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BerndD

129 post(s)
#26-Sep-19 11:04

Just wondering if anyone else is curious about when we will see new layout features like legend, scale, north arrow, line and polygon graphics?

I know there has been some discussions about it followed by some useful work-arounds, but it's been a while and it would be good to know if this is on the list of one of the upcoming releases.

One of the things I would like to see is a legend that is bound to a map, so changes in styles will find their way into the layout easily. But I would also like to make custom changes to the legend if needed without destroying the link to the content of the map.

For example, it would be cool if you could alter the background of a drawing just in the legend.

What are your thoughts on this?


The Future of Spatial Data // www.drahola.com // www.geocockpitug.de

Mike Pelletier


1,629 post(s)
#26-Sep-19 15:47

FWIW I'm really happy to see the effort in drawing tools. I hope that in turn translates to better labeling since they are both vectors of sorts. My next hope would be georeferencing for images. Then back to layouts. I suppose printing maps for me won't be desired until labeling gets things like curved labels. Having a scale bar would be really good today though for those viewing maps on screen.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 09:45

Having a scale bar would be really good today though for those viewing maps on screen.

I agree an automatic scale bar would be nice. But until there is, using Snap to Grid it's trivial to create a scale bar... just a few seconds to draw a line, and then style it to look like a simple scale bar.

tonyw
540 post(s)
#26-Sep-19 18:08

Just wondering if anyone else is curious about when we will see new layout features like legend, scale, north arrow, line and polygon graphics?

Count me in among those curious about layout features to be introduced to M9. For my application, my priorities are to see reactive legends (that reflect the transparency of the layers) and ability to add a scale bar. For north arrow I just paste in a graphic of a north arrow for now.

Graphic drawing tools would be useful too, for me this is the ability to draw an arrow by click drag and right click to end, then add a label. The line or arrow line would start and end where I click with no need to start with a vertical or horizontal line then change the rotation (thinking about this maybe I can have a separate drawing on which I draw my pointer lines/arrows, then the lines would scale with the map and always point to the same location.....hmmm).

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 09:42

The line or arrow line would start and end where I click with no need to start with a vertical or horizontal line then change the rotation

? You can do that now. No need to start vertical / horizontal and change rotation.

tonyw
540 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 17:28

? You can do that now. No need to start vertical / horizontal and change rotation.

Using version 9.0.169.8, these are the tools I see in the Layout window (see screenshot) however no means to draw a line. There is a single feature to add a text label. In M8 there was the feature in Layout to draw lines which I used as pointers to something of interest on a map then I would add a label. However in M8 the line started out as a horizontal or vertical line then you entered degrees to change the angle. In M9, I don't see a means yet of creating what are my pointer arrows. Agreed in a M9 Drawing I can draw a line of any length, at any angle by clicking a starting and end point.

I'm looking forward to when I can finish in M9 my map product (for clarity, by "map product" I mean the end product I send to the client or paste into a document or presentation). Currently I take a screenshot of my map and finish the annotation in a drawing program by adding pointer arrows, legend, annotations on a scale bar, paste in a .png graphic of a north arrow, add title, disclaimers, etc. One day, being able to all that in M9 will streamline the production process and keep the product in one software program.

Attachments:
Layout tools.JPG

tonyw
540 post(s)
#29-Sep-19 00:13

? You can do that now. No need to start vertical / horizontal and change rotation.

Dimitri, drawing lines, is this in layout or in a drawing? I'm thinking in Layout.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#30-Sep-19 08:28

In the drawing / maps. Keep in mind layouts don't exist in isolation. Whatever you can create to put into a frame using the repertoire of capabilities available for things like drawings and maps adds to what you can do in a layout. Part of the expectation of layouts is that maps will be used for complex constructions.

See, for example, the updated Rotated Views topic, where a north arrow created in a map is then used as a standalone frame added to a layout. You can download the PDF created in that topic and see the effect is very good.

