Advanced GPS Concepts. Offsets Feature Files Log At Basemaps Grids Navigating Freehand Redlining Sticky Log Shapefiles Log by Laser Buffers Split Polygons Merge Polygons RTI. A. Offsetting GPS Points.
One of the strengths of Solo Forest is the ability to easily offset any point that you are collecting. This comes in handy when it is difficult to physically get to a corner because it is grown up or on the other side of a huge ditch. Also, if your corner is a large tree, it is faster and more accurate to stand 5-10 feet from that tree and offset a point instead of collecting multipath data.
You can also Offset Lines and Areas in Solo Forest. This feature allows you to map a stand boundary without having to walk exactly on the boundary. It is much faster and more accurate GPS-wise, to walk in a fire lane, pasture, road, clearcut, etc. instead of on the exact boundary.
The measure tool will allow you to measure distances or bearings between points just as we measured distance. This can be done by selecting Tool > Measure Tool > Bearings.
Then after selecting the Measure tool, the bearings will be calculated as you select points. This tool will also work if you have your Stylus set for Manual XY.
It is very easy to Edit or Add features to the feature file in Solo Forest.
To do this, select File > Feature Codes.
You can change the order of the features by highlighting one and clicking the Up or Down arrows,
You can see the Attributes under a feature by double clicking the feature, clicking the + sign beside it.
To Add a new Feature,
1. click New
Solo Forest allows you to connect a node of one line or area to a node of another line or area. This is handy when you are mapping roads and want to tie them together with no under or overlap, or you are want to join the boundary of your SMZ to your Timber Stand with no slivers.
What Kinds of Basemaps Can I Use in Solo Forest?
Your first step is get the TatukGIS Viewer program running on your computer by either installing it from your customer CD or downloading it from the LandMark website under Support > Software Updates.
Once you finish downloading the program, install it and open it. Then select New Project.
Next, click the Add Layer button and navigate to your Basemaps folder and Open one your DRG or DOQQ files that you downloaded and unzipped. The file type can be .sid, .tif, .img, or .jp2.
Next, click the Zoom Window button and draw a box around the area you want to export.
NOTE: the smaller the area, the more efficiently you will be able to zoom in and out in Solo Forest.
Next, click File > Export to Image and then select the directory (if different), name the file, and select “Tag Image File Format (*.tif)” as the type and Save it.
Lastly, Select the Visible extent and then make sure the file size is < 20 MG so that it will be usable in Solo Forest. When you select Save, you will have created 3 files; a .tab, a .tif, and a .tfw. You will need to transfer the .tif and the .tfw to your handheld for use in Solo Forest.
To check your Zone settings in Solo Forest, go to the Zone tab of the Settings Screen and look at the following:
Coordinate System : usually UTM
Horizontal Datum : usually NAD 83
Zone : Check Map on next page
You can display a custom coordinate system like the MSTM used in MS by checking this box and selecting the appropriate file.
NOTE: the Position Display and Distance Units on the General Tab of the Settings Screen do not have any effect on the basemap lining up in the correct place. They simply control whether or not you will see LLA or Northing Easting, and feet or meters in the field. When you export your data, however, you must pay close attention as detailed earlier in this manual under exporting shapefiles.
To add a basemap to your project select View > Map Layers.
Next, you will see the Basemap Layer Control screen. Select the +Layer button to add a basemap layer.
Back at the Map Layers screen , you can double click the basemap layer to find out information about the layer or change the Linear Units if necessary (Solo assumes photos are in meters).
Once you are finished adding and editing the photo or topo, select OK, and then Click Yes and then OK when prompted to save the Basemap Configuration File. This will automatically load all of the basemap layers associated with this project the next time you load this .udf file.
Lastly, if you have your GPS going and are in the proximity of the basemap, it will automatically load underneath you. If, however, you do not have GPS going, you will see a blank screen and so you’ll need to use the Zoom to Everything button to display the basemap layer.
Digitizing can be done 2 ways in Solo Forest. The first is Freehand redlining. With this feature you can draw on top of basemaps, images, or logged data. You can also make notes on your map.
Step #1 – Set your stylus to Stylus Does Freehand Redlining
Step #2 - Now draw a polygon on top of the basemap without lifting your stylus. Do not try to close the polygon.
Step #3 - Change the Stylus Use back to Select Logged Data and Select the Redlined Area. The redlined area will appear as a double line when selected
Step #4 - To convert it to a UDF feature go to the Edit menu and select Copy to UDF feature. Solo will show you what the feature will look like. Select OK.
Step #5 – Select Yes to the question about continuing.
