input format
An input format is the way data downloaded from the total station are encoded. This might include a default order for X, Y and Z coordinates, particular ways of prefixing each point with some distinctive text string and other features. Each input format is unique, and it requires a dedicated module. Input formats are not readable by common CAD or GIS software packages, and it is TOPS’s work to export them. These formats have a standard name, either given by the manufacturer or by the TOPS development team.
When we refer to a model we mean all total stations that have the same brand name and manufacturer (e.g. all those labeled “Trimble Geodimeter 600”).
output format
A format readable by GIS, CAD or any sort of common software, like CSV or DXF.
serial-USB adapter
While most total stations have a serial interface (port and cable), modern PCs and laptops tend to have just USB ports. In such cases, it is possible to use a serial-USB adapter cable, that enables you to connect the total station to one of your USB ports. Depending on your platform, the device might be identified as /dev/ttyUSB0 or COM5.