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Easy Trace Pro 8.3

New in build 1215 25.12.2006

  • We strongly recommend to dim colors of the image as much as possible. It does not cause problems for visual recognition of objects but vector lines become well distinguishable against a dark background. At that you may assign similar hues to vector layers without fear to confuse them.

    There was previously a problem with dim images - tools' cursors and "rubber bands" of tracers were poorly distinguishable in them. So, we have changed the cursors where necessary, and now they are clearly visible against any background as well as ones of editors.

    Initially ...
    Dimmed ...
  • Another seemingly insignificant alternation concerns the "Snap distant" term. Previously, a tool could seize an object or a vertex when the distance to it didn't exceed this value measured in screen pixels and dependent on size of the square representing the vertex. It was a conflicting idea - small squares better represent the line but are difficult to hit and vice versa.

    So, vertex size and snap distance are independent parameters now. To specify the snap distance value, open Service->Project Parameters->View.


  • The autoclose mode of tracers enables easy polygon forming when a closed ark-and-node contour is ready. But you have to specify two points on the boundary of future polygon, and it may be rather difficult sometimes.

    A new mode is provided for tracers now in addition to the manual and automatic ones - One-click polygon creation. You just click any point inside the polygon you want to create and it will be formed automatically if there is a topologically correct closed contour around this point formed by fragments of lines and polygon boundaries.

    The mode was particularly useful at coordination of automatically traced polygons that represented forests with polylines of rivers and roads, which bordered them. Of course, we applied the Topology Correction utility first to form common vertices at polygons and polylines crossings.

  • It is necessary to edit borders of polygons (especially traced automatically) at polygon cover coordination with linear objects. Polygon extension is very simple - start and finish the polyline of its new boundary on the existing one in the autoclose mode and then add the new-created polygon to the polygon you are editing.

    Now, a new mode is provided for equally simple deletion of a polygon part - Cut of polygons part. It is available at manual and automatic tracing and also in the One-click polygon creation mode . Just press SHIFT to switch the mode on/off. The cursor becomes red or gets additional symbol (x) in the polygon deletion mode to indicate difference from common tracing.

  • Individual buttons are provided in the Parameters Bar of tracers for automatic and manual tracing mode to exclude ambiguity at mode selection.
  • The algorithm of line segment copying is generally revised (this operation is particularly important at forming of adjoining polygons and coordination of polygonal and linear objects). Besides, all polyline vertices automatically become visible when the mode is on and return to the initial presentation mode when it is off.
  • At attributive data input for a polyline during tracing or immediately on its completion, the line will be represented as if selected with the Editor. It simplifies visual control - which line receives the attributes.
  • The following way of duplex line tracing (roads, etc.) proved to be useful. In color images, it is enough to trace the color "clamped" between two black lines after forming of an additional color set. For a black-and-white image, make an additional raster layer with the help of the Invert command and add it to the project. (Note, that the package also provides another way to vectorize the roadway and its axial line - you may trace one of the lines and apply the Band Polygon command).
    The algorithm of color set forming by a template from a "seed-point" was revised for better road tracing along the color between two black lines.
  • The Auto Tracing Utility is alternated a little: automatic "View all" scaling mode at start of the utility is canceled. At selection of autotracing parameters, you may now compare them inspecting a chosen part of the image (without searching this part after every test).

  • The Autodetect Swamps utility is added to the utility group designed for after-treatment of vectors after automatic tracing. It is well known that bogs in topographical materials are represented by a conventional symbol (a series of horizontal lines) whereas GIS interprets them as polygons. ALthough Easy Trace has a specialized tool for bog tracing , some maps may be too complicated for it. For example, in Siberia one sheet of a topological map 1:400 000 may contain several thousands bogs of complex shape.

    The Autodetect Swamps utility automatically creates polygons requiring just little manual correction basing on digitized hatches. On the whole, the process comprises:

    • isolation of hydrography layer with the Subject Layer Extraction tool ;
    • filtering - the Swapms extraction strategy;
    • automatic vectorization;
    • "trash" deletion, identification of hatches, and polygon forming with the Autodetect Swamps utility
    hydrography layer is isolated...
    ... filtered
    traced automatically ...
    hatches are identified and polygons formed

    Note: the utility may be useful even if you are not going to trace bogs at all! Rivers, lakes, and bogs are often represented in the same blue color in topographical maps. When hatches of bogs are identified, digitized, and deleted from the source image, you receive "pure" hydrography. In our project for example there were more than one thousand lakes and rivers only in two map sheets. We managed to separate them from bogs and trace automatically.

