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About Spectra Geospatial

Spectra Geospatial has long been an established brand, belonging to Trimble Inc., known for delivering quality products to the survey and construction markets. The Spectra Geospatial brand offers a complete product portfolio including Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), optical total stations, data collection hardware, field and office software, as well as a wide range of construction tools.

Spectra Geospatial surveying equipment is an economical choice that utilizes unique technologies for delivering maximum productivity with optimal efficiency. With convenience and reliability as the foundation of the Spectra Geospatial brand, it is an ideal choice for value. The Spectra Geospatial brand is backed with the strong technical support that users have come to expect from a quality name in surveying and construction.



First established as the surveying and construction division of Spectra Physics, Spectra Geospatial now brings together some of the biggest names in the Surveying, Construction and Accessory industries:


  • Dating back to 1846, the surveying division of Carl Zeiss AG is still our Jena-based R&D center developing world-class surveying instruments
  • The surveying division of Nikon Corporation is now structured as a joint venture with Trimble (Nikon-Trimble Co. Ltd)
  • Ashtech, a pioneer in the GNSS industry and developer of many unique GNSS technologies, has R&D teams located near Nantes, France and in Moscow, Russia
  • Tripod Data Systems (TDS) formed in Corvallis, Oregon – the leading independent survey software vendor continues to refine the market-leading Survey Pro software


  • Laserplane – From day one, every major development in laser positioning for construction, including the first rotating laser, started here
  • Spectra Physics – The parent of Spectra Geospatial – was the industry’s first commercial laser company founded in 1961
  • Apache Technologies – the world leader in laser detection – handheld laser detectors and entry-level machine display receivers


  • Crain Enterprises – a leading manufacturer of accessories for the geomatics, surveying, mapping, and construction industries – focused on polymer and composite-based products lines
  • SECO Manufacturing of Redding, California – specializes in the development, fabrication and machining of metallic accessory products as well as all general accessories for the surveying and positioning markets


  • 1846 – Carl Zeiss AG established in Jena, Germany, by Carl Zeiss – pioneer in the field of optics and precision lenses
  • 1917 – Nikon Corporation formed through the merger of three Japanese optical manufacturers
  • 1950 – World’s first automatic level
  • 1965 – The first commercial laser level was developed by a team at Laserplane / Spectra Physics in Dayton, Ohio
  • 1968 – World’s first rotating laser
  • 1969 – World’s first laser control of construction and drainage machinery
  • 1974 – World’s first electronically leveled pipe laser
  • 1975 – World’s first electronically leveled rotating laser
  • 1981 – World’s first electronic level
  • 1987 – Tripod Data Systems (TDS) – TDS has become the leading independent survey software company in the United States and Canada
  • 1987 – Ashtech Corporation is founded in California
  • 1988 – World’s first cone technology laser
  • 1990s – The Spectra Precision Division of Spectra Physics expands with the acquisition of Geotronics (Sweden), Plus 3 (Atlanta, GA) and Terrasat (Munich)
  • 1997 – Ashtech merged with the consumer GPS business of Magellan Corporation
  • 1998 – World’s first proportional machine control laser receiver
  • 1999 –Joint venture created between Spectra Precision and Carl Zeiss AG to manage the Zeiss surveying business
  • 2000 – The Spectra Precision optical surveying and laser business acquired to complement Trimble’s successful GNSS surveying and construction divisions
  • 2000 – Tripod Data Systems acquired by Trimble and augments its established survey software business with a line of rugged handheld data collectors that becomes the benchmark for the industry
  • 2001 Trimble Jena GmbH – the new name for the Zeiss surveying business – is now 100% owned by Trimble, but continues to this day to operate from the Zeiss premises in Jena
  • 2002 – Trimble and Caterpillar began a joint venture, Caterpillar Trimble Controls Technologies LLC, to develop the next generation of advanced electronic guidance and control products for earthmoving machines in the construction, mining and waste industries
  • 2003 – Nikon Corporation and Trimble establish Nikon-Trimble Co Ltd, a joint venture. Nikon-Trimble Co Ltd represents both parent companies in the Japanese domestic market; outside Japan, Nikon-branded optical instruments are exclusively sold by the Spectra Precision Division of Trimble
  • 2005 – Trimble expands Laser Technology portfolio with acquisition of Apache Technologies
  • 2008 – Trimble Acquires SECO Manufacturing and Crain Enterprises – leading Engineering and Construction Accessories Companies
  • 2009 – Ashtech emerges as an independent entity following the sale of the Magellan consumer GPS business
  • 2011 – Ashtech acquired and merged into the Spectra Precision division of Trimble


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