Basic Concepts

Basic Concepts

Data Management

Data Storage

GeoInstinct Survey OFFICE (GISO) uses the Microsoft document/view architecture to store and edit all its information.  A document is a file on your computer used to store one or more pieces of related information in a self contained format, that is recognisable by the Windows operating system.  Examples of documents include Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, etc..  Each of these document types have corresponding disk files and are registered with the operating system for use with other programs, such as Windows Explorer.

When using GISO, all the documents relating to a given survey project, including GISO documents and other data such as CAD drawings, will be stored in a project folder.  This folder is created when the 'New Project' option is selected, taking its name from the project name.  The location of this folder is set-up in the  'General Options > Directories and Files' dialog, by default it will be 'C:\GeoInstinct\GeoInstinct Survey OFFICE'.  When we create a new project, a new GISO project document is opened in the project folder, based on a selected project template.  All data downloaded or imported, and models and sections generated in this project are stored in this new folder.  While you can enter names for all documents, file extensions are controlled by GISO.  As with other document based Windows software, when closing a file within GISO you will be prompted to save this file if it has been modified.  If you are carrying out a lot of editing on any document, and you are not using a version control system to manage your revisions, we recommend that you regularly save your changes, given each saved version a revision based file name. 
For example, if you create a model called MyModel, the first time you save it you might call it MyModel01.Model.  Intermediate edits might be saved as MyModel02.Model, MyModel03.Model, etc.., and the final model saved as MyModel-Final.Model.  In this way, if you make any errors during the editing process, you can always revert to a previous version.

Versions & Updating

Please note the following with regards to GISO versions and version compatibility.  The GISO version is made up of three digits; the release number, the major version, and the minor version.  For example, GISO 13.4.8 is GISO release 13, version 4, sub version 8.  The release number typically changes on an annual basis, when all users with a current maintenance contract are issued with new full installation CDs and supporting documentation.  The major version changes when a modification is made that necessitates a file format change, that may in turn lead to backward incompatibility with previous versions.  For example, GISO 13.0.0 may not be able to fully read all files created with 13.1.0.  A minor version change indicates a software modification that has no bearing on file format compatibility, for example GISO 13.4.2 can read files created in 13.4.8 as all data created in GISO 13.4.x has the same file format.  Therefore, for a group of GISO users wishing to ensure that they will be fully data compatible, they should all be on the same release of GISO and the same major version.  Note that like most commercial software, such as AutoCAD, MS Office, etc.., all versions of GISO can always read all files created from any previous version.  Compatibility issues only arise when attempting to read files created by a later version than the version in use.

XML Support

GISO also supports loading and saving of all of its document files in the industry standard XML format, in addition to its native formats.  XML (extensible mark-up language) is an ASCII format widely used in Internet and database applications for the exchange and archiving of data.  It has the following advantages; Data saved by GISO in XML format is both backward and forward compatible with any XML enabled version of GISO.  XML is an open data format, thus GISO XML data may be translated into other formats by third party software where required. 
Note that XML has the disadvantages that it is much slower to save and load, and is much larger in size than native GISO binary formats.  GISO XML options are available from the File / XML menus throughout the program.

User Interface

The view is the principal graphical interface to a document.  Some documents have a single view, for example in Word, the view is the area on screen where you type in your text.  Other programs will have multiple views, for example in Excel, you might have a single spreadsheet that contains many pages, though each page belongs to the same .XLS document.  GISO documents typically have multiple views, for example in a survey data set, detail observations and reduced coordinates are presented in separate spreadsheet views.   All of the views in GISO are either spread sheet views, or interactive graphical views, and have a unique name and graphical icon, displayed in a tab at the bottom of the view.  The simplest way to switch between views is to left click on this tab with the mouse.


GISO creates and works with the following document types: Projects, Survey Datasets, Traverses, Models, Sections, Transformations and Alignments.  A brief description of each document is given below, along with the views available and icons used.

User Interface


A project document is used to share station coordinates between other SCC documents in the project folder, and to determine drawing and modelling conventions used.  It contains four sheet views:

Station Coordinates
Establish and maintain the grid system used in this project.

Feature Library
Control naming conventions, drawing standards and modelling defaults.

Ground Type Library
Break down different parts of the surface model into various ground types for viewing and analysis purposes.

Advanced Survey Coding
Control how coding in the field is interpreted into features and reduction options.

In addition to this the project file stores copies of all ancillary drawing support items such as symbols, line-styles, sheet layouts, text styles, and bitmaps that are used in model and section drawing.

Project - Station Coordinate Sheet
Project - Feature Library Sheet
Project - Feature Wizard


The traverse document is used to store observations relating to traverse and network adjustments.  Within the Traverse document you can reduce and edit setups, apply relevant corrections and perform adjustments.  The traverse document includes three sheet views

Traverse Observation ViewObserved angles and distances, reduced values, and computed residuals.

Traverse Coordinates ViewProvisional and adjusted station coordinates, and computed error ellipse axes.

Station CoordinatesA back-up of the station coordinates used in this traverse, such that the traverse document is fully self contained.

Traverse - Sheet
Traverse - Corrections
Traverse - Setup Dialogue
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