You are here: Our product What's new Easy Trace Pro 9.5 2095

Easy Trace Pro 9.5 2095

New features

Diffusion tool

We often recommend diffusion before beginning of image processing. This technique is faultless if line width in the image is about 4-5 pix. It smoothes jumps of brightness and color in the lines, deletes rubbish between them, and helps to improve even unhandy maps spoiled by JPEG format. The situation becomes more difficult yet when line width is 1-3 pix, there are many filled areas in the image, the map is faded, and color interpolation is applied at scanning.

I.e., the lines are quite distinct when you zoom them out but disintegrate into a mixture of variegated spots when zoomed in, much as photos.

So, the lines are thin and consist of different-color pixels. Diffusion merges them with the background even at minimal values of Radius. Worse still, green (!) relief contours become indistinguishable from borders of filled polygons. Looks like a threat of manual digitization… about 150 sheets… oh, no!

That’s when Advanced mode can help. Below you see the result – the same image before and after use of this new function. Note that green lines remain green and may be easily told from polygon boundaries.

Image before application of Advanced mode...

... and after it

Local Contrast Enhancement tool

  • The tool didn’t tell objects from the background in the image before now – it emphasized any jump. As a result, false boundaries originated sometimes (i.e., white halo around lines) and could impede work of other utilities. In this ET version, the tool suggests you first to choose the result you want to get. If objects you want to extract (points, lines, or polygons) in the image are darker than the background, select “darken” for the “As a result of contrast enhancement objects will…” option. For example, that is the case for rivers, roads, relief contours, etc. in a topographical map. Otherwise, select “brighten” (i.e., earth roads on a gray photo).
  • The "Threshold" and "Object part" options may be switched off now. So, you needn’t push the slider to zero and then remember where it was when you want to estimate the influence of every option.
  • There was a problem of hiatus in later versions – at crossing, the tool didn’t enhance pixels of the lighter line as considered them as the background for the darker one. The “Objects only” option solves this problem: it enables you to specify the range, which contains only pixels of objects. If all pixels of the darker line are within this range, they do not effect further separation, and pixels of the lighter line are considered as objects. Switch on the “Replace color” option to make all pixels in the "Object only" diapason black.
  • As a rule, the background on the map is represented by different colors. These may be polygons of different tints (the forest and the meadow) or just abrasion on the paper. The tool enhances all these boundaries as well and only the “Threshold” option helped to fight against them, hit and miss. For example, brightness jump between the road and the forest may be the same as between the forest and the meadow. The "Background only" new option controls the range, which contains only pixels of the background and enables you to avoid their enhancement.
  • The “Background only” and the “Objects only” options trade places when you select “brighten” for the “As a result of contrast enhancement objects will…” option as objects become lighter for sure.

Image before application of the tool...

... and after it

Mask Filter Development tool

  • The tool has learnt to process color images now, one color at a time! The image should be either segmented beforehand (i.e., comprises a limited number of colors), or the objects to be selected should be of the same color (i.e., as a result of Subject Layer Extraction). Everything functions similar to the case of a black-and-white image generated by Binarization (i.e., an image where everything is black with the exception of pixels of the specified color). Switch on the “Show black-and-white” option to see such a binary raster.
  • Another new option enables the tool to consider the color of neighboring pixels. There are three variants of their influence:
    • "Apply if neighbors are" - mask filtering works if pixels of at least one of the specified colors get into the current mask;
    • "Do not apply if neighbors are" - mask filtering does not work if pixels of at least one of the specified colors get into the current mask;
    • "Ignore color of neighbors" - filters ignore the color of neighboring pixels.

Subject Layer Extraction tool:

  • You may control parameters of all ranges now, regardless of the Channel option. Before now, you could specify parameters of 2 color channels only if the target channel was Gray;
  • Processing of the Gray channel is improved. Previously, the program operated with negative values incorrectly, and didn’t consider the Rel. option .

We have finally learnt the program to use image referencing information from GeoTIFF files:

  • At Project Creation based on a GeoTIFF image, the program uses georeferencing information by default (i.e. when the “Use registration data from image reference file” option is switched off).
  • When you add an image to the project applying the “Registration based on image metadata or an external reference file” option, the program takes information from the GeoTIFF itself. The option is renamed to indicate this new ability, only an external file was mentioned before now.
  • Export of image referencing information to the GeoTIFF format is added.
  • As far as it possible, the program saves and corrects GeoTIFF-data at image editing in the project (cutting, scaling, etc.).
  • The program copies GeoTIFF-data to derivative images (the cover image, duplicating of an image layer).

