Little did Charlie Trimble and two others from Hewlett-Packard know they were creating an entire industry when they founded Trimble in 1978 above the old Los Altos theatre in Silicon Valley. But that's just what they did.
From its start, Trimble focused on developing innovative positioning and navigation products. Initially, the fledgling company based its products on LORAN technology, a ground-based navigation, location and timing system in U.S. coastal waters, and focused its products on the marine navigation market. At the same time, the Global Positioning System (GPS) was being developed by the U.S. as a dual-use technology. The same year Trimble was founded, the first GPS satellite, the NavStar, was launched.
Charlie Trimble was intrigued by the space-based location system; when complete, GPS would include at least 24 orbiting satellites and make it possible to address every point on the planet with absolute precision. Recognizing the unique and vast potential of the new technology to change the way we model our world, Charlie and the other founders' goal was to fully develop the immature GPS technology that Trimble had purchased from Hewlett-Packard.
By focusing its resources on harnessing and expanding the power of GPS through innovative products, Trimble spearheaded the rapid development of commercial and consumer applications, as well as military use of the new technology. Taking GPS from its exclusively military applications and applying it to traditional markets such as surveying and navigation would revitalize and redefine these markets, both highly dependent on positioning technology. Marrying GPS with other technologies, such as wireless communications, would spawn new and emerging markets that make use of position-centric information.
In 1982, Trimble began engineering products that would take advantage of the U.S. Government's newly launched GPS satellites. Trimble's first products using GPS technology benefited applications requiring precise measurements, such as in the land and hydrographic survey industries. In 1984, Trimble introduced the world's first commercial scientific-research and geodectic-survey products based on GPS for oil-drilling teams on offshore platforms.
Mariners soon began to use GPS location information - precise position points - to calculate real-time velocity and enhance navigation and performance of vessels between points.
From 1984 to 1988, Trimble greatly increased its family of products for scientific and research applications, as well as marine navigation markets. The next two years were explosive growth years, with Trimble receiving the first of its more than 700 issued U.S. and foreign patents for advances in GPS and other technology, making GPS viable and extremely useful in dynamic situations and commercial markets. During this time, Trimble also gained important access to other commercial markets by acquiring other companies.
In 1989, Trimble acquired the Navigation Systems Division of TAU Corporation and began developing differential GPS (DGPS) technology to provide increased accuracy for the fleet management market. Trimble also made headway into new markets in 1990 by acquiring a New Zealand company, Datacom Software Research Ltd., enabling Trimble to offer new survey and mapping software products.
The early 1990s were exciting times for the growing company. In 1990, Trimble was the first GPS company to go public, offering stock on the NASDAQ (TRMB); it was also the year that Trimble's product line became solely dedicated to GPS. During all this, Trimble continued its innovation efforts. For example, Trimble was among the first companies to integrate GPS technology with communications technology - enabling users to not only precisely locate anything on the face of the earth, but to share information and messages at the same time. Trimble's Inmarsat-C GPS system enabled long-haul trucks and ships to keep in touch with home base, share forecasts about arrival times, and coordinate critically timed cargo handoffs.
In 1992, Trimble developed real-time kinematic (RTK) technology, allowing moment-by-moment GPS updates while on the move. For surveyors, this was revolutionary; GPS equipment now enabled them to do topographic mapping, stakeout, Geographic Information System (GIS) data acquisition, and as-built surveys in real-time.
Over the next several years, Trimble rapidly advanced GPS technology. In 1994, the company developed the first GPS receiver small enough to be integrated on a PC card. Just a year later, Trimble introduced the first 'plug-and-play' GPS sensor for laptops and PDAs. GPS was becoming more and more the 'new utility.' And that continued as chipsets became highly integrated, significantly lowering manufacturing costs and power consumption.
In 1998, Trimble was the first to put GPS and cellular communications on a single board; and in 1999, Trimble GPS was used in Seiko Epson's Locatio communication device, the world's first combination PDA, wireless phone, personal navigator and digital camera.
Under the leadership of Steve Berglund, Trimble has continued to grow, innovate and evolve in the new millennium. In 2000, Trimble was the first to develop a GPS architecture - FirstGPS™ technology - that uses the host product's CPU, a huge advance in enabling GPS technology to be integrated into more and more products.
