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Messsage #: 0
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 16:01:00 -0700
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Welcome Back!

Hi Everybody,

Now that the Compass Users Group has been reconstituted and
a bunch of people have joined, I thought it would be a good
time to send out an email. For those of you who have renewed
your membership, welcome back. For those of you who are
joining for the first time welcome also. 

A couple of announcements: 

A. COMPASS ARCHIVES. With the help of Roger Schuster and
Paul Jorgenson, I was able to reconstruct the entire Compass
User's group archive. The archive contains 180 message
covering the time from July 2000 to December of 2005. The
archive can be found here: 

http://www.fountainware.com/compass/groupmessages.htm 

It is all on one page, so by using the "Find" option in
your browser, it is pretty easy to search. 

B. DEVELOPMENT. This has a relatively slow period for
Compass development since I have been busy with work. My
work load should slow down in the late Spring and I can get
back to the long list of new Compass Features that I am
working on. In spite of the lull, there have been five
changes and bug fixes to Compass since the Nov-2005 release.
The current version posted on the internet has a file date of
Jan 21, 2006. 

C. FILE DATES. I added a new feature to Compass Download Web
page that displays the file-date of each download. This
makes it easy to see if you have the latest version. 

The feature uses Java Script, so you must have Java Script
enabled to see the dates. The feature has been tested on
Internet Explorer and Firefox and they both work fine. One
problem I discovered is that it does not work with Opera. I
have sent the Opera people a bug report and hopefully the
problem will be fixed in a later version. (If anybody with
Java Script and DOM experience under Opera has any ideas how
to solve the problem, let me know.) 

D. COMPASS NEWSLETTER. For those who have not seen it, I have
attached a copy of the Compass Newsletter I sent out a few
months ago. 

Thanks again for all the Support. 

Larry Fish 

====================================================================
COMPASS NEWSLETTER

Judging from my emails, there seems to be quite a bit of
interest in the changes I am planning for Compass. As a
result, I thought it might be useful to list in detail the
changes I am planning on making over the next year or so.

1. NEW FILE FORMAT. I originally developed the Compass file
format around 1979. At the time I was working on a mainframe
computer at the School Of Mines here in Colorado and only had
a few thousand feet of cave data from Groaning Cave to work
on. I never anticipated that it would become so widely used.

Since then, the format has been modified a few times to
handle new data items, but Compass can still read and display
files I have archived from the early 1980's. However, as time
goes on, I am having more and problems adding new features to
the format. For this reason, I am thinking about shifting to
a new XML-based format that will make it much easier to add
new data items and make changes to the format.

I am planning on using some ideas developed by Devin Kouts:

http://www.psc-cavers.org/xml/#designRequirements

For those who don't know what XML is, it is data format
similar to HTML that allows you to create your own
specialized document formats. It uses tags, just like HTML,
except that you get to define your own tags. For example, the
tags for a cave survey file might look something like this:

 Groaning Cave 

There are several advantages to XML. First, it is "extensible".
That means it is very easy to add new items without breaking old
programs that don't know about the new data. Second, the general
XML format is already defined so it is easy for people to write
programs that can read any XML file. In fact, there are general
purpose utility programs and libraries that can read an XML file
without knowing anything about the actual data that resides in
the file.

The biggest disadvantage is that it is verbose. This means that
the files can be much bigger than with simpler formats.

I have already written some code to write the new format and
have discovered that the new format would be about 8 times
bigger than the old files. The worst part is that data takes
about 10 times longer to read or write. For example, writing
one of the sections of Lechuguilla takes 0.4 seconds using
the old format and 5 seconds under the new format even on my
2.8 Ghz Pentium-IV. This will be less of a problem as
computers get faster, but it is probably too slow for some
older computer. For example, someone with a 280-Mhz Pentium
would take 50 second to read one Lechuguilla file and several
minutes to read the whole cave. I think I can speed things up
by simplifying the data format for the shot data and not
breaking everything into independent tags.

Even with the new file format, I will continue to support
the old format for a long time to come. I will make sure
all the Compass programs can read the old format and  I will
have programs that can convert the new data back to the old
format.

I have written a test program that reads the old Compass
files and can write either the old or new XML format. If you
would like to look at a sample of the new data or play with
the program, you can down load a copy here:

http://www.fountainware.com/download/xml.zip

WARNING: Be careful how you use this program particularly when
you save the files to the old format. It has not been tested
extensive and it could damage your cave data. Make sure you
only test it on backup copies of your data.

2. USING MEMORY. Up until recently, Compass' strategy for
processing files was to parse the data on the fly, reading
one character at a time and only retaining the data it needed
to address the problem at hand. This reduced the memory
requirements of Compass and allowed it to process large caves
even with the limited memory available to the early Apples
and PC's. The main problem is that you only have a certain
amount of information in memory and this limits what things
you can display. For example, the Viewer only has the shots
and LRUDs data in memory. As a result, it is impossible to do
other things like highlight individual loops in the Viewer.

Today, memory is no longer a limitation and on the typical
PC, it is very easy to allocate multi-megabyte arrays. As a
result, I can now keep a lot more information in memory
including loops, shots, comments, etc. I figure I need about
150 bytes per shot to do everything I want to do. For a cave
like Lechuguilla, that would equate to 7 or 8 megabytes. For
a cave like Mammoth, the requirement would be about 20
megabytes. These number are well within the capability of
modern PCs.

3. UNDERLYING DATA STRUCTURES. Another aspect that will
change is the structure of the data stored by Compass. In the
past Compass used a fairly simple data structure, with just
enough information to keep track of station locations and to
find loops.

The new data structure will be designed to support "graph
theory" operations. Graph theory is the branch of mathematics
that deals with the kind of "networks" of interconnected
lines that cave surveys generate. In keeping with the Graph
Theory model, the new data structure will have "edges,"
"vertices" and an "adjacency" information.

Graph theory will allow Compass to add a bunch of new
features such as finding the shortest distance between
station, and even finding the easiest path between stations.

Most of the new data structure has been built and code has
been written to work with it. The only remaining task,
(probably the hardest part), is to integrate it with the rest
of Compass.

4. NEW LOOP CLOSURE TOOLS. With the new data structure, I
will be able to do a better job of finding loops. Currently,
under certain circumstances, Compass does not find the
smallest set of loops in the cave.

I have already written routines that do a much better job of
finding loops. In fact, I have written an article about the
techniques I am using for the NSS publication "Compass and
Tape." You can get a preview of the article here:

http://www.fountainware.com/compass/FindingLoops.doc

You can also download a test program that generates large
quantities of overlapped and randomly connected loops. The
link is in the article.

4. NEW ROOM MODELING. I am also working on a system for
handling large rooms. It will be based on using "splay"
shots. Basically, you choose a station near the center of the
room and take shots to the wall in various directions.

Since the user might enter any where from one to a dozen
splay shots, the plan is to have Compass interpolate and
convert the splay shots into 8 or 10 evenly spaced pie-shaped
wedges that would describe the room.

Ideally, you would have at least four shots at evenly spaced
angles to the wall, but the system would handle any number
with any spacing. Of course, the more shots, the more
precisely it would define the room.

The splay shots would be entered just like a regular shots
except that the "To" station would be a special symbol.
Currently, the plan is to use a right parenthesis ")" for the
"To" station. (It turns out that parenthesis is one of the
few character that exists on most of the non-English key
boards. It also vaguely resembles a passage wall.)

The Up and Down dimension would apply to the "To" station of
the shot. In other words, the Up and Down dimension would
describe the wall height where the shot makes contact with
the wall. The height of the center of the room would be
controlled by the LRUDs of the "From" station. This should
produce a reasonably realistic room shape which could be
either convex or concaved. However, it would not model a side
branch of the a room wanders around a corner.

I have written test code and it seems to work well and I may
put this feature in Compass fairly soon.

5. RUNNING PROFILES. If you have been reading the Compass
Newsgroup you know that there have been some extensive
discussion about what is know as "Running Profiles" or
"Developed Profiles." These are profiles where the turns and
bends in the cave passage are "unrolled" and the passage is
displayed as though all the shots were in a straight line.