Step #6 – Select OK when it shows you what the new feature is going to look like..
Step #7 - Now you’ll be prompted to select the feature to log. For this example we’ll make the polygon a Water Area. You can then enter attribute info for that feature.
Step #8 – The last step is to get rid of the redline so we can better see the points that have been manually logged in the conversion. To do this, select Edit > Delete and then Yes while making sure that the redlined feature is still selected.
Step #9 – Be aware that if you have your stylus set to Freehand Redlining, you can simply Tap the screen and get options like Drop a Note (Eagle Nest), and Stylus Draws a Circle to draw a buffers around objects on the screen around it.
You can then use your GPS to flag and map the buffer.
Sticky Log is another logging technique that allows you to digitize by selecting existing data and/or by clicking on the screen with your stylus. If your stylus is set to Stylus Selects Logged Data you can select nodes on the screen.
Here a few uses of Sticky Log with Logged Data:
1. Subset a stand into a smaller stand
2. Fix GPS mistakes like making a big polygon out of 2 smaller ones
3. In the case where you have 2 stands that share a common side, you can use Sticky Log to re-log a portion of the common boundary to keep from having to reGPS something you just GPSed.
Here is how to Sticky Log with Logged Data:
Step #1 - Make sure your Stylus Use is set to Select Logged Data
Step #2 - Select Log > Sticky Log Mode.
Step #3 – Use your stylus to click on the node where you want to start your feature and then you will be prompted to select the feature to log. We’ll choose a Timber_Stand for this example. You will only be prompted for this info on the first point.
Step #4 – Continue to click around the existing polygon until you reach the end.
Step#5 – Select Log > Sticky Log to turn Sticky Log mode off.
Step #5 – Select either Single Flag or Flag with a Stopwatch to finish the 2nd stand with static points and/or dynamic lines.
Another great use of Sticky Logging is to use it to digitize around a stand or feature on an aerial photo.
Here is how to Sticky Log on a Photo:
Step #1 - Set your stylus to Stylus Selects Manual X,Y Location.
Step #2 – Select Log > Sticky Log Mode
Step #3 – Click on the photo where you want to begin your feature.
Step #4 - Choose the feature that you want to begin in the All tab or add data to on the In Progress tab.
Step #5 – Continue to click around the feature.
Step #6 – Select Log > Sticky Log Mode to get out of Sticky Logging.
Solo Forest can generate a grid inside a selected area feature or shapefile polygon and store the grid points as a waypoint file.
Here is how to do it:
Step #1 – With your stylus set to Stylus selects Logged Data, click on the polygon
Step #2 - select Tool > Generate Grid.
Step #3 – Select Change Settings
Step #4 – Set your Grid Parameters
You have several options for your grid. For this example we’ll use a square cell shape with a 5 x 2 chain spacing on a 0 degree orientation.
Other Cell Parameters Options
- Solo Forest allows you to specify a given # of cells for a specific stand and it will uniformly distribute them across the stand. Use the with Waypoints option to ensure that the correct number of waypoints are created.
- You can also decide if you want the entire grid cells to be contained within the area – thus eliminating grid points from falling on the edge of the stand, or have the grid cells simply intersect the grid area like they did in SoloField. The second method will place as many grid points in the polygon as it can, with some usually falling near the edges.
Step #4 – Set your Alignment Point (Optional)
Most foresters are used to having their grid start at a known corner and then go ½ the distance up and over to place the first grid point. All of the rest are then spaced on the 2 x5 pattern after that. To do this in Solo Forest, press AlignmentPoint and then go to the MapTab > then Menu > and lastly, Zoom Logged Data.
With your Stylus set to Stylus Selects Logged Data, you can now select the Alignment point or locking node.
Lastly, select OK 2 Times.
Step#5 – Once you are back in the main Grid Parameters screen, Uncheck Output Gridlines.
Step #6 – Change the Waypoint Icon (Optional)
If you do not like the look of the default waypoint icon , you can easily change it by clicking on the icon.
Next, you need to click on the Symbol button…
and then select a new icon, like #19, off of the list and click OK 2 times.
Step #7 – Auto-stratifying Plots from Solo Forest. If you know the Stratum or Stand # of the polygon in which you are creating the grid, then you can have Solo PUSH that ID to TCruise when you start using RTI. To do this, simply type in the Stratum or Stand # in the Waypoint Label Box, followed by a ;.
Step #8 – Save a Waypoint Setup File
When you get back to the Grid Parameters screen, select Save setup to file to save the Waypoint Settings and Icon you just selected.
