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 Post subject: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2011 22:54 
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Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1103
Here is a series of video tutorials, kindly provided by mrgisa (see his remarks below):

  1. Handling DEM data (15 MB)
  2. Handling Vectors (31 MB)
  3. Handling WMS (21 MB)
  4. Handling Map Tiles (15 MB)
  5. Exporting from TransDEM (49 MB)
  6. Importing into Trainz (55 MB)

Mark, thank you very much for creating these. I am sure they will help both new and experienced users. :)


Last edited by geophil on 11 Jan 2011 14:23, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2011 13:54 
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011 07:20
Posts: 28
Hi Everyone,


Throughout the last few weeks, a few trainzers have asked me for advice on how to make a Canadian DEM. After some thought and consideration, I decided to make a series of video tutorials that would help a user get the DEM and other data they wanted into trainz. It took me about 2 days but thanks to Dr. Ziegler's generous permission, he's allowed me to host them here for you.

Starting from scratch, a user will be guided through the whole process, step by step. Basically, click on the videos in order and watch them all completely (then reread the next post because I made a few minor mistakes and somethings which I didn't understand were clarified for me by Dr. Ziegler).

As I am a Canadian, these tutorials show how one could get the data one needs from Canada but honestly, the process is very very similar for those from other countries. The only difference is where you get the data and the limitations of the data you get. I've made American DEMs and the process is virtually the same.

The video tutorials show the process as a whole and will hopefully help users:

a) avoid pitfalls
b) speed up getting their data into trainz
c) clarify/simplify important concepts
d) solve problems they would come across otherwise

I'm not the creator of transDEM but if I could figure it out, so can you. It's a great product and I can't recommend it enough! That being said, if you do get stuck, know now that you have lots of support from:

a) the manuals themselves (which you should work through first)
b) the examples in the manuals (you should definitely try them out to get the basic idea down)
c) this forum and users like me
d) Dr. Ziegler himself
and now
e) video tutorials.

ENJOY!

Gisa ^^


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2011 14:12 
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011 07:20
Posts: 28
Like anything, it takes time to get good at something and it's easier to find errors when you look back at something. I got better at making the tutorials as I went along, but I noticed in retrospect that there were a few minor errors and a few things that needed to be clarified. Let me explain those here:

1) You will come across an error if you try to follow the first few tutorials exactly. Let me explain why:

A big reason I made these tutorials was to help a friend (who wants to make a route in that exact area). That's why I started in grid 030m. I don't know the area off by heart, so when I tried to import the rail vector data, I was surprised to find that there was no rail data. 'That's odd' I thought. 'Maybe there are no tracks in this section?'

My friend came across this problem in the same area. The thing is, the data is there for the other grids but NOT in that section. Even stranger is that when you use web maps in that area, there are no tracks painted either. I told my friend that it could be an error on their server's side, but that doesn't seem likely. I think that it is missing for one of these two reasons:
1) perhaps there is something sensitive security wise in the area. I can't think of anything honestly, but I do know that with google map tiles, some data is intentionally blurred for that reason (I ran into this problem when working on my last route: CPR Schreiber). I've never seen that problem with web map or vector data though.
2) perhaps NS or CSX partly owns that trackage and doesn't want it shown on the map (for whatever reason they want)


So if you intend on doing the tutorials as you watch them, download these grids in the first video instead:

30m15 and 30m16

because it will:
1) prevent this error
and
2) it will seem more consistent with the rest of the videos as I used 30m15 and 30m16 for the rest of the videos.


2) I mentioned about pixel sizes. Dr. Ziegler explained it very well and so I will quote him:

When you define the tile size in the Map Tile client, you can
choose from 512 to 2048 px. The tiles themselves on the server are
always 256 px each. TransDEM combines 4 (512 px), 16 (1024 px), 36
(1536px) or 64 (2048px) server tiles into one clipping.


Dr. Ziegler also clarified where you can adjust the pixels of the map tile export. Again, I'll quote Dr. Ziegler:

You can set up to 4096 px here which will apply to a
1000m or 500m tile. TransDEM will pick the actual size depending on
image scale. You define the maximum for this.


