I'm looking for a way to properly process .RAW traverse data from Nikon DTM on Copan 11.11. These points, after calculations and processing, will later be used as points in a thematic map and a .dwg file.

I kept getting an invalid at-station error when I try to plug in my data in the Calculation-Process Field Data UI window as follows:

enter image description here

Azimuths are reckoned from the South.

I also tried loading the sample data for 2D and 3D closed traverse computations from the Copan 11.11 manual (http://www.underhill.ca/software/manuals/windows/User%20Manual.pdf) pages 5 to 7. But they did not work either.

After three attempts of editing my raw input file to match the specified format on the manual, I still get an error that refuses to process my data from Nikon. I also have another Total Station raw data that I need to edit in an acceptable format for the field file portion of Copan because it is not organically supported by Copan (this other set of data is not taken from Leica or Nikon).

At this point, it might help to have a live sample of a pair of .pts file and field file in .raw, .f, .fld, or .txt format that I can load to Copan 11.11. I just need to see what a field file looks like so that I can pattern my current inputs accordingly and eliminate the errors such as "Invalid assertion", "Invalid at-station", "Invalid to-station", and "No Observation".

I already tried looking for sample raw data online that has been tested to work with Copan but I have not found any, so far.

My other option is to encode all my existing raw data manually or line per line using Copan's other options in the Calculation menu. But given the volume of the computations that I need to make under the deadline, it might not be a feasible option.

  • The example field files that are in the manual look valid, but are not actually valid for copy-and-paste. The reason is that actual key-value pairs must be tab-separated. They will be either if you enter the example lines one-by-one or if you copy-paste a whole example then copy a tab character (from somewhere) and paste it between each key-value pair!
    – Martin F
    Dec 11, 2013 at 5:34
  • Also, FYI, it's usually more helpful, when posting sample data, if you post the actual data (not a screen-shot) just as though it were code. (That's how i formatted my data lines in the answer.) Welcome to GIS.SE!
    – Martin F
    Dec 11, 2013 at 5:46
  • Wow Sir thank you so much! That explains my ruckus with processing. :) Thanks for the warm welcome. I have been lurking on the answer threads and it's my first time to post my actual question...
    – user24804
    Dec 11, 2013 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


I think you've been able to input the RAW Nikon data to Copan, but not to process it.

The "Invalid at-station" and "Invalid to-station" errors refer to the non-integer station IDs that are present in the data. Even though Nikon total stations allow alphanumeric point IDs, Copan only accepts integer point IDs, so you'll need to convert them to strictly numbers only.

For record-keeping, you could encode the old ID of the "to" points by typing a "not=old-id" key-value pair in the big edit window ("not" is short for "note"). E.g., replace

    to= MT-250  HC=  308.2722   VC= 92.5558 SD= 57.706  HS= 1.520


    to= 5250    HC=  308.2722   VC= 92.5558 SD= 57.706  HS= 1.520   not=MT-250

Or you can manually edit the points, after successful processing, in Point Edit, adding the old ID in either the Name or Note fields.

I also notice that observations are made on both faces (left and right), which is good field practice, but Copan will only process single-face observations! Your choice is to simply comment-out each of the face-right observations

to= 8   HC=  173.2440   VC= 90.0646 SD= 21.807  HS= 1.920
//to= 8 HC=  353.2457   VC=269.5329 SD= 21.805  HS= 1.920

or to comment them all out, replacing each pair with a manually reduced face-left obs

//to= 8 HC=  173.2440   VC= 90.0646 SD= 21.807  HS= 1.920
//to= 8 HC=  353.2457   VC=269.5329 SD= 21.805  HS= 1.920
to= 8   HC=  173.24??   VC= 90.06?? SD= 21.806  HS= 1.920

(Replace each ?? with the appropriate seconds -- I've forgotten how to do it!)

Finally, before you process, your points file must already have the first "at" and "ref" points (2 and 6 in your case), otherwise you'll get "missing at-pnt" and "missing ref-pnt" errors.

PS: I know a lot about Copan because I was a developer.

  • Wow this has been very enlightening and helpful. Just one last question about renaming points into integers... Some of the points have unknown coordinates (no N and E values) and are not in the original point list I loaded. Can I arbitrarily assign an integer point number for those mentioned points? Thanks again!
    – user24804
    Dec 11, 2013 at 6:15
  • Yes, so long as the first at-pnt and ref-pnt already have coords, all the rest (new point ids) will be added when you Save Points.
    – Martin F
    Dec 11, 2013 at 16:00

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