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Notes for Tower Post Processing

There are six programs which make up the Post-Processing module. These are 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Translator Editor DTM Chart Editor Tidal Times Digitiser

Tower software runs under Microsoft Windows and therefore the user is expected to be conversant with the operating system, i.e.: the use of a mouse, menus, dialogue boxes and file handling etc. In the main Tower Post-Processing Directory, there is a sub-directory called Demo Files, which has demonstration data for practice use. Data is collected and collated by the Online Tower Navigation program, and the data from each survey line is stored in an individual file in a directory called Logging with optional secondary logging saved under a user defined directory. The two file types saved are the .DPT and .CSV. The Tower Post Processing software only uses the .DPT files (the .CSV files can be used by third party software). These .DPT files are translated into one or many Microsoft Access databases by the Translator program. It is up to the operator to decide how large an area each database covers ie how many databases to create. The databases can then be edited by the Editor program to produce clean and useable data, and to apply any necessary corrections e.g. tides. They can then be accessed by the DTM program to produce three-dimensional models, for contouring, volumetric computations, and section calculations. They can also be accessed by the Chart Editor program which, in combination with the in-built TurboCad CAD program, can produce a variety of charts and other output files eg .DXF. Additional post processing software includes Tidal Times in which a tide file can be imported/created to be used by the Editor program and a Digitiser program that creates coastlines, soundings and symbols. The complete post processing package has been made to be as user friendly as possible with the minimum amount of user interaction, for example there are software wizards for creating chart templates. The software structure is logical and informative to help the user.

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Translator
Each database that is built contains five tables for each imported line; raw data, raw bathy, sensor readings, edited bathy and edited position. Included in the database are two tables relating to job information and a line index. There are three tasks you can carry out. 1) Create a new database and put data in it, 2) Find an existing database and replace the data in it, and 3) Find an existing database and add data to it. To create a new database: File Make New DB Choose the location of where the database is to be saved and the name of the database. Save Highlight the created database and select from the menu bar Add/Remove (Allows the addition or removal of .DPT files or databases), select Add. The resulting window that pops up is split into two areas. The left hand side of the window gives the location of the .DPT files (which is selectable) while the right hand side shows what .DPT files are in that location. Tick the required files that you want to be in the database and click OK. The Access database will now be built. If there is more than one .DPT file that has the same name, then a window will pop up giving three options on what action to take. Select the action required and if this action is to take place on all subsequent repetitive file names, then tick the Apply to all. DPT files and databases can be swapped, moved, added to or removed so that one database contains the pertinent data from a multitude of sources.

Editor
The Editor allows created databases to be opened for processing of track and bathy. Generally the track is not processed unless there are navigational jumps (spikes). As with Tower's On-line software the main idea behind the program is that it is fully configurable/designable and everything is quickly accessible from the main screen. There are several methods of getting around/editing the data (a pull down menu, function/hotkeys and mouse derived pop up menus), therefore the operator can choose which ever method he/she finds easiest. The keyboard can be used in the same way as with Windows, i.e.: ESC key to exit forms, Enter key to accept options etc.

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The editing suite is divided into two main sections, Track and Bathymetry editing. The program is set up as an MDI (Multiple Document Interface), where the track and bathymetry data are tiled horizontally on the display, and are interactive. When Editor is started, set your display options for bathy and track. The menu items are sensitive to the current window for ease of use. Select how the track data is to be shown and then click the bathy window and select Display Options from the menu and set the appropriate values, the X axis values equate to Distance Along Course (DAC). If you know the minimum and maximum depths for the data, then an Auto Gate can be set before the lines are imported to be edited. While the bathy window is selected go to the menu items and click Line and click Auto Gate, a tick will now appear beside this option to indicate that each line selected will have tolerances set so that spurious data will automatically be edited. To set these tolerance levels select Line from the menu items and Gate Data and fill in the values on the form. In File, you have the option of automatically saving the line down when another line is imported for editing. A tick is set next to this option when active. It is strongly recommended to use this facility. You should now be in a position to start editing. So open up the database that you wish to be edited. Select Manual and OK. Due to the functionality and flexibility of the software, the user can at any time during the editing of the data, alter what should or should not be displayed, whether to apply any tides or heave to the data set and so on. Functionality of the menu items and forms are mostly self-explanatory. There are a number of hot keys to aid the user as well as being able to use the mouse and buttons in a number of ways. The individual point that is selected for editing is surrounded by a black box. The arrow keys can be used to navigate along the points or the mouse can be used in a point and click fashion. The mouse is used to select which bathy channel to edit. The most commonly used actions are: The mouse can be used to create a zoom window by holding down the left button whilst dragging a rectangle from top left to bottom right. This works best if the rectangle is the same shape as the window. Mouse selection has different functionality with this zoom window when used inconjunction with SHIFT, ALT and CTRL. SHIFT held down when left mouse button released causes the data to be deleted. ALT held down when left mouse button released causes CH1 replaced with CH2 or vice-versa depending on Replace option selected on bathy menu. CTRL held down when left mouse button released causes interpolation between the first and last point.
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Drawing a rectangle from top left to bottom right with the right mouse button held down allows for a user chosen block editing action. F11 - F12 for previous next line. PGUP PGDWN move between sections as defined on bathy menu Display Segment Length. All edits are applied to the data on File Save or when reloading line. The edited data does NOT overwrite the raw data in the database, so at any time the raw data can be called up to be re-processed. The database has the character to show that tides have been applied and an * to indicate that the line has been previously processed.

