Geoplot 3 Technical Support - Page 4

General Information
If you experience unexpected problems using Geoplot try exiting and restarting Geoplot. If this fails, then try rebooting your computer to clear any operating system errors that may have occurred, since these can have unexpected effects in unrelated areas. If you are not a UK user, then you may find loading of new software may change your regional settings, leading to problems with Options files and recognition of valid decimal separators.
If you are unable to resolve problems using the advice given in the preceding sections, and you have a dongle with a number earlier than 98167 a new dongle
may help alleviate the problem, though not necessarily. A new dongle will not cure any device driver conflict problems or a faulty Windows installation - see below - rather it may help with interfacing to new high speed parallel ports.
If you are still unable to resolve problems then it is possible your Windows installation may be faulty and you may have to consider a re-installation. Unfortunately faults in one area of Windows can have unexpected effects in other totally unrelated areas, so it may be impossible to pinpoint exactly where a problem lies and the only resort is to start again with a rebuild.
For your information when trouble shooting in general in the Windows operating system, please note that Geoplot 3.0 is a 16 bit application written in Visual Basic 3.

How do I save higher quality graphics image than the Save Graphic Plot method offers ?
With Geoplot version 3.00p onwards you can print to file. Using third party printer drivers allows you to save much higher quality graphics plots (eg bitmaps, jpgs, tiffs) than you would obtain using the normal Save Graphic Plot.

The printer driver we recommend is the open source program PDFCreator. This is normally used to create PDF files but it also allows you to create the following file formats: PDF, PNG, JPEG, BMP, PCX, TIFF, PS and EPS. PDFCreator is available at :

http://sector7g.wurzel6.de/pdfcreator/index_en.htm

Download the file and install it as a new printer. Before launching Geoplot, set PDFCreator as the default printer and then go to Start, Programs, PDFCreator to display the Print Monitor form. Click on the File menu, Printer Options, to display the PDF Options screen. Click on TIFF under Formats and set the Resolution to 300 or 600 dpi. This resolution will then be saved and applied to all graphics formats in future. Click on Save, the options screen will disappear, then close the print monitor form. (Please note: do not check the 'Use Auto-Save' box under Program, Auto Save since the image will not then save. Also do not try to save and image to a network directory, or set up a default save path pointing to a network directory since the image will not be saved).

Now start Geoplot and display your graphic at a size that ensures it all displays on screen. For example a 400m x 400m composite will display at a size of 1/4. Select Page Setup from the File menu and ensure that Top and Left Margins are set to the minimum possible which is 1 cm. Select Print from the File menu. This will display the Print Graphics form. Select Scaled Print Size and set the size according to what image size you require. For example setting size to 2000:1 would generate a 20 cm square image from a 400m x 400m composite. However, Geoplot has minimum margins of 1 cm so that size would be just too big for A4 paper and a size of say 2100:1 would be better which would generate a 19 cm square plot. Alternatively you can choose larger paper size A3 at the next stage in the Advanced .... In the Paper/Quality tab. Deselect Print Plotting Parameters then click on OK.

This will display the printer as PDFCreator. Click on the Properties button to set Layout and Paper Quality etc (You do NOT need to select Advanced... from the Paper/Quality tab since this just sets the PDF resolution, not the graphic resolution, unless you wish to change the paper size from A4 to A3 for example).

Click OK to print. If the chosen print size is too large an error message will tell you the plot is larger than the page width and you should select a smaller print size (larger ratio). If all is well, you will see the Printing in Progress message and a progress bar in the bottom left hand corner. Once the printing is finished the PDFCreator form will appear. Here you can change the Options again. Once you are happy with the settings click Save. A Save As form will appear and you will now have an opportunity of where to save the file and also the type of file that will be saved. By default a pdf file will be saved so change the lowest entry field to a tiff file and give the file a suitable name. Click OK and PDFCreator will then start to create that file - this may take a some time. If you have the View After Save option ticked on the PDFCreator form you may find Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or Microsoft Office Document Imaging will then display a copy of the image if installed on your system - close that view since you do not need it. The graphics file has now been created and you can now open it up in the graphics program of your choice - for example you can use Paint Shop Pro. Here you can select just the graphics image for your publishing requirements.

How do I import non-standard data ?
If data is not already in a format suitable for direct import you can use Excel to prepare the data. For example you can strip out unnecessary header information or ensure the data is converted to a recognisable format such as tab separated variables. You would normally place data for import in a subdirectory of c:\geoplot\impdata.

As an example we will consider the import of comma separated xyz data with x and y both ranging from 0 to 101 in 1m increments and with a two line header at the start. Excel 2000 is used in the procedure described below but it should in principle apply to other versions of Excel. We will strip out the header and convert the data to tab separated variable format.

In Excel select Open from the File menu. Set 'Files of type' = 'All Files(*.*)' and then select the xyz file for opening. Clicking Open will launch the Excel Import Wizard.

Set: 'Original data type' = 'Delimited' and 'Start at Row' = '2' (to eliminate the header information). Click Next and then set:
'Set Delimiters' = 'Comma'. Click Next and then click Finish

The spreadsheet will now have column A = x values, column B = y values, and column C = data. Ensure there is no extra information at the end of the Excel spreadsheet - if there is then delete it. In our example there will be (101 x 101) = 10201 rows in the spreadsheet. Select Save As from the File menu and choose 'Save as type' = 'Text(Tab delimited)(*.txt)'. Enter an 8 character file name eg data1x1.txt so that it is compatible with Geoplot and click Save.