In an ordinary profile, it may not be possible to see all the
ups and downs of the passages because some shots maybe
pointing directly toward or away from the viewer. Rotating
the cave does not help, because as you rotate one shot into
an optimal position, other shots will rotate into a bad
position.

The feature is very popular in Europe where there are lots of
deep pits and not many maze caves. The feature works best in
relatively simple caves that have few loops and
interconnects. In the US where there are lots of maze caves,
the feature is only useful on small segments of a cave.

Again, I have already written some test code to experiment with
the feature. I think the feature will be easier to implement when
I have the new data structures in place. However, there may be
a way to implement the feature sooner.

6. SVG/BITMAP WARPING. For several years I have been looking
at ideas to help cavers create finished maps. One problem
with finished cave maps is that they become obsolete whenever
a new survey is added or loop errors are corrected. Ideally,
cartographers would like to draw the map once, and then have
a computer program warp the map to adapt it to changes.

There are several ways Compass could address the problem:

A. BITMAP MORPHING. First, it could import scanned bitmap
images of survey sketches and then register various stations
to locations on the bitmap. If a passage moved as a result of
resurveying a passage, Compass would warp the bitmap using
the kind of "Afine" transform used for "morphing" images.
This is the approach used by Garry Petrie's Karst program and
it is relatively easy to do. It works fairly well on small
caves, but it does not really produce finished maps. It is
also tedious to piece together multiple sketches to produce a
full-scale cave map.

I am just finishing up some changes to Compass that will take
the first steps toward adding this feature. The next release
will have the ability to register a bitmap image to the cave
so that no matter how much you zoom, pan and rotate, the
image will stay locked to the cave.

B. ROUND TRIPPING. Another approach is to export and import
cave survey data to a drawing program. For example, Walls
exports and imports cave data in the SVG format; a format
created and promoted by Adobe. The cave data is then imported
into Adobe Illustrator and then passage wall details, symbols
etc. are added. If the cave changes, the SVG data is loaded
back in the Survey Program and the map is warped to match the
changed survey data.

This model has several advantages, the main one being that
with Adobe Illustrator, you can produce very beautiful maps
maps. One disadvantage is that Adobe Illustrator is fairly
expensive and maybe not the best tool for cavers. I also have
questions about how well this works with larger or complex
caves. Finally, there are questions about how universal SVG
will become and whether it will be adopted by other programs.

Another option would be to do something similar using a less
expensive drawing program such as Corel Draw, or Canvas. DXF
would be the ideal format because it is a nearly universal
file format.

7. GLOBAL STATIONS/PREFIXES. One of the problems with cave
survey data occurs when you have duplicate stations. This
usually happens when try to combine several caves into
regional map. As you probably know, Compass uses a "Linking"
system to deal with this issue. Although, it works well,
people are often confused about how to apply it, particularly
when the linking stations have to be "carried" between files.

A different option that might be easier to understand would
be to allow the user to declare certain stations in each file
to be "Public" or "Global". These stations would be the only
stations that would be visible to other files. In practice,
it works similar to the "Links" but it might be easier to
understand and use.

Another option would be to add prefixes to each survey file
or even each survey. The prefixes would then be added to each
station name to help prevent name conflicts. This is what 
Survex does to deal with British cave data which often has
duplicate station name even in a relatively small cave.

8. LOOP CLOSURE. As you may know, there has been some
controversy about the efficacy of various loop closure
techniques. I am convinced that the routine described
by John Halleck are superior to other methods:

http://www.cc.utah.edu/~nahaj/cave/survey/

My plan is implement John's ideas after have I changed
the file format and data structures. 

9. INCREMENTAL UPDATES. While I am working on all these
changes, I will continue to make updates to the current
version of Compass. I get lots of requests for new features
and many of them are relatively easy to do (or at least fit
into the current data structure.) For example, I have made
about 40 changes to Compass in just the last six months.

Currently, I am working on adding a standard-deviation field
for Fixed Station. This is needed because GPS readings
are often inaccurate and can distort the cave if more
than one entrance is tied to a GPS fix. I am also finishing
up the feature that locks a bitmap image to the cave.
I expect to have these two features finished in a couple
weeks.

Although many of these changes have in place for months, I
will probably make a public announcement in the next few
weeks so that everyone will be aware of the new features.
The big changes will come later.

10. TIME CONSTRAINTS. I work on Compass whenever I have free
time. This depends on how much other work I have. Typically,
I have several months each year when I am between contracts
to work on Compass. As a result, the time frame for
completing all the ideas listed above will depend on how much
other work I have. I'm hoping to have the majority of the
changes done within six months or a year.

In case you are curious about what kind of work I do when I am not
working on Compass, the last five years I have been writing
control software for large astronomical telescopes
manufactured by DFM engineering:

http://www.dfmengineering.com/stan_cass_tele.html

In addition to the Telescope Control Software, we have been
designing Radio Telescope Control Software for colleges:

http://www.pari.edu/OnlinePARIPresentation

We have also been retrofitting NOAA's Satellite Tracking
antennas in Virginia and Alaska with modern control systems
and satellite tracking software:

http://www.fcdas.noaa.gov/facilities.html
http://ivs.nict.go.jp/mirror/publications/ar1999/nsgcgo/
http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/space/spind5.htm
http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/space/spac0185.htm
http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/space/spac0195.htm

Finally, I am doing a lot of work power for a company that
make a very nice power and inexpensive power monitoring
tools:

https://www.doubleed.com/secure.html

Larry


Messsage #: 1
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 09:12:25 -0000
From: "caveguenter" 
Subject: no avi-export

Hi Larry,
nice to see the user group live again. It seems I have to start with a
question? My (your) plot viewer version 5.06.3.28.223 does not make an
.avi-file. Instead it gives me an error message after having input a
filename: 'File not open' in an extra window with a header information
of the name of my plf-file.

Any suggestions?

Thanks and happy programming on the new file format ...

guenter


Messsage #: 2
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 13:51:18 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] no avi-export

Guenter,

Thanks for your letter.

 nice to see the user group live again. It seems I have to
 start with a question? My (your) plot viewer version
 5.06.3.28.223 does not make an .avi-file. Instead it gives
 me an error message after having input a filename: 'File not
 open' in an extra window with a header information of the
 name of my plf-file.

I tried several different tests, but I could not duplicate your
problem. There are three different ways you can generate AVI files
in Compass:

1) Viewer - Using the "Movie" feature.
2) Viewer - Using the "Animation" feature.
3) CaveX - Using the AVI "Capture" option.

I assumed that you were using one of the first two options,
so I tested these extensively, generating many different
AVI files without any problems. 

I noticed that you are using a "PLF" file as opposed to a
"PLT", which implies that there is special data in that
file, that might be giving Compass a problem  when generating
AVI files. You could try testing a PLT file to see if the problem
goes away.

Anyway, it would be useful for me to have more information
what you are doing to cause the error. For example, which of
the options listed above are you using to generate the AVI
file? What "Compression" setting are you using? Are you
generating a very large AVI file with lots of frames?
(Perhaps the problem has something to do with large memory
requirements.) What operating system are you running? Window
98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, etc? How much memory does your
computer have? Do you have lots of free hard drive space? (Large AVI files
can be more than 100 megabytes in size.)What CPU (Intel vs AMD)?
Is there something special or unusual about your PLF file?

One last question - What country are you in? Sometimes the
Windows settings for a particular country will cause
problems with Compass. For example, in the United States,
the "decimal separator" is a "Period" (.), where as, in
European Countries it is a "Comma" (,). This has caused
several problems with Compass in the past and could cause
problems in the future. Compass now very carefully controls
these properties so that Compass file can be read by any
computer in any country, but sometime I forget this issue
when I add some new feature.

Finally, if you can think of any other details that might
be contributing to the problem, let me know.

Larry


Messsage #: 3
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006 14:20:25 -0000
From: "caveguenter" 
Subject: Re: no avi-export

Larry,
thanks for your reply. I'll try to answer all your questions. It seems
to me that it is a general problem with the Viewer, at least on my
systems which is WinXP SP2, German, set up new a few weeks ago. More
info to the system: AMD Athlon 2.00 GHz, 512 MB Ram, 65 GByte free
space on the drive D: were all data is to be stored. The programm
itself is on C:, which is smaller, only 4,89 GByte free space). I do
have a Matrox G450 with two Monitors, one with 1600*1200 and one with
1280*1024.