DTM
The DTM (Digital Terrain Modeling) program gives options for contouring, volume calculations, section calculations and DTM comparisons. The processing of this data can then be saved down ready for the next step in producing an electronic chart or paper chart. Data can be loaded in by existing DTMs, xyz ASCII files or by databases (mdb). (This section will assume that the data will be loaded in from a .mdb file). Before importing any data, the display needs to be set up else you may not be able to see the data or what action has been done to the data. Like all of Tower software, there are hot keys and mouse clicks to help navigate around the menus. In the menu bar under options, there are three actions but only two will affect the display the set colours and set display. The set colours option allows the user to set which colours are to be shown with which data point. The set display allows the user to display certain parts of the data set or actions carried out by the program. By using normal Windows filing system, load the database into the program. A pop up form will appear in which the user can decide which data will be actioned upon and the frequency of the actions. When ready import the lines to use, normal Windows highlighting can be used to select which lines to import. It is important that the correct lines be used so if there was a rerun on a line, then only import the correct line that is required. Depending on what was set in the options menu will depend on what is seen on the screen. Once imported, then triangulation can be applied to the data set. The course triangulation criteria can be set from the options menu. The resulting triangulation can then be enhanced (smoothed) by way of an icon on the toolbar. Once completed, editing can now be carried out on soundings, points or triangles to improve the data set (the user can re-triangulate at any point). The resulting data set can now be contoured and this is achieved by selecting contour lines under the function menu. A pop up form will now appear which will show the minimum and maximum depths in the data range and it is up to the user to decide what contours and the frequency of the contours to be displayed and saved down.
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The .dtm file will also be saved down at this stage. The contours are saved down as a .ctr file and a suffix containing the contour number will be tagged on to the end of the file name so for example the 15m contour will be saved as <filename>c15.ctr. Due to the flexibility of the software, like the editing of the triangles and of the soundings, so the contours can be edited before charting. A grid DTM (.grd) can be generated but this will not be saved until the current data set is saved down as a .dtm file. When the dtm is saved then the program will save .dtm, .grd (grid), .tri (triangulation) and .ctr (contours) files which can be used by various Tower or third party software. There are routines for creating volume planes and calculating volumes. If you use the demo data, there are 3 sets of planes. Functions - Design Volume Planes Open File Demo.vol single plane at water level creates nice sections Demo1.vol Series of planes at different levels best for demonstration of Volume Calculations. Channel.vol demonstrates complex series of volume planes in a basic channel style. There are routines for creating Sections. Function Design Sections Open File In View, set appropriate display parameters, for example Depth Interval 5, Scale 1 : 100, centre 5. DAC Interval 100, Scale 1 : 3000, Centre 250, Start 200, End 1000 If you have a Volume file loaded (recommend Demo.vol), then Check Show Theoretical Profile and Area.

Chart Editor / TurboCAD


The concept behind the Chart Editor is to design a template, which defines the chart size and shape, text sizes and styles, etc, and which can be used time and time again, merely by changing the location and the data files to be used, to produce batches of similar charts. The best way to design a template from scratch is to use one of the wizards that can be accessed from the menu. There are four choices of wizards; Cross section, Long Profile, Bathy Plan and Combination chart The wizard takes you through all the different stages needed to design the template; the overall sheet size, the chart box design (size, location, scale, and skew), the data to be drawn, the background information to be drawn (coastlines, survey lines, features, etc), and the design of the grid. All of the forms used by the wizard are accessible individually from the menus, the icons and by double-clicking the boxes shown on the screen, so that you can design a template completely without using the wizard if you wish, or you can modify any element of the template. Once designed, the template should be saved by clicking on menu item File, and on Save Template As, and then using the Windows form that comes up to name the template and choose where to save it. There is a directory already existing called Template, and this will normally be opened up by this form, it is recommend that you save your templates here. To
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ease the use of using the Chart Editor program, it is suggested that the various design and parameter files that are required such as charts.dat, kpline.dat, .vol etc. be copied and saved under a suitable directory. Once you have designed and saved your templates, the method for producing your charts is very simple. Just open up the template required, select the correct wizard and alter the forms where required, such as different lines, databases and so on. It must be stressed that when a template is opened, the user decides what data is to be imported, how it is going to be presented and so on. The template automatically cuts down the repetitive workload for producing charts. The output menu allows for a Batch Output. This lets the user decide what exactly will be charted. By entering a location and file name, the progress bar indicator will show what and how many .tcw files have been created. When the batch output has been completed, the charts are now ready for importing into TurboCAD so that they can be plotted. TurboCAD is a very powerful CAD program so the created charts can be modified and altered to the wishes of the user; multi-layering, editing, text boxes, small box and so on. A basic knowledge of TurboCAD is required for editing and then plotting of charts.

Tidal Times
This allows tidal files to be created and edited. They can be created by typing in the data, or by reading it in from a file (various formats can be read).

Digitiser v1.2.95
This program allows for the digitisation of paper charts, symbols and soundings. It can be used with a number of digitising tablets or if the user knows the co-ordinates of the required charting information, then they can be entered manually. The files created can be saved down as .dat files for the Tower Online or for the Chart Editor to use. The exception to this is the sounding file which is saved down as a .txt file. The program is very self-explanatory and user friendly.

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