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Wasmer Consulting - NMPlot - User's Guide - Displaying Geographic Annotations


NMPlot User's Guide, Chapter 12: Displaying Geographic Annotations

Grids can contain geographic annotations: optional map data stored in the grid. See Geographic Annotations. NMPlot can display geographic annotations on a plot.

Types of Geographic Annotations

There are three types of geographic annotations.

Geographic Annotation Categories and Names

Every geographic annotation has the following two properties.

Use the Summary pane of the Grid Document window to find information about the geographic annotations in a grid. The summary report lists the types of annotations present in a grid, their categories, and their names. See Viewing Grids for more information.

Display Rules

The Plot Options dialog box has a separate page for each type (point, line, or area) of geographic annotation. However, you set the options for displaying all three types of annotations in a similar fashion. The method for setting display options for line geographic annotations will be described. Keep in mind that display options for point and area geographic annotations are set in a similar fashion.

For reference, here is the page used to specify how line geographic annotations should be displayed.

Note the spreadsheet-like table that occupies most of the page. This is referred to as the display rule table. Each row in the table defines a display rule.

The first two columns in the table, labeled Category and Name, specify the categories and names that each rule applies to. The rest of the columns in the table specify display options: colors, line widths, fonts, etc. The display options specify how to draw and label the geographic annotations.

Searching the Display Rule Table

When NMPlot displays a plot, it attempts to draw each of the primary grid's geographic annotations in the following fashion.

  1. NMPlot searches the appropriate display rule table (i.e., either the point, line, or area table) for a display rule whose category and name match the geographic annotation's category and name. The table is searched from the top to the bottom.

  2. If a matching rule is found, the geographic annotation is drawn using the display options associated with that rule.

  3. If a matching rule is not found, the geographic annotation is not displayed.

The case of letters (upper verses lower case) is not considered when searching for a matching rule. For example, a display rule category of "STREET" would match a geographic annotation with a category of "street".

Spaces are also not considered when searching. For example, a display rule category of "PavedRoad" would match a geographic annotation with a category of " Paved Road ".

Category and Name Wildcards

The Category and Names columns of a display rule table can contain wildcards. These are characters that have special meanings. They allow you to match groups of categories and names.

For example, you can create a rule that will refer to any geographic annotation with the word "Road" in its category. Such a rule will match annotations with categories of "Primary Road" and "Paved Road".

You may be familiar with wildcards used by many operating systems, which allow you to refer to groups of file names: for example, *.txt to refer to all text files. The "*" in this example is a wildcard.

NMPlot recognizes the following wildcards.

Wildcards can be combined in powerful ways. As an example, consider a display rule with a Category of "Roads" and a Name of "US10*,IL10?". This rule would match roads named US10, US10B, and IL10B, but not IL10 or IL10BB.

An Example

Consider the following sample display rule table. For simplicity, only the Category, Name, and Color columns are shown.

Category Name Color
Road   Peachtree Road   Red
Road   *Lane   Green
Road   *   Black
Railroad   *   Gray
River,Creek   *   Blue
*   *   Brown

The following table lists the color that would be used to draw a variety of geographic annotations, based upon the above rule table.

Annotation Category Annotation Name Color Used To Display Annotation
Road   Peachtree Road   Red
Road   Peachtree Lane   Green
Road   Peachtree Street   Black
Railroad   L & M RR   Gray
River   Mississippi   Blue
Creek   Trout   Blue
Trail   Baker Hill   Brown

Note the last rule in the sample display rule table. The * wildcard is used for both the category and name. This rule serves as a catch-all, matching any geographic annotation not matched by an earlier rule.

Caution:

The order of rules is important. Rules are matched starting at the top of the rule table. Place more specific rules above more general rules, as was done in the sample rule table. Consider the last rule in the sample table, which uses the * wildcard for both the category and name. If this rule appeared at the top of the table, the other rules would never be used, since the first rule would match all annotations.

Editing Rule Tables

Rule tables are displayed using a standard spreadsheet control, which functions much like a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. See Spreadsheet Control for more information on using spreadsheet controls.

Press the Add Row button to add a rule. Press the Remove Row button to remove the rule that contains the selected cell. Use the Move Row Up and Move Row Down buttons to change the ordering of rules.

In the Category column, type the categories that each rule applies to. Alternatively, press the Select Categories From List button . A list of the categories in your grid file is displayed, and you can choose from them.

In the Name column, type the names that each rule applies to. Use wildcards if desired. Alternatively, press the Select Names From List button . A list of the names in your grid file that match the rule's categories is displayed, and you can choose from them.

Displaying Point Geographic Annotations

To display point geographic annotations, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Points page of the Plot Options dialog box.

  2. Check the box labeled Show point geographic annotations. If this box is not checked, no point annotations will be displayed on your plot.

