Frequently Asked Questions



99 survey limitation for running handheld program on PC

There is a 99 survey limitation for running the handheld program on the PC.  This is because the handheld program must be limited in order to run on DOS handhelds with the inherent limitations in a handheld environment.


If you need to store more than 99 surveys on the PC and run the handheld program to access them, the best solution is to create other directories or folders and store up to 99 survey files in each.  You can copy the TIMVEG program files into each directory/folder and run TIMVEG out of each one, separately.



* Procedures for using multiple handhelds on the same Plot Sample (click here)


A. VRI version - How do you enter a site tree that is outside of the IPC prism plot and in" the .1HA IPC fixed radius plot?

On plot cards you would enter data for a tree in this situation on the TS card, but you wouldn't enter any of the basic tree information on the TD card. On the TS card a tree number of 99 would be entered into the tree No. column with other trees in this category given descending numbers from 99.

In the TIMVEG handheld program you must enter the basic tree information in the Tree screen. Then create the tree as a site tree by using the [ESC]  GOTO menu. Flag the Site Tree as a "T" - Top Height, "L" - Leading Species, "S" - Second Leading species, "O" - other in plot (5.64m radius) or "X" - other out of plot (5.64m radius). When the Site/Growth information screen appears the tree number can be edited to one of the 99 series numbers. This tree will be coded appropriately to work with the provincial VRI database.

To recap, creating a site tree that is outside of the IPC prism plot and "IN" the .1HA IPC fixed radius plot:

    ·         Create the tree in the Tree screen

    ·         Create this tree as a Site Tree via the GOTO menu.

    ·         Flag the tree as a "T, L, S, O,  or X" site tree

    ·         Edit the tree number to conform to the field procedures.

Some errors stating that this tree requires grades, wildlife codes etc will appear when  in the PC program validation routine but these can be ignored when the tree is not in the prism sweep.

B. CMI/NFI version  How do you enter a site tree that is outside of the plot?

On plot cards you would enter data for a tree in this situation on the TS card, but you wouldn’t enter any of the basic tree information on the TD card. 

In the CMI TIMVEG handheld program you must enter the basic tree information in the Tree screen. Then create the tree as a site tree by using the [ESC] –GOTO menu. Flag the Site Tree as a “X” – “Extra out of plot” code. When the Site/Growth information screen appears the tree number should not be changed to a 99 series number as in the VRI TIMVEG program. This tree will be coded appropriately to work with the provincial CMI database.

To recap Creating a site tree that is outside of the IPC prism plot and “IN” the .1HA IPC fixed radius plot: – 

  1. Create the tree in the Tree screen
  2. Create this tree as a Site Tree via the GOTO menu.
  3. Flag the tree as a “X” Xtra out of plot code

C. CMI/NFI version How do you enter a site tree that is not large enough to be tallied in the large tree plots?

When a site tree is within the 5.64m radius plot and is 4cm and greater or within the 11.28m radius plot and is 9cm and greater it must have a tree tag. Occasionally a site tree may be the largest in a quadrant or the 5.64m radius plot and will NOT meet these limits (IE the largest tree in the 5.64m radius plot is 3.9cm dbh or the largest tree in a quadrant is 8.2cm, but is 6m from the plot center). When this occurs only certain information needs to be collected and TIMVEG needs a flag to show that a tree is not tallied as part of the tree plot, but is indeed still a site tree, and only site tree information is required. Although this tree will not show up in the large tree plot, it should still be tagged in the field to aid in future re-measurements. 

The procedure for denoting a tree of this type of tree is :

  1. Create the tree in the tree screen

  2. Create this tree as a Site Tree via the GOTO Menu

  3. Select the Site Tree Menu the appropriate tree type.

  4. When the Site Tree Growth Screen appears the curser starts in the Tree Location area - Select NoTally from the Tree location Menu.


D. Is there any way to Delete a tree?

Yes, You may have a tree for some reason that should not appear on the TD card (or in the handheld the Tree screen). Using paper field cards you would normally draw a line through the tree to show that a mistake was made and go on from there. A way to simulate this is available on the handheld. There are two options for you if you want to delete a tree:

  1. Type over the measurements you have made on the mistaken tree with the measurements of the next tree (you cannot change the tree number though because the computer assigns numbers).

  2. Use the Delete menu selection found by pressing [F3] TOOL, then select DELETE TOGGLE.  The delete toggle places a DEL in place of the tree number. The tree number still exists, "underneath!  the DEL. If you want to "erase! the DEL and bring back the original tree number use the [F3] TOOL key and select DEL TOGGLE again.

