The display has a menu bar, a single toolbar and a graphics window. The more common processes can be activated using buttons on the toolbar and these generate floating menus or additional toolbars as needed. Function keys can be used to activate operations such as determining the bearing and distance between points or a square offsets from a line.
Data can be entered from the keyboard as well as being read from various types of data recorders and a wide selection of file types. Output such as maps, printed reports and files can be sent to the usual wide selection of devices which are available to Windows programs.
Data is stored in "layers" and the attributes of each data item such as colour, line style, font etc., can be set for a whole layer and/or set for a particular data item.
There are three basic data types: Points, Strings and Text.
Points can be generated by co-ordinate geometry using a "floating toolbar" which allows calculations by various geometric combinations such as bearing and Distance, two bearings, an arc and a bearing, two arcs etc. The mouse can be used to select two points if a bearing and or distance is to be the same as an existing line and a bearing course can be set to a parallel offset if required. There are also facilities to scale, rotate, shift and transform points.
Coordinates in a project can be on a "local" system, or can be based on a projection of a geodetic datum such as the Australian Geodetic Datum (AGD). The datum can be changed and the project coordinates transformed to a different datum using a NTv2 correction grid.
Transformations between projections (such as a change in zone) can be carried out by selecting the new projection from a drop down list.
If a project is on a geodetic datum, information such as convergence, forward and reverse azimuth, point and line scale factors etc., can be calculated and displayed.
Information from various types of data recorders can be read in directly using the serial port of the PC and the data can then be written to a file in a standard format.
Data can also be read from a variety of proprietary file formats such as Civilcad, DXF, Geocomp, Moss, Surpac etc. There is also provision for the user to specify a particular file format if required. On output, data can be sent to a variety of standard file formats or the user can specify a particular format.
Translation tables can be used to switch codes, symbols, layers etc during the file translation process and automatic stringing can be implemented for selected codes on input files. This feature allows the use of existing menus in a variety of data recorders with the data and coding being translated to a standard format on input. At the same time, selected codes can be used to control automatic stringing for break lines, features etc.
Where output is required by a client in a particular format with different layer names and different point coding, line types and fonts, this can be accommodated using an appropriate translation table. Sample translation tables are provided together with instructions for building custom tables as needed.
Transaction file (02)
The operations carried out for geometry calculations can be logged to a transaction file and this file can be used to recalculate points at a later date. The transaction file is a record of the way that a subdivision was generated. It can also be used to optimise the overall shape and block areas by adjusting some of the parameters prior to using it to recalculate the job.
Strings are created by first entering the string parameters such as name, type, layer, line type, colour etc., in a drop down menu, then each point is selected either by entering the point numbers into the menu or by selecting each point with the mouse. Circular curves are defined by selecting a centre point between each pair of points on the curve.
Once a string has been created it can be changed by adding, changing or deleting points using the mouse. Strings can also be joined or split into two separate strings. If a string defines a lot, a line can be dragged to minimise the lot area.
Text can be attached to a point or set in any position and it can be oriented at any angle. Details are added from a floating menu to set the parameters such as font, size, colour etc. The text can be moved and rotated by dragging with a mouse and edited by selecting the text and changing the details in the drop down menu.
Various plots of the subdivision can be produced. The user can select a Title Office Plan, a Calculation Plan, an Engineering Plan or a simple Line plan. In addition, on each plan, the user can selectively turn on or off the bearings, distances, lot numbers, areas, short lines etc.
The program is designed to minimise the later processing of the plan with a CAD package. It checks the orientation of each line and plots the text so that it is readable without rotating the plan. It will detect lots with common sides and will split the annotation so that the bearing appears on one side and the distance appears on the other side. Major lines may be defined so that lots with a common frontage will have the frontage distance plotted for each lot with only one bearing shown along the frontage.