Maps are the primary console for sophisticated editing, especially in geographic contexts like having a north arrow pointing in the right direction automatically. There are many ways to create pretty much whatever visual effect you want in a map, and then it is very easy to add those to a layout.

For example, consider the label shown at the bottom of this post. It's straightforward to create that in a map, and then drop it as a frame into a layout. Why duplicate all the editing controls already available in a map, but in slightly different form in a layout? May as well just learn editing once, in maps, and use that.

I agree it would be useful to have some simple controls in layouts, such as border effects for frames and simple annotations, patterned on how those work in maps, but until those become available, it's very straightforward to use maps.

A label example:

Attachments:
eg_label_formatting.png

tonyw
540 post(s)
#30-Sep-19 17:40

Thanks Dimitri, it makes sense to use the tools already available in Drawings and Maps for annotating my products instead of in Layout or in a separate illustrator program. Drawing my pointer lines in a Drawing makes sense because the end points will continue to point to the same point or area of interest if I zoom or pan.

tjhb

8,883 post(s)
#26-Sep-19 18:52

I like Bernd's idea of binding legend appearance tightly to drawing styles, with the possibility of overrides.

Take the case of an area symbol in the legend. By default it could inherit style from a bound drawing--plus extra properties defining the shape of the symbol (trapezioid by default) and whatever else is specific to the legend--with overrides possible for outline, line weights, even colours (e.g. it can often be helpful to increase saturation in a small swatch to give better perceptual match to a large area).

All readable and reusable as JSON strings in mfd_meta in the usual way.

KlausDE

6,352 post(s)
#26-Sep-19 22:12

I'm happy to do the research, the analysis and the creative solutions in person. That's the future revenue but that's not the current cash cow!

I'm engaged in translating the GUI because I have employees that need a tool to finish the end product of our work and complete the simple tasks from the first step to the last in direct responsibility. But the end product needs a layout and a legend.

I have not started our internal training course for Mfd9. Without the Mfd8 level of legends and layouts - which has been the least field in Mfd8 in comparison to competitors - Mfd9 is not a productive system in my eyes.

As in all the other fields we saw a surprising development from the first fully functional step. This first step would bring us in the position to involve the staff that has to do the every day work with their every day jobs and direct thedevelopment of final product.

It's time to do this first step - IF there is a plan for the viable basis. And to test it in practice.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 10:23

Mfd9 is not a productive system in my eyes.

What is your list of the top ten items you require to make it super-productive? If listing ten is too much, what are the top five? Anything is possible.

dchall8
639 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 20:08

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There are certain things M9 does which already make it super productive.Image management is superb and I suspect it will still improve.Merging DEM images is amazing.Creating any number of elevation lines or areas from a DEM is incredible.Viewing billions of LiDAR point cloud points in 2-d is great.If these are the features you need to be super productive, M9 is there.

However, I have a list of features required to make it minimally productive for what I do.

  1. Ability to read metes and bounds to create lines
  2. Ability to easily relate and unrelate tables
  3. Multi-line labels filled with contents of existing table fields
  4. Label visibility based on 'selectedness' of the element.
  5. Ability to see through selected areas to underlying layers or even elements in the same layer.
  6. Ability to select an area in a drawing which drawn on top of another area.

I do get requests at least once a month to do the following

  1. Ability to snap to a vertex to select an element - not just when editing/creating.
  2. Ability to print to ANSI E size PDF
  3. Style change based on selectedness
  4. Ability to change all selected records when a change is made in one selected record field (previously described as a contentious issue).

In addition it would be REALLY nice if, when I select an element on the map, that the table filtered on selected items would automatically update to show the newly selected record.Related to that, when viewing a table with several items filtered on selected, when one is deselected, it should disappear from the list of selected items without formally having to refresh.

tjhb

8,883 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 21:08

I believe items 4 in the first group and 3 in the second can be done now with a computed field. If you want an example, you could post some sample data where you want to see it work. (I haven't tried it before.)

