Easy Trace Pro is a COTS application for doing raster to vector conversion. This raster to vector conversion program is released by the Easy Trace Group. Easy Trace is very feature-rich and integrates very closely with ArcGIS, SuperMap, MapInfo, AutoCAD etc.
Easy Trace ver. 9.2
The latest ET version provides tenfold and greater vectorizing acceleration even for shabby color maps (image resolution should be 400 dpi at least).
Easy Trace today is more than a vectorizer - we suggest Vectorizing Technologies (decisions). The package itself is just a set of tools and utilities that provide access to these technologies. Unlike many other automats, it is rather a flexible kit than a black box. Easy Trace enables you to create YOUR OWN technology focused on YOUR materials and YOUR tasks.
Easy Trace technologies are besed on the following :
One who processes clean copies of maps, i.e. unshrinkable films for printing of every color layer, is a lucky dog indeed but mere mortals can only dream about such high-quality materials.
It's something common to process images of shabby, warped and faded paper maps. No wonder that the idea about inaccuracy of old maps is so widespread. Where can accuracy come from after "georeferencing" of a warped paper based on a dozen points of the map frame?!
Everything changes if you apply correction of all grid cells . One can afford it as correction of more than four hundred cells takes only several tens of minutes and all the job will be done by automats.
Black-and-white images with distinct lines and boundaries of filled areas are required for efficacious tracing. We have no them yet. Black lines in a color image are parted by the grid. Lines are faded in archival maps, stuck together in blueprints, etc.
That's why image processing always precedes vectorizing if you are going to trace more than several lines. Even a black-and-white image may be separated into 2 layers - Thin (for lines) and Thick (for filled areas and... points!). Easy Trace readily extracts symbols-points, circles, and dotted lines.
Easy Trace do not limit with raster tools at pre-vectorizing preparation. Vector data can be extremely useful at this stage. For example, it is possible to recognize the grid and then delete it from the image. Black lines can be vectorized with a rush after it, and color lines get rid of many "conglutinations" and even gaps sometimes. Polygonal objects may be also vectorized and then deleted from the image to simplify line tracing.
Easy Trace has a set comprises utilities for :
A specialized group of utilities is provided for relief tracing. Tracing utilities are not uncommon perhaps but filtering of "raw" lines is something special! Joining of line scraps into something sensible required a lot of manual editing previously, but now thousands of defects disappear after several seconds.
Effectiveness of line fragment joining becomes an order more after this operation, let alone the fact that filtering itself mends at least one half of all gaps. Final assembling of objects involves participation of the operator of course but there are tools and tricks for manual backfitting discussed below.
Breakup Joining is followed by recognition of different objects - the grid, polygons of swamps represented by strokes, lakes, buildings, round objects, etc. At that, lake polygons may be assembled out of tens of lines and buildings / constructions may adjoin each other.
Round objects is an individual subject matter. Isn't it a nice idea to outline boundaries of small points, recognize them as circles, and then automatically