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Easy Trace Pro 9.1.1930

It has passed almost half a year since release of the previous version. Our users could decide that the company had hard times. Luckily, everything was quite the contrary - we were overbusy with new contracts because of two reasons:

  • Companies - winners of the tender "Navigational maps for GLONAS", began to share remnants of State financing with real executers at the end of the last year;
  • The Order of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation of October 1, 2010 No. 464 "On procedure approval for digital navigational map creation, updating, use, storage and distribution" was issued. By the way, it offers advantages to MapInfo ( MIF/MID format) and "Panorama" ( SXF format) GIS as compared with ESRI products.

What has it to do with us?

  1. Companies that received "scraps" of the State order had to increase their operators' labor productivity trying to keep within budgets of the contracts.

    (It does not concern large players with centralized software supplies. Actually, they don't worry about effectiveness so much)

  2. Executors obtained access to previously inaccessible data - slides of permanent storage (DPH). Used as source materials in Easy Trace, these slides reduce vectorizing time significantly.

    (On the other hand, DPHs deserve some critical remarks as well - perhaps the noncontracting lavsan film contracts nevertheless, or the scanners used were of many years' prescription, or the slides themselves were never as exact as it was declared... Anyway: discrepancy of lines in DPH images assembled by corner ticks comes to several tens meters).

    We have managed to adjust a set of DPH images applying the "black" image as the basic one. 20-25 specified reference points (ticks) enabled us to adjust color DPHs and replicated prints to within a fraction of line width in the image

  3. Good vectorizing tools are not sufficient - one should know how to use them most efficiently. In the course of the State order execution we elaborated, debugged, and successfully tested methods of slide vectorizing and vector coverage assembling.

    A series of new utilities were elaborated to accelerate the slowest stages of the work. To get acquainted with these new methods, click here:

    Step 1. DPH vectorizing - hydrographic objects

    Step 2. DPH vectorizing - relief

    DPH vectorizing - vegetation

Brief list of alterations

Transformation of vector data

We had to transform data from one coordinate system to another (CS42 to CS95) in the course of an order execution. The task is rather non-trivial as there are no standards and common methods of this operation.

At the Customer request, we used the difference of geodetic points' coordinates in two systems as the basis of project transformation. The Coordinate Recalculation utility was developed to automatize the process.

The utility has proved to be powerful, convenient and easy to use. Now, it is the main our tool for transformation of both vector data and images (together or separately). For example, we managed to repair results obtained by vectorizing of incorrectly transformed (distorted) image and to achieve a good vector data correspondence with the slides of permanent storage (DPH).

The utility may be also used for vector data updating on the base of new (more exact) coordinates of reference points (e.g., GPS information). Or you may transform vector data to achieve their correspondence with a space imagery.

Besides, we expect it to be extremely useful at adjustment of vector data got from different sources.

Note that simultaneous transformation of raster and vector layers secure the project against data mismatch. The utility also enables you to transform only a specified part of data.

Reference points for transformation may be taken from specified vector layers, loaded from an external file, or specified manually.


Automatic recognition and classification of topographic symbols

Traditionally, vectorizing of conventional signs, altitude marks, special symbols, etc. is a manual process, which includes exact specifying of the insertion point and input of object attributes.

There may be several thousands of vegetation symbols only (let alone other signs) on a typical topographic map. At that, some symbols must remain point objects but most of them are just indicators of properties that should be assigned to polygons, and others yet should be substituted by linear vector objects.

To make the situation even worse, Military Topography Standards of the RF require transformation of closely set one-type vegetation symbols into individual polygons.

Well, even such a strange task may be automatized in principle, but it is necessary to find, recognize, and classify symbols beforehand. The Autodetect Topo-Symbols utility is developed for these purposes.

It recognizes up to 95% of all topographical symbols in DPHs and somewhat less in color replicated prints (to set the situation right, scan images at 600 DPI and more and do not use JPEG format).

Hundreds of symbols may be recognized in the image within several minutes after you have specified a sample on the screen. At that, symbol images may differ significantly from one specified as the sample.

Effectiveness of object recognition is enhanced by an integrated mechanism of search model normalizing on the base of all symbols recognized in the Preview mode.

Several different symbols (or variants of the same symbol) may be recognized at one run of the utility. At that, recognition conflict is impossible as top symbols in the list have priority at recognition.