I'm not sure about selection per se, but for item 6 in the first group there has been a way of working through a stack of overlapping objects since 9.0.169.3. From the release notes:

Alt-clicking in a drawing / labels layer in a map window picks up to 10 records under the clicked location. The first picked record is put into the Record pane, other picked records can be moved to using Move to Next.

If you don't like how that works then you may well have suggestions how it could be extended or improved.

dchall8
639 post(s)
#01-Oct-19 19:21

Alt-clicking in a drawing / labels layer in a map window picks up to 10 records under the clicked location. The first picked record is put into the Record pane, other picked records can be moved to using Move to Next.

If you don't like how that works then you may well have suggestions how it could be extended or improved.

I don't like how that works, and I don't think it works the way you described. I'm using the image below to test. I tried looking through the fine manual for Move to Next but finally found it by inspection of the pane. Using the image, each record is numbered by the order of creation. if I Alt-click on record 3 inside the border of record 1 (pink), then it selects record 1, as you stated. When I click Move to Next, it selects each record in sequence of creation including all the records in the drawing not touching 3. The issue with that is that the record you think you clicked on might be number 5,000 in the sequence.

If it worked as you described it would probably work for me, as I don't see my test case as being a situation in real life. If I had overlapping as illustrated I would think I would have multiple layers - for example a floor plan (layer) with furnishings (layer).

I guess before I make a formal suggestion, we should discuss the way it works currently.

Attachments:
M9 Overlapping Record Test.jpg

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#02-Oct-19 09:38

Let's try this out together.

Attached is an .mxb that provides your demo drawing. I just imported the image and traced a drawing over it. To get the colors exactly right, I did a thematic format on mfd_id using unique values and then used the color picker tool to pick from your image the colors you used.

For background, the Record Pane topic documents use of next and previous, including an example. The Example: Edit Covered Objects topic also touches on that.

With the focus on the Drawing layer, suppose you Alt-click exactly where the number 3 label is positioned. That is a spot where two objects (number 1 and number 3) overlap. That picks the big magenta, number 1 object. Click Next in the Record pane and next the number 3 object gets picked.

Suppose you Alt-click to the right of where the 2 label is positioned, within the 11 object where it overaps the 2 object. That is a spot where three objects (11, 2 and 1) overlap. That also picks the number 1 object, and then clicking Next picks 2 and 11 in turn.

I think if what you are after is clicking an object like 3 or like 11, if that object isn't picked first, it will be picked very soon in the sequence of clicking Next. You won't have to click through 5000 objects to get to it.

If I had overlapping as illustrated I would think I would have multiple layers

Even easier, as a Shift-Alt-click into a map with multiple layers with overlapping objects picks the uppermost object regardless of what layer it is in.

Attachments:
dchall8_overlaps_example.mxb

Mike Pelletier


1,629 post(s)
#02-Oct-19 16:43

Seems like some odd behavior going on. If you use shift alt click it seems to cycle through all objects, even ones that are not under the click. Also the "shift" portion lingers such that if you then do just an alt click, it still acts like a shift alt click.

In general though, I really like this method. Simple and elegant.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#02-Oct-19 19:28

Seems like some odd behavior going on. If you use shift alt click it seems to cycle through all objects, even ones that are not under the click. Also the "shift" portion lingers such that if you then do just an alt click, it still acts like a shift alt click.

I don't quite follow the above. The map I published has just one drawing layer, so a shift-alt-click in that is the same as an alt-click (at least when clicking on objects and not on labels).

As for alt-clicking into a region where several objects in the same layer are overlapping, the initial object picked will always be one of those that overlaps at the spot clicked. After that, "next" takes you on a tour through others that overlap, and then through "near" objects. I don't know if that is a hard limit of "ten" that get loaded into the virtual "next" stack, or if that depends on some factors. I'll try to find out and report.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#03-Oct-19 07:47

I'll try to find out and report.

OK. I hadn't looked at this rigorously before, but it hangs together in a pretty simple way:

The Next and Previous buttons always step through the entire data set. However, for convenience when picking objects with an Alt-click, if multiple objects overlap at the Alt-clicked location, then one of those objects is picked and the others which also exist at that Alt-clicked location are moved up to the top of the Next order.