  3. Add display rules to the table, and set the Category and Name columns for each rule. See Display Rules for instructions.

  4. For each display rule in the table, set the value of each display option column.

    • Show -

      Check this box to display point annotations. If this box is not checked, point annotations matched by this display rule will not be displayed.

    • Symbol -

      Select the symbol used to display point annotations matched by this display rule. Press the Select Symbol button to display the Select Symbol dialog box, which allows you to browse the available symbols. See Symbol Control.

    • Color -

      Select the color used to display point annotation matched by this display rule. See Color Control.

    • Label -

      Check this box to label each point annotation matched by this display rule. The points' names will be displayed on the plot.

    • Label Font -

      Select the font used to label point annotations matched by this display rule. Press the Select Font button to display the Font dialog box, which allows you to browse the available fonts. See Font Control.

    • Point Layer and Label Layer Names -

      NMPlot allows you to export a plot to a Geographic Information System (GIS) in a number of common formats. Some GIS formats support the concept of named layers. Type the layer names used for point annotations matched by this display rule. You can specify different layers for the point symbols and the point labels.

Displaying Line Geographic Annotations

To display line geographic annotations, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Lines page of the Plot Options dialog box.

  2. Check the box labeled Show line geographic annotations. If this box is not checked, no line annotations will be displayed on your plot.

  3. Add display rules to the table, and set the Category and Name columns for each rule. See Display Rules for instructions.

  4. For each display rule in the table, set the value of each display option column.

    • Show -

      Check this box to display line annotations. If this box is not checked, line annotations matched by this display rule will not be displayed.

    • Color -

      Select the color used to draw line annotations matched by this display rule. See Color Control.

    • Width -

      Type the width of the line, in millimeters, used to draw line annotations matched by this display rule.

    • Line Pattern -

      Select the dash pattern (dashed, dotted, solid, etc.) used to draw line annotations matched by this display rule. Press the Select Line Pattern button to display the Select Line Pattern dialog box, which allows you to browse the available patterns. See Line Pattern Control.

    • Label -

      Check this box to label each line annotation matched by this display rule. The lines' names will be displayed on the plot.

    • Label Font -

      Select the font used to label line annotations matched by this display rule. Press the Select Font button to display the Font dialog box, which allows you to browse the available fonts. See Font Control.

    • Line Layer and Label Layer Names -

      NMPlot allows you to export a plot to a Geographic Information System (GIS) in a number of common formats. Some GIS formats support the concept of named layers. Type the layer names used for line annotations matched by this display rule. You can specify different layers for the lines and the line labels.

Displaying Area Geographic Annotations

To display area geographic annotations, follow these steps.

  1. Go to the Areas page of the Plot Options dialog box.

  2. Check the box labeled Show area geographic annotations. If this box is not checked, no area annotations will be displayed on your plot.

  3. Add display rules to the table, and set the Category and Name columns for each rule. See Display Rules for instructions.

  4. For each display rule in the table, set the value of each display option column.

    • Show -

      Check this box to display area annotations. If this box is not checked, area annotations matched by this display rule will not be displayed.

    • Outline -

      Check this box to draw the outlines of area annotations matched by this display rule. If you do not display outlines, you should choose to fill the areas (see Fill below). Otherwise, the areas will not be visible.

    • Outline Color -

      Select the color used to draw the outlines of area annotations matched by this display rule. See Color Control.

    • Width -

      Type the width of the line, in millimeters, used to draw the outline of area annotations matched by this display rule.

    • Outline Pattern -

      Select the dash pattern (dashed, dotted, solid, etc.) used to draw the outline of area annotations matched by this display rule. Press the Select Line Pattern button to display the Select Line Pattern dialog box, which allows you to browse the available patterns. See Line Pattern Control.

    • Fill -

      You can fill area annotations on your plot with a solid color. Check this box to fill the area annotations matched by this display rule. If you do not fill areas, you should choose to display the area outlines (see Outline above). Otherwise, the areas will not be visible.

    • Fill Color -

      Select the color used to fill area annotations matched by this display rule. See Color Control.

    • Fill Opacity -

      Select the opacity of the fill color. The opacity may range from 0% (totally transparent) to 100% (totally opaque). An intermediate opacity will tint areas with a translucent color that allows a background map to show through.

    • Label -

      Check this box to label each area annotation matched by this display rule. The areas' names will be displayed on the plot.

    • Label Font -

      Select the font used to label area annotations matched by this display rule. Press the Select Font button to display the Font dialog box, which allows you to browse the available fonts. See Font Control.

    • Area Layer and Label Layer Names -

      NMPlot allows you to export a plot to a Geographic Information System (GIS) in a number of common formats. Some GIS formats support the concept of named layers. Type the layer names used for area annotations matched by this display rule. You can specify different layers for the areas and the area labels.


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