I tried it also with an other system: AMD Sempron 2800+ 1 GByte Ram,
100 GByte free space, only one pure 1280*1024 graphic card and
monitor, also WinXP SP2, German, really fresh system. Your programs
freshly downloaded and run ... and exactly the same problem as
described further:

 I tried several different tests, but I could not duplicate your
 problem. There are three different ways you can generate AVI files
 in Compass:
 
 1) Viewer - Using the "Movie" feature.
 2) Viewer - Using the "Animation" feature.
 3) CaveX - Using the AVI "Capture" option.
 
 I assumed that you were using one of the first two options,
 so I tested these extensively, generating many different
 AVI files without any problems. 

Its the number 2 I am using. Number 1 is also not working. Number 3 is
working. I tried it anew with fulford.plt, just to have a comparable
source.

 I noticed that you are using a "PLF" file as opposed to a
 "PLT", which implies that there is special data in that
 file, that might be giving Compass a problem  when generating
 AVI files. You could try testing a PLT file to see if the problem
 goes away.

I tried it now with fulford.plt. I open the cave viewer, open there in
- File -Open Plot File - fulford.plt, switch the image to Zoom,
Profile. Then - Tools - Animations, add the first point, turn the
cave a litle bit with the 3D Compass, make a second point. Test the
Animation with the standart settings: Intermediate: 50, Frames/sec:
15, it works and then try to save it (with different compression
levels tried) - Files - Save AVI Movie File, enter a name, press
return and get an error window: In window title: "fulford.plt - Cave
Viewer" and in the middle of the window: 'File not open'. In the file
listing in the explorer there is a file with the name i had choosen,
but with 0 bytes. This happens on both systems.

Hope this helps ... and happy eastern

Guenter


Messsage #: 4
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006 14:14:21 -0000
From: "caveguenter" 
Subject: Re: no avi-export

Larry,
thanks for your reply. I'll try to answer all your questions. It seems
to me that it is a general problem with the Viewer, at least on my
systems which is WinXP SP2, German, set up new a few weeks ago. More
info to the system: AMD Athlon 2.00 GHz, 512 MB Ram, 65 GByte free
space on the drive D: were all data is to be stored. The programm
itself is on C:, which is smaller, only 4,89 GByte free space). I do
have a Matrox G450 with two Monitors, one with 1600*1200 and one with
1280*1024.

I tried it also with an other system: AMD Sempron 2800+ 1 GByte Ram,
100 GByte free space, only one pure 1280*1024 graphic card and
monitor, also WinXP SP2, German, really fresh system. Your programs
freshly downloaded and run ... and exactly the same problem as
described further:

 I tried several different tests, but I could not duplicate your
 problem. There are three different ways you can generate AVI files
 in Compass:
 
 1) Viewer - Using the "Movie" feature.
 2) Viewer - Using the "Animation" feature.
 3) CaveX - Using the AVI "Capture" option.
 
 I assumed that you were using one of the first two options,
 so I tested these extensively, generating many different
 AVI files without any problems. 

Its the number 2 I am using. Number 1 is also not working. Number 3 is
working. I tried it anew with fulford.plt, just to have a comparable
source.

 I noticed that you are using a "PLF" file as opposed to a
 "PLT", which implies that there is special data in that
 file, that might be giving Compass a problem  when generating
 AVI files. You could try testing a PLT file to see if the problem
 goes away.

I tried it now with fulford.plt. I open the cave viewer, open there in
- File -Open Plot File - fulford.plt, switch the image to Zoom,
Profile. Then - Tools - Animations, add the first point, turn the
cave a litle bit with the 3D Compass, make a second point. Test the
Animation with the standart settings: Intermediate: 50, Frames/sec:
15, it works and then try to save it (with different compression
levels tried) - Files - Save AVI Movie File, enter a name, press
return and get an error window: In window title: "fulford.plt - Cave
Viewer" and in the middle of the window: 'File not open'. In the file
listing in the explorer there is a file with the name i had choosen,
but with 0 bytes.

Hope this helps ... and happy eastern

Guenter


Messsage #: 5
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006 15:24:06 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Re: no avi-export

Guenter,

Thanks for your reply. I have found the problem!

 Animation with the standart settings: Intermediate: 50,
 Frames/sec: 15, it works and then try to save it (with
 different compression levels tried) - Files - Save AVI
 Movie File, enter a name, press return and get an error
 window: In window title: "fulford.plt - Cave Viewer"

The clues was when you said "enter a name". It occurred to me
that you might be entering a name without the extension
"AVI". Sure enough, when I just entered the name without the
extension, I got the same error you did.

The problem has now been fixed. If you don't enter an
extension, the program will automatically add the correct
extension. There is a corrected version posted on the internet
here:

http://www.fountainware.com/compass/download.htm

Check it out and see if it fixes the problem on your
machine.

Thank you very much for the feedback. It really helps
for finding and fixing problems like this.

Larry


Messsage #: 6
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 12:45:58 -0000
From: "caveguenter" 
Subject: Re: no avi-export

Hi Larry,

 Guenter,
 
 Thanks for your reply. I have found the problem!

I can't tell you positive news. It is still the same, I just
downloaded the newest file. No matter if I enter an extension (for the
avi-file) or not. The .cmv - files are working, I tried it again with
fulford.plt and  with version: 5.06.4.16.223 of View32.exe.
I will be in Spain for the next week, so I can't react for the next days.
greetings
Guenter


Messsage #: 7
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 13:55:08 -0000
From: "caveresource" 
Subject: Compass XML file format

Hi Larry-

I read with interest your plans to switch the Compass file format to a
XML base.  I was wondering if you have any plans to support the Google
Earth file format of KML? The spec is available at: 

http://earth.google.com/kml/kml_intro.html

I've posted an example of what this functionality might look like from
the Google Earth side in the files section.  Of course, you'll need
Google Earth to view the link.  

I would be interested in your (and others!) thoughts.

Best Regards-

Aaron Addison


Messsage #: 8
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 17:06:17 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Re: no avi-export

Guenter,

 I can't tell you positive news. It is still the same, I just
 downloaded the newest file. No matter if I enter an extension (for the
 avi-file) or not.

The only way that I could produce the error you are describing was by
forcing the AVI file's extension to be something other than "AVI". However,
there are other error conditions that could cause an error.

To make it easier to differentiate the different error types, I have added 
20
different AVI errors to Compass. This may help us figure out what is causing
the error.

(When you get back from Spain,) there is a new version of Compass on the 
net.
You should download it and test it. I expect that you will continue to get 
an error,
but the message should give you lots more information. Let me know the exact
words in the error message and that should help me zero in on the problem.

Que tengas un buen viaje a  Espa§a.
(Have a good trip to Spain.)

Larry


Messsage #: 9
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 03:32:26 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Compass XML file format

Aaron,

Thanks for your letter. I have been playing with Google Earth
for several months and I think it is wonderful. I have even made
several overlays of cave passages and loaded them into Google Earth.

I do think I might be able to convert the shot lines into "Path Lines"
so you could overlay passages onto Google terrains. Although I
suspect that Google Earth might choke on the more than 32,000
shots in Lechuguilla.

It is too bad that there is no way to make the ground transparent
and be able to create underground polygon passage shapes.

Larry

From: "caveresource" 
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 7:55 AM
Subject: [compass-users] Compass XML file format
 
 Hi Larry-
 
 I read with interest your plans to switch the Compass file format to a
 XML base.  I was wondering if you have any plans to support the Google
 Earth file format of KML? The spec is available at: 
 
 http://earth.google.com/kml/kml_intro.html
 
 I've posted an example of what this functionality might look like from
 the Google Earth side in the files section.  Of course, you'll need
 Google Earth to view the link.  
 
 I would be interested in your (and others!) thoughts.
 