  • The set of mask filters is increased - new filters are added for arial objects and for hatches (bogs).
  • The Topology Optimization utility got a new feature - you may now specify editable and "frozen" (unalterable) layers. Similar to the Topology Correction utility, there is the snowflake mark near "frozen" layers, and the pencil mark near editable ones.

  • Attributive data input as a separate operation (rather than a step of object tracing) is convenient when the map contains a lot of objects with similar attributes. It both speeds up digitization and enables you to use the Group Editor . On the other hand, search and selection of objects without attributes takes much time even in the specialized view mode of their "highlighting" .

    Now the Editor provides automatic targeting of objects without attributes with the help of the and keys in the "Objects without ID" mode. I.e. you needn't change scale and manually scroll the working window in search of such objects.

    Actually, we applied the same mechanism as for navigation by error marks, which is already habitual for ET users. It is also added to the Z-input tool for search of contours without Z values.

  • The navigation itself is somewhat improved. First, a "buffer zone" along the border of the working window is provided. It saves from situation when the error mark is partly visible on the border and the error it indicates is already outside the screen.

    Second, it is convenient to place long objects in the center of the working window. That's why the When moving to the next object always place it to center of the screen option is available now in the System Settings dialog box ("Others" page). It controls object positioning at execution of the «Next error » and «Previous error » commands.

    When the option is off, an object situated within the working window and outside the 10% buffer zone will not be placed in the center.


  • The following alternations are made in the Z-input tool :
    • The "Go to the nearest uninitialized contour" command is added to the tool submenu. When selected, the working window shifts and the nearest contour without Z-value appears in the center;
    • The commands "Delete Z labels" and "Parameters" are deleted from the tool's Parameters bar;
    • "Z-checking" option in the Parameters bar is renamed for "Confirm".
  • "Z Parameters " dialog box is alternated:
    • the fields Zmin and Zmax are transferred to the "View" page ;
    • the Basic Z value field is added in the "Main" page (to be used when zero Z value is not provided for intermediate or index contours, e.g. -50, 50, 150...);
    • Z palette gets renewed at alternation of the range of possible Z values.
  • Z indication mode is improved:
    • non-contour polylines (ones belonging to the layers, which are not listed in the table in the "Main" page) are drawn in gray. They don't hamper Z input any more and you needn't switch them off;
    • presentation of text objects (also in gray) is restored (it was canceled when the "Show Text " mode was added ).
  • Scientific type of number presentation in the "Z" field is canceled. "E" may be now used as a hot key.

  • The Project Parameters->View dialog box is alternated: there are only two color sets now - for black-and-white and color images correspondingly. Size of cursor, vertex, etc. is common for both color sets.
  • Bug is corrected in the Line Forming utility (Auto Tracing group) - it ignores ends of unclosed polylines now to avoid forming of numerous unwanted segments.
  • A lot of new prompts are added that appear in the Status Bar at different situations. Besides, special fields are provided for option explanation in some dialog boxes.

New in build 1200

  • Upper bound of line width in regular and group editors is increased up to 20
  • Auto-detecting circles utility is fixed: there was an error of radius reduction to templates specified
  • Auto-detecting ortho-objects utility: option allowing deletion of original polylines is added
  • The bug of closing command of ortho-tracer is fixed.
  • Inscriptions generation utility:
    • the parameter “Put inscriptions to the layer” is stored for every inscription template separately;
    • the parameter “Start editing of inscription” is moved to Attributes dialog.
  • Project inspection utility: the error of start scale definition is fixed.
  • Text editor: the error of text extent definition is fixed. This error sometimes caused the problems of text catching.
  • Topology utilities: the error of test import is fixed.

New in build 1198 15.10.2006

  • The Inscription Tool first developed for the previous ET version proved to be extremely useful and thus we made efforts for its further improvement. First of all, you may now specify an area you want to review rather than to revise entire project. It means that the tool may be applied for "nonrectangular" projects, for selective inspection of a user-specified zone, and inspection may start at any area of the project.

    Besides, you may now change review scale (frame size) and frame overlapping without operation restart from the beginning.

  • At last! The Point, Block, and Text tools may be now among Custom Tools. Besides, there may be up to 3 Custom tools' bars now!

    It seems insignificant, but try to work at a project comprising more than FIFTY layers! It will not be long before you realize that about one third of your working time is devoted to selection of required layers in the project layer list. One hour more, and you are ready to break your PC ...