So if you have 5000 objects and 5 of them overlap at a spot that is Alt-clicked, those 5 that overlap will be what you first get when you click Next in the Record pane. After that, keep on clicking Next and you'll start stepping through all 5000 of the rest of the objects. The limit of "ten" is that up to ten objects which overlap at the Alt-clicked location get moved up in a virtual clump to the top of the list of all objects for the purposes of using Next.

If you want to step through only those objects which overlap at the spot that is Alt-clicked, that is easy to do:

1. Ctrl-click at that spot. That selects all objects which overlap at that spot.

2. Alt-click at that spot. That picks one of them, and positions all the others which overlap at the top of Next button ordering.

3. In the Record pane, push in the Selected button. Now, the Move to Next and Move to Previous buttons work only with selected records, that is only with objects that overlap at the clicked spot.

tjhb

8,883 post(s)
#03-Oct-19 08:53

Thanks! Great explanation Dimitri. Now it is very clear and, as you say, simple.

dchall8
639 post(s)
#02-Oct-19 17:49

I opened your mxb file attachment and got different results. After 30 minutes of troubleshooting, I realized that double clicking on your attachment opened the system version of Manifold 9, not the latest version. Specifying the opening file fixed that.

I happened to not save the file yesterday, so I recreated it the same way you did by tracing. The records were created in the order of their numbering, which I believe you did, too. I selected colors by using Spectrum from the Classic Palette and setting transparency to 60%.

Alt-clicking works as you describe. Continued clicking of the Next button selects other parcels in creation order. If a parcel is not completely within the view pane, the view jumps to a Zoom To type of view. I find this a little disorienting, especially when the next object is some distance away from where I initially clicked.

When I Shift-Alt-click, it selects the bottom most record in the highest layer. So if I Shift-Alt-click directly on the 3 label with the Drawing layer selected, the layer tab changes to Labels with the number 3 area selected, not the label itself. When I click the Coordinates tab, the coordinates of the area object appear, not the coordinates of the label. When I turn off the Drawing layer and Shift-Alt-Click on the 3 label, the Label layer becomes highlighted and the area of the number 3 object appears in outline. Clicking the Coordinates tab again shows all the coordinates of the number 3 triangle. Geometry editing seems to be available for the area.

The orange button in the Record pane seems to disable the Next and Previous buttons even when overlapping records were apparently selected. Also the Zoom button in that pane seems to be inactive.

Background info: Ideally I don't have overlapping records in one drawing. On my maps there might be occasion where my predecessors did not snap a vertex to the coincident vertex on the adjacent parcel. I do my best to correct that when I find it. However, one of our contractors relies on duplicating records. In the appraisal biz we often have multiple owners for a parcel. The way we deal with that in our office is to create an Undivided Interest (UDI) account with one parent and several child accounts. On my map I only map the parent account number. Our appraisers know when they are looking for a parcel, if they see that there is a parent link on their account, they know to open the parent account and find the mapped parcel. In the contractor's maps, they duplicate the UDI parcel X number of times where X is the number of owners. All those accounts sit in the same location on their maps. I see what they are doing, but it can make an ugly map, especially when you look at labels.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#02-Oct-19 19:43

When I turn off the Drawing layer and Shift-Alt-Click on the 3 label, the Label layer becomes highlighted and the area of the number 3 object appears in outline.

Editing a label is editing the object from which the label is created. See theLabels topic for some illustrations of that. There are also some more illustrations in the Example: Add Labels to a Map topic.

So... when you pick a label for editing, the edit handles you see are for the object from which the label is created. If you create a label for the number 3 object, when you pick that label the edit handle outline you get is for the number 3 area object. That's something that shows up in the labels layer without regard to whether you have the drawing layer turned on or off.

The orange button in the Record pane seems to disable the Next and Previous buttons even when overlapping records were apparently selected.

