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Trimming Contours and other Lines

A Mark Roberts handy hint

Trimming contours at the edge of your map is a common and painful requirement but here’s a hint to reduce the hard work.

[This works just as excellently for trimming northing lines – Ken]

 The old way

First, here is the way I’ve always done it.

I have Preferences|Context Menu off and I have a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-1) for Object|Cut Object|Cut Line.

Starting with the first contour selected and the cutting tool selected:

 Left click on contour to cut it

Right click twice to unselect contour and revert to selection tool

Left click on the next contour to select it

Ctrl-1 to select cutting tool …

 The easy method

Select th ecutting tool:

 Left click on contour to cut it

Alt-Left click on the next contour to select it

Left click on contour to cut it …

 Alt forces a different object to be selected and you still have the cutting tool! This method cuts contours with two clicks instead of four clicks and a keypress.

Thanks to Hubert Klauser at OCAD AG for this hint.

 Other methods

Map|Export Part of Map or Object|Crop Objects will also trim contours for you. But if you are trimming at a boundary line feature like a fence or a road, that gets trashed in the process.

 

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LIDAR in Orienteering Mapping

LIDAR example

What is LIDAR?LIDAR example

An excellent brief description can be found on this CSIRO web page.

NZ Experience

An interesting experience of use of LIDAR in orienteering mapping was recently posted on the NZ MapTalk’s Mapping forum, pages 38-39. The linkis in the sidebar on this page but more directly, head to Selwyn’s post of 7 June on the topic of Base map contours.

Finnish experience

In that post he mentions work by RouteGadget’s developer on automating orienteering map production from LIDAR sources. For those interested in LIDAR potential, this is well worth a visit. Find it on the RouteGadget Facebook page. (You might have to be a Facebook member to view).

USA experience

A 2005 article LIDAR Basemaps Come of Age by Greg Lennon of Quantico Orienteering Club, USA. The image upper right is from that article.

Australian experience

Best experience as at late 2017 is found on the Orienteeering Australia mapping pages.

 

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OCAD 11. File | Import : Journal #5

Import OCAD file – the pain

Colour table before import
Colour table before import

Ever imported an OCAD map or symbol set so you could replace many or all symbols and colours in the base map? I did when converting an orienteering map to a public recreation map.

Converted my first few roads to the new symbols and wondered why they disappeared from the map. I realised that the colours for the new symbols were all lower in the colour table than colours for existing symbols. Thus my new symbols were blocked where there was an old symbol in the same location. e.g. a green or yellow area symbol. What a pain moving each colour up.

The solution

Colour table after import
After import

When importing all symbols and colours, OCAD 11 offers the opportunity to place colours at the top of the colour table. So as you convert symbols, they should still show up on the map. On some maps it may be wise to convert area symbols last else your unconverted line and spot symbols may be invisible under the higher placed new area colours.

Wish list

This function could be useful also when Map | Load colours from (and symbols) is used. OCAD AG now has that on their wish list.

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OCAD 11. File | Import : Journal #4

OCAD logo

OCAD 11 multiple file import

OCAD 11 provides multi file import for Shape, DXF, GPX, NMEA and XYZ formats.

Import multi Shape files - screen snip
Importing multi Shape files

I tried it with Shape files (Professional version of OCAD 11) and it worked well. If, like me, you often use Shape files to create base maps then you will find this a time saver.

Selection of files is by Windows conventions of SHIFT to select a range of adjacent files and CTRL to select disparate files. However! The files you import must share the same field names for selection of unique key and layer information.

The screen snip shows the result of selecting an area hydro file and a line hydro file. The layers column contains the relevant entity names and OCAD symbols can be applied to the right of each entity for automatic translation.

I could not evaluate the co-ordinate system transformation function as issues arose that I have reported to OCAD.

Import PDF and save layer reference file

PDF convert layers screen snip
PDF convert layers

Dead simple, efficient and worked well.

However! The VicMap PDF I tested, generated a CRT (layer-symbol cross reference) file comprising a long list of layers named by number rather than descriptiion thus was unworkable – not the fault of OCAD. If your supplied PDF does have more relevant layer names, then the facility to select an appropriate symbol for each layer appears to work just fine.

It gets even better if you regularly import PDFs that have the same layer structure. The first PDF you process creates a CRT file that can be saved and reused to process later PDFs. So name those CRT files meaningfully.

 

 

Import OCAD file with colours to top of Colour Table

What a great option. Recently I have been importing a new symbol set with associated colours, into older files. Often the colours for those symbols are not in the correct place in the symbol table to enable the symbol to show. So now, when I test out those symbols by opting to place colours at top of the colour table, I can be sure they will show up on the screen as they are no longer subservient to existing colours.

In case you are not aware, the order of colours in the colour table defines the order in which they are printed. The top colour in the table is printed last (in offset printing and simulated so in digital printing) thus rests on top of any colour below it. Unless you have ‘overprint‘ ticked for a colour, OCAD does not generate lower sequenced colours using the same space.

If you intend using the new symbols but marry them to existing colours, then once you have checked out the symbol shapes and sizes on your map, the redundant colours are easily found for deletion at the top of the table.

Import Freehand files

I won’t be testing Freehand as I am not familiar with it. However you can read the process in one of OCAD’s FAQs .

Next up

View functionality.

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OCAD 11 File | Print : Journal #3

OCAD logo

OCAD 11 improved dialogue

At first sight it looks like new functionality has been added. But closer inspection shows the OCAD 11 layout design has again been improved and is certainly clearer.File Print screen snip

Entire Map now has the option to move an oversize map in relation to the print boundary in order to select what part you wish to print. And the Options are now displayed in the dialogue thus obviating a click.

Rescaling can be dangerous

Referring to the Help file for this function I noticed a welcome addition. Scaling now explicitly states that the map and all symbols will be scaled if you choose a print scale different to the map scale. I have seen one glaring example of this wrongly applied and the producer was unaware how it occurred.

A rule is that a 1:10,000 scale map is a strict enlargement of a 1:15,000 scale. So using File | Print rescaling to get there seems OK. But on the Orienteering Australia list of recent map deviations was North lines not at the correct spacing on a 1:10,000 scale map – often results when a 1:15,000 scale map is printed at 1:10,000; lines should lie between 20 mm and 40 mm on the map.

Rule of thumb

Map printing often appears to be last minute and therefore rushed (as the organisers of a recent event admitted when advising of 3 corrections to marked courses). Therefore, I suggest that unless you are one of those rare persons who is absolutely punctilious and totally aware of what is required, then you consider this practice.

For the event print, do not rescale in the print or PDF export functions.

The safest way to rescale for printing is to rescale the OCAD map (or a copy of it) using Map | Change scale in both OCAD 10 and OCAD 11. That prompts you to rescale symbols, or not,  in accordance with IOF rules. And having the map on screen in front of you might just prompt you to consider whether north line separation needs changed. Better still, use a check list — you will find one soon on our Resources page.

Next Up

File | Import | Shape, PDF, OCAD