Preset (or selectable) Area Feature OPtion

ALuomalaALuomala Global Mapper UserPosts: 4
edited March 2009 in Suggestion Box
Hi there. I am using GM to create terrains for VBS2, a Military Simulation, based on the video game ArmedAssault (ArmA). I have been using GM for some time now (I am a part-time Terrain Instructor for BIA, (Bohemia Interactive Australia) as well). One feature that I would like see added is a way to create Area Features by picking one point (SW corner, for example) and then setting a leg size (the idea is to create a square "frame" to extract all the relevant data). There are only really a small number of possible frame sizes (based on the ^2 rule, plus a cell size multiplier), so along the lines of 512m (square), 1024m, 5120m, 10240, etc. It is relatively simple for an experienced use to create a rough frame, and then adjust it by adjusting the vertices. One of the steps to creating this is using a template/worksheet, figuring out the rough size/area, then starting with the SW corner, adding the leg length (eg 10240m) to that, and then going around clockwise.

Here is the example that is shown in the Terrain Manual (I know that it might seem obvious, but sometimes a picture is worth.....)
tm16_gm_createframe.png

Students tend to have a hard time understanding and doing this (sometimes resulting in humourous Area Features (a 102,400m leg length instead of a 10240m one), but the frustration for them is real. Also, the ability to throw in 2 parameters (one corner vertex position, and then a leg length (eg 10240m), hitting a button, and then having a "frame" show up on the screen which they could then fine-tune as necessary would reduce the frustration and time spent. Also, this method would allow (very quickly) a person (I'm thinking a content developer) to "try out" a variety of frame sizes (eg. 1024 x 1024m, 2048 x 2048m, etc) and see which size would best suit an area (the larger, and more detailed, a map, the larger the file size.... this is usually obvious to some, but some people make a map far larger than they need to, just because once the hard work coming up with the frame size the "old school" way (i.e the way it is now), the more likely that they will stick with whatever they have done that way, rather than trying out different sizes, and then seeing what is appropriate.

I was going to figure out a way to do this myself, but I am not a code-cruncher, and to be honest, I don't know if an end-user could script this. I was going to put in a request through BIA, but they are busy with content creation, not submitting work orders. There is a brief lull in the Terrain Courses, and I know that myself and the other Terrain Instructors would be very grateful (maybe we'll plant a tree in your honour:p) if you implemented this ability in a future release. I am creating a video tutorial to illustrate the key concepts of how to do this the "old school" way, but it wouldn't bother me one bit if you made a 2 step solution, and caused me to scrap my project.....

Take care, and thanks for reading this,

Allan Luomala
SkyChasm Consulting
VBS2 Terrain modeler/Instructor

Comments

  • global_mapperglobal_mapper Administrator Posts: 17,238
    edited March 2009
    Allan,

    I could probably add an option for a user to create a rectangle by clicking one location (a corner or center) and then specifying the size to make the edges. Would this work?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Support
    support@globalmapper.com
  • global_mapperglobal_mapper Administrator Posts: 17,238
    edited March 2009
    Allan,

    I forgot that the latest release of Global Mapper already has something like this. If you right-click with the Digitizer Too land select the Create Area Shapes->Create Rectangular/Square Area (Manual), you can manually specify the coordinates for the rectangle a number of ways (including a corner and then width and height). So you could easily place a rectangle of the required size, then just move that around to the desired location.

    Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Global Mapper Support
    support@globalmapper.com
  • ALuomalaALuomala Global Mapper User Posts: 4
    edited March 2009
    Mike,

    Thanks for the help! I knew about the creating a square Area Feature (from previous release), but was unaware of this new functionality. It works perfectly! I will ensure that this I make the developers and the Training Manager at BIA aware of this, and then we can get it added to the next version of the documentation (they have an online Developers Manual), so anybody following the documentation to create content, can utilize this great feature. In the interim, I am going to point it out in the VBS2 forum (of course giving you credit for creating this, and pointing it out in a timely manner).

    Thanks a ton,

    Allan
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