Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

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Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby rchrds » Dec 4, 2009 6:09 am

And the journey continues with round-tripping. I post these here, as I found I end up searching here again for the answer anyway, so perhaps someone will be able to use these.

Today, I found that while working on a map, i had misread the original data and entered an azimuth as 245 degrees instead of 345 degrees. I compiled in walls, and sent it to Illustrator. As I was drawing and overlaying the sketches, it became obvious that this was not correct. Unfortunately, I had completed most of the rest of the map- as this was on a side passage.

Of course, it should have been easy to go back to walls and change the azimuth (that was easy) and then round-trip the map back to Illustrator.

Unfortunately, Walls came back with an error that an azimuth had changed by more than 90 degrees, and would not export the SVG. (The change was actually 100 degrees.)

So how did I manage to round-trip the change?

It was not easy, and if someone can suggest a change to my process, I would love to hear it.

Step one: Go back and make the azimuth change less than 90 degrees in walls.
Step two: Export the SVG to Illustrator. Acknowledge that it is STILL wrong, and reorder all your layers in preparation for another round-trip.
Step Three: Once everything is set up for another import to Walls, go back to walls and change the azimuth again to the correct azimuth.
Step Four: Export the SVG one last time, and find that your azimuth is now correct.

This was painful. I think I understand why this happens, I can only imagine that if I actually had drawing attached to this vector in either the of the shp layers, walls would have a difficult time of rotating it 90 degrees. Unfortunately, I did not have any drawing attached- and moving the vector greater than 90 would have had little effect on the drawing. It would have been nice to have the ability to force through the error and export the SVG in the first place.

Continuing on the road to Walls fluency,

Jason
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 4, 2009 2:55 pm

(I'm not ignoring you, i just have absolutely no idea) :big grin:
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby rchrds » Dec 4, 2009 3:19 pm

Jeff, don't worry about it, wasn't looking for an answer, just an informative post! Ha.
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Stan Allison » Dec 11, 2009 2:37 pm

Jason,

Thanks for taking the time to post your experience with roundtripping an azimuth change of greater than 90 degrees. I've been using the Walls/Illustrator roundtripping process for about five years now, but hadn't run into that particular issue yet. If I do in the future, I won't be surprised thanks to your post.

Good luck with your map!

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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Tlaloc » Dec 11, 2009 4:21 pm

Perhaps you could explain to those of us ignorant of Walls, what "round tripping" is.
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 11, 2009 4:56 pm

Tlaloc wrote:Perhaps you could explain to those of us ignorant of Walls, what "round tripping" is.

it has its own chapter here.
http://www.utexas.edu/tmm/sponsored_sites/tss/Walls/Walls_manual.pdf
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Spike » Dec 14, 2009 10:21 am

I often make typos entering data similar to the one Jason has. However these errors are caught when the data is being compiled, if you have taken and entered front sights and back sights. Just another reason to take these important addition measurements and use them.
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby rchrds » Dec 14, 2009 12:07 pm

Spike wrote:I often make typos entering data similar to the one Jason has. However these errors are caught when the data is being compiled, if you have taken and entered front sights and back sights. Just another reason to take these important addition measurements and use them.


Too True. But when the data was taken by other cavers, and I am just doing the cartography, I have no idea if it is correct or not on compilation. It is not until I overlay the sketches later that these sort of errors become evident- This is when it becomes too late to catch the error in compilation, forcing the workaround above. Also, you will find that backsights are almost never taken underwater- the time available does not allow it, and tight z bends in the survey are not uncommon when the survey is done in less than 5 foot visibility. Just some thoughts.

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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Martin Sluka » Dec 27, 2009 6:40 am

Way you people lose your time?

Check: http://therion.speleo.sk/samples.doc/10.html

What to write more...

original sketch: Image
sketch after morfing based on centerline data: Image
walls drawn on original sketch after morfing: Image
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 28, 2009 2:31 pm

Martin--

Setting aside the concept that anything about Therion is "easy" -- hardly one of the adjectives I've uttered while using it, nor heard uttered by others -- I think you are missing the point. This is not to assail your concept of a cave map; I'm never one to scoff at a map that is complete, to any standard. However, the result produced by Therion falls short of what many of us feel a cave map should be.

The fundamental reason many of us use Illustrator or another external drafting program (Xara, etc) to produce our cave maps is that these vector-drawing programs allow us to produce work at a high level of quality. The Walls-Illustrator workflow, while not without its quirks and headaches, allows us to manage the artwork in detailed maps drafted to a modern standard, which Therion does not.

I've attached an example of my own, a plan view screen capture from a recent project. While I'm not claiming my cartography is perfect, this is obviously not the sort of work that can be done with Therion. To consider a map output from Therion as "complete" is a compromise I'm not willing to make.

--Jeff

PS - If your sketcher had used a protractor and sketched to scale, the "morphing" phase would be unnecessary.
PPS - I also find the data management tools available in Therion to be vastly inferior when compared to Compass or Walls.


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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby lleblanc » Dec 28, 2009 11:27 pm

sluka wrote:Way you people lose your time?

Check: http://therion.speleo.sk/samples.doc/10.html


Perhaps because despite its many features, nothing is simple and easy in Therion? You wrote me yourself you did not use Therion because it was too geeky (when you asked me whether I was going to attend the Toporobot congress.)

The Therion team told me in Vercors 2008 (France) they put the interface overhaul on the low priority list. Alas, the more they wait, the longer and harder it's going to be.

Happy 2010!


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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Martin Sluka » Dec 29, 2009 1:06 am

Auriga wrote:
sluka wrote:Way you people lose your time?