The utility attributes recognized symbols to the user-specified layer. Besides, it may automatically assign the object an attribute.

Optionally, it may also delete recognized symbols from the image. It may be useful for symbols that fill polygons - deletion of this superfluous information simplifies subsequent vectorizing of linear objects.

Automatic forming of dotted lines - vegetation boundaries

Dotted lines are rather widespread in topographic maps and plentiful in forest management charts. Dotted lines are very inconvenient for vectorizing. These two states mean that automatization of the process is worth doing.

We elaborated a method of dotted line automatic recognition several years ago, and one may even see the corresponding video here in the site, but the approach had several weak points:

  • a great number of false dots: ones in topo-symbols as well as small "rubbish" objects in the image;
  • nonobviousness of connection points and line form;
  • necessity to connect dotted lines with lines attributed to other layers;
  • additional time expenditure for preliminary data preparing.
Dotted line recognition technology has changed deeply because of two reasons:
  • The Autodetect Topo-Symbols and Distinguish Bushes from Trees new utilities enables you to get rid of most dots that do not belong to dotted lines;
  • The Autodetect Dotted Lines new utility considers specific form of dotted lines; control parameters of the utility enable forming of dotted lines that require minimal editing.
This bunch of utilities was used (and perfected!) at processing of more than hundred topographical map sheets. The difference with the previous method is impressive...

The "Autodetect Dot Lines" utility is developed as a Wizard and consists of four steps. The mechanism of screen selection enables you to input utility settings by object specifying on the screen and to estimate intermediate results. Certainly, you may always "step back", improve settings, and estimate results again.

Besides, the utility interacts with surrounding (vector!) objects. "Barrier" vector layers prohibit from dotted line forming; other layers conversely help to complete the line correctly or to generate a common vertex

Another useful feature: you may specify recognition errors - the utility will remember them and use to delete false dots from lines and to correct line connections.

Dotted line forming consists of the following stages:

  1. Joining of obvious line series. Samples of points or circles may be specified on the screen;
  2. Joining of long line segments with use of barrier layers (e.g., layers of the frame and polygonal hydrographic objects);
  3. Snapping of resulting lines with each other and with lines of other layers;
  4. Line form optimization and line attribution to the specified layer.

Recognition of the "Bushes" symbol

Everybody knows this rather typical symbol.

It seems to be easy to recognize. Unfortunately, Easy Trace does not recognize symbols of bushes as a single whole for now as their slope angle is not constant. That's also true for the distance between surrounding dots and the central element - in one symbol it may be almost half as much again another.

Nevertheless, automatic recognition of this symbol is essential as it is extremely widespread in topographic maps. In addition, dots in the symbol resemble dots of dotted lines and therefore decrease effectiveness of the Autodetect Dotted Lines utility

We have solved the problem through separate recognition of 4 composing elements of the symbol with subsequent result processing by a special utility.

This utility is called Distinguish Bushes from Trees as the bushes symbol central element without surrounding dots is identical to the "Detached tree" symbol. The utility processes material obtained at recognition of topo-symbols - it searches for typical groups in it consisting of 3 dots + a circle between them. If the group fits with the specified parameters, the utility transforms it into one object.

Recognition of stone clusters

There are two variants of the "Stone" symbol use in topographic maps. The symbol as such denotes an isolated stone, whereas a group of three symbols means a stone cluster.

One could use the Autodetect Topo-Symbols utility of course but it is not the best decision as symbols of stones merge with contour lines rather often. Besides, it is easy to vectorize actually all these symbols at the beginning of relief automatic processing by the simple operation Outline Contours.

As for symbol classification (isolated stones or stone clusters), this problem resembles discerning of trees and bushes described above and may be solved in the same way.

The Detection of Stone Clusters utility tells isolated stones from stone clusters and ascribes recognized objects to the specified layer together with automatic attribute assignment. It classifies groups of three symbols as clusters if they fit with the specified parameters. The mechanism of screen selection enables you to specify these parameters by object (group of stones) specifying on the screen.

Recognition and outlining of spot clusters

The utility (or technique to put it more exactly) for automatic vectorizing of dotted lines is described above. But what about dotted polygons corresponding to shoals, banks, sands, etc.? As a rule, these objects are depicted by spots of dot fill above other objects.