Also in 2000, Trimble acquired the Spectra Precision Group, a leading provider of positioning solutions for the construction, surveying and agricultural markets. Through the acquisition, Trimble gained significant resources in positioning technology complementary to GPS, including laser and other optical devices.
That same year, Trimble also acquired Tripod Data Systems (TDS), a leading developer of data collection software and hardware for the land survey, construction and GIS markets. Both acquisitions were part of Trimble's strategic mission to define and transform the way position-centric information is used.
Trimble established the Mobile Solutions Division to offer Internet location-based services for the mobile workplace in April of 2001. The new capabilities allow Trimble to leverage its existing wireless business by offering complete end-to-end fleet management solutions as well as address the emerging market for location-enabled mobile devices.
In April of 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. The joint venture develops machine control products that use site design information combined with accurate positioning technology to automatically control dozer blades and other machine tools. This leading-edge machine control technology combines historical Trimble positioning technology with capability gained through its acquisition of Spectra Precision. The joint venture is the exclusive supplier to Trimble and Caterpillar, who will each market, distribute, service and support the products using both companies' independent distribution channels. Caterpillar offers products as a factory-installed option, while Trimble continues to address the aftermarket with products for earthmoving machines from Caterpillar and other equipment manufacturers.
Trimble and Nikon Corporation formed a 50-50 joint venture in Japan, Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., to address the survey instruments market in March of 2003. As part of the joint venture, Trimble acquired a 50 percent ownership stake in Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., which assumed the operations of Nikon Geotecs Co., Ltd. in Japan. The new entity focuses on the design and manufacture of surveying instruments including mechanical total stations and related products. In Japan, the joint venture distributes Nikon's survey products as well as Trimble's survey products including GPS and robotic total stations. Outside of Japan, Trimble became the exclusive distributor of Nikon survey and construction products. The joint venture enhances Trimble's market position in survey instruments through geographic expansion and market penetration. The Nikon instruments broaden Trimble's survey and construction product portfolio and enable the Company to better access emerging markets in Russia, Eastern Europe, India and China. It provides Trimble with the ability to sell its GPS and robotic technology to existing Nikon customers around the world. Additionally, the new company improves Trimble's market position in Japan, which remains a major market for survey instruments.
In June of 2003, Trimble acquired Applanix Corporation of Ontario, a leading developer of systems that integrate Inertial Navigation System (INS) and GPS technologies. The acquisition extends Trimble's technology portfolio and can enable increased robustness and capabilities in its future positioning products. A focus is in the survey and construction product lines where GPS, augmented with INS technology, offers the potential of improved satellite tracking and faster reacquisition times for precision RTK positioning. This is particularly important in cases where GPS satellite signals are obstructed in difficult environments such as high-rise urban or heavily forested areas.
In December of 2003, Trimble acquired French-based company MENSI S.A., a leading developer of terrestrial 3D scanning technology. The addition of 3D scanning to Trimble's other positioning technologies accelerates the development of new products that enhance productivity in Trimble's existing surveying, engineering and construction markets. 3D scanning enables users to collect and use much higher amounts of 3D data than other tools.
Trimble acquired TracerNet Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia in February 2004. The addition of TracerNet's wireless fleet management solutions enables Trimble to expand its mobile resource management (MRM) solutions to include enterprise software applications.
Trimble acquired GeoNav GmbH of Wunstorf, Germany, a provider of customized field data collection solutions for the cadastral survey market in Europe, in July of 2004. The addition of GeoNav's software resources, expertise and products enable Trimble to better address local application requirements and provide customized survey solutions for the European market. GeoNav's suite of software products work seamlessly with Trimble's complete line of surveying systems including GPS rovers, base stations and optical total stations; they also provide acquisition, processing and display of precise real-time surveys.
To expand its wireless communication capabilities, Trimble acquired Pacific Crest Corporation of Santa Clara, California, in January of 2005. Pacific Crest is a leading supplier of wireless data communication systems for positioning and environmental monitoring applications. Pacific Crest's high-quality radio modems provide the necessary data link to increase GPS accuracy. Applications that can take advantage of wireless communications for precision performance includes RTK surveying and construction machine control for earthmoving operations.