Check: http://therion.speleo.sk/samples.doc/10.html


Perhaps because despite its many features, nothing is simple and easy in Therion? You wrote me yourself you did not use Therion because it was too geeky (when you asked me whether I was going to attend the Toporobot congress.)


Sorry, I don't understand. Therion, or something on the same principle, was my all the speleo life dream. Fortunately this dream is reality for several years. I use it from the very beginning. Projects as klisura.speleo.sk will never be continued without it.

The Therion team told me in Vercors 2008 (France) they put the interface overhaul on the low priority list. Alas, the more they wait, the longer and harder it's going to be.


Fortunately not only those two boys are able to make new interface. It was the first reason, they told it. There are many more important things to add features and remove bugs.

There is one very typical mistake most of the beginners made: they started with complicated system and immediately drawn themselves. Start with small piece and let your project grow.

Happy 2010! Luc Le Blanc


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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby mbudaj » Jan 1, 2010 12:02 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote:The Walls-Illustrator workflow, while not without its quirks and headaches, allows us to manage the artwork in detailed maps drafted to a modern standard, which Therion does not.


Jeff,

as one of the authors of therion I'm rather interested in your statement. Could you explain what a modern standard means?

Jeff Bartlett wrote:I've attached an example of my own, a plan view screen capture from a recent project. While I'm not claiming my cartography is perfect, this is obviously not the sort of work that can be done with Therion. To consider a map output from Therion as "complete" is a compromise I'm not willing to make.


I am afraid that I miss something. I have tried hard to find anything in your map which therion is not capable to produce. The only difference is that therion currently requires the cross-sections to lie near the passage and they can't be automatically collected on the other page or map margin (as it seems to be the case in your example).

Does your definition of "complete" mean that therion maps available on web are quite sparsely filled with details and Illustrator is capable of producing dense and fine passage fills? This is completely matter of personal taste and preferences. Both therion authors prefer simple, technical-drawing-like maps with just the important features included. Other therion users produce maps which are not distinguishable from your sample (I would need to ask permission to send some example).

I agree with you that learning therion is by far not as easy as learning to use some standard vector-drawing program. There is a good reason, namely that therion is not just about drawing a map. It is about data management (which you consider vastly inferior) and data reuse and recycling.

To illustrate the point, I could easily reproduce your sample in therion (as a bonus I would automatically get a legend with e.g. scalebar, surveying statistics and description of all used map symbols -- only now I would say the map is complete). I would perhaps need to add some symbol definitions to match your symbol set. Then, with a minimal effort I could:
  • change symbol set
  • display all flowstone (or any other) symbols in other color
  • change presentation of any symbol (shape, color, size etc.) based on assigned attributes (e.g. saturation of blue depending on water depth) and you are free to add any attributes you need
  • hide all rocks smaller than 2 m in diameter
  • display just the hydrology
  • create a cross-referenced atlas which would be useful for complicated multi-level labyrinth
  • create 3D model based on "true" passage shapes, not just LRUD envelope
  • use SQL queries to analyze centerline data
  • display cave entrances, schematic passage outines and surface karst phenomena over the topographic map
  • generate a list of all possible continuations (as marked by question-mark symbol in the map)
  • export the map to GIS preserving even user-defined attributes for all features

These are just examples. When therion users say that something is easy in therion, it means that it is simple to customize the output and reuse the data after it is initially entered in such a weird interface as therion has.

The user interface is strange because -- as mentioned above -- entering data into therion is not just drawing. Therion GUI is a tool which helps to transfer abstract description of cave features to data files. I agree that it could be easier to use and indeed it's being permanently improved (although mostly in details). Radical rewrite could simplify things for beginners, but it would be so demanding that it should not be expected to happen soon (of course any willing programmer is invited to contribute. For example, I have seen very promising Inkscape plugins in development allowing to read, edit and export therion drawings from Inkscape.)

On the other hand, once you are used to using current interface you are as productive as using any other program. From the experience, a two-day tutorial is usually sufficient for computer-literate people (who are able e.g. to understand and edit HTML code in a text editor) to catch on and start producing maps. For people using computer as a typewriter it takes much longer, for programmers a few hours long explanation is enough not only to start using therion but also to modify and customize it.

I'm far from persuading anybody to use therion. If somebody is surveying simple one-level caves and has enough time, he can draw beautiful, complete, award-winning map using Walls, therion or oil paint on canvas. For those surveying complicated multilevel systems and wanting to keep the map easily up-to-date the choice is (unfortunately) much more limited.

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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Jan 4, 2010 11:31 am

mbudaj wrote:To illustrate the point, I could easily reproduce your sample in therion

The first time I see it, I shall happily stand corrected.
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Re: Walls Illustrator Round-trip changes greater than 90 degrees

Postby mbudaj » Jan 4, 2010 5:39 pm

Jeff Bartlett wrote:
mbudaj wrote:To illustrate the point, I could easily reproduce your sample in therion

The first time I see it, I shall happily stand corrected.


Sorry, Jeff. You didn't even bother to say what you miss in therion maps or what a modern standard means for you. Your map is fairly trivial -- what exactly in that map is obviously sort of work that can't be done with therion? Is it any symbol, combination of symbols, symbol shape, symbol density, label position or font? Underlying passage perhaps? What should other readers, who are not familiar with therion, think?

You are perfectly right to say that learning therion is not easy, that you consider the documentation unsatisfacory or that you have not been able to produce the output up to the standards you like. But your statements were about what therion can or can't in general -- and that makes a huge difference.

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