Data exchange (export and import) with the InGeo program:

  • ET exports data to a preexisting database but may generate missing layers in it. Objects of all main types may be exported, with the exception of auxiliary ones – error marks and height labels. Blocks and circles are being exported as point objects of the corresponding representation type. Besides, the program exports object attributes and Thematic View settings.
  • Import enables reading of all objects and map structure from InGeo including layers and layer groups, attribute tables, and domains partly. Domains are filled on the base of InGeo reference books (attribute value, description); Thematic View settings are being imported from InGeo styles.

Deep revision of Export and Import to / from the CSV format:

Export/Import of attributes for objects of user-specified types is added. A special table is provided for operation setting, where you should specify correspondence between column number in the CSV-file and an object attribute. Columns with needless information may be skipped (at export) or remained empty (at import).

  • You may export objects of all types with the exception of auxiliary ones; it is possible to export built-in attributes of objects of the specified types and custom attributes common for all layers you want to export.
  • Import is provided only for points and polylines, including 3D ones.

Export to SHP and MIF:

  • Export of built-in attributes (slope angles of blocks and text strings, block type, point coordinates, etc.) is broadened. A special unified table is provided for operation setting.
  • Export of built-in Z values is added for points and polylines. Thus, you needn’t use the Transfer Z to/from Database Utility just to export Z values to your GIS. Furthermore, creation of the corresponding field (table) in Easy Trace has become unnecessary if you have no special reasons to do it.

Other improvements of Export \ Import:

  • Settings of export may be imported from another project using the corresponding option on the General Options page of Export Wizard. At that, the program imports only settings used for layers of the same names as layers in the target project.
  • A button is added to the last page of the Wizard, which enables you to save the operation log as a text file.
  • The “Copy images to export folder” option is added to the Export Layers page of the Wizard. When on, the program copies images to this folder together with georeferencing files.
  • You may export image referencing data to a GeoTIFF file. In that case, the image will be saved to the export folder in the TIFF format.


  • Creation of color sets is not compulsory any more for semiautomatic tracing of color images! In the absence of color sets, the program makes a temporary set when you specify a line and tries to tell useful pixels from the background near the specified point.
  • The "Cursor tracking" mode is added to the Curvilinear Tracer. It enables you to draw a line by simple move of the cursor, without input of individual vertices. The line will be smoothed and optimized in accordance with the current strategy.
  • An additional mode of line form optimization is provided for both manual and automatic modes of the Search for Lines tool (realized only for broken lines yet, so switch on the option and select optimization type - broken).
  • Spline mode of the Curvilinear Tracer is modified again:
    • now, you may “tail” the line without taking the scissors (the cursor functions like scissors when you move it back to any point of the line);
    • CTRL+WHEEL controls flexure magnitude now, and the step depends on the scale; SHIFT+WHEEL controls flexure position, just as it was before

Point tool:

  • Semiautomatic input is provided for point positioning on the image. It operates in black-and-white images only yet, and recognizes individual near-round spots (i.e., elevation marks). Autopositioning parameters (minimal and maximal spot diameters, etc.) should be specified in the Point Auto-mode Setting dialog box.
  • Point input in the manual mode may be done through coordinate specifying in the Coordinates field of the Status Bar. You needn’t click the field to start input, just begin to type (if the first digit does not coincide with a hot key of course). We recommend to reassign the "+" and "-" hot keys (screen zoom, not much in use) if you are going to apply this method. Specify coordinates in the unit of your project and separate them with a semicolon; press Enter to complete the operation.

Group Editor:

The Rotate / Scale mode is provided for the Group Editor. Keep SHIFT pressed to specify the center of rotation, and CTRL pressed for scaling.

Dissolve Polygons new topological utility.

This utility unites adjacent polygons having identical attributes that could be generated at automatic polygon forming out of existing lines. For example, the following method may be recommended for vegetation processing in topographic maps. First, digitize objects that can serve as boundaries of vegetation polygons – roads, rivers, etc. Then apply the Create Polygons utility. Finally, input attributes. You may merge pieces of broken polygons at the third stage of course, but it is easy to omit some of them. Besides, it is much more convenient to use the Attributes by Sample tool without looking into topological relations of the polygons. Nevertheless, pieces bordered by rivers and roads should be merged into united polygons finally, the more so as some GIS (e.g., Panorama) regard adjoining polygons with identical attributes as an error.

The Attribute Table is revised:

  • We decided to refuse from multi-page representation as it was non-functional and overloaded the dialog box.
  • Several object types may be selected at once now; at that, auxiliary objects (error marks and height labels) are also selectable.
  • You may select layers \ objects without custom attributes (to review built-in ones that always exist).
  • Quick search is provided for attributes having a limited list of possible values. Start to type the value and it will become current automatically.
  • It is possible to sort the table by several columns. Select sorting by all desirable columns in turn. For example, you have applied sorting by municipal forests and then by town blocks, and get all parks within blocks.