 Best Regards-
 
 Aaron Addison
 
 Yahoo! Groups Links


Messsage #: 10
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006 20:41:26 -0000
From: "caveguenter" 
Subject: Re: no avi-export

Larry,

 To make it easier to differentiate the different error types, I have
added 
 20
 different AVI errors to Compass. This may help us figure out what is
causing
 the error.

I tried it and I get:

Unable to set Compression Format: Compression not supported 

I tried it now on two other PC's and it is working there.
It seems to be a 'personal' problem ...

On the machine with the problem, there is Windows media player 10
running (displaying) the fulford-.avi files from the other pc's. Also
the moviemaker.exe shows the file correctly. 
The pc is nearly set up new with all MS Updates incl. SP2.

Is there an avi codec missing? The correctly produced avi contained
'RIFF   hdrlavih8  strlstrh8'.     

Nearly no idea what else to do, I do not want to 'overload' my system
with unnecesarry nonsense ... so I will not blindly load different
codecs in. 

Guenter


Messsage #: 11
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2006 03:19:39 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Re: no avi-export

Guenter,

 Is there an avi codec missing? The correctly produced avi
 contained 'RIFF hdrlavih8 strlstrh8'. 

From your description, it does appear that you are missing a
codec. The codec I use for Compass is the "MSVC" codec:

http://www.fourcc.org/codecs.php

The MSVC codec is probably the very first codec that
Microsoft used and it should be installed on virtually
every system. I didn't do anything special to install it on
my computer, so I'm not sure why it wouldn't be on your
computer.

I wonder if it was removed from you computer. That is the kind
of thing that a virus, worms or trojan horse could do. It is
also possible that it was overwritten or deleted by another
codec.

There are some instructions here for transferring codecs from
one computer to another here:

http://www.fourcc.org/fcctxcod.php

I have never tried this technique, so use caution.

Larry


Messsage #: 12
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2006 14:54:01 -0000
From: "caveguenter" 
Subject: Re: no avi-export

Larry,

 From your description, it does appear that you are missing a
 codec. The codec I use for Compass is the "MSVC" codec:
 
 I wonder if it was removed from you computer. That is the kind
 of thing that a virus, worms or trojan horse could do. It is
 also possible that it was overwritten or deleted by another
 codec.

I tested the codec and checked it in the registry. Its all there
(entries in the reg, dll's etc.), despite the fact, that GSpot (a
program which lists installed codecs etc...) tells me, that MSVC for
CRAM-files is not installed when I am trying to check the fulford
video, but the codec is installed in the system if I check the
'installed codecs-list'. I even reinstalled all microsoft codecs,
nothing changed.

So I will leave it as it is under the terms of: ...just another
ms-secret ... and use another pc to get my video. 

Thanks for your help.

Guenter


Messsage #: 13
Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 03:28:44 -0000
From: "Randy" 
Subject: cave depth statistics

I noticed there is a problem with the Cave Depth value when running
Statistics. 
In my case, the Surface survey elevation from one entrance to another
gets entered into the Depth field even though I need to include it for
a Loop Closure.  
What I did was process it with the Surface Survey to tie in the
entrances and create the plot file, then had to reflag the shots,
resave it, and Compile it again for the Cave Statistics.
Is there an easier way to exclude a shot in both Length and Depth, but
still use those survey shots for a Loop Closure?  I must be
overlooking something simple or doing it the hard way...

Randy


Messsage #: 14
Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 03:35:21 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] cave depth statistics

Randy,

Thanks for your letter.

 I noticed there is a problem with the Cave Depth value when
 running Statistics. 
 
 Is there an easier way to exclude a shot in both Length and
 Depth, but still use those survey shots for a Loop Closure?
 I must be overlooking something simple or doing it the hard
 way...

This is actually a more complicated problem than it appears.
The "flags" in Compass, (the ones that you enter in the
Editor), apply to Shot information. For example, the "L"
flag exludes a shot's Length from the statistics.

The Depth information that you want to exclude applies to
the Station information and is not available at the time
that the flags are processed. The program has to process all
the shots before it knows the depth of all the stations. As
a result, the Depth is the last thing the program calculates
and at that point, the flags are not available.

In addition, adding a flag to exclude the Depth of a Station
would be tricky. For example, if you have a shot from
station "A1" to "A2", which station does the flag apply to?
To solve that problem, you would have to choose one station
as the default. For example, it would be logical to say that
the "Station-Exclusion Flag" applies to the "From" station.
This would work fine unless you had an out of sequence
survey like this:

X1 ---- A1 ---- A2 


Messsage #: 15
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 17:29:42 +0100
From: "=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Sārgio_Nunes?=" 
Subject: VRML problems: "bla, bla expected"

Hello!

I'm new with Compass. I found a wonderful feature of this program: vrml
exportation. However, it seams not to work with me. I gave up trying. I have
Cortoma installed, but nothing. It keeps appearing *"file://E:\3.wrl(6,29) :
'}' expected*, and similar warnings.

I use *Visual Topo* and export to Compass to have better 3D features.

Thank you.

Sergio

Hello!

 
I'm new
with Compass. I found a wonderful feature of this program: vrml exportation. However,
it seams not to work with me. I gave up trying. I have Cortoma installed, but
nothing. It keeps appearing "file://E:\3.wrl(6,29) : '}' expected,
and similar warnings. 

 
I use Visual Topo and export to Compass to
have better 3D features.

 
Thank you.

 
Sergio


Messsage #: 16
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 16:54:28 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] VRML problems: "bla, bla expected"

Sergio,

Thanks for your letter. I have found the source of the
problem and I have fixed it. There is a new version of
Compass up on the internet. Download it and let me know if
it fixes the problem.

The problem caused by the fact that many European countries
use a comma "," as the "Decimal Point" and a period "." as
the decimal separator. The United States and some other
countries use the opposite standard.

When someone is using a computer that is configured for a
European country, Windows will read/write numbers with the
comma as decimal point. For programs such as Compass that
have to work in any country this does not work. If Compass
allowed the files to vary from country to country, then a
file created in one country would not be readable in another.
For this reason, Compass always turns off the "International
Compatibility" options in Windows. In this case, I forgot to turn off
those options for the VRML export routines.

Larry

From: "Sārgio Nunes" 
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 10:29 AM
Subject: [compass-users] VRML problems: "bla, bla expected"

 Hello!

 I'm new with Compass. I found a wonderful feature of this program: vrml
 exportation. However, it seams not to work with me. I gave up trying. I 
 have
 Cortoma installed, but nothing. It keeps appearing *"file://E:\3.wrl(6,29) 
 :
 '}' expected*, and similar warnings.

 I use *Visual Topo* and export to Compass to have better 3D features.

 Thank you.

 Sergio


Messsage #: 17
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 15:52:41 -0000
From: "rwmille10" 
Subject: problem with shortcut keys

Any time I try to enter a letter in a "Find" text box that also
happens to be a shortcut key, Compass executes the shortcut rather
than accepting the letter.

Following a hard drive crash, I re-installed Compass from the website.
 I have not changed any settings.  I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 with a
Pentium III; my OS is Windows 2000.

Do I need to change some setting?

Thanks for your help!

Ron Miller


Messsage #: 18
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 10:27:40 -0600
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

Ron, I've noticed the same problem that you mentioned with entering a letter that happens to be a short-cut key in any of the "find" windows in COMPASS. A good example of this problem is trying to enter "A" for finding the A survey which will then color the lineplot by elevation. I have found this problem on multiple computers with different Operating Systems running COMPASS, so I don't think it is a problem with your settings or OS. I've found that if you press shift and the desired key you can enter the desired letters. Assuming that your caps lock is off this will produce a capital letter, which is probably what you want since most surveys are capitalized. If you want a lower-case letter you can turn caps lock on and then press shift. Not pretty, but it works. StanStan Allison, Cave TechnicianCarlsbad Caverns National Park3225 National Parks HighwayCarlsbad, NM  [email protected]@yahoogroups.com wrote: -----To: [email protected]: "rwmille10" <[email protected]>Sent by: [email protected]: 06/25/2006 09:52AMSubject: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keysAny time I try to enter a letter in a "Find" text box that alsohappens to be a shortcut key, Compass executes the shortcut ratherthan accepting the letter.Following a hard drive crash, I re-installed Compass from the website. I have not changed any settings.  I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 with aPentium III; my OS is Windows 2000.Do I need to change some setting?Thanks for your help!Ron Miller------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> See what's inside the new Yahoo! Groups email.http://us.click.yahoo.com/2pRQfA/bOaOAA/yQLSAA/C5grlB/TM--------------------------------------------------------it your group on the web, go to:    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compass-users/<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:    [email protected]<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/ 


Messsage #: 19
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 15:42:10 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

Hi Everybody,

Thanks for the heads up on the problem. I have fixed it and
there a new version of Compass on the internet here:

http://www.fountainware.com/compass/download.htm

Let me know if the changes work for everyone.

