texas alone has 5 zones the size of Austria and my region covers two of those zones. Not only do I have to watch out for the overlap area and who the Surveyor was determining which zone they might have used but for some reason Land Surveyors here like to use different coordinate systems. Many of them being so close to each other that you could attribute any deviation to GNSS error but if you shoot them with a total station you will see the consistent shifts.

That’s not even the real problem. Because we build in grid we have the issue where some people put the CAD design up at a scale factor instead of letting the projection drop straight in but also being in construction we touch areas that may not have been touched for a long long time so property monumentation out in the middle of nowhere could be non-existent for 1,000’s of feet.

Factor all these together and it makes sense why machine control defaulted to localizations but IMO it was the absolute worst thing that could have happened because it’s lazy and the Professional Surveyors really dropped the ball allowing it to happen instead of setting a standard and holding people accountable for it. I don’t know if it’s just non-PLSS States or just Texas or what but it’s just ridiculous that I get CAD drawings in surface coordinates and receive no documentation which provides real world State Plane grid coordinates to setup our base station on. Now localization is so baked in that you can’t even manually enter in a geodetic coordinate for the base without localizing. I hate it. If you couldn’t tell…


That does sound painful! I’m actually in Australia and currently on a project setup on the projection GDA2020 MGAzone56 and AHD derived for vertical hence why the emlid reach RS2+ and flow app is very useful at th e moment. Good luck over there, very unfortunate you guys never moved to metric haha


No disrespect meant but so close yet so far away, lol. Point being, not in the United States. Honestly once you get use to decimal feet it’s not really that much different. I have worked on several projects that were designed and used files from outside the United States where all of my CAD work was done in metric and then transformed to USft in CAD. It’s easy to go back and forth. The people would should have empathy for are the Architects.