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OCAD $, Tips

Covid-19 & OCAD | GPX import |
OCAD georeferenced satellite images

Beating Covid-19 impact

Personal and club funds may have taken a beating from Covid-19 avoidance measures. So here are two small but hopefully useful OCAD Aus/NZ initiatives in respect of OCAD pricing.

Firstly, 3 clubs in SA demonstrated a fast and effective way of taking advantage of discounts. They banded together as an informal ‘OCAD SA’ group and placed an order for 5 Orienteering Teams licences. Due to the process for managing Teams licences, each club is able to totally manage their allocation even though the licences are in the name of the group. The group ‘leader’ can place the order online in the Shop.

Secondly, for the remainder of 2020 or the end of the Covid-19 travel restrictions in AustraIia/NZ, I will continue to apply the 15% discount for 3 year terms. (The official discount reduced to 10% on 1st April). [correction to original post]

GPX file import changes

ADD Import, GPX: Assign symbols directly from <sym> node in Oribooklet gpx.

from March 2020 service update

The problem

This displays the symbol name assigned by the mobile orienteering app Oribooklet. Great idea but maybe not for the majority who get their GPX files by other means. The symbol name is obtained from the Symbol column in many GPX files. So non-Oribooklet users will generally find the POI number showing as usual but now alongside will be the word ‘POI’ or ‘waypoint’ or similar.

This has been reported as showing in a large text on import. In my test at right, it is shown in a very small text – prior to conversion to a text symbol, at approx. 3pt. Yet still very confusing.

Solutions?

So maybe this is a good time to suggest further improvements the GPX import.

  1. On import, only display symbol name/symbol if OriBooklet is identified in the GPX file header.
  2. or make it an option to display/or not, the Symbol column content.
  3. On import, provide an option to display any Comments column content – OruxMaps users may find this useful.
  4. Add to the existing import GPX selections, an option to select a text symbol to display such text.
  5. let me know of any further suggestions to put forward.

Download georeferenced satellite images

Did you know the OCAD acquisition of georeferenced satellite imaging is now quite easy? Neither did I until I stumbled across the OCAD wiki entry for Download georeferenced satellite images. And I was surprised at how easy it is and of a suprising quality.

VicMap roads with imported Google satellite image in background. Very good concordance.
Export from OCAD of import result. Red lines are VicMap roads in my georeferenced map

Read my knOCAD post for further explanation of some of the OCAD wiki instructions.

Off course

Orienteering can heartfully say vale to Gary Starkweather, the inventor of the laser printer at Xerox. That invention was, and is, a lifeline for orienteering in small O populations as it;

Laser printer decomposed
By KDS4444 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • reduces the cost of printing (early this century O maps were offset printed)
  • avoids the mark up of map changes – a source of error
  • avoids the mark up of courses – another common source of error

Gary continued development of the laser printer technology despite his Xerox boss telling him not to. Eventually it won a 3 way test of printer technologies at Xerox and came on the market in 1977, a huge success for Xerox.

Washington Post via The Age

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A Closer Look at OCAD 2018 Features & Pricing

OCAD Inc logo

OCAD 2018 release

OCAD 2018 is planned to release mid March. Thirty years after Hans Steinegger released the first version of OCAD, the regimen of minor and major updates is changing.

No longer will major updates be held over to the 3 yearly version update. Instead, with the advent of a current practice software subscription model, every scale of update will be released when it is ready.

The subscription service

The two key points about the subscription service are;

  1. Subscriptions are annual or tri-ennial
  2. Subscriptions are individual or team

OCAD Inc’s FAQ on OCAD 2018 comprehensively covers the ins and outs of subscriptions and pricing.However, in analysing the pricing, I discovered some aspects that may save you some time in research. Continue reading A Closer Look at OCAD 2018 Features & Pricing

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Become More Productive with OCAD in 2017 – Part 3

OCAD productivity through hardware, software, processes

Upgrading your PC on a limited budget

Check the OCAD wiki

When buying a new PC or Mac with OCAD in mind, the first port of call is the OCAD wiki section on Technical Data.

