Edit those lines

Badly drawn map
Badly drawn map

If you draw lines at the scale of your map and take good care, you should always get a better result that in the illustration, which is badly drawn so that we can learn to use the edit tools.

Map Maker Pro offers a range of on screen editing options as well as a host of automation tools. Some of the editing options first:

  1. Simple Editing CTRL+E – you can move polygon boundaries, including common ones, create new vertices (select line and drag), delete vertices (click & delete).
  2. Double click a line to edit a single object – it will go blue and each vertex will be highlighted in red and a bounding box shown.
  3. The start and finish points can be dragged, but first up we are are going to select a middle vertex and drag it.
  4. Create new vertex by selecting a  point on the line that you want to drag, click to create a new vertex and just drag it into position.
  5. You can create as many vertices as you need to smooth a curved corner or work around complex features / boundaries.
  6. Delete a vertex by holding the edit pointer over it and clicking delete.

Remember Simple Edit allows you to move common boundaries in unison, which is very handy.

Sometimes you’ll find it easier to delete a line segment and redraw it. If you create your line segments in a structured way editing each segment is easier.  For example, it can be a good idea to stop at junctions and restart the segment and keep each segment fairly short.

Thin blue line
Thin blue line

As you become confident, there is nothing to stop you working on longer segments and panning the screen while you edit.  When you are done, your new spaghetti should look more like this.

Before we move it is worth introducing a new tool, the Selection Manager. which has a wider range of automation Actions.

Its a snap to draw lines

Markers are temporary and can be used to help you draw lines or just orientate yourself.  Markers can also be labelled and saved as layer.

In the following we are going to draw some roads to connect the markers, before deleting the markers.

We are going to make roads first:

  1. Select the draw lines tool or simply CTRL+L
  2. First of all select Edit > Live Layer Options > Snap to options > Snap to Live Layer
  3. Then Edit > Live Layer Options > Snap to options > Vertices or lines on click

Now we are ready to draw.  The lines you draw should snap to any lines you’ve just drawn, within 10pixels.

  1. Simply create a network of roads that connect the turbines.  It should look like the image, but don’t worry if you make mistakes, the idea is that we’ll correct these next.
  2. During line creation remember backspace to correct the last vertex and ESC to cancel the lot.
  3. Finally select an end point and then right click elsewhere to finish the line.
  4. Select the road style for now.

Zoom in and out if you want to, see that the snapping works.  If there are spaces between your lines the snapping options were probably turned off!  Or if the snapping hasn’t worked so well, make sure that you don’t create competing vertices where lines are to join up.

There's a clearing in the forest

In this exercise we are going to learn to use  the main drawing tools, save and edit data, label objects and features and create some map styles as we go.

First up we are going to head for a clearing in Crystal Forest, where a number of wind turbines are located.

Navigate to a clearing in the forest
Navigate to a clearing in the forest

So first of all let’s get the relevant OS tile (NT66NE) and navigate to Crystal Forest, which happens to be right at the centre of the tile.

  1. Start Map Maker and/or  clear the existing project
  2. Hit SPACE to call up the Project Manager
  3. Navigate  to the  TIF tile located in Public > Map Data > 10k_raster
  4. Remember to select for .tif files and then scroll to nt66ne.tif
  5. When you’ve added the layer, close the project manager
  6. If you are zoomed in close, zoom out the tile extent and zoom so that the middle 3 km squares are more or less centred and you can see the extent of the wind farm

Now we are going to load in some ready made markers, which should indicate the locations of 25 turbines.  If you cannot find the ready made marker file, don’t panic – it easy enough to create the markers yourself.

  1. Select from the  menu Edit > Markers > Load points as markers
  2. Look for the file Turbines.dra
  3. No luck?  Place markers on the map yourself.
  4. The markers merely identify the 12 outer turbines.
  5. To create markers, simply hold the cursor pointer tool over the spot and press the letter M (don’t click!) and keep going until you’ve got the 12.
  6. If you make a mistake, its CTRL+E and the select the bottom of the marker.  In the Dialogue choose the Actions tab and delete. You can clear all the markers in Edit > Markers > Clear markers or  save the markers Edit > Markers > Save markers (watch out as they will become a layer.)

If everything is looking like it should, move on to the next session.