Mobile Field Inspection with Survey Precision

Trimble Catalyst may have been designed with Surveying and GIS professionals in mind but its applications can reach beyond the obvious job roles when third party developers come into play. Builterra is leveraging the flexibility of the Trimble Catalyst to provide more accurate data collection for civil engineers and contract administrators—saving time and money.

What is Trimble Catalyst?

Trimble Catalyst is simple, convenient, easy-to-use and affordable way to collect on-demand high-accuracy data. The revolutionary technology features a software GNSS receiver that delivers high accuracy, centimeter-level, positioning with an on-demand subscription service.

Catalyst features a lightweight antenna that plugs directly into your Android phone or tablet's USB port. Once it's connected to any Catalyst-ready or 3rd party location-enabled app (like Builterra!), you can use measure, locate, and share the things you map with the world.

Huge Benefits for the NON-Surveyor

Builterra is focused on construction contract administration for owners and the engineers who work for owners, both public and private. We recognized the benefits Trimble Catalyst could bring to non-surveyors after our infrastructure clients began asking about 10cm to 1m precision when collecting data from the field using the Builterra mobile app.

For general contractors, engineers, architects and technologists, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) were only available using dedicated hardware chips to sample numerous satellites for accurate positioning. Until now.

The Trimble Catalyst brings GNSS capabilities to the mobile phone—and paired with Builterra, represents the kind of technology convergence that the engineering and contract administration community has been waiting for.


Figure 2-Connecting the Catalyst with a Commercial Network

Applied Industry Solutions using Builterra

The Builterra team got to work designing practical applications—using Trimble Catalyst and the Builterra mobile app, that would deliver greater precision to the field than ever before.

Practical uses cases for Builterra connected to the Trimble Catalyst include:

  • Subsurface Utility Engineering
  • Geotechnical Borehole Soils Investigation
  • Sewer & Water As-Built
  • Quantity Surveys

At the low price point for Trimble Catalyst, and the virtually zero learning curve, any field inspector can connect using Builterra, start collecting inspection data and photos, AND gather survey-accurate XYZ position for one or more points.


Figure 3-Builterra Points Table collection showing points. Add, edit and delete points as required.


Figure 4 - Builterra Inspection Portal showing SubSurface Utility Hydrovac inspections with high precision accuracy

Web Portal Access to ALL Data Collected

The Builterra Web Portal provides direct access to all data and photos collected for the inspection. GPS Point data is listed when the points have been collected for the inspection. Data can be exported to Excel, CSV, ESRI Shape file for GIS interoperability.


Figure 5 - GPS Point data is accessed via the Builterra Web Portal for editing, download and reporting.

Direct Access to Inspection Data using Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Our powerful Builterra API provides off the shelf import of GPS Data as AECC Points, Breaklines or Surfaces – instantly from within the design desktop environment.


Figure 6 - AutoCAD Civil 3D with Builterra Extension to Import Points, Breaklines and Surfaces in Real-Time

Real-Time Data Connectivity from Field to Office

No text files or outdated, late survey files. Get real-time access to all data within seconds of collecting it from the field.

Experience the power of Builterra and Trimble Catalyst. .

Contact us today!


Jeff Lyons



Jeff Lyons

With over 20 years of experience in the municipal and land development sector, Jeff Lyons is dedicated to creating innovative civil engineering software solutions. As a founding partner and Director of Platform Innovation at Builterra, Jeff is a sought-after instructor and guest speaker who regularly engages with clients and associations to share insights that drive the industry forward. Jeff received his diploma in mining engineering technology from the Haileybury School of Mines (Northern College), and his diploma in geological technology (geophysics) from Sir Sandford Fleming College.