In April of 2005, Trimble acquired Apache Technologies, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. Apache designs, manufactures, and distributes professional laser products for construction leveling and alignment applications. The Apache acquisition extend Trimble's laser product portfolio for handheld laser detectors and entry-level machine displays and control systems. Apache's products set new standards for performance, accuracy, ruggedness, reliability, and repeatability in their respective markets and price ranges.
To better address field workforce management, Trimble acquired MobileTech Solutions, Inc. (MTS) of Dallas, Texas in October of 2005. MTS provides field workforce automation solutions and has a leading market position in the Direct Store Delivery (DSD) segment. Today, there are approximately 200,000 vehicles in the DSD segment. The MTS solution automates the sale and delivery of high-volume consumer products such as baked goods, beverages, dairy, frozen foods and snacks to retail stores. It provides real-time information to mobile field workers via handheld mobile computing devices to improve customer service levels, on-time deliveries and accurate invoicing. The turnkey solution includes mobile hardware and software that seamlessly integrates with a supplier's existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system. With the acquisition, Trimble can now offer highly integrated fleet management and mobile computing solutions into the DSD segment.
In January of 2006, Trimble acquired Advanced Public Safety, Inc. (APS) of Deerfield Beach, Florida. APS is a leading software development company that creates mobile and handheld software products used by law enforcement, fire-rescue and other public safety agencies. APS's software provides real-time information to police officers via in-vehicle computers and handheld mobile computing devices to improve safety, productivity and accuracy. The APS software seamlessly integrates with a public safety agency's Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD), criminal databases and Records Management Systems (RMS). In addition, APS offers a variety of software solutions for fire and rescue personnel to complete inspection and emergency medical reports as well as mapping and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) applications. With the APS acquisition, Trimble plans to leverage its Tripod Data Systems' rugged mobile computing devices and Trimble Mobile Solutions' fleet management systems to provide complete mobile resource solutions for the public safety industry.
Trimble acquired intellectual property assets from The XYZs of GPS, Inc. of Dickerson, Maryland in February of 2006. The XYZs of GPS develops real-time Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) reference station, integrity monitoring and dynamic positioning software for meter, decimeter and centimeter applications. The purchase of The XYZs of GPS intellectual property extends Trimble's product portfolio of infrastructure solutions by providing software that enhances differential GNSS correction systems used in marine aides to navigation, surveying, civil engineering, hydrography, mapping and GIS, and scientific applications.
In April of 2006, Trimble acquired Quantm International, Inc. and its subsidiary Quantm Ltd. of Australia. Quantm is a leader in transportation route optimization software used for planning highways, railways, pipelines and canals. The innovative software system enables infrastructure planners to examine and select route corridors and alignments that simultaneously optimize construction costs, environmental restrictions, existing feature avoidance and legislative obligations. The improved solution for the proposed route results in significant reductions in project planning time and cost. Transportation route alignments generated by Quantm's software add another piece to Trimble's Connected Construction Site strategy by forming a closer link between the planning and design phases of a transportation project. The ultimate goal of the Connected Site seeks to improve efficiency through a tighter integration of construction process information.
Trimble acquired Eleven Technology, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts in May of 2006. Eleven Technology is a mobile application software company with a leading market and technology position in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. Eleven Technology's solution automates the sale and delivery of high-volume consumer products such as baked goods, beverages, dairy, frozen foods and snacks to retail stores. It provides real-time information to mobile field workers via handheld mobile computing devices to improve customer service levels, on-time deliveries and accurate invoicing. Eleven Technology has a complete solution suite for the CPG industry including applications for sales representatives, delivery drivers, merchandisers, field service technicians and supervisors. The solution includes mobile hardware and software that seamlessly integrates with a supplier's existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system. With the acquisition of Mobile Tech Solutions and Eleven Technology, Trimble is well positioned to lead this vertical segment as well as leverage our mobile workforce and fleet management applications into a fully integrated mobile resource management solution.
