Trimble Navigation

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Trimble Navigation, Ltd.
Industry Geospatial, Construction, Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics, Telecommunications, Asset tracking, Mapping, Utilities, Mobile Resource Management, Government, RFID
Founded 1978
Founder Charles Trimble, et al.
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, United States
Key people
Steven Berglund (CEO)
Revenue $2.4 Billion for FY 2014[1]
Number of employees
6,561 (as of 2012)

Trimble Navigation, Ltd., headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, makes GPS (Global Positioning Systems) receivers, laser rangefinders, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and inertial navigation systems. As of 2012, the company has 6561 employees who are located in about 30 countries. Since 1999, Trimble's revenues have grown from approximately $270 million to over $2.0 billion in 2012.[2]


Trimble Navigation was founded in 1978 by Charles Trimble and two partners from Hewlett Packard, initially operating from Los Altos, California. Prior to founding Trimble Navigation, Trimble was manager of Integrated Circuit Research and Development at Hewlett-Packard’s Santa Clara Division.[citation needed] Trimble became the first GPS company to go public in 1990, offering stock on the NASDAQ (TRMB). That same year, its product line became solely dedicated to GPS.[citation needed]

The company's acquisitions include Spectra Precision Group, Tripod Data Systems, Advanced Public Safety, Inc., Apache Technologies, Acutest Engineering Solutions Ltd, Applanix, Géo-3D, INPHO, Gatewing, Meridian Systems, NTech Industries, Pacific Crest, Quantm, Accubid Systems, QuickPen International, SECO Mfg. Co., Inc., Visual Statement, XYZ Solutions, Inc, Tekla, ThingMagic,[3] Spime Inc., Punch Telematix NV,[4] and TMW Systems.[5]

Their role in BIM, architecture and construction has been growing. Most publicised was their 2012 acquisition of the 3D modeling software package SketchUp from Google.[6] As of 2014 they also own Tekla (BIM modelling), Vico Office (BIM data handling) and Gehry Technologies' GTeam (project coordination).

Joint ventures[edit]

In April 2002, Trimble and Caterpillar Inc. began a joint venture, Caterpillar Trimble Controls Technologies LLC. Trimble and Caterpillar created a second joint venture in October 2008 called VirtualSite Solutions. In March 2003, Trimble and Nikon Corporation formed a 50/50 joint venture in Japan, Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd. In May 2009, Trimble and the China Aerospace Science & Industry Academy of Information Technology (CASIC-IT) signed an agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture in China based in Beijing. In November 2009, Trimble and the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co. Ltd. (CREEC) an definitive agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture in Chengdu. Trimble and Russian Space Systems formed a 50/50 joint venture in Russia in 2010. The joint venture, Rusnavgeoset, was officially launched at the GLONASS Forum in Moscow on June 1, 2010 and based in Moscow. To address the building construction industry, Trimble and the Hilti Group reached an agreement to form Intelligent Construction Tools, LLC in September 2010.[citation needed]


In 2009, Trimble was recognized on Forbes’ list of the top 400 best big companies. This was the first time Trimble made the list.[7] In prior years, the company was also featured on Forbes’ 100 Best Mid-Caps in America (2005, 2006, and 2008) and Forbes’ 200 Best Small Companies (2005) lists.[8]


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