Larry

From: 
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 10:27 AM
Subject: Re: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

 Ron,

 I've noticed the same problem that you mentioned with entering a letter 
 that happens to be a short-cut key in any of the "find" windows in 
 COMPASS. A good example of this problem is trying to enter "A" for finding 
 the A survey which will then color the lineplot by elevation. I have found 
 this problem on multiple computers with different Operating Systems 
 running COMPASS, so I don't think it is a problem with your settings or 
 OS. I've found that if you press shift and the desired key you can enter 
 the desired letters. Assuming that your caps lock is off this will produce 
 a capital letter, which is probably what you want since most surveys are 
 capitalized. If you want a lower-case letter you can turn caps lock on and 
 then press shift. Not pretty, but it works.

 Stan

 Stan Allison, Cave Technician
 Carlsbad Caverns National Park
 3225 National Parks Highway
 Carlsbad, NM  88220
 505-785-3105
 [email protected]

 [email protected] wrote: -----

 To: [email protected]
 From: "rwmille10" 
 Sent by: [email protected]
 Date: 06/25/2006 09:52AM
 Subject: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

 Any time I try to enter a letter in a "Find" text box that also
 happens to be a shortcut key, Compass executes the shortcut rather
 than accepting the letter.

 Following a hard drive crash, I re-installed Compass from the website.
 I have not changed any settings.  I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 with a
 Pentium III; my OS is Windows 2000.

 Do I need to change some setting?

 Thanks for your help!

 Ron Miller

 Yahoo! Groups Links


Messsage #: 20
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 22:35:06 -0400
From: Ron Miller 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

Thanks for the work around - seems like a fairly serious bug to me - 
quite frustrating.

[email protected] wrote:
 Ron,
  
 I've noticed the same problem that you mentioned with entering a 
 letter that happens to be a short-cut key in any of the "find" windows 
 in COMPASS. A good example of this problem is trying to enter "A" for 
 finding the A survey which will then color the lineplot by elevation. 
 I have found this problem on multiple computers with different 
 Operating Systems running COMPASS, so I don't think it is a problem 
 with your settings or OS. I've found that if you press shift and the 
 desired key you can enter the desired letters. Assuming that your caps 
 lock is off this will produce a capital letter, which is probably what 
 you want since most surveys are capitalized. If you want a lower-case 
 letter you can turn caps lock on and then press shift. Not pretty, but 
 it works.
  
 Stan
 Stan Allison, Cave Technician
 Carlsbad Caverns National Park
 3225 National Parks Highway
 Carlsbad, NM  88220
 505-785-3105
 [email protected]

 [email protected] wrote: -----

 To: [email protected]
 From: "rwmille10" 
 Sent by: [email protected]
 Date: 06/25/2006 09:52AM
 Subject: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

 Any time I try to enter a letter in a "Find" text box that also
 happens to be a shortcut key, Compass executes the shortcut rather
 than accepting the letter.

 Following a hard drive crash, I re-installed Compass from the website.
 I have not changed any settings.  I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 with a
 Pentium III; my OS is Windows 2000.

 Do I need to change some setting?

 Thanks for your help!

 Ron Miller

 Yahoo! Groups Links

Thanks for the work around - seems like a fairly serious bug to me -
quite frustrating.

[email protected] wrote:

  Ron,
   
  I've noticed the same problem that you mentioned with entering a
letter that happens to be a short-cut key in any of the "find" windows
in COMPASS. A good example of this problem is trying to enter "A" for
finding the A survey which will then color the lineplot by elevation. I
have found this problem on multiple computers with different Operating
Systems running COMPASS, so I don't think it is a problem with your
settings or OS. I've found that if you press shift and the desired key
you can enter the desired letters. Assuming that your caps lock is off
this will produce a capital letter, which is probably what you want
since most surveys are capitalized. If you want a lower-case letter you
can turn caps lock on and then press shift. Not pretty, but it works.
   
  Stan
  
  Stan Allison, Cave Technician
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, NM  88220
505-785-3105
[email protected]
  
  [email protected] wrote: -----
  
  To: [email protected]
From: "rwmille10" <[email protected]>
Sent by: [email protected]
Date: 06/25/2006 09:52AM
Subject: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys
  
  Any time I try to enter a letter in a
"Find" text box that also
happens to be a shortcut key, Compass executes the shortcut rather
than accepting the letter.
  
Following a hard drive crash, I re-installed Compass from the website.
I have not changed any settings.  I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 with a
Pentium III; my OS is Windows 2000.
  
Do I need to change some setting?
  
Thanks for your help!
  
Ron Miller
  
See what's inside the new Yahoo! Groups email.
  http://us.click.yahoo.com/2pRQfA/bOaOAA/yQLSAA/C5grlB/TM
Yahoo! Groups Links
  
<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/compass-users/
  
<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
   [email protected]
  
<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
   http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Messsage #: 21
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 21:06:06 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] problem with shortcut keys

Ron,

 Thanks for the work around - seems like a fairly serious bug to me - 
 quite frustrating.

The work around is now unnecessary because the bug has been
fixed.

The bug apparently occurred when I upgraded to the latest
version of the Compiler that I use to write the code. I have
an old versions of the Viewer that dates from 3/21/04 and
the problem does not occur with that version.

According to posts on the internet, the problem was caused
by a combination of changes in the Comercial Libraries in
the Compiler and improvements by Microsoft. The implication
is that the problem does not occur in Windows 98, but I no
longer have versions of Win98, so I cannot test the theory.

At any rate, there is a new version on the internet here:

http://www.fountainware.com/compass/download.htm

Larry


Messsage #: 22
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 13:32:20 -0000
From: "ericmweaver2003" 
Subject: define coordinates for Compass shapefile

I am having difficulty finding the correct coordinate system for a
shapefile created through Compass. I haven't had difficulty defining a
projection for the shapefile in the past, so I am wondering if I am
missing a step in process. I believe the question should be: What
step/function in Compass defines the coordinate system for the shapefile?


Messsage #: 23
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 08:40:10 -0500
From: "Aaron Addison" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] define coordinates for Compass shapefile

Hi Eric-

My understanding is that none of the cave survey programs create the
projection file that ArcGIS requires.  This must be defined in
ArcToolBox.  The tool is located under Data Management-Projections and
Transformations - Define Projection. 

Absent of this companion or sister file, ArcGIS will place the shapefile
based on the coordinates of the data (with no projection).  This is
especially problematic when trying to overlay your cave data with other
GIS data.

Also make sure that your fixed coordinate point has real-world
coordinates and is not positioned at zero,zero.

Aaron

________________________________

Aaron Addison

University GIS Coordinator 

Washington University in St. Louis

Campus Box 1048

One Brookings Drive

St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

314 935 6198 - office

314 935 7142 - fax

[email protected]

________________________________

From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of ericmweaver2003
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:32 AM
Subject: [compass-users] define coordinates for Compass shapefile

I am having difficulty finding the correct coordinate system for a
shapefile created through Compass. I haven't had difficulty defining a
projection for the shapefile in the past, so I am wondering if I am
missing a step in process. I believe the question should be: What
step/function in Compass defines the coordinate system for the
shapefile?