In May of 2006, Trimble acquired the assets of BitWyse Solutions, Inc. of Salem, Massachusetts. BitWyse is a leading data management company specializing in 2D and 3D software applications for engineering and construction plant design. The purchase of BitWyse's assets extends Trimble's product portfolio of 3D scanning solutions by providing application-specific software capabilities within the Power, Process, and Plant vertical markets. These markets are increasingly utilizing 3D scanning data to create as-built drawings, verify construction specifications and improve productivity.
In October of 2006, Trimble acquired Visual Statement Inc., of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Visual Statement provides state-of-the-art software tools for crime and collision incident investigation, analysis and reconstruction, as well as state-wide enterprise solutions for reporting and analysis used by public safety agencies. The company is an additional investment in the Mobile Solutions business segment that supports Trimble's strategy of providing productivity solutions for mobile workers. The Visual Statement acquisition complements Trimble's subsidiary, Advanced Public Safety (APS).The combination of APS and Visual Statement will provide a comprehensive suite of solutions to offer public safety agencies throughout the Americas.
Trimble acquired XYZ Solutions, Inc., of Alpharetta, Georgia in October of 2006. XYZ Solutions provides real-time, interactive 3D intelligence software to manage the spatial aspects of a construction project. The software transforms data from various sources into actionable information that can be used in the decision making process to reduce rework and improve productivity for engineering and construction professionals. XYZ Solutions' unique 3D software package allows users to model spatial information combined with positioning technologies to virtually "see" a construction site or asset, from anywhere, at any time, in a collaborative Internet-based environment. Within its interactive environment, decision support guidelines or business rules can be integrated into the solution set to virtually model "what-if" scenarios on a project in real-time increasing customer awareness and profitability. The acquisition of XYZ Solutions adds a 3D visualization component to Trimble's Connected Construction Site strategy.
In November of 2006, Trimble acquired Meridian Systems, Inc., of Folsom, California. Meridian Systems is an established market leader in construction project management technologies to the building owner and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market segments. Meridian Systems provides enterprise project management and lifecycle software for optimizing the plan, build and operate lifecycle for real estate, construction and other physical infrastructure projects. Building owners, construction contractors, engineering firms, and government agencies use Meridian technology to reduce capital construction costs and improve project productivity. The acquisition of Meridian Systems adds the business and lifecycle management software component to Trimble's Connected Construction Site.
Trimble acquired Spacient Technologies, Inc. of Long Beach, California in November of 2006. Spacient is a leading provider of enterprise field service management and mobile mapping solutions for municipalities and utilities. The acquisition enhances Trimble's GIS and Mapping business by further expanding its solutions for the field and mobile workforce-a strategic area of focus for the Company.
In February of 2007, Trimble acquired publicly-traded @Road, Inc. of Fremont, California to expand its investment in Trimble's Mobile Solutions (TMS) while also reinforcing its existing growth strategy for the segment. The acquisition positions Trimble as a market leader in providing Mobile Resource Management (MRM) solutions. In addition to its industry-leading technology, @Road has developed deep domain expertise and a strong field service management capability within its MRM solution set to address challenges faced by a variety of industries, including transportation, distribution, telecommunications, cable, field service, utilities, facilities management and public works. This complements Trimble's existing domain expertise in the construction supply, direct store delivery, public safety and utilities industries.
Also in February of 2007, Trimble acquired INPHO GmbH of Stuttgart, Germany. INPHO is a leader in photogrammetry and digital surface modeling for aerial surveying, mapping and remote sensing applications. INPHO products are used by service companies offering geospatial data collection by photogrammetry and LIDAR as well as state authorities involved in supplying geospatial information. Photogrammetry adds a new dimension to Trimble to address the geospatial information industry, which has primarily focused on ground or terrestrial-based positioning solutions.
In September of 2007, Trimble acquired Ingenieurbüro Breining GmbH of Kirchheim, Germany. Breining is a provider of customized field data collection and office software solutions for the German survey and cadastral market. The addition of Breining software resources, expertise and products enable Trimble to further address local application requirements and provide customized survey solutions for the German market.