Automatic outlining of these polygons was impossible until recently but successful development of several new utilities that analyze object cooccurrence (Distinguish Bushes from Trees, Detection of Stone Clusters) inspired our programmers to create another one of this type.

The Outline Spot Clusters utility finds local groups of small vector polygons and outlines them. It uses vector contours of spots generated by the Outline Contours utility as raw data.

The utility is controlled by several parameters including maximal spot area, maximal spot-to spot distance, and minimal number of spots in the cluster subject to outlining.

Utility functioning is not perfect, and generated contours often require little manual correction and agreement with neighboring vector objects, but we know from our experience that it takes significantly less time than manual vectorizing of these polygons.

True altitude calculation and assignment to lakes

There are from several tens to several hundreds of large and small lakes in one sheet of a non-urbanized area map on the average. True altitude value should be assigned to each of them according to standards of digital cartography. This requirement is compulsory for every lake, be this information represented in the map (as the water edge mark) or missing. In the latter case, the altitude should be calculated reasoning from the nearest relief contours. Undoubtedly, this task requires automatization.

The Z Assignment Lakes utility applies information about relief to calculate the lake true altitude and then records it to the database as an attribute value. It takes information about water edge altitude of course if available, otherwise considers Z-values of the nearest relief contours.

Assignment of Z-values to contours should be done before you run the utility of course. The same is true for water edge marks - they should have Z-values and be interfaced (joined) to lakes.

Improved utilities

Autodetect Circles

The Autodetect Circles utility was refined to make it quicker and more reliable. The bugs were corrected that caused incorrect recognition sometimes. An option is added that enables you to select the source polyline color. Make the polylines gray, and recognized circles red - detected objects will "flash out" on the project field. It helps to estimate results and correct operation parameters if necessary.

Autodetect Swamp

We had to modify the Autodetect Swamps utility utility when faced with great density of these objects in map sheets and the need to recognize elongated swamps (strokes of which even didn't overlap each other vertically).

As a result, new options were added:

  • "Delete original strokes" - deletes ALL objects corresponding to the stroke definition regardless of their belonging to a swamp polygon;
  • Use of barrier layers - you may specify layers now that serve as barriers, i.e. they can not be crossed at polygon forming. For example you may select Rivers as such a layer and swamp polygons will not cross them;
  • "Generate caps" option - makes polygon form smoother, more natural;
  • A new parameter is added that limits horizontal distance between strokes belonging to the same polygon;
  • The "Apply" button is renamed "Preview" similar to most other utilities

Z assignment

The Z Assignment utility provides automatic input of elevation values for up to 90% of contours. Manual input remains only for some of small isolated contours and line segments near map edges.

Nevertheless, the utility is refined to make it quicker and more reliable. Hang of the progress indicator and incorrect use of river lines are corrected.

Z Checkup

Interaction of the Z Check-up utility and Z Parameters of the corresponding tool is improved. All settings specified in the Z Parameters dialog box become settings of the utility automatically. It concerns layer settings first of all.

Orient Rivers

A great number of rivers in maps and the exacting requirement of river line orientation (direction) forced us to alter the Orient Rivers utility:

  • it takes polygonal water objects into account now. Small lakes that divide a river into many short segments do not cause a problem any more - the program considers the river as a single whole:
  • river line directering is based not only on intersections with relief contours but also on positions of river head and mouth. As a result, the program manages to orient more rivers;
  • the utility marks all rivers with ambiguous orientation as errors for further check by the operator.
Besides, the utility works faster now due to improved algorithms.

Outline Contours

Information about image colority and colors selected for processing is added to the dialog box of the Outline Contours utility

Object conversion

  • a new function of the utility: polygon - to - point (centroid) transformation;
  • the "Copy other attributes" option does not depend any more on whether you save or delete source objects.

Topology Optimization

The "Spline curves" option is added to parameters of curvilinear object optimization.

Create Polygons

We use the Create Polygons utility to form polygons of vegetation type out of lines representing vegetation type boundaries, roads, and water objects (including polygonal ones). Previously it caused doubling of polygonal objects (lakes, big rivers) by new-created polygons.

Now the utility has the "Do not create copies of existent base polygons" option. When on, it enables you to use polygonal objects for the operation but avoid their doubling.