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) }


Messsage #: 24
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 13:25:42 -0600
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] define coordinates for Compass shapefile

Aaron is correct. Compass does not generate any information about the
coordinate system for the cave data. The Shapefiles themselves have no
provision this information. In fact, they don't even provide a way of
specifying meters or feet. While there is lots of information about the
content of shapefiles, I have yet to find any information about the format
or content of PRJ files. (If anyone has a link to some documentation, I
would be very appreciative.)

Here is a link to instructions for adding a coordinate system to a
shapefile:

http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.1/index.cfm?TopicName_fining%20a%2
0shapefile%27s%20coordinate%20system

Larry

  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Aaron Addison
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 7:40 AM
Subject: RE: [compass-users] define coordinates for Compass shapefile

Hi Eric-

My understanding is that none of the cave survey programs create the
projection file that ArcGIS requires.  This must be defined in ArcToolBox.
The tool is located under Data Management-Projections and Transformations
- Define Projection. 

Absent of this companion or sister file, ArcGIS will place the shapefile
based on the coordinates of the data (with no projection).  This is
especially problematic when trying to overlay your cave data with other GIS
data.

Also make sure that your fixed coordinate point has real-world coordinates
and is not positioned at zero,zero.

Aaron

  _____  

Aaron Addison

University GIS Coordinator 

Washington University in St. Louis

Campus Box 1048

One Brookings Drive

St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

314 935 6198 - office

314 935 7142 - fax

[email protected]  edu

  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of ericmweaver2003
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:32 AM
Subject: [compass-users] define coordinates for Compass shapefile

I am having difficulty finding the correct coordinate system for a
shapefile created through Compass. I haven't had difficulty defining a
projection for the shapefile in the past, so I am wondering if I am
missing a step in process. I believe the question should be: What
step/function in Compass defines the coordinate system for the shapefile?

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) }


Messsage #: 25
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 16:46:22 -0000
From: "ericmweaver2003" 
Subject: fixed problem with defining projection

Thanks for the info. It helped me sort out what was going on. It turns
out that I was doing ok as far as defining the projection. I had used
Compass created shapefiles in the past for overlays and had not come
across a problem. I spent the past couple of days trying to figure out
what was going wrong with such a basic task as defining the projection
for the shapefile. I went through every conceivable coordinate system
trying to find a correct match. A couple clues to the problem came up:
1) the southernmost coordinates seemed nonsensical(-239) and 2) the
station coordinates in Compass were not displaying as real
coordinates. It turns out it was due to the way that the MAK file was
set up. The MAK file that I received had three files: one was the
current survey of the cave, another was an old survey of the cave, and
one was of a nearby cave. I was only interested in working with the
current survey and had put in the coordinates for this survey. I had
thought that I had avoided any input from the other surveys by just
using the View Selected feature and making a shapefile from this. It
apparently doesn't work this way. Instead I had to remove the unused
surveys and then create a shapefile by using View Cave. It worked
great. Once I defined the projection, I had the shapefile right where
it should have been. Hopefully my description of what happened makes
sense and no one else ends up stuck at the same spot. Thanks again for
your responses.


Messsage #: 26
Date: Sat, 09 Dec 2006 06:27:59 -0000
From: "Jon Jasper" 
Subject: Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,

I was wondering if you know a way I can get around how CS/CS2 versions 
of Illustrator does not support the DXF format that compass uses?

JON


Messsage #: 27
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 01:09:08 -0700
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Jon,

I don't have any direct experience working with Illustrator, but I found
some discussion on the internet about Adobe dropping DXF support between CS1
and CS2. On the other hand, I went the Adobe web page for Illustrator CS/CS2
and found the following links which imply that CS2 will import DXF:

http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/322504.html

http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/325101.html

Searching further on the internet, I find lots of programs that claim to
convert DXF to Illustrator compatible files:

http://exdxf-pro2.baby-universe-inc.qarchive.org/

If Illustrator becomes popular enough among cavers, I might add the ability
to export AI file to Compass.

Larry

  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Jon Jasper
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 11:28 PM
Subject: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,

I was wondering if you know a way I can get around how CS/CS2 versions 
of Illustrator does not support the DXF format that compass uses?

JON

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) }


Messsage #: 28
Date: Sat, 09 Dec 2006 11:03:48 +0100
From: Roger Schuster 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Hi Jon,

Jon Jasper schrieb:

 I was wondering if you know a way I can get around how CS/CS2 versions
 of Illustrator does not support the DXF format that compass uses?

Illustrator can read and edit postscript files. Install a postscript 
printer driver (e.g. the one from Adobe) and print your survey into a 
file. PDF and a PDF printer driver may also work but I haven't tested this.

Roger


Messsage #: 29
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 08:27:33 -0600
From: "Aaron Addison" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2
 
I'm confused.... my copy of AI CS2 can import (place) and export DXF ????
 
Am I missing something?
 
Aaron

________________________________

From: [email protected] on behalf of Jon Jasper
Sent: Sat 12/9/2006 12:27 AM
Subject: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,

I was wondering if you know a way I can get around how CS/CS2 versions 
of Illustrator does not support the DXF format that compass uses?

JON


Messsage #: 30
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 09:38:56 -0700
From: [email protected]
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Jon and Larry,

I use Adobe Illustrator CS1 for drafting cave maps and have also found that
Illustrator won't read the DXF exports from Compass. I don't like using
bitmap/raster lineplot exports to draw maps as I can't modify line plot
colors, station labels and survey stations in Illustrator. My solution to
this problem is to convert the Compass data to Walls data using the
css2srv.exe program that comes with Walls. I then export the maps from
Walls as Scalable Vector Graphic which will have the stations, station
labels, line plot and scale bar on different layers in vector format just
like a DXF. Adobe Illustrator CS2 should work well with the SVG exports
from Walls as well.

Stan Allison
                                                                                                                                        
                      "Larry Fish"                                                                                                      
                                 To:                                                      
                      Sent by:                  cc:       (bcc: Stan Allison/CAVE/NPS)                                                  
                      [email protected]        Subject:  RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2                                
                      ogroups.com                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                        
                      12/09/2006 01:09                                                                                                  
                      AM MST                                                                                                            
                      Please respond to                                                                                                 
                      compass-users                                                                                                     

Jon,

I donÉ?Tt have any direct experience working with Illustrator, but I found
some discussion on the internet about Adobe dropping DXF support between
CS1 and CS2. On the other hand, I went the Adobe web page for Illustrator
CS/CS2 and found the following links which imply that CS2 will import DXF:

http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/322504.html

http://www.adobe.com/support/techdocs/325101.html

Searching further on the internet, I find lots of programs that claim to
convert DXF to Illustrator compatible files:

http://exdxf-pro2.baby-universe-inc.qarchive.org/

If Illustrator becomes popular enough among cavers, I might add the ability
to export AI file to Compass.

Larry

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Jon Jasper
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 11:28 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,

I was wondering if you know a way I can get around how CS/CS2 versions
of Illustrator does not support the DXF format that compass uses?

JON

\T6\T6x


Messsage #: 31
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 15:00:33 -0700
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2
 
 I'm confused.... my copy of AI CS2 can import (place) and export DXF ????

Me too! Two people say that you cannot import DXF into CS2 but the web page
and Aaron say you can. Maybe there is an option that has to be installed
before it will work. Microsoft Word is like that. During installation, you
have to install certain options before it will import things like Word
Perfect files. Arc View is the same way.

Larry


Messsage #: 32
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 15:36:58 -0700
From: [email protected]
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry and Aaron,

Illustrator CS1 and CS2 can import DXF files. However, the DXF files that
Compass exports do are not readable by Illustrator CS1 or CS2. Hope this
helps with the confusion. I've only tested CS1, but Jon Jasper has tested
CS2 and found the same problem.

Jô 


Messsage #: 33
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 17:09:59 -0700
From: "Paul R. Jorgenson" 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

If you could get a simple DXF file that WILL import to AI then it should be 
easy enough to compare a simple Compass file see what is not contained in 
the Compass DXF header that causes the error.  DXF is just a text file and 
most likely the problem is a line of text that the AI does not like (version 
or something).