    So, group in the three bars MAIN custom tools for creation of linear and point objects, but do not fall into extreme - you needn't ALL layers in the panels!. Note that every tool has its own settings.

  • An improvement that gives second wind to the autoclosing mode. It is enough now to click inside a space bordered with polylines (roads, rivers, polygon boundaries, etc.) to form a polygon out of it. You needn't any more select a line of its future boundary and copy two points - just click inside. This is true for Curvilinear, Broken, Orthogonal, and Dotwise Tracers
  • Control over project view modes is improved.

    First of all, concurrent screen output of black-and-white and color images is alternated. Previously, OR operation was used at overlapping of black-and-white images on color ones, which gave their unnatural presentation. Now, the following options of black-and-white image output are available:

    • invisible - the images are quite "transparent", only tracing tools "see" them;
    • visible - black-and-white images overlay color ones without distortion of their color;
    • OR mode, as previously. It may be useful for comparison of black-and-white images.

    To select the last mode, click the Combine colors at overlapping of black-and-white images option in the Service -> System settings -> Others page. This option substituted the "Forbid transparent presentation of black-and-white rasters" one .

  • A view mode is added, which switches the text off. Automatic generation of inscriptions is extremely effective for control of completeness and accuracy of attribute data input, but numerous inscriptions may hamper tracing and check of tracing quality. The mode simplifies search of objects skipped at tracing and solution of geometrical problems.
  • Control of attribute-based inscription generation is improved:
    • the "Alignment of generated text" parameter is added. Its possible values are LEFT and CENTER, independently for every template;
    • the "Text height" parameter is now independent.
    • slope angle also may be different in different templates. I.e., street name may be written along the line, but inscription in a polygon will be horizontal;
    • layer list is organized alphabetically.
  • Development, storage and use of mask filters is completely revised. A new module is added - Repository. It contains strategies, filters, and masks that may be used for quick development of new filters. Quick analysis of alternations caused in the image by a mask filter is provided - they are shown as blinking pixels. And a lot of other features! In general, mask filtering became understandable at last.
  • Not only mask filters can compare two black-and-white images - a new tool is added just for this purpose.
  • Object Attributes dialog box is essentially alternated.
    • open the dialog automatically for every next object at attribute check-up;
    • jump to the next object if OK button is clicked at attribute check-up;
    • Besides:
    • Empty line is admissible now when the Auto option is checked (it is equal in rights with other values).
    • If parameters of attribute-based inscription generation are not specified, the "Generate Inscription" button is accessible all the same - the program prompts you to make settings if you click it.
    • Text section in the drop-down list of attribute values was limited to 8 lines, and longer lists demanded scrolling. Now the program calculates text section's size reasoning from size of other sections and specified maximal size of the drop-down list.
    • Point and comma both may separate integer and fractional parts.
  • The Check Polygon Cover utility is significantly improved - it may now check partly formed covers.
  • Bookmarks became less actual when Inspector was developed, but nevertheless:
    • a new-added bookmark appears at the bottom of the list and becomes current,
    • the Go to Next (F5) and Go to Previous (Shift+F5) commands restore the current bookmark first if you change scale or position after you have put it;
    • "Delete current bookmark" command is added.
  • The Object Attributes dialog box appears if you "transfer" an object from one layer to another (if the "Acquire attribute input at object creating" option is on for the target layer).
  • A hot key is provided for the Polyline Resize / Shifting tool - J by default. Object capture by the tool is improved. For example, it is enough to click inside a polygon to widen it.
  • Positioning of lengthy objects of the _ERRORS_ layer and "unchecked" objects became better. The object is always on the screen when you jump to it.
  • Hatched Area Tracer ("Bog Tracer") is improved:
    • right click completes polygon forming;
    • the tool is affected by the "Acquire attribute input at object creation" option;
    • the program automatically rounds butt-ends of polygons.
  • The "Display vector information at scrolling" option is deleted as an outdated one. Instead, the "Fill polygons at scrolling" option is added. It is on by default. On the other hand, it may be reasonable to switch it off if you use a high-resolution LCD display but a weak video board.
  • Bug correction. Warning about insufficient resources could appear when loading images about 1 GB large, even if you specified a suitable disk for temporary data location.
  • Bug correction in the Project Attributes dialog box - text in the attributive fields looked double sometimes.
  • Bug correction in the Mark Objects as (Un)verified utility. The program didn't put marks but inverted them if "Selected objects" option was on.
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