Setting Up a Local Grid with Trimble and Propeller

It's vital that everyone working on a site is working in the same coordinate reference system, otherwise, nothing will match up.

This article will walk through how to set up a local grid using Trimble equipment, Trimble Business Center, and Propeller in the field and in the office.


  • Total station
  • Trimble base station and rover
  • Trimble Business Center
Please note: Local Coordinate Systems and Local Site Survey Benchmark processing options are only supported when using AeroPoints with the Propeller or Stratus platforms. If you would like more information, please contact us.



1. Set up total station and mark out control points for the local grid.

2. Place an AeroPoint directly on one of the known points and record the local coordinates of that point.

Tip: You can use the AeroPoint stencil to ensure you’re accurately on top of the point.

3. Place all the other AeroPoints around the job and capture the area with your drone as usual.

Note: If you are surveying a large site and need to “leapfrog” your AeroPoints, make sure you do not move the AeroPoint on the known point.

4. Set up the GPS base station, pick up the control points, and perform a site calibration on the Trimble Rover.

In the office

Before processing AeroPoints or uploading images on a PC with Trimble Business Center:

1. Download the Trimble DC file from the controller.

2. Convert the Trimble DC file to a Trimble JXL file in Trimble Business Center.

3. Set up a new site on Local Grid with a JXL file in Propeller.

Now that the site is set up, you can:

1. Process the AeroPoints on the AeroPoints tab of your portal, selecting the local grid site you’ve created.

2. Upload the images for processing on the site, selecting the AeroPoint survey you’ve just submitted for processing.

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, you can connect with our support team by clicking the support button on the top right corner of your user portal.