================================  Paul R. Jorgenson KE7HR Phoenix, AZ
   NSS 39382FE - No caves to speak of.
================================
From: 
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 3:36 PM
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

 Larry and Aaron,

 Illustrator CS1 and CS2 can import DXF files. However, the DXF files that
 Compass exports do are not readable by Illustrator CS1 or CS2. Hope this
 helps with the confusion. I've only tested CS1, but Jon Jasper has tested
 CS2 and found the same problem.

 Stan


Messsage #: 34
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 14:04:52 +1300
From: kurt 
Subject: Re: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

I remember seeing a tutorial video at Brandon Kowallis website.

http://www.brandonkowallis.com/Video.htm

He talked about having to import the DXF into Illustrator 9. The  
resulting illustrator document could then be opened in CS1 or 2.
This works for me on the mac.

Cheers

*ą°

http://www.abandonednz.com
http://www.flickr/photos/kurthtg


Messsage #: 35
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2006 21:35:56 -0700
From: "Jon Jasper" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Cave Mappers,
 
I have had this problem for quite awhile.  In the past I had access to a
machine with Illustrator 10 which nicely imports DXF and then would save
into an Illustrator 10 format to be opened into CS2.  However, now I only
have access to Illustrator CS2.  Illustrator CS/CS2 do not import the
Compass DXF format.
 
I tried EXDXF-PRO2.  It works as an addin to Illustrator so that all you
have to do click a DXF icon and it will convert and open into Illustrator.
It works great and is free for 30 imports/exports.  Pass that, they ask for
$90 fee - for a DXF import feature! 
 
Hopefully I will have quite some time to think about with the 30 free
imports from EXDXF-PRO.  I guess if I exceed that soon I will be learning
Stan and Aaron's method of roundtripping to Walls to get a SVG for dynamic
loop closures of in-progress maps. 
 
JON
 
  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Larry Fish
Sent: Saturday, December 09, 2006 1:09 AM
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2
 
Jon,
 
I don't have any direct experience working with Illustrator, but I found
some discussion on the internet about Adobe dropping DXF support between CS1
and CS2. On the other hand, I went the Adobe web page for Illustrator CS/CS2
and found the following links which imply that CS2 will import DXF:
 
http://www.adobe. 
com/support/techdocs/322504.html
 
http://www.adobe. 
com/support/techdocs/325101.html
 
Searching further on the internet, I find lots of programs that claim to
convert DXF to Illustrator compatible files:
 
http://exdxf- 
pro2.baby-universe-inc.qarchive.org/
 
If Illustrator becomes popular enough among cavers, I might add the ability
to export AI file to Compass.
 
Larry
 
  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Jon Jasper
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 11:28 PM
Subject: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2
 
Larry,

I was wondering if you know a way I can get around how CS/CS2 versions 
of Illustrator does not support the DXF format that compass uses?

JON

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Messsage #: 36
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 05:20:10 -0700
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

This issue illustrates one of the more difficult problems for me as the
author of Compass. Compass has been exporting DXF files for more than 10
years. The DXF file format was designed by the company that makes AutoCad,
so it is an AutoCad file format. For this reason, every time I make a change
to the Compass DXF export feature, I carefully test it with AutoCad to make
sure I haven't broken anything and that everything is working properly. It
seems to me that AutoCad is the "Gold Standard" when it come to testing DXF.
Currently, the files exported Compass work just fine in AutoCad.

Since AutoCad is a widely used tool, all kinds of other companies have
decided to support the format. In this case, Adobe has chosen to support the
format. This is where the problem comes in. Sometimes the companies that
support DXF don't get it exactly right. From the discussion on this forum,
it appears that at least some versions of Illustrator have a problem reading
Compass DXF files. It seems like this probably means that Illustrator has
some sort of bug and the correct solution would be for them to fix it.
However, given the fact that big companies like Adobe often don't respond to
low priority bugs, it probably falls to me to find a work around.

At any rate, when I have a chance, I'll see what I can figure out.

Larry

__ 


Messsage #: 37
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 11:56:16 -0700
From: "Jon Jasper" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,
 
Maybe export to SVG should be looked into.  It would be great way to import
full-featured lineplots, topographic overlays, and 3D views into a full
feature drawing program.
 
JON
 
  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Larry Fish
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 5:20 AM
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2
 
This issue illustrates one of the more difficult problems for me as the
author of Compass. Compass has been exporting DXF files for more than 10
years. The DXF file format was designed by the company that makes AutoCad,
so it is an AutoCad file format. For this reason, every time I make a change
to the Compass DXF export feature, I carefully test it with AutoCad to make
sure I haven't broken anything and that everything is working properly. It
seems to me that AutoCad is the "Gold Standard" when it come to testing DXF.
Currently, the files exported Compass work just fine in AutoCad.
 
Since AutoCad is a widely used tool, all kinds of other companies have
decided to support the format. In this case, Adobe has chosen to support the
format. This is where the problem comes in. Sometimes the companies that
support DXF don't get it exactly right. From the discussion on this forum,
it appears that at least some versions of Illustrator have a problem reading
Compass DXF files. It seems like this probably means that Illustrator has
some sort of bug and the correct solution would be for them to fix it.
However, given the fact that big companies like Adobe often don't respond to
low priority bugs, it probably falls to me to find a work around.
 
At any rate, when I have a chance, I'll see what I can figure out.
 
Larry
 
__ 

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w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
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  1024x768
 
  TextFit
  
  Clean
  Clean
  DocumentEmail
  
  false
  false
  false

st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) }


Messsage #: 38
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 13:28:56 -0700
From: "Larry Fish" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

SVG is certainly at the top of my list of things to do. One thing to be
aware of is that SVG cannot replace DXF. SVG is a two-dimensional format
where as DXF is three dimensional. This means that the 3D modeling of
Compass cannot be exported to SVG. I can of course export the 2D passage
options such as Polygons, Shaded Cylinders, Open Spline Curves and Filled
Spline Curves.

One thing that crosses my mind is that Compass can export Windows Meta File
and Enhanced Windows Meta data. The WMF/EMF format is also a
two-dimensional, vector based format and is scalable just like SVG. I wonder
if Illustrator can import either the WMF or EMF file format. If it can, you
would have all of the same information that I would be able to export in
SVG.

Larry

  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Jon Jasper
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,

Maybe export to SVG should be looked into.  It would be great way to import
full-featured lineplots, topographic overlays, and 3D views into a full
feature drawing program.

JON

  _____  

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Larry Fish
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 5:20 AM
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

This issue illustrates one of the more difficult problems for me as the
author of Compass. Compass has been exporting DXF files for more than 10
years. The DXF file format was designed by the company that makes AutoCad,
so it is an AutoCad file format. For this reason, every time I make a change
to the Compass DXF export feature, I carefully test it with AutoCad to make
sure I haven't broken anything and that everything is working properly. It
seems to me that AutoCad is the "Gold Standard" when it come to testing DXF.
Currently, the files exported Compass work just fine in AutoCad.

Since AutoCad is a widely used tool, all kinds of other companies have
decided to support the format. In this case, Adobe has chosen to support the
format. This is where the problem comes in. Sometimes the companies that
support DXF don't get it exactly right. From the discussion on this forum,
it appears that at least some versions of Illustrator have a problem reading
Compass DXF files. It seems like this probably means that Illustrator has
some sort of bug and the correct solution would be for them to fix it.
However, given the fact that big companies like Adobe often don't respond to
low priority bugs, it probably falls to me to find a work around.

At any rate, when I have a chance, I'll see what I can figure out.

Larry

__ 

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) }


Messsage #: 39
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 14:34:20 -0700
From: John Ganter 
Subject: Experience with Compass page-based export formats

 One thing that crosses my mind is that Compass can export Windows Meta File
 and Enhanced Windows Meta data. The WMF/EMF format is also a
 two-dimensional, vector based format and is scalable just like SVG. I wonder

I've tried many Compass export formats over the years, for import into 
Freehand or AI. These ranged from HPGL (plotter) to BMP, WMF, EMF, and 
Postscript. The main problems are

- These are page layout formats, so they can't maintain world 
coordinates of feet and miles.

- Station labels and dimensions (tics for passage walls) are missing or 
mis-scaled

- Strange clipping problems, e.g. when exporting profiles

WMF and EMF are notoriously flakey formats even for one-page graphics. 
They really can't handle thousands of vectors and "pages" that are 20+ 
feet long.