To extend Trimble's portfolio of field and mobile worker solutions within the utilities market, the company acquired the UtilityCenter® assets from privately-held UAI, Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama in November of 2007. UtilityCenter software provides a comprehensive suite of workflow solutions designed to automate the daily business operations of utilities—from work management, asset inventory, outage management and job order tracking to regulatory compliance reporting and updating maps while in the field. The acquisition of the UtilityCenter software enables Trimble to offer industry-specific field solutions to electric and gas utility customers. With a complete line of rugged data collection and mobile computing devices, TerraSync field asset software and UtilityCenter software, Trimble customers can now streamline many of their complex day-to-day operations. UtilityCenter software for the electric and gas utility market complements Trimble Fieldport software designed for the water/wastewater utility market.
Trimble acquired privately-held Crain Enterprises, Inc. of Mound City, Illinois, in January of 2008. Crain is a leading manufacturer of accessories for the geomatics, surveying, mapping, and construction industries. Crain's product lines include tripods, bipods, leveling rods, measuring rulers, prisms, prism and GPS poles, stream gauges, wire installation tools, as well as bags, packs, and sewn carrying cases for surveying and positioning instruments. The purchase of Crain allows Trimble to provide the necessary accessories that can be offered as part of its positioning solutions used in the Engineering and Construction markets. In addition, Crain and Trimble will be able to leverage distribution channels.
To further address local application requirements and provide customized survey solutions across Germany and in Europe, Trimble acquired privately-held HHK Datentechnik GmbH of Braunschweig, Germany in January of 2008. HHK is a provider of customized office and field software solutions for the cadastral survey market in Germany.
Trimble acquired privately-held Géo-3D Inc. of Montreal, Canada also in January of 2008. Géo-3D is a leader in roadside infrastructure asset inventory solutions. The acquisition of Géo-3D extends Trimble's portfolio of field solutions to include mobile mapping specific to the transportation and utilities market. Géo-3D's geo-referenced land videography system rapidly documents images and positioning information to catalog roadside infrastructure such as road signs, guardrails, light poles and other assets. By automating roadside asset inventory management, transportation and utility organizations can increase productivity throughout the infrastructure's lifecycle.
In July of 2008, Trimble acquired a second engineering and construction accessories company, SECO Manufacturing Company of Redding, California. The purchase of SECO complements the Crain acquisition. SECO specializes in the development, fabrication and machining of metallic accessory products while Crain is more focused on polymer and composite-based products. These capabilities are expected to permit marked improvements in functionality for customers in next generation products. In addition, Trimble, SECO and Crain will be able to leverage distribution channels throughout the world.
In October of 2008, Trimble acquired the assets of RolleiMetric from Rollei GmbH of Braunschweig, Germany. RolleiMetric is a leading provider of metric camera systems for aerial imaging and terrestrial close range photogrammetry. RolleiMetric products broadens Trimble's portfolio of engineering scale mapping and asset management solutions. RolleiMetric's Aerial Industrial Camera (AIC) has established an excellent reputation with aerial mapping system original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and end users, and complements Trimble's existing Spatial Imaging solutions as well as aerial imaging solutions offered by its subsidiaries Applanix and INPHO. Additionally, RolleiMetric personnel will enable Trimble to bring metric camera optics and mechanical design expertise in-house. With a customer base in Europe, North and South America, and Asia, RolleiMetric products are used by service companies collecting geospatial data by photogrammetry as well as state authorities and municipalities involved in supplying geospatial information.
Trimble and Caterpillar announced a second joint venture in October 2008. The new company, VirtualSite Solutions, will integrate the deep expertise of both parent companies in the areas of product design and software development to transform the way contractors manage their businesses. The joint venture will create information rich worksites allowing customers to more efficiently and safely manage their equipment fleets, reduce operating costs and improve productivity in the area of fuel consumption, maintenance, worksite productivity and fleet logistics. Additionally, a new distribution channel will be established to bring these technologies to customers and other users. The new dealer distribution channel will be branded SITECH, and it will be the outlet for products and services for the aftermarket. Trimble will have primary responsibility for managing the SITECH dealer relationship.
To expand its precision agriculture solutions, Trimble acquired the assets of privately-held Tru Count, Inc., of Ames, Iowa in October of 2008. Tru Count is a leading manufacturer of air and electric clutches that automate individual planter row shut-off. Tru Count air and electric clutches work on a variety of planters, regardless of make or model. The low-cost Tru Count Air Clutch is placed on each planter row and is controlled with compressed air—pneumatically from the tractor cab by a GPS system or manual controller. The technology makes it easier for farmers to avoid over planting seed and can save on input costs.