Object Attributes dialog box:

  • Navigation keys as well as Home, End, and Tab have become active in the table.
  • You may edit the value just after selection or transfer to the corresponding cell.
  • Quick search is provided for attributes having a limited list of possible values. Start to type the value and it will become current automatically (similar to the “big” Table of Attributes).

Domain Item Parameters dialog box:

  • The Edit Domain button is provided, which opens the Attribute Domain Setup dialog box. So, from now you may get there from the Object Attributes dialog box.
  • An individual dialog is provided for text values (previously, the dialog for point objects was used).

Attribute Domain Setup dialog box:

The Attribute Domain Setup dialog box expands automatically now, up to ¾ of the screen, depending on the number of lines in the table.

Autodetect Point Symbols new utility:

This utility resembles Autodetect Topo-Symbols by the intended use, by is distinct from it in the algorithm applied and characteristics of target objects. In particular, it can not autodetect objects stuck together but can recognize them at any angle. The utility functions in the black-and-white image; it places recognized objects to a user-specified layer and assigns them user-specified attribute values.

Create Report new utility

This utility is accessible from the File menu regardless of the fact whether any project is loaded or not. It searchers for projects in the specified folder and generates a report about them. It is supposed that all projects in the folder are of the same kind more or less – the utility takes the list of layers from the first found project file; layers missing in other projects will be marked in the report (an Excel table). For every project, it comprises information about executors, polyline length or number of objects on selected layers, and working time. Executor name is specified manually in every project (Project -> Properties -> General -> Time Accounting), other data are being reckoned up automatically.

Working time is cumulative time of active work with the project (in hours); total time indicates how long the project was loaded and active (in hours as well). Polyline length is measured in project units.

Copy Attributes utility:

User options of the Copy Attributes utility are broadened: you may now copy several attributes of the object rather than one only. If that is the case, you do not select attributes for copying – the program looks for like-named attributes of target objects and assigns them the values. This version is convenient at polygon restoration out of the arc-and-node model (when attributes of the polygon are assigned to its centroid point). As for the old version (i.e. the "source \ target" attributes pair), it is mostly in use at reforming of non-GIS materials (drawings). For example, it is often necessary to assign Z values to height labels in materials imported from AutoCAD where the labels are "blind" points and elevation values are represented by text inscriptions.

Autodetect Dot Lines utility is improved:

  • Joining of free ends (the second step of the Wizard) has become optional;
  • The Convergence angle parameter is added. It functions similar to the parameter of the same name in the Breakup Joining utility – enables you to decide to what extent directions of the segments to be joined may differ.
  • Two separate options (“Snap ends of dot chains to other chains” and “Snap ends of dot chains to lines of given layers”) are provided now at the third step of the Wizard. It enables more flexible control in difficult situations.

Project Properties dialog box:

The “Error Display Settings” page is added to the "View and Editing" group. You may specify polyline color / type and polygon filling that will be used for marks of errors and corrections (i.e. representation of objects belonging to the special layers _ERRОRS_ and _CORRECTIONS_).

Transformation of Vector Data utility:

The “Delete all reference points” and “Save reference points” icons are added to the second step of the utility. The latter command writes all reference points to a user-specified file for reuse.

Generate Inscriptions utility:

  • Setting of inscription attributes has become a part of the strategy, i.e. they will be copied together;
  • Default value may be added now (specify empty value for attributes of the object). It is useful if only some objects have unique values of the attribute;
  • Values of inscription attributes may depend on specified object attributes. To fill several fields, create several strategies;
  • Text positioning along the line is improved at generation of an individual inscription (i.e., at object attribute editing).

Image saving as TIFF files:

  • The following compression types are added: Macintosh RLE (PackBits), Deflate (ZIP), CCITT Group 3 fax
  • TIFF Options dialog box is modified a little. Click Options button in the Save As dialog box to open it.

Binarize and Color Set tools:

Select by brightness” option is added to histograms of the Binarize and Color Set Creation tools. It enables selection of pixels within the specified brightness range. When on, all sliders may be moved at once (useful for grayscale images).

Layer Manager

  • An option is added for alphabetical sorting of layers in layer groups . It may be switched on /off in the Layer Manager dialog box only but this setting remains valid for all dialogs containing layer groups (including the Current Layer field). The option simplifies search for layers in big groups;
  • F2 and Ctrl+A keys in the list of layers operate now similar to Windows Explorer ("Edit" and "Select all" accordingly).

"Smart" panning at a double click of the mouse wheel:

  • If a point object (point, block, text, circle) is selected, it will be placed to the center of the screen;
  • If several objects are selected, they will be encircled with a common frame placed to the center of the screen;
  • In the absence of selected objects, the project will be panned to full screen.

