I would like to convert a small amount of data from trimble ssf format to shp format for inclusion in an ArcGIS database.

I have been trying to do this for a few months and not success.

I have a small amount of data so do not want to purchase a license for PathFinder.

  • any specs for that format? sample?
    – Gery
    Dec 18 '13 at 14:01
  • I have sometimes been able to get Trimble customer service to do small things like this as a favor, since we rent their GPS units frequently. I'd try emailing them and explaining your situation.
    – Dan C
    Dec 18 '13 at 16:18
  • This could be worth trying. I have looked for Trimbles customer service email address on their website but have failed to find it. Do you have this and I could try emailing them. Many thanks Dec 18 '13 at 17:41
  • I believe I took the data using WGS 1984. I am not really a surveyor so I dont have much knowledge about this sort of thing Dec 19 '13 at 18:23
  • Thanks for all the advice. I contacted the Trimbles PR department and they were able to set me up with a 2 week license. The conversion seems to have worked! Dec 21 '13 at 9:18

I'm pretty sure there isn't a good way to get from SSF to a shapefile without Pathfinder Office. Trimble has done a pretty good job of locking that format down.

It might be faster to open up your data in terrasync and just copy down the coordinates. It would be tedious (although you mention that your data set is fairly small), but then you could punch the coordinates and attributes into a spreadsheet and convert that XY data into a shapefile using ArcMap. Not an ideal solution for sure but something to consider.


I assume you are using TerraSync to collect your data. In that case, go to Data>File Manager> select the file you want to transfer>Options>Write data to Shape. Connect your handheld to your desktop and transfer shapefiles via file explorer.

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