Trimble acquired TopoSys GmbH of Biberach an der Riss, Germany in November of 2008. TopoSys is a leading provider of aerial data collection systems comprised of LiDAR and metric cameras. TopoSys aerial data collection systems are used by service companies collecting geospatial data by LiDAR and photogrammetry as well as state authorities and municipalities involved in supplying geospatial information. Typical applications include mapping for coastline protection, floodplain control, city modeling, opencast pit mining, and corridor mapping.
The acquisition extends Trimble's portfolio of engineering scale mapping and asset management solutions.
In December of 2008, Trimble acquired the assets of privately-held Rawson Control Systems based in Oelwein, Iowa. Rawson manufactures hydraulic and electronic controls for the agriculture equipment industry, including variable rate planter drives and controllers, variable rate fertilizer controllers, mechanical remote electric control valves and speed reducers. Rawson's products work in conjunction with the Trimble® FieldManager™ Display which monitors and controls up to four inputs such as seed, fertilizer and crop protection. The controllers can be operated either automatically by GPS solutions or manually, both of which are supported by Trimble's portfolio of assisted steering or manual guidance products. With the addition of Rawson's technology, Trimble adds to its fully-integrated solution in the flow and application control market, allowing growers to choose how to guide, monitor, control and automate their farm machinery.
Also in December of 2008, Trimble acquired the FastMap and GeoSite software assets from KOREC, a privately-held Trimble distributor serving the United Kingdom and Ireland. The acquisition, which includes software development, professional services and business development teams, will allow Trimble to expand its Mapping and GIS solutions to provide optimized software and professional services in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
In January of 2009, Trimble announced that it had acquired the assets of privately-held Callidus Precision Systems GmbH of Halle, Germany. Callidus is a provider of 3D laser scanning solutions for the industrial market. Callidus' products enhance Trimble's 3D scanning portfolio, with both close- and mid- range scanning technology. The Callidus CP 3200 time-of-flight and the Callidus CPW 8000 pulse-wave scanners are utilized for applications within the power and manufacturing process plant markets as well as in shipbuilding and offshore applications. Spatial data captured by 3D scanners is used throughout the plant lifecycle including design, operation and maintenance. The Callidus portfolio also includes the CT 180 and CT 900 close-range scanners used in dimensional inspection and quality control applications.
In March of 2009, Trimble acquired privately-held QuickPen International based in Englewood, Colo. QuickPen is a leading provider of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), mechanical construction and plumbing industry. QuickPen provides estimating, Computer Aided Design (CAD), fabrication and asset tracking software. The company's state-of-the-art 3D CAD software produces detailed HVAC ductwork and piping models that can be rapidly fabricated. In addition, QuickPen's asset management program allows contractors to manage their significant investment in tools and equipment. The acquisition enables Trimble to provide complete “BIM to field” solutions for mechanical and HVAC contractors to automate project estimating, detailing, layout and construction.
In May of 2009, Trimble and the China Aerospace Science & Industry Academy of Information Technology (CASIC-IT) signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture in China. The joint venture, 50 percent owned by Trimble and 50 percent owned by CASIC-IT, will combine the commercial expertise, knowledge and technologies of both CASIC-IT and Trimble to develop, manufacture and distribute in China Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers and systems, based on the Chinese Compass satellite system, for civil applications in the commercial positioning, navigation and timing markets. The joint venture will be based in Beijing, China.
In June of 2009, Trimble acquired privately-held NTech Industries based in Ukiah, Calif. NTech is a leading provider of crop-sensing technology that allows farmers to reduce costs and environmental impact by controlling the application of nitrogen, herbicide and other crop inputs. The acquisition further expands Trimble's ability to offer innovative field applications for farmers. NTech products use optical sensing and variable rate application to apply only the inputs needed to maximize crop yield. The GreenSeeker® nitrogen application system determines the health of a plant in real time and delivers the optimum amount of nitrogen. The WeedSeeker® automatic spot-spray system senses the presence of living plants, allowing targeted and controlled herbicide application.