Note: Delete keeps the tree available on the field plot printout for verification and reference, but a DELeted tree will not be passed into the provincial VRI database.  An OUT tree does not have to be deleted

Another situation where Deleting a tree might be considered is when a tree is determined to be OUT in the IN/OUT calculation that is done either in the Tree screen or the Stem map screen. An OUT tree does not have to be deleted! When a tree is OUT is determined the word OUT appears in the tree number (the tree number is still underneath! the OUT. The handheld program retains the OUT tree in the Tree screen and prints it out, along with IN/OUT calculations which appears in the field printout
that can be used to verify IN/OUT measurements. However, an OUT tree will not be passed into the provincial VRI database. OUT and DELETED trees will be stripped out electronically before being passed on. If however, you notice that the IN/OUT tree calculator is not working correctly, you should then use the DELete tree function.

To delete other records, such as a CWD piece, refer to question L, below.

E. Can you change the tree diameter of a site tree to reflect a diameter taken at a height more or less than 1.3 meters?

There may be a situation where the dbh entered in the Tree screen will not be the same as the diameter in the Site Tree Screen, due to the different height where the tree was bored. In this situation the boring diameter can be edited and so differ from the Tree Screen dbh.

F. What is the procedure for telling the handheld to measure to the "tree face" or tree center" in de
termining IN/OUT trees?

The IN/OUT calculation determination occurs in two screens on the Tree Level:

  1. When the cursor is in the dbh field in the Tree Screen and,

  2. When the cursor is in the Stem Map Screen.

The FACE vs CENTER toggle for setting how the calculation is done is found when the cursor is in the dbh field of the Tree Screen. Pressing [F1] HELP presents the IN/OUT calculator. Select FACE or CENTER to set how the distance calculation is done. The BAF and PRF used comes from the Plot Header (Size). 
The FACE or CENTER choice is becomes the default choice for all future plots. The calculation for where the distance is measured to used in the Stem Map screen comes from this selection in the Tree Screen.

The field printouts generated by the handheld contain all the IN/OUT and distance information, including if the measurement was made to the face or center.

G.  Can I have different fixed plot sizes than what is required by the MoF&R?
Can this program be used to collect company specific info as well as the MoF&R VRI data?

The TIMVEG program was designed to be as flexible as possible.  It could certainly be used to collect data specific to an industry operation using codes that differ from MoF VRI or CMI standards.  In fact, for almost every item you can enter data and sampling parameters that differ from the MoF requirements.  You will get an edit check for those items that don't conform to the standard, but all edits are passable.  You can create an ASCII data file for the plot data in the PC even though it may contain non-standard data.  The file could then be imported into spreadsheets or other database programs for analyses or storage.  In some cases it could even be practical to use two handhelds on the plot at the same time using one for company specific data and the other for MoF data.  D. R. systems is available to create custom translate files.  If interested contact them.


H.  Are there edit checks for Log Grades?

No, other than a grade must be valid for a species code.  There are no checks based on dbh or dimension at this time.

I.  Can I change a Tree Number? VRI  

The trees are numbered, sequentially, by the handheld.  You cannot change a tree number, except in the case of "99" -  the special case out of plot trees.  In this situation the tree is numbered by the computer in the tree screen and the tree number can then be edited to a 99, 98, 97…. in the site tree area.

You can change the Tree Number when in the Tree Screen by [ESC]ape, then Site Tree.  The tree number field is at the left in the Site Tree Screen.


Change the tree number when in the Tree Screen by pressing the [F3] key, then select 2-Tree Number.

J.  What is the easiest way to enter a dash or a sequence of dashes which are valid codes for some items?
On the Husky FS/2 and 3 entering a dash is awkward due to the dash being a shifted keystroke.  In the cases where a dash is a valid code the [DEL] key produces dashes.  In the case of the HP Palmtop you can use either the dash key or the [DEL] key.

I.  What do I do if I accidentally create a blank last tree in a plot?
The TIMVEG program should recognize this as a blank tree and ignore it (treat it as a deleted tree).  However, if any data was entered on this blank tree then it might trigger validation.  If you want to eliminate this last tree you can delete it via the TOOLS[F3] - Delete toggle menu selection.


J.  Can changes be made to the data in the PC "host" program?

Yes, but you can't change all the data in the PC program.  The TIMVEG PC program allows for transfer, limited editing, batch validation, backup, plot and validation list printing, and translation to a MoF database format.

The items you can change or add to are:

All plot notepads - entering access notes on a regular keyboard might be easier than the handheld.
Some header information, like adjusted GPS coordinates.
Some of the office site tree information.

If you need to make changes to other data there are three options:

  1. make the changes in the handheld and retransfer or,

  2. transfer the plot from the PC to the handheld for editing, then transfer the edited version back to the PC.

  3. run the handheld program on the PC (call D.R. systems for assistance before doing this).


K.  Can the handheld program be run on the PC?

Yes, the handheld program can be run in the DOS window by typing VRI - for the BC Vegetation Inventory program and CMI - for the National Inventory program.



L.  How do you delete CWD piece records in the handheld?

There is no quick delete key or function for CWD pieces.  They best and only way to delete a piece is to blank out the line.  In other words, space out the species code and measurements using the [Spacebar] or [Space] key for letters and the 0 numeric value for numbers.  The Y/N Round field will remain but that is OK.  The blank record remains in the handheld, but is stripped out when exported to the Oracle database in the TIMVEG PC program.