Split and Synchronize mode

You may now optionally split the windows into 2 or 4 parts in the Split and Synchronize mode (View Modes bar). Click the mouse right button on the corresponding icon for selection.

Other small improvements:

  • Manual input of the screen output scale is provided. Type it in the Scale field of the Status bar and press Enter.
  • Creation of blocks / text: repeated right click on the line rotates the object (i.e., it may be placed both on the right and on the left of the line).
  • Attribute copying is now provided not for points only but also for blocks and text objects.
  • Algorithm of the Spot separation utility is modified. There could be errors in the previous version on vertical lines and at right-angle turns.
  • Poligonality mark for layers in the layer list is added to the dialog box of the Check Polygons utility.
  • The Load Imagery utility has become accessible for any project regardless of project units, but if they differ from meters, imagery positioning may be done on the base of control points only.
  • The Mask Development and Compare Images tools are now accessible from the project (from the Rasters menu and the Raster Tools bar).
  • All tracers and the Band Polygon command are added to the list of hot keys without default key assignment. So, you may adjust quick access to the tools you use most often.
  • When you jump to the next polyline, the program tries to place it whole in the center of the working window. At a jump to a point object, it additionally checks its extent (and centres the object if it goes beyond the working window).
  • Group Editor, selection with the help of Object Filter – you may now select / deselect Z marks and text.
  • Autodetect Topo-Symbols – the utility imprints only significant pixels and their neighbors rather than a rectangular mask.
  • Copy\Paste starts moving mode for all point objects (previously – only text, polyline, and group selection).
  • The current element remains selected when you transfer from editing of object attributes to domain editing.
  • Camber Editor, line straightening and smoothing: line ends were always considered as fixed before; now it is true only if they are snapped to something.
  • The program controls cursor position at zooming to avoid it getting on a bar.
  • Tool panels may be now closed together with the tool itself by a click on the cross in the upper right corner.
  • Version number is specified in the splash screen - Easy Trace 9.5.


  • DWG export: the bug is corrected, which could cause a fall of the program at export of an object incorrect by AutoCAD standards.
  • MIF export: the process was incorrect if comma was used as a delimiter between the integer and the fractional part (MapInfo ignores locale, so point should be used always).
  • MIF import: wrong reading of double quotes and loss of the first latter are eliminated. For example, the program turned the line "SPK ""Progress""" into "SPK rogress".
  • The bug is corrected – incorrect export of projects with geodetic (left) coordinate system to AutoCAD
  • The bug is corrected:
    • the program checked uniqueness of attribute names at Shp export without taking register into account;
    • the program didn’t check attribute compatibility at Shp import to an existing layer if file name was longer than 32 characters.
  • The bug is corrected - the Topology Editor didn’t track layer freezing / switching off and object modification / selection. It could cause a fall of the program in some cases.
  • The bug of the Cut Out Subprojects utility is corrected, which could cause a fall of the program after completion of subproject cutting.
  • Incorrect processing of readonly projects (which could cause a fall of the program in some cases) is eliminated. The program now shows understandable warnings when you try to open or save such projects.
  • Incorrect loading of 16 or 32 bpp images with the PHOTOMETRIC_ flag is eliminated
  • The ‘Out of memory’ message appears now when you just start automatic tracing of images more than 1000000000 px large, rather than after 74% is ready.
  • Image combining – the resulting image could be shifted in 1 pixel if the scale at referencing was a little less than 1 (0.9999998)
  • The bug is corrected - image cropping changed image positioning if the frame transgressed the borders of the image.
  • Incorrect work (distortions) of the Image Combining utility with images having different scale of referencing is eliminated.
  • The bugs of the Object Conversion utility are corrected:
    • previously, it lost attributes at block conversion into points or circles with block type saving as an attribute;
    • block and text slope angles measured in radians were somewhat unexpected for the user.
  • The bug of the Raw Line Filtering utility is corrected – navigation didn’t work for detected T-joints.
  • The bug is corrected – the "empty"\"not empty" selection criterion was provided for built-in attributes at selection by inquiry.
  • The bug is corrected – custom tools that “remembered there layers” switched on a wrong one
  • The bug is corrected – loss of color setting at selection of line type / block / filling from a modal window at adjustment of attribute-depending representation.
  • The bug is corrected – a progress indicating scale appeared at dimensional change of the resulting dialog box after import / export and could not be closed.
  • Autosaving: time counting for autosaving starts now with the first modification of the document after saving. Previously, it started in the specified time, regardless of manual saving.
  • The bug is corrected – cells of the table with drop-down line types / styles / blocks could be drawn as black on the black background. Now, the program inverts the color in that case.
  • The bug is corrected – it was impossible to load a document in the minimized representation.
  • Flicker at scrolling in the Synchronize mode id eliminated.
More in this category: « Prev Next »