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DLDC_Sims_guy

Some Basic Q's About Map Building...

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I am looking at building a rather large map of the terrain near where I work. I have the elevation data and have no trouble at all bringing that into a map. The problem comes with roads. I could spend the next six months laying down everything from scratch, but I have no desire to do it. I have the shapefiles, but continually get an error when trying to import them. Can someone give me some pointers on the art of shapefiles and getting them into a map? Do I need to do each different type of road in something like Globalmapper? Is there any way to just bring everything in as the same road type, then go through and change them in the map editor as needed?

Thanks in advance!

Curt

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Hi Sims_guy.

There is a guy by the name of Dark Angel around here somewhere. He has quite a rep for map construction and helping others out with the same. If you talk to him nicely he may be able to help you out depending on his RL workload.

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There are a few issues with importing shapefiles. Assuming you are using pro in the first place.

Firstly you want to separate them into road types. A decent GIS package will let you do this. You don't want to be changing the road types after you import them apart from some tweaking. Importing every road as the same type is a recipe for lots of work.

Secondly you need to make all of the roads contiguous. Most available data breaks roads into small sections with the breaks coinciding with intersections.

To the best of my knowledge SB doesn't like this. Doing this manually is an utter pain in the arse. I wrote a piece of code to avoid this and removed about 2 weeks of painful work from map making.

Thirdly you need to know what projection and datum the data is in. When you load the data into pro you are presented with a pop up window with a pull down menu. The menu is used to set what projection to load from (Meters = UTM/MGRS/TM. Feet I assume is the same but with Imperial. Degrees/Radians = Lat/Long). The datum is what you set when creating the heightmap and is usually WGS-84.

For a good cut price GIS program I use Global Mapper.

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Finally, don't mix different data types in the same shape file. While this is permitted per SHP file specification, Steel Beasts doesn't support it yet.

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There are a few issues with importing shapefiles. Assuming you are using pro in the first place.

Firstly you want to separate them into road types. A decent GIS package will let you do this. You don't want to be changing the road types after you import them apart from some tweaking. Importing every road as the same type is a recipe for lots of work.

Secondly you need to make all of the roads contiguous. Most available data breaks roads into small sections with the breaks coinciding with intersections.

To the best of my knowledge SB doesn't like this. Doing this manually is an utter pain in the arse. I wrote a piece of code to avoid this and removed about 2 weeks of painful work from map making.

Thirdly you need to know what projection and datum the data is in. When you load the data into pro you are presented with a pop up window with a pull down menu. The menu is used to set what projection to load from (Meters = UTM/MGRS/TM. Feet I assume is the same but with Imperial. Degrees/Radians = Lat/Long). The datum is what you set when creating the heightmap and is usually WGS-84.

For a good cut price GIS program I use Global Mapper.

I keep getting an error saying the shapes I am importing are off the map and showing some funky coordinates for the shapes:

1.15'19.43"N/100.33'57.80"W

1.16'45.74"N/100.32'19.15"W

when the coordinates SHOULD be:

38.53'7.98"N/95.36'21.02"W

39.39'28.73"N/94.46'23.49"W

This was using METERS as the discriminator when importing. When I try the others, I get 0's for the coordinates of the shapefile.

I've attached some pics of the save dialogue from Globalmapper. What am I doing wrong?

shapefile1.jpg.0e3b2dc0fd67eb524c5ffac5f

shapefile2.jpg.27af8c5457bbade97506ee35c

shapefile1.jpg.0e3b2dc0fd67eb524c5ffac5f

shapefile2.jpg.27af8c5457bbade97506ee35c

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Is it in the appropriate projection?

There may be a difference between the map projection and the required output.

I tend to prefer using UTM or some variation on this (with planar, rectilinear coordinates in metres), rather than Geographic (with spherical angular coordinates) for working in local areas. This might not be appropriate for the task in hand, but it would be the first thing that I checked to try to work on a map for a tactical game.

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Is it in the appropriate projection?

There may be a difference between the map projection and the required output.

I tend to prefer using UTM or some variation on this (with planar, rectilinear coordinates in metres), rather than Geographic (with spherical angular coordinates) for working in local areas. This might not be appropriate for the task in hand, but it would be the first thing that I checked to try to work on a map for a tactical game.

I am using the UTM projection (WGS-84).

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Change your coordinates to UTM. Make the edges of your export just a little bigger than the actual area.

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Yeah, looks like the data you are trying to import is in Lat/long format rather than UTM. In SB Pro you would need to use the Degrees-Lat /long in the pull down menu.

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