Exporting TerraSync Field Data (SSF) straight out of the Trimble GNSS Device

Exporting TerraSync Data Files to an Esri Shapefile directly from a Trimble GNSS Device

There may be times when you have to export your TerraSync field data (SSF file) right from the data collector and the process is pretty straight forward.  Keep in mind that if you did not receive real-time corrections during your field work session, that autonomous GNSS data can be up to 10 meters off.  We do recommend using Pathfinder Office to export the data if you need  it to be post processed , or if you need to specify additional GNSS metadata like precisions, correction type, etc.


Follow these steps.

1)      Create a folder to export the data to on the Trimble GNSS device (ie,Geo7X)

  • Click on the Start menu and select File Explorer
  • Browse to the My Documents folder or SD Card
  • Select Menu, scroll downand choose New Folder
  • Type in the name of your folder (ie, Export) and press Enter
  • Close(X)out of File Explorer


2)      Open TerraSync

  •  Choose the TerraSync icon or go to Start menu and choose TerraSync


3) Setup the Coordinate System

  • Click on Status and choose Setup
  • Choose Coordinate System tab
  • Set the following information to match your GIS data:
    • System
    • Zone
    • Datum
    • Altitude Reference
    • Geoid Model
    • Units
  • Click on Done


4) Export the Data

  • Click on Setup and choose the Data Menu
  • Click on the submenu “New” and choose File Manager
  • Highlight the data file you wish to export
  • Options and select Write data to Shape
  • Browse to the location of the Folder you created in Step 1 and click on Options
  • Verify your Coordinate System is set properly
  • Click on Write
  • Select Close when the Shape conversion is complete


5) Transfer the data from the Geo7X to your computer


6) Define the Esri Shapefile projection.  There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.

  • Define Projection in ArcCatalog
    • Browse to the shapefile
    •  Right-click on the shapefile and choose Properties
    • Choose the XY Coordinate System Tab
    • Browse to the projection that was setup during Export
    • Click OK
    • Repeat as necessary


  • Define the Projection ArcToolbox
    • Navigate to Data Management ToolsProjections and Transformations and choose Define projection
    • Under Input Dataset, browse to your Shapefile and click on Add
    • Under Coordinate System, browse to your coordinate system to match your TerraSync export settings.
    • Click OK and click OK again to start the Define Projection tool.


Please refer to the support note for a more detailed workflow.


Please contact NEI support at 1-800-949-1446 or log a support ticket online for more information.


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