Trimble acquired Accutest Engineering Solutions Ltd based in Derbyshire, UK also in June of 2009. Accutest is a leading provider of vehicle diagnostics and telematics technologies for the automotive industry. The acquisition expands Trimble's ability to offer comprehensive solutions for a variety of MRM applications including fleet management for light-duty and long-haul trucking. Accutest manufactures products for system and software validation, hardware-in-the-loop, diagnostics, end-of-line test, remote on-board diagnostics, diagnostic access and monitoring, telematics and fleet management systems (FMS) access. Accutest also provides expertise in the design and development of network communications, at both the system and component level, over Controller Area Network (CAN), Local Interconnect Network (LIN), Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST) and FlexRay-bus networks.
In July of 2009, Trimble acquired the assets of privately-held CTN Data Service, LLC, creator of Farm Works software, located in Hamilton, Indiana. The acquisition is expected to accelerate Trimble's information management capabilities and offer agricultural customers significant new capabilities in their precision farming operations. Farm Works provides integrated office and mobile software solutions for both the farmer and agriculture service professional. The software is compatible with a wide range of file formats and hardware typically used in the agriculture equipment industry. Among its capabilities, Farm Works software can automatically capture field event data, downloaded from an in-cab display or handheld computer, for record keeping. The software also tracks most farm operations including vehicle monitoring, crop management, staffing, field mapping, chemical and fertilizer management, and cost accounting. The software also includes a herd management and genealogy program for livestock producers.
In November of 2009, Trimble and the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (CREEC) signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture in China. The joint venture, 50 percent owned by Trimble and 50 percent owned by CREEC, will leverage Trimble's commercial positioning, communications and software technologies and CREEC's expertise in rail design and construction to develop and provide digital railway solutions that address the design, construction and maintenance for the Chinese railway industry. The joint venture will be based in Chengdu, China.
Trimble acquired the assets of privately-held Pondera Engineers LLC based in Post Falls, Idaho in January of 2010. Pondera is an engineering and development company offering services and software tools for siting, designing, optimizing, and maintaining high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines. The acquisition is part of Trimble's strategic initiative to bring productivity solutions to the electric utilities industry.
In March 2010, Trimble acquired privately-held LET Systems based in Cork, Ireland. LET Systems is an internationally recognized leader in incident and outage management system (OMS) solutions for utilities. LET Systems provides OMS, network modeling, customer contact and mobile workforce management software for electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities.
Trimble and Russian Space Systems formed a joint venture in Russia. The joint venture, Rusnavgeoset, was officially launched at the GLONASS Forum in Moscow on June 1, 2010. Rusnavgeoset, 50 percent owned by Trimble and 50 percent owned by Russian Space Systems, will be responsible for selling commercial Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) geodetic network infrastructure systems localized for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Rusnavgeoset will be based in Moscow.
Trimble acquired Definiens' Earth Sciences business assets in June 2010. Definiens' Earth Sciences business includes eCognition® software, an advanced image analysis software suite for geospatial applications that facilitates fast and accurate geo-information extraction from remote sensing imagery. The "original" object-based image analysis (OBIA) software has been used by industry leading data providers, remote sensing professionals, and university researchers in urban planning, forestry, agriculture, energy, insurance, and security for nearly a decade. eCognition software is scalable and offers a comprehensive range of tools to create powerful image analysis applications that can handle all common data sources, such as medium- to high-resolution satellite, high-resolution aerial photography, laser scanner, radar, and hyperspectral data. eCognition software broadens Trimble's geospatial technologies as well as other solutions that may include image analysis. In addition, Trimble also licensed Definiens' software technology platform. The patented Definiens Cognition Network Technology® was developed by 1986 Nobel Laureate Prof. Gerd Binnig and his team. The technology platform emulates human cognitive processes of perception to extract intelligence from images. The power behind the innovative technology is its ability to quickly and easily transform user knowledge and domain expertise into automatic routines. Definiens applies advanced machine learning concepts to train the software and render this knowledge in a production environment, enabling the software to automatically process millions of images.
