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Re: Farm Site Features

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December 09, 1996 12:00AM

As usual, you've got a lot of good ideas.

Some comments on the points you raised, from your first note:

Totalling or averaging data for multiple selected entities would be a nice feature. Tony tells me that we didn't implement total-area in the pointer tool due to speed concerns (it might take a significant amount of time to calculate the area of each of 1000 selected objects, for example, so we wouldn't want to do it without asking.) This would likely be implemented when we implement other general-purpose analysis tools.

When you change the legend, Farm Site switches back to the base view in order to allow the Quick Yield tools to recalculate contours if necessary. As you point out, this doesn't have to happen if you're currently looking at a gridded or averaged polygon view. We'll fix this.

You can display grids without the black lines; use the Layer Display box to turn them off. (And I can already see your next request: Can I export such a map in GeoTIFF or DEM format? The answer is not yet, but maybe someday.)

Base data can be exported in ASCII CSV format with Generic Export. Gridded data can't yet, but it wouldn't be a difficult change to make and it may be possible soon.

The two vector formats you mentioned, DLG and DXF, are unfortunately not full-featured enough to serve much useful purpose. Specifically, DXF is practically incapable of carrying attribute information in a useful manner, and attributes in DLG are specified as numerical codes and can only be of numeric type, so dates and text are nearly impossible to encode. Notice that Transportation (Roads and Trails) DLG files from the USGS only include the names of state highways, US highways, and Interstates - these usually have numeric designations, and the ones that don't (state highways in Wisconsin or Missouri, for example) have short letter designators that can be encoded as small numbers. We are looking into a number of other possibilities for vector exports besides SDTS, and some of those will likely see the light of day fairly soon.

From your second note:

1. We've thought for a long time that legends should be sharable between layers. The thing that has always made this impractical is that the data fields on one layer may be completely unlike those on another layer, so a legend based on, for example, pH would have no meaning on a layer that didn't carry pH or carried it in a different column. Of course, yield data layers always carry the same data items in the first few columns, so perhaps we can make a little progress toward legend sharing for these types of maps.

2. The original (unreleased) Farm Trac had a center-and-radius based circle tool that was cut for lack of space in the toolbox. The main reason it's never been added back is the confusion issue (What's the difference between these two circle tools?) An arc tool would be nice, but the interface would need some work (Do I go from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock by way of 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock? Specify center and endpoints or endpoints and a third point?)

3. The show me tool will work with swath width, distance travelled, wet yield, load ID, and elevation in an upcoming release. I'm in the process of making these changes now. In addition, we will be adding support for Ag Leader and Ashtech and Micro-Trak (for their new units yet to be released) attribute flags in the near future. Note, though, that there are a number of standard yield formats that don't support all this information. In fact, of the standard ASCII formats, only the AL Advanced has all these values. JD Map comes in second, with all but elevation. Ashtech, Micro-Trak MTY, and Ag Leader Basic convey only instantaneous yield, moisture, and load ID without much other supporting information. These formats will probably fill in zero for the other attributes.

4. We do support exporting base data to CSV format through generic export. DBF may happen sometime in the future; probably about the time we implement ArcView Shape Files (these use a DBF table for attribute information.) For polygons, we'll probably export Shape Files and possibly MapInfo files (If I can find someone at MapInfo Corp. who's willing to share the formats with a non-customer.) I have finally gotten a specification for DXF, and I may implement a non-attributed import and export to it at some time in the future, though geographic data is not explicitly supported by the DXF format and important information such as the projection and datum cannot be carried in a portable manner.

5. This falls in with the analysis tools. I'm not sure of the statistical validity of such a normalization, but I'm guessing that it wouldn't be implemented as such. It may, however, become possible through a little ingenuity when we get around to implementing calculated fields (one of those pie-in-the-sky things. Don't look for it in version 5.)

You must have seen my home page. Did you find the hidden link from here, or divine its location some other way? :)

Thanks for the suggestions, and keep those ideas coming.


Farm Site Features

Lyle VonSpreckelsen December 05, 1996 12:00AM

Re: Farm Site Features

Lyle VonSpreckelsen December 08, 1996 12:00AM

Re: Farm Site Features

Ron Parker - Farm Works Software December 09, 1996 12:00AM

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