Instructions and options for translating and submission when multiple handhelds are used on the same Project

The MF&R has not developed a "merge" function to handle the ability to provide a seamless method for combining the sample data when more than one handheld is used to collect data on the same Sample.

Example of how multiple handhelds might be used to collect plot data.

  • You cannot use two handhelds to collect the same plot data (like splitting the trees by sector between two handhelds.) All the trees need to be done on one handheld. Another example of what cannot be done is to use one handheld for the IPC trees and another for the Aux plots (in the VRI) – the IPC and Aux plots must be captured on one handheld.

.Example one handheld used to collect Timber Emphasis data (like timber, CWD, Small Trees, Stumps, NVAF). A second handheld used by ecologists to collect Ecology and Range samples.

The situation is that both handhelds have separate card type detail data, but have similar header data (like CH, CP, CL data). This presents a problem in creating translate files, data management, and submitting files to the MF&R.

Normally, as in the situation above, the Ecologists field sheets might be given to someone on the Timber side that is responsible for keypunching all the field cards into VIDE. One CH, CP, CL header is completed, then all the detail field data is entered to provide one clean sample with a few exceptions. There is not an easy straightforward way to do this with the TIMVEG system. In the example described above the following procedure should be followed:

Suggested Procedure (an example):

  1. Handheld #1 – Data Manager. There should be one person responsible for filling out the CH, CL, and CP header card in one handheld (like the one used for timber) as completely as possible – to include the Notes for Access, Compass Card, Cluster Layout, and Map Number Tie Point, Tag numbers etc. Later, this person will be responsible for doing all the data processing in the TIMVEG PC program.
  2. Handheld #2 - In the second handheld the CH1, CL, CP Header Cards do not have to be completely filled out – only the critical information, like Project number, Sample number, Sample Type, Surveyor initials (so that they match the Ecology Card Headers), Plot Cluster Record (In CH1). The Header items for the sample cards "below" this level need to be completed as MF&R field procedures dictate.
  3. In the office – The Data Manager transfers the sample data from both handhelds into the PC TIMVEG program.

Note: You do not need to worry about "overwriting" the first handheld data with the second, even if the Project number and Sample type is the same (this will later become part of the filename during the translate process). All raw handheld data is stored sequentially by date/time and is not overwritten, even in the case of transferring the same handheld twice in a row.
  1. Find the Project Sample from Handheld #1. Remember, there will be two Projects – Sample numbers having the same names (one had timber; the other the Ecology – in this example).

  2. Process the data for Handheld #1 (timber) to the point of creating the translate MRS. file. Follow the steps outlined on page *. This can be considered a "master" sample and needs to have all CH, CL, CP, header and notepad information to be as complete as possible. For example, you may have to add office information like GPS, UTM coordinates, Site Tree ages and measurements, graminoid weights etc. Note the office information should include the office info that would be included in the "Ecology or Range" sample (graminoid weight). Most of this information can be viewed and edited in the EDIT menu command. If not, you can add it via the VRI –HH menu selection.

  3. When the translate file is created you will need to manually copy this file from the TIMVEG directory to another directory in order to protect it. This is because when you create the second "Ecologists" translate file it will have the same filename, thus overwrite the original in the TIMVEG directory. Be sure to make note in a log of the filename, what is in it and location, in order to keep track of it.
  4. Find the second "Ecologists" handheld file and process it using the steps outlined on Page *. Print out the field cards – and run the validation, etc. If edits need to be made to the data it can be done on either the handheld and re-transferred or via the VRI-HH Menu Command. Also, run the backup for insurance.
  5. When confident that the data is correct - create the translate file by selecting the correct Project – Sample to translate. Note that when a project is selected an overview screen appears showing the number of trees, shrubs, range plants, etc. Use this to verify you are translating correct Sample.
  6. Now you can email the two files to the MF&R. Since the filenames are identical you will have to send two separate emails to the MRS. database steward, one with the timber file as an attachment and the other with the ecology data as an attachment. Ensure you have a written description in the body of the email explaining what each email attachment contains. The MRS. will "merge" the data before storage. Note – if you have the capability, a text editor can be used to create one proper file. However, you would still need to submit the NVAF portion of a combined survey as a separate file (.NVF). The NVAF translate file is NOT created by selecting "N" as a Card Type, instead it is created by selecting the NVF translate option (VRI versus NVF).

Note: If the Sample consists of both Ecology and Timber (and NVAF) all done at the same time then you will have three files to send to the MF&R:

same filenames but NVR extension differs.

****.TXT for Timber

****.TXT for Ecology

****.NVF for NVAF trees – this is produced with the NVF Translate selection in one of the initial translate steps.





For TIMVEG Support
D.R. systems inc.
1 (250) 760-1070
Address: 202-2520 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, BC  V9T 3L3