Memory vs Processor

Having to make that choice? My unquantified experience is to spend the money on a faster processor. I recently bought a new Asus 64-bit PC WIN 10 on a special that did not allow me to order over 4GB memory. The processor is an i7-4790. This PC replaced a 64-bit laptop with WIN10, an i5-2450M and 16GB memory. I had intended to buy more memory for the Asus but the difference in performance was so great that initially I had no need. I do have some very large OCAD files. Geekbench performance scores are 4,596 for that i5 and 13,094 for that i7.

But some months later I had a map requirement that led me to order more memory. When I loaded a large number of Nearmap aerial images as background to a large map, the PC ground away and after 30 seconds or so entered a comatose state (OCAD now provides a warning in that situation).  In theory, if I limited the viewable area of map, then many images would not need to be in memory at that moment, but that is not really practicable.

So I now have 20GB and all is sweet. If you do not use a lot of aerial images, or are prepared to have visible just those you work on at any given moment, then you will not experience this memory issue. See also this earlier post on CPU power.

SD drive

Mark Roberts’ experience shows a Solid State Drive (SSD) will load OCAD and files somewhat faster.

Larger and/or second screen

27" ASUS PB278
27″ ASUS PB278

When I upgraded to the new PC I also bought a largish (23″) 1920 x 1080 screen as recommended by Mark Roberts in this post. Wow! Even though this is smaller than Mark’s old screen, it is a significant advance over my laptop screen.

Probably an even greater cost/benefit is to have a second screen. I had an old Dell screen in the garage so cost was nil.  See Mark Roberts’ earlier tip on using a second screen.

Software

As OCAD has advanced, my need for external softwares in mapping has reduced. Nowadays I occasionally use Cad Viewer to quickly check out a Shape file before importing. I still frequently use GPS Utility to convert GPS files to OCAD readable GPX files. I also use it to get rid of multiple and extraneous track segments such as when I forget to turn off the GPS driving home. I could do that in OCAD but find the utility overall easier.

Processes

In the last 5 years or so, for me two processes stand out as being the most productive.

Master maps

Master map image
Master map in OCAD

Having a master map of an area that has a number of adjoining maps is top of my list because;

  • the master map enforces version control as all corrections are made to the master map
  • a master map simplifies control through a map library check out check in process
  • symbols are uniform across all maps
  • flexibility of map areas is hugely increased as any area can be ‘cut’ from a master map for an event

Drawbacks? Establishing version control can be quite difficult in the ‘relaxed’ club orienteering environment. But once firmly established it should become second nature. Ken Thompson has produced a detailed process for setting up and maintaining a master map system. It is basically similar to the system I use but adds processes suited to a club where the map librarian may change from time to time.

Symbol status manager (new in OCAD 12)

Symbol status manager dialogue
Symbol status manager

This OCAD function is very useful if you develop or maintain maps that are used for multiple types of orienteering such as foot and mtb. Being able to switch from one view to the other so quickly is a boon.

Got an OCAD or mapping productivity tip to share? Just enter it in comments or draft a post for publication.

 

 

 


Aiming off

Not quite contours - Paulo Mendes
Not quite contours – Paulo Mendes

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Santa OCAD Delivers!

Santa and sack

Holiday season special

So smooth
So smooth

Joe Hockey might not be willing to do anything about changing the GST rate but Ken Dowling surely is – downwards!

For the holiday season, December through January, we are absorbing the GST on Australian purchases. (NZ exports are not charged GST).

So make the most of your holiday by getting out to map those forest, school, street areas you have been thinking about.

The gift that keeps on giving

Your partner stuck for ideas on what to get you? Well Starter and Standard could now well be within their budget.

[button link=”https://ocad.com.au/shop/” size=”large” color=”aqua” text=”dark”]Buy now![/button]

Tell your friends and club