Next, name your Waypoint Setup file something like 5by2.wgr and save it in the Solo folder by selecting OK. You must include the .wgr file extension.
Note: The next time you want to create that grid type select Load setup from file.
Step #9 – Generate Grid
When you get back to the Grid Parameters screen, select Generate Grid.
Step #10 – Select Labeling Order, Starting Index, and any Labeling Prefix
You can use the defaults or specify a different grid order, starting number, or prefix like “st1-”. In this case the first plot will be labeled “jt-1”. The second will be “jt-2”, etc.
Notice the Add to Existing File box. If you select that box then you can add more waypoints into an existing waypoint file. This is extremely helpful if you want to cruise 2 different stands with different intensities. Be sure and have the starting index of the second grid be one more than the last grid point on the first stand.
Step #10 – Name the Grid
You now have to specify a name a file location for the waypoint file you are about to create. Normally it it best to use the default file name and save it in the Solo folder. If, however, you are creating multiple grids for the same project, you will want to specify names.
Our grid is now displayed.
Note: If you want to load grids that were previously created for the polygons in your project, you can go to File > Settings > Files Tab and then Browse for the correct Waypoint file. You can also use the Clear button to clear the grid off of the screen.
NOTE – Solo Forest allows multiple grid layers to be loaded via the Basemap Layer screen. This allows you to cruise stands with different cruise intensities at the same time using RTI.
Make sure that each waypoint has a unique plot id when you create the grid.
Step #1 – Make sure your stylus is set to Stylus Selects Logged Data
Step #2 – Select the Navigate Button -
Step #3 – Select a Tab, a point, and click OK
Point – Navigate to a logged GPS location
Waypoint – Navigate to a specific waypoint
Location – Enter and then navigate to a specific Lat-Long
Map – Allows you to select a waypoint off of the map
The next screen we see will show us in relation to the grid point, as well as, how far away we are, what the bearing to the point is, and in what direction to start walking.
When we start walking, 2 arrows will appear. You need to align the black on in the gray on and you are walking in the correct direction.
When you load a shapefile layer in Solo Forest, you need to repeat the exact same steps that you did for the photo or topo layer except that you change your file type to Arc Shapefile in Step #4.
Once the shapefile is displayed in the Map Layers sceen, you can double click on that layer and change its display and projection properties (among other things).
On the Display Tab, you can change the color or linewidth of the layer.
Unfortunately, there many ways to project shapefiles. Solo gives you lots of options to help you line your GIS data up with your GPS data.
One of these 3 should allow you to correctly project your shapefiles.
When you exit the Map Layer screen, you will see the following dialogue. If you want a legend displayed, you must turn on a theme and make the legend visible. Normally you would simply click Skip here.
If you have not already saved a Basemap Configuration file, you will be asked to do so. Click Yes and Ok and OK and then you will be back to the main screen in Solo.
If you are not in the same location as your shapefile, select Zoom to Everything and it will be displayed.
Before you can actually select your shapefile and create a grid in it, you must do the following 2 things:
1. Make Stylus Selects Basemap Feature
2. Set the Active shapefile layer by going to View > Set Active Layer and then selecting the correct shapefile Layer (if there are more than one) to be selected when you click on the screen. Also you can select an Attribute column in the dbf file to be displayed when the shapefile is selected.
7. Select Go To and Solo will Zoom to the Stand
Once you have located the shapefile you want to cruise either by zooming into it with zoom tools or by using the Find Feature tool, then you can create a create a cruise grid in it as follows:
1. With your stylus set to Stylus Selects Basemap Feature, click on the polygon.
2. Select Tool Generate Grid
3. Follow the same Directions given earlier in this section for generating grids.
Note: If your shapefile is built so that multiple polygons have the same attributes, Solo Forest will select and create grids across all polygons that are simultaneously selected. If your shapefile is built 1 polygon at a time, you can use the Freehand Redlining technique described later in this section to create a dummy Tract around multiple stands and then create a grid in the Tract.
Once you have set your stylus and the Active Layer correctly, you can click anywhere on or in the shapefile and the value for the Attribute you selected should be displayed. If you click on that box, the other values for the other attributes of that shapefile will be displayed. You can then double click on those values and edit them if necessary.
If you want to edit the spatial position of the shapefile or the individual nodes in that shapefile, set your Stylus to Edit Basemap Feature.
Next you will need to select the shapefile and then double click on a node. The following screen will appear. You can adjust the settings if you go to the Settings menu.
In the Settings menu, you can choose whether you want to Move the entire shapefile or simply Move an individual vertices.
Lastly, you need to decide whether you want to Snap the shape or vertex to your GPS location, a logged point, a basemap point or to somewhere on a map grid.