Tools for vectorizing and editing:


  • new function: polygon joining at a double click on their boundary. First of all, it may be useful for assembling of adjacent map sheets into a united polygonal coverage;
  • new function: "parallel" joining of interrupted lines. It is developed specially for joining of contours (often large in number) interrupted in bottlenecks. Only little shape improvement is required now instead of manual line "pulling".

Camber Editor

  • new function: "Flatten polyline". The tool executes optimization of the specified line's form applying the "Broken Line" filter. Approximation precision will be taken from the "Width of original raster lines" parameter
  • new function: "Smooth polyline". The tool executes line smoothing applying Bezier-spline to the line active part.
  • the "Width of original raster lines" parameter is added to the "Camber Tool Settings" dialog box. It has an effect on exactness of line form optimization / smoothing.

Topology Editor

The new "Segment cleaning" mode is added for deletion of superfluous vertices from long lines representing artificial objects. For example, it is convenient to use this mode for cleaning of linear road segments after automatic vectorizing with preservation of smooth form where necessary.

Curvilinear and Linearizing Tracer

The new "Manual mode at break of tracing" option is provided for semiautomatic tracing. As a rule, the operator breaks semiautomatic tracing (by a right click or Esc key), then start the manual mode and overpass a dirty area where the tool will stop for sure. When the new option is on, the program starts the manual mode automatically, and thus saves your time. A double left click enables you to resume semiautomatic tracing.

Group Editor

The new "Delete Attributes" function enables you to delete all attributive data connected with selected objects.

Point tool

At object capture by the right click, Easy Trace copies its attributes and then assigns them to all new-created clones of the object. Cursor appearance changes if you do it in the Thematic Displaying view mode. For the time being, it is necessary to "put" the tool if you want to reset attributes.

Attributes by Sample

The new "Brush" tool resembles well-known brushes in Word or Excel. It enables you to copy all attributes including internal ones ( Z, size, point type, etc.). To "take" attributes of the sample, specify it with the mouse right button. After that, a left click assigns the attributes to other objects.

Search for Line

The "Broken Lines" filter is added to tracing strategies of the tool.

Editing of 3D polylines

Project panning to the active vertex happens when you navigate to the next / previous vertex.

Specially for Karta GIS ("Panorama")

Separation of filling symbols from vegetation symbols

Оцифровка растительности помимо построения полигонального покрытия и присвоения атрибутивных характеристик отдельным полигонам, включает в себя оцифровку точечных символов растительности. Задача распознавания и классификации топо-символов успешно решается специальной утилитой, описанной выше.

Но вот классификация "знак растительности / заполняющий знак" может быть выполнена только с использованием информации о типе растительности полигона, на котором расположен символ. Помимо того, что самих по себе полигонов растительности довольно много, а знаков растительности еще больше, операция определения типа знака и его классификация занимает значительное время. Кроме того, тип полигонов может меняться, например, в процессе сводки, и, следовательно, нужно пересматривать распределение знаков. В общем, куча проблем.

Для автоматизации всей этой работы была создана утилита "Преобразование символов растительности". Для работы утилите требуется информация о типах растительного покрова и типах соответствующих знаков растительности и заполняющих знаков. Впрочем, основные настройки можно взять из проекта-прототипа.

Generation of inscriptions according to the object type

При импорте данных из Панорамы абсолютно все подписи к объектам оказываются на слое НАЗВАНИЯ И ПОДПИСИ_pnt. Вот только тип объекта у всех подписей разный, и это отдельно рассматривается в правилах цифрового описания.

Сгенерировав кучу подписей и свалив их на один слой, мы схватились за голову, когда пришло время их атрибутировать. количество подписей к отметкам высот, к урезам, к элементам рельефа приближалось к тысяче. Ручное атрибутирование всех подписей выливалось в часы работы. Альтернатива - атрибутирование на этапе создания объекта - убивала весь механизм автоматической генерации подписей. К тому же правильность типа, присвоенного вручную, невозможно проконтролировать (только заново пройдя все подписи вручную).

Для решения этих проблем было принято доработать механизм генерации подписей. А именно, была добавлена возможность автоматического присваивания атрибутов подписям при их генерации на основе типа объекта, к которому они генерируется. Так, например, при атрибутировании отметок высот различных типов (командная высота, обычная высота, пункт ГТС) создаваемым подписям присваивается соответствующий тип подписи.

