August 21, 2009 at 8:40 pm #15334
So far, I think the product is really promising, and I’m confident I’ll be purchasing it. However, a few things that come up for me right away are:
1. Large shapefiles are problematic. I have a roads layer with ~150k entries, and it’s essentially unusable – importing or redrawing takes minutes.
2. It seems difficult to create an auto-label for all features. I realize I can add a text field with %%attr in the style definition, but that seems to behave differently than a label…
2a. Option to rotate labels without detaching them.
3. Undo doesn’t always work — For instance, I did accidentally did a ‘convert to path’ on an imported object, and it won’t go back, even though “Undo convert to path’ appears in the edit menu. In fact, Undo seems to have stopped working entirely now.
4. Seemingly no support for GeoTIFF (or TIFFs with a world file). Makes loading geo-referenced imagery really hard.
5. Ability to Lock an object/layer’s *location*, but not the other attributes like styles or labels. In fact, I would suggest that this should be default state for imported shapefiles.
6. Attribute filtering for imported shapefiles (i.e. ability to display/import only certain features).
And I guess, I’ll ask for some sky pie:
7. Import directly from PostGIS.
August 22, 2009 at 8:09 am #15928
Hello, thanks for your comments.
1. Performance with large data sets is a key area we will be looking at in early updates. You may be able to make things more usable by turning on “drawing quality modulation” in the preferences – this substitutes bitmaps for vectors when rapid redrawing is needed, such as when scrolling, dragging and resizing.
2. Currently labels are supported by shapes, symbols and “tracks” (linear features like roads). For other objects that are defined as editable paths, labels are not yet supported. You can convert any path-based object into a shape to attach a label, though beware that converting back to a path will currently discard the labels. Labels on paths is coming soon, but is complicated by the fact that both block and path-based labels are needed for this type of object.
2a. Noted, and something we can easily add support for.
3. It would be useful to get more detail about what you were doing when this occurred. If you can reproduce the problem please do submit a bug report using the “Report A Bug…” item in the Help menu. Undo can stop working if an exceptional situation occurs internally, though in most cases Ortelius will continue working without a problem or reporting an error, except for leaving the Undo stack not functioning. It is a known issue. Restarting Ortelius will correct this.
4. GeoTIFF support is planned for the Professional Edition, where we will have fully geo-referenced and projected everything.
5. Noted, see 2a.
6, and 7. Noted.
On a general note the Standard Edition is likely to fall short in some aspects for hardcore geographers and GIS users; the Professional Edition is intended to provide many more GIS features.
August 26, 2009 at 12:01 am #15929
Yes, sorry about the lack of info on the Undo – I don’t know how to reproduce it, so I can’t tell you. :)
A couple of other things I’ve noticed:
1. I can’t grab the handles of something if they’ve gone off the page (though I can drag them there when expanding something). Most programs I know of (such as Illustrator, or OmniGraffle) make a distinction between the work area and the page, and I find this really lacking in Ortelius – if I can drag it there, I should be able to grab it there. Which leads to:
1a. Resizing an object by typing in the object inspector has no way to preserve the aspect ratio. That’s a pretty glaring omission on a product that is meant to represent real things.
2. Most other apps I know of use the space bar to enable the hand (and only while depressed).
Anyway, keep it up, I think things are off to a good start…
August 27, 2009 at 3:09 am #15930
I’ve made a note of your points, most of which we already have on our list. 1. is really a conceptual issue. The Work Area is everything except the paper margins (which by default are not shown). This is divided into the map interior and the border region. Objects dragged into the border region act as you suggest – they are not shown but they can be grabbed and moved (and they can be shown if the ‘Clip Objects to Map Area’ is turned off for that layer). The whole work area is divided into pages for printing – the work area itself is not really the “page”. All I can suggest for the time being is that rather than drag objects off the work area when you want to temporarily hide them, you hide them, or move them to a hidden layer. Individual objects can be hidden using Graphic > option+Hide (Ghost), and reshown using Graphic > option+Show All (Unghost).
August 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm #15931
As a follow-up, the 1.0.2 update includes the ability to preserve the aspect ratio when resizing an object by typing in the Object Inspector (use lock/unlock). Thanks for the suggestion. When resizing objects directly using the object handles, holding the SHIFT key will also constrain the aspect ratio.
Note the spacebar on the keyboard is used in Ortelius to quickly end lines when drawing with paths and tracks.
An update to Ortelius is now available, version 1.0.2. If you have not turned on automatic checking for updates, launch Ortelius and choose Ortelius > Check For Updates… to download the update.
Release notes: http://www.mapdiva.com/products/ortelius/md_update_102.htm
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