Do you mean the "move only within selected records" button, true? I just tried it, and it seems to work fine. For example, Ctrl-click in turn on objects 3, 2 and 12 to select them. Next, Alt-click into a place where objects 2 and 3 overlap. That will pick object 1. Press in the "move only within selected" button, and now when you click next and previous it goes back and forth only between the selected objects.

KlausDE

6,352 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 22:38

I'm focusing on legends and layouts only. For the first service my rank is

1. Export layouts to PDF in map sizes ? .. E, let us control raster DPI and vector DPI.

2. Let us choose scope Location and Selection (in activ layer), visible or not

3. Basic legends following the styles pane for thematic formated vector data

4. Let us explode and edit these legends

(order of rows and lines in the grid, add Title - commands edit text, delete rows or lines, insert lines)

5. create a free floting Legend object for the layout as sum of the visible layers with editable plain border and background properies color and line size.

For the first service IMO you can drop legends of layers grouped in folders, drop grid, graticule, North arrow, scalebar, drop legends for raster data and labels or add title only.

KlausDE

6,352 post(s)
#30-Sep-19 08:28

Let me add: It's no criticism at all that Mfd9 is not jet a productive system. We power users are allowed to witness the development and influence the direction.

But a productive system has to fullfill the needs of the enthusiastic power users and the needs of common operators that focus on the task and not on the beauty of the tool.

I feel that the development of Mfd9 now is very near to the point, where common GIS operators are not only thwarted by the learning curve but may gain profit from Mfd9 eaven if they are not mired in database techniques.

And to get them into the boat will probably result in more requests aiming at simple tasks of usability.

Dimitri


5,552 post(s)
#27-Sep-19 10:21

Everything will get done, and not in the too distant future, but the order in which things get done depends on priorities the community sets. That's a constant feedback loop, driven by suggestions. That can evolve quickly as users start leveraging new features that emerge.

Radian came out because the big internal machine was immediately useful, as is, for data-centric people using SQL. It's natural that such early adopters would make suggestions directly in tune with what they were doing, thus driving the big expansion of dbms-oriented capabilities. As Manifold shifted gears more into the interactive GIS direction, and more interactive GIS features appeared, it made sense that more suggestions to expand the GIS end of it would start driving the process.

Earlier this year, I personally expected lots more interest in legends. I think many people did, hence the work on things like grouping logic that is a key element of many things, from grouped layers to good legends. But instead there's been much greater demand for filling holes in vector editing (more snaps, please) and expansion of raster analytics, with things like viewsheds. In response, those things I think bubbled up in priority ahead of legends.

There's a huge amount of infrastructure already built to support things like legends and expanded capabilities in layouts, with a lot of work being done on the big part of the iceberg that supports the visible tip (work being done to ensure sensible scaling of web servers in frames being an example). None of that is going away. It will all get done, and not in the too distant future. But the key thing to get layout features moved ahead of other things, like viewsheds, is to send in specific suggestions for what you prioritize. Be specific.

For example "features like legend, scale, north arrow, line and polygon graphics" is good, but I don't really understand what you mean by "line and polygon graphics" as features for layouts. I can guess, but maybe my guess is not what you want. So best to say explicitly.

It also doesn't help to say "like 8," because 8 has zillions of features that nobody uses, so the priority should go on doing better, 9 versions of those features that people actually use and must have.

If anybody is surprised at other priorities overtaking legends, an easy test is for everyone who is reading this thread to post a copy of the suggestion they sent in. One or two suggestions can certainly bump priority in a given direction, but not as much as dozens or hundreds of requests for something else.

Like I say, there's no doubt in my mind the spotlight will turn to layouts/legends/etc, either with a few features every now and then mixed in to builds that focus on filling in vector editing tools and expanding raster analytics, or as the focus of a few builds. Layouts in 9 are already more beautiful compared to 8, with way more elegant and accurate handling of things like rendering resolution. They obviously cry out for completion with just a few more features.

I'm just saying that specific "here, exactly, are my top five wishes for that, and here is how I want them to work..." suggestions are a big help in prioritizing those above other features that other folks want, to get them sooner rather than later.

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