Excel will then let you know that there may be some features that are not compatible with text. Click Yes to 'keep the format and leave out incompatible features'. The file is then saved in its new prepared format and ready for importing into Geoplot.

In Geoplot select Import Data from the File menu. You will then be presented a form to choose an Input Template and generally you would choose a composite format since this can handle x and y ranges that are not multiples of 10. Choose 0default.cip as the template and then select Survey Type and Instrument. Next enter composite details and, if you wish, source grid size. In our example Composite Length = 101, Composite Width = 101. When satisfied click Next. A form for importing data will then appear.


Set either (A) :
Import File Format = Spreadsheet - TabSV
Reference Corner = any of the values, usually Top-Left
Import Dummy value of your preference
Import File Names with Extension = txt

Or (B):
Import File Format = XYZ - TabSV
Reference Corner = any of the values, usually Top-Left
Reference X Coordinate = 0
Reference Y Coordinate = 0
X Increment = 1
Y Increment = 1
Import Dummy value of your preference
Import File Names with Extension = txt

Ensure the Save To Directory specification is correct and then click OK to import the data. After a short while an "Import successful" message will be displayed and the file will be saved in the Save To Directory ready for opening in Geoplot as a composite file.


Running Geoplot 3 on 64 bit Platforms

General Requirements
Operating system should be one of the following : Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, NT4, ME, 2000, XP, 32 bit Vista and 32 bit Windows 7. Geoplot will not run directly on 64 bit systems. If you have a 64 bit version of Windows 8, 7 or Vista then there are two approaches that can be taken - dual booting or using a virtual environment and install a 32 bit operating system on it (see Running Geoplot 3 on 64 bit platforms for further details).

Firstly you can consider creating a dual boot system with a 32 bit version of Windows such as XP, though this approach is quite technical so only confident Windows users should try this. Dual booting with Windows 7 32 bit is easier but still requires some technical expertise.

Secondly, you can use the latest version of the free VMWare Player 5.0 (tests done on Build 812388) to create a virtual environment in which you can install a 32 bit operating system such as XP (earlier versions of VMWare Player did not appear to work when trying to connect USB devices). We are led to believe that the XP Mode offered as part of 64 bit versions of Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise Windows 7 can also be installed in VMWare Player. We understand the paid for VMWare Workstation can also be used to load an operating system and run Geoplot on. Note that the Virtual PC2007 and XP Mode offered as part of 64 bit versions of Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise Windows 7 do not allow Geoplot to run due to problems with its handing of USB devices. A version of Geoplot that will run on 64 bit systems is under development.


You will require a USB dongle protected version of Geoplot - earlier versions of Geoplot protected with an Az-Tech LPT dongle or Software Authorization will not operate. You should also be installing the latest version of Geoplot 3, version 3.00u, or later.

There are important notes below that you should follow before attempting to print from Geoplot.

Installation
You should be logged on as an Administrator with full control of installations. Install Geoplot following the normal instructions. If you are using the Aero Theme then once installed you will find that the normal Geoplot 'world' icon is not displayed but instead is replaced by a DOS type icon - this is due to a Vista bug when used with 16 bit applications with the Aero Theme. This does not affect normal operation but you can choose a new icon if you right click on the program icon and in Shortcut select 'Change Icon'. If you choose the Classic Windows Theme then the correct icon should be displayed.

If you are using Vista then you next have to set Compatibility mode (this is not usually required in 7). Right click on the program icon and select Properties, then the Compatibility tab. Set this to 'Windows XP (Service Pack 2) and click Apply and OK. If you have difficulties running Geoplot in Windows 7 then also make the Compatibility setting.

Running Geoplot
Geoplot will run normally, apart from some printing issues discussed later.

Data Download
Download can be directly into a serial port or via a USB to serial adapter, though not all adapters may work correctly. We have done tests on a standard serial port and also with a Newlink USB serial adapter. Other users have found Belkin adapters to work correctly with other versions of Windows though we have not tested this. Plugging the Newlink USB adapter in caused Vista to search Windows Update for a suitable driver (the PC was online at the time). After a few minutes (!) the driver was correctly installed as a Prolific USB to Serial Comm Port, and was given the address Comm Port 3. Once the adapter is installed you should go to the Geoplot Environment Options, select the Input tab and set the download Comm port to the appropriate number, in this case 3.

Printing
When run as usual we have found that Geoplot will print normally but only once. Even if you exit Geoplot and restart Geoplot again the same problem exists and you cannot do a further print. However, if you exit Geoplot, change the default to another printer, then you will be able to print to this new printer, but only once. You then have to exit Geoplot, change back to the previous default printer and again do one print.

At the moment there is no easy way round this problem. The problem lies with the Microsoft COMMDLG.DLL, which is used to display and change the printer properties form during printing. We have not come across a direct way round this problem - trying different versions of COMMDLG.DLL does not help. However, we have provided some code changes in version U of Geoplot 3 that helps gets round this problem. This uses the fact that if the printer properties dialog box is not displayed then you can print as many times as you like. This requires the user to choose and specify the settings for the default printer required that you wish to use with Geoplot before it is launched. As well as setting the default printer properties in advance, once in Geoplot you should also select the Geoplot Environment Option and uncheck the 'Display Printer Dialog Form' checkbox. When running Geoplot in other versions of Windows 'Display Printer Dialog Form' would normally be left checked so that the printer dialog box can be used normally.

If you have already tried printing with the "Display Printer Dialog Form" checkbox checked then, to clear the problem, you will need to uninstall the printer driver, uncheck the "Display Printer Dialog Form" in Geoplot, reinstall the printer driver and set that as your default

Back to top of page