In August 2010, Trimble acquired the assets of privately-held Accubid Systems based in Ontario, Canada. Accubid is a leading provider of estimating, project management and service management software and services for electrical and mechanical contractors. Accubid's family of software products allow electrical and mechanical contractors to analyze their estimates in great detail including CAD-based estimating and takeoff and then export the data into project management, accounting, and procurement applications. The acquisition of Accubid broadens Trimble's industry leading "BIM to field" solutions for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contractors to automate project estimating and management, modeling, detailing, layout and construction.
In September 2010, Trimble acquired privately-held Cengea Solutions Inc., based in British Columbia. Cengea is a leading provider of spatially-enabled business operations and supply chain management software for the forestry, agriculture and natural resource industries. The acquisition is part of Trimble's initiative to bring productivity solutions to the forestry and other industries. Cengea's forestry enterprise software solution manages the operational activities associated with producing raw materials such as lumber, paper and other forest products throughout the value chain—from initial project planning to scheduling of work, growing, harvesting, delivery, tracking of goods, payment, inventory management and real-time reporting. The operational data can be integrated with maps and other spatial data to provide a complete perspective on activities and costs. The combination of Trimble and Cengea's forestry solutions can provide organizations with a comprehensive set of tools to collect accurate operational information faster, manage and analyze the information to facilitate better decision making, and optimize operational activities to improve productivity, efficiency, and safety.
In addition, Cengea's expertise complements Trimble's products for natural resources and agriculture. For example, Cengea's agriculture software is a fit for Trimble's Connected Farm™ strategy, which focuses on seamless field-to-office information management. By wirelessly collecting grower-level data and integrating operations and supply chain activities, we can further enhance an agribusiness' ability to reduce costs and improve productivity.
To further address the building construction industry, Trimble and the Hilti Group reached a definitive agreement to form Intelligent Construction Tools, LLC in September 2010. The joint venture, 50 percent owned by Trimble and 50 percent owned by Hilti, will focus on leveraging technologies from both companies to develop measuring solutions for the building construction trades. Partnering since 2002, the Hilti and Trimble organizations share similar values—focusing on a deep understanding of the customer needs and harnessing innovation to develop value-added solutions that increase customer productivity. In addition, Trimble and Hilti have complementary channels and geographic footprints in the building construction space. By combining Hilti's expertise in a wide range of leading application systems for construction professionals with Trimble's broad portfolio of positioning technologies, the joint venture will deliver a new class of productivity solutions to the building construction industry. The joint venture will supply products to Trimble and Hilti. Each will market, distribute, service and support the products using its independent distribution or direct sales channels.
Over the past several years, acquisitions have played a role in our strategy, principally as mechanisms to establish beachheads in new market spaces, fill in product line gaps, or add new technologies to our solutions portfolio. More importantly, continued innovation and industry domain experience are the primary drivers which allow Trimble to focus on organic growth as our principal strategy in our core market segments-Engineering and Construction, Agriculture, the Mobile and Field Workforce, and Advanced Devices.
As communications standards, computer technology and applications software rapidly evolve, Trimble keeps pace, marrying GPS information as well as other positioning technology, to other data sources and types. More than just a GPS leader, Trimble is a true information technology leader, integrating other technologies such as wireless communications and information technology with GPS and other positioning technologies to maintain its position at the forefront of the Information Revolution.
Today, Trimble engineers worldwide are working on cutting-edge positioning applications that no one could even imagine just a few years ago. With more than 500 products, Trimble continues to lead the way in developing position-centric solutions to address some of the world's most complex challenges. Trimble technology can be found in consumer and commercial vehicles, construction equipment, farm machinery, computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and more. Innovative applications include dispatching and managing fleets, surveying and building roads, monitoring and mapping earthquake damage, recording and synchronizing international financial transactions, and improving the efficiency of wireless communications networks. Trimble is changing the way work is done by linking positioning to productivity.
Since 1999 Trimble's revenues have grown from approximately $270 million to over $1 billion in 2009. Trimble's mix of businesses has progressively moved away from a "box product" mentality towards a portfolio of products and solutions that enhance productivity. It is this strategy as well as its investment in R&D and consistent financial performance that will drive Trimble's growth into the future.