The biggest problem is controlling station label size. WMF describes the 
labels in points, so they don't scale properly when you have a cave plot 
that is thousands of feet on a side. It is very difficult to draw a map 
when the station labels are invisible or gigantic.

I've found DXF to be pretty bad, but workable because it is based on 
world coordinates (feet) not page coordinates (inches). So you can go from

Compass (feet) -- DXF (feet) -- AI (inches)

and handle scaling at the last step. With PS, WMF, etc. there is an 
extra step which messes up everything in my experience.

Maybe SVG would be an alternative.

FWIW, JG


Messsage #: 40
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 15:29:31 -0700
From: [email protected]
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

I just checked and Illustrator CS1 can import the Compass Windows Meta
Files (WMF), but not the Enhanced Windows Meta file. The WMF isn't quite as
nice as the Scalable Vector Graphic export from Walls for drafting in
Illustrator since the WMF doesn't have the survey lines, survey stations
and survey labels on separate layers like the SVG. Having the survey lines,
stations and labels on separate layers is nice for being able to turn them
on or off and the SVG export from Walls allows you to exchange the default
station marker with a station marker symbol of your own choosing in
Illustrator.

Thanks for all of your excellent work on Compass Larry. I really appreciate
all of the time you put into making it such a great program.

Stan
                                                                                                                                        
                      "Larry Fish"                                                                                                      
                                 To:                                                      
                      Sent by:                  cc:       (bcc: Stan Allison/CAVE/NPS)                                                  
                      [email protected]        Subject:  RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2                                
                      ogroups.com                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                        
                      12/10/2006 01:28                                                                                                  
                      PM MST                                                                                                            
                      Please respond to                                                                                                 
                      compass-users                                                                                                     

SVG is certainly at the top of my list of things to do. One thing to be
aware of is that SVG cannot replace DXF. SVG is a two-dimensional format
where as DXF is three dimensional. This means that the 3D modeling of
Compass cannot be exported to SVG. I can of course export the 2D passage
options such as Polygons, Shaded Cylinders, Open Spline Curves and Filled
Spline Curves.

One thing that crosses my mind is that Compass can export Windows Meta File
and Enhanced Windows Meta data. The WMF/EMF format is also a
two-dimensional, vector based format and is scalable just like SVG. I
wonder if Illustrator can import either the WMF or EMF file format. If it
can, you would have all of the same information that I would be able to
export in SVG.

Larry

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Jon Jasper
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 11:56 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

Larry,

Maybe export to SVG should be looked into.  It would be great way to import
full-featured lineplots, topographic overlays, and 3D views into a full
feature drawing program.

JON

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
On Behalf Of Larry Fish
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2006 5:20 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass to Illustrator CS2

This issue illustrates one of the more difficult problems for me as the
author of Compass. Compass has been exporting DXF files for more than 10
years. The DXF file format was designed by the company that makes AutoCad,
so it is an AutoCad file format. For this reason, every time I make a
change to the Compass DXF export feature, I carefully test it with AutoCad
to make sure I havenÉ?Tt broken anything and that everything is working
properly. It seems to me that AutoCad is the É?oGold StandardÉ?? when it come
to testing DXF. Currently, the files exported Compass work just fine in
AutoCad.

Since AutoCad is a widely used tool, all kinds of other companies have
decided to support the format. In this case, Adobe has chosen to support
the format. This is where the problem comes in. Sometimes the companies
that support DXF donÉ?Tt get it exactly right. From the discussion on this
forum, it appears that at least some versions of Illustrator have a problem
reading Compass DXF files. It seems like this probably means that
Illustrator has some sort of bug and the correct solution would be for them
to fix it. However, given the fact that big companies like Adobe often
donÉ?Tt respond to low priority bugs, it probably falls to me to find a work
around.

At any rate, when I have a chance, IÉ?Tll see what I can figure out.

Larry

__


Messsage #: 41
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 17:55:53 -0600
From: "Aaron Addison" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Experience with Compass page-based export formats
 
Good information John, thanks for the post.
 
Has anyone out there experimented with printing from Compass to Adobe Distiller to generate a PDF and then tried opening that in Illustrator CS2 (or any version of AI).  My guess is that it would work, but of course would require purchasing Distiller or using a freeware PDF creator.  PDF file are still a vector format and you should have control over scaling from the Compass side.
 
Justa  thought-
 
Aaron

________________________________

From: [email protected] on behalf of John Ganter
Sent: Sun 12/10/2006 3:34 PM
Subject: [compass-users] Experience with Compass page-based export formats

 One thing that crosses my mind is that Compass can export Windows Meta File
 and Enhanced Windows Meta data. The WMF/EMF format is also a
 two-dimensional, vector based format and is scalable just like SVG. I wonder

I've tried many Compass export formats over the years, for import into 
Freehand or AI. These ranged from HPGL (plotter) to BMP, WMF, EMF, and 
Postscript. The main problems are

- These are page layout formats, so they can't maintain world 
coordinates of feet and miles.

- Station labels and dimensions (tics for passage walls) are missing or 
mis-scaled

- Strange clipping problems, e.g. when exporting profiles

WMF and EMF are notoriously flakey formats even for one-page graphics. 
They really can't handle thousands of vectors and "pages" that are 20+ 
feet long.

The biggest problem is controlling station label size. WMF describes the 
labels in points, so they don't scale properly when you have a cave plot 
that is thousands of feet on a side. It is very difficult to draw a map 
when the station labels are invisible or gigantic.

I've found DXF to be pretty bad, but workable because it is based on 
world coordinates (feet) not page coordinates (inches). So you can go from

Compass (feet) -- DXF (feet) -- AI (inches)

and handle scaling at the last step. With PS, WMF, etc. there is an 
extra step which messes up everything in my experience.

Maybe SVG would be an alternative.

FWIW, JG


Messsage #: 42
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 19:00:40 -0700
From: John Ganter 
Subject: Compass plot to PDF to AI: A Test

After Stan's post I did a search for Wmf Compass plots in my files and 
found several that actually look pretty good for small areas (8.5 x 11). 
The problem, I still think, is bigger plots.

Aaron asked:

  Has anyone out there experimented with printing from Compass to Adobe 
  Distiller to generate a PDF and then tried opening that in 
Illustrator  CS2 (or any version of AI).  My guess is that it would 
work, but of
  course would require purchasing Distiller or using a freeware PDF 

I remember trying this, but couldn't recall the results. Here is a quick 
test.

In Compass I just plotted a cave with an area 2600 by 1600 feet at 50 
feet/inch, then printed to Acrobat with a page size of about 8 x 10 
feet. I set the station labels to 4 points.

Here is the resulting PDF (a screenshot of Acrobat), which looks pretty 
good:

http://www.darkfrontier.us/computing/Compass/T1.jpg

Panning to another area that is more complex, the appearance is still 
good but the labels are missing for some reason (they are all present in 
the  Compass display)

http://www.darkfrontier.us/computing/Compass/T2.jpg

Finally I dropped the PDF into AI CS where it looks like this

http://www.darkfrontier.us/computing/Compass/T3.jpg

So, printing to PDF at full scale and then dropping the PDF into AI 
looks pretty good (AI files are PS/PDF files, essentially).

Unfortunately, this does not work with Freehand which I still prefer 
over AI. ;) On the other hand, FH should import .ai files but I can't 
get it to work right now. --JG


Messsage #: 43
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 22:40:52 -0600
From: "Aaron Addison" 
Subject: RE: [compass-users] Compass plot to PDF to AI: A Test
 
I ran some quick tests as well and was able to produce a D Size (24"x36") PDF of the fulford.plt file with the Acrobat PDF driver.  The file opened perfectly in AI CS2.
 
I also trolled around on the web and ran across this site:  http://www.svgmaker.com
 
A $50 SVG windows print driver that was able to produce a SVG file from Compass (again with fulford.plt) and opened with only minor problems (like line weights) in AI CS2.  I tested the SVG with the Adobe SVG plug-in for Internet Explorer as well with no errors.
 
Aaron