Once this is set up, you can select the move the shape or vertices accordingly.
One tool in Solo Forest that is particularly useful is the ability to enter a property description ands have it drawn on the screen for you. The best ways to do this is to use the Log with Laser function, but not really use a laser. In this example we will create a square 40 while standing at 1 corner.
Step #1 - Log a GPS Point at a known Corner. Follow the directions for Logging a Static Point. Make the feature type be a Tract area.
Step #2 - Change the Log with function to Log with Laser.
Step #3 – Select Single Flag to add the next corner.
Step #4 - Double click the Tract Feature in the In Progress tab.
Step #5 - Click OK on the Attributes Screen.
Step #6 - Select the GPS point that you just logged as your Reference Point and then press Continue.
Step #7 - Enter the Horizontal Distance and Azimuth to the next point. In this case it is 1320 ft and 0 degrees (Due North). Then press Log.
The offset point will show up on the screen and will be connected to the first point.
Step #8 - Select Single Flag and then follow Steps 3-7 to select the last logged point (blue diamond) as the Reference Point, input the correct Horizontal Distance and Azimuth to the next corner, and finally to Log that point.
Step #9 – Repeat Step #8 one more time and your square 40 should look like this.
Since a square 40 is never square, you need to be able to move points from where you projected them with the Log by Laser technique to where they actually are. To do this, you need to navigate to the projected corner and then find the actual corner. Next, with your Stylus set to Select Logged Data, select the corner to move. Then select Edit > Move.
Next, click OK when Solo Forest identifies the point you selected, and then Click OK, or Log, at the Relocate Point Screen when you are satisfied with the Deviation of that point.
Step #1 – Log a Point or Line Feature
Step #2 – Select the feature
Step #3 – Select Tool > Buffer Feature
Step #4 – Assign the correct Buffer Width and then choose if you want to buffer the left side, right side, or both sides for a line feature or inside, outside, or both for a polygon feature.
NOTE: The buffer feature is always going to be a polygon feature.
Step #5 – Select Create Buffer and then OK.
Step #6 – The Buffer area you just created will be called a Buffer feature, but you now need to select an existing area feature to assign the buffer’s attributes.
Step # 7 – Assign the correct Attributes.
You now have a new feature called Buffer with an assigned set of attributes that is physically located around, attached to, inside, outside or both inside and outside your mapped line or area feature.
Step #1 – Log a Point or Line Feature
Step #2 – Select the feature
Step #3 – Select Tool > Polygons > Split
Step #4 – Choose to split the polygon based on:
1. an existing feature that bisects the selected feature,
2. a redline drawing, or
3. by selecting 2 vertices on the selected feature.
Step #5 – Check whether or not you want to keep the Original feature or delete it off.
Step #5 – Select Split and OK.
You now have 2 new polygons in place of the original one.
Step #1 – Make your stylus = Stylus selects Whole Feature or Logged Data
Step #2 - Select Tool > Polygons > Merge
Step #3 - Select the first polygon to merge and select Set First Feature.
Step #4 – Select the second polygon to merge and select Set Second Feature.
Step #5 – Decide if you want to keep the original polygons or delete them off.
Step # 6 – Select Merge and OK.
Step #7 – Choose which kind of area feature the new Merged Polygon will be and select OK.
Step #8 – Assign the attributes for the new feature and select OK.
You now have a new feature that consists of the 2 merged polygons.
LandMark Systems premier product is RTI, or RealTime Inventory. In a nutshell, RTI is the integration between a field inventory software, TCruise, and a GPS data collection/verification software, Solo Forest. It is the only forestry solution that allows you to do both GPS and inventory work on the same data collector and have the data from both programs linked to each other. It is a patented process, so there won’t be anything else like it for a long time. Here‘s how RTI works.
Step 1: Create a Stand Boundary—This can be done in the office or field by digitizing on a photo, or by using our GPS systems to traverse the stand in question.
Step 2:Create a Cruise Grid—In the office or field, you can specify the grid spacing and orientation and even begin the grid 1/2 the distance over and up from a known corner.
Step 3:Navigate to a Plot—Select which plot you want to go to and use GPS to navigate there. When you get within a specified distance from plot center, Solo Forest will automatically alert you that you are near plot center and ask you if you want to collect data with TCruise.
Step 4:Enter Plot Data—If you answer “YES”, a link will be established between Solo Forest and TCruise, the plot ID and Lat./Long. will be sent to TCruise, and you will be automatically “switched” to TCruise. You can then enter Plot Info and then go to the data entry screen.