Project settings

Project Properties

The "Information" page is divided into pages "Information" and "Time Accounting".

The "Time Accounting" page contains almost everything from the former "Information" page with the exception of general information about the project.

The renewed "Information" page is extended - the date of project creation as well as prototype name and the date of prototype modification (the last one before project creation) are added.

Tracing Parameters dialog box

The "Tracing Parameters" dialog box has become accessible through the menu Tools -> Tracing.

The "Parameters" page of the dialog box is altered - some options of little importance are deleted and the "Manual mode at break of tracing" option is added.

Thematic Displaying

Maximal available line width and point size are changed - now they are 20 and 30 mm correspondingly.

Project Properties

Context help is provided for the pages "Coordinates" and "Grid".

Project Picture Manager

The program does not delete icons when you delete the folder but transfers them one level u.

System Settings

A special option is added for the Panorama GIS (Russian version only).


Double-click joining

Line joining at a double click between their ends is provided now for actually all tools including Eraser, Editor, Camber Editor, and Topology Editor.


"Restart" command is added to the tool menu. You needn't open tool settings any more to begin inspection from the first frame. Optionally, you may assign a hot key to the command.


CSV import / export is changed: resulting file is just CSV now, without any header and delimiters.

Layer Manager

Freezing control through layer groups is provided in the "Layer Manager" dialog box.

Gif files

Reading and writing of *.Gif files is added.

Criterion based selection

Selection of objects inside selected polygons is added (the fourth type of selection).

Navigation between error marks

The error nearest to the current one within the working window becomes current when you move to the next mark (rather than the nearest to the working window center as it was before).



The bug is corrected that caused abnormal termination when you tried to delete all blocks from a frozen layer.

Rasterize Vector Data utility

The program didn't rasterize all points on a layer if at least one of them had a non-zero Z-coordinate value. At that, there was no any indication of incorrect functioning but the utility didn't change the image.

Multiscreen mode

The bug is corrected: "Eraser" mode of the Camber Editor was inaccessible in the multiscreen mode

Project Pictures

The bug is corrected: possibility to add inappropriate (by size/colority) icons to the Picture Manager.

Image operations

Distortion of black-and-white images at screen regeneration (scaling) during image processing is removed.

Autodetect Ortho-objects utility

Wrong functioning of the utility is corrected.

Generate Inscriptions utility

Wrong functioning of the utility is corrected.

Object Attributes dialog box

Wrong functioning of accelerator buttons in some cases is corrected.

Line Form Optimization utility

The bug is corrected: use of the "Broken lines" filter caused distortion of closed contours.

Data exchange with "Panorama"

Wrong functioning of the utility is corrected.

Vector Eraser tool

The bug is corrected: the "Fix mode" flag didn't correspond to the current status sometimes.

Structure of attributive data

The bug is corrected: templates could be lost at attribute structure change (if all fields included to the template were previously renamed).

Custom tools

Changeover of a tool with non-empty parameter fields (e.g., from Point to Tracer) without explicit parameter editing caused abnormal termination of the program at subsequent tool selection.

Autodetect Swamps utility

The bug is corrected: the utility didn't generate strokes but just erased them from the image during specifying of recognition parameters.


The bug is corrected:: line could not be deleted by stepwise Undo.

Shift / Resize Polyline tool

The bug is corrected: the tool highlighted the object being modified, but changed layer of another object at a stroke of the "S" hot key.

Relink Image Over Regular Grid

Exactness of the operation could be insufficient, especially if coordinates comprised zone number.

Autodetect Circles utility

The utility worked incorrectly if you deleted circles with any editor during its functioning.

DXF Import

AutoCad writes transformed object coordinates (together with the transformation) sometimes. Previously, Easy Trace didn't use this information.

Input of Z values

Some small bugs of incorrect displaying of contours and elevation marks are corrected as well as the bug that caused a false message about impossibility to assign a Z-value.


The bug is corrected: abnormal termination of the operation at inspection zone specifying outside the project field.


Execution time accounting is added for utilities if it exceeds 20 s.

Object Conversion utility

Check of the target layer status (frozen / unfrozen) is added.

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