This is in the options where you go to export your map tiles (the second purple button)

As for grid lines (fixed grid width): that is more useful for when you are making a smaller map but along with show baseboard, is in fact, NOT compulsory.

3) The most important mistake I made was when I described how to make map tiles. I *flipped* the mask to get the other half but it's quite likely that the tiles in the middle would not export properly since they are a 500-1000m big and the line in the middle most likely cut the tile in half (meaning that area, once exported, would not have a tile there). Therefore, you should make sure your new mask overlaps your old one by at least 1000 m, so that you can make all the tiles (do not worry about any messages that pop up). You could flip it like I did, but then you should extend the left handle at least 1000 m LEFT to ensure you export all the tiles.

If you are stuck with a point in the tutorial, post here to let us know and we'll try to help you.

Thanks again to Dr. Ziegler for his gracious permission in hosting these videos and for his clarification on the issues even I did not fully understand.

Gisa ^^


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2011 21:48 
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Joined: 13 Feb 2011 18:48
Posts: 15
Thanks for the videos Gisa.

I was wondering if you could make some adjustments to the videos. Maybe slow it down at times where one can follow where and what your pointer is moving to and clicking on. It's literally a blur for me at times.

They are very helpful so far as I've been through them 3 times now trying to figure out TransDEM.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2011 10:40 
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Joined: 05 Jan 2011 16:45
Posts: 1103
You should be able to pause the video and rewind at any point. Use the toolbar below the video.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2011 01:40 
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011 07:20
Posts: 28
Drickets: thanks for the compliments. I'm sorry I didn't see your post before.

I used wink to make the tutorials, which is great for a freeware program but it has limitations and it was a *learn as you go* kind of process for me. Rewind and rewatch if you can. If you are stuck with directions on one part or the other, just ask and I'll see what I can do to point out what I was doing at the time (that is, if my old memory serves me well).

I was also asked about the catalogue (or what the other vectors mean in this example). For Canadians who are curious as to what other vectors might work, look at this catalogue here:

http://ftp2.cits.rncan.gc.ca/pub/canvec ... gue_en.pdf

As I explained in the tutorial, the best (and pretty much the only) vectors one can really use in transDEM/trainz are:
- rail
- road
- watercourses
- powerlines
- trails
- walls/fences

I noticed one can also get gas lines, but I didn't feel that was worthy of being included (usually gas lines are in thick underbrush or underground anyhow from what I've seen). In rural areas, this may not be the case, but I never get gas lines when I make Canadian DEMs now.

There may be other vectors you can find that are of use, but note that many of the data files you get are not vectors, but are rather points. For that reason, you won't be able to open them in transDEM and can't use them. Look through the catalogue and see if there is anything that tickles your fancy (look in ENTITIES). Then find that item and look at the summary at the top. Look at the geometry column. If it says line, it might work. If not, it definitely wont!

In my experience, I only needed the 6 paths mentioned above anyhow.

For American DEMS, I only usually try to pull major roads (interstates I think?) and rail, although there is probably a lot of data you could get there too (I suspect maybe powerlines and watercourses, both of which I think are quite important).

8)

Gisa ^^


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 23 Aug 2011 07:06 
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Joined: 23 Aug 2011 07:01
Posts: 9
I am glad you like my JCTR screenshot enough to use it as your desktop background. I am touched.


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 23 Aug 2011 16:40 
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011 07:20
Posts: 28
It is a great screenshot: what can I say? I loved the tracks too (which were unavailable at the time). It just made sense to me to use it as my desktop. I'm glad you noticed it and appreciate it.

8)

Gisa ^^


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2011 20:02 
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Joined: 10 Oct 2011 00:53
Posts: 4
Location: Texas, USA
Is there anyway of Downloading the video tutorials, so I can watch them with out coming to the forum thread?


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 Post subject: Re: Video Tutorials
PostPosted: 31 Dec 2011 04:03 
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011 07:20
Posts: 28
I didn't see your query Signalman75, sorry about that.

The only thing I could suggest would be to get a drink, and then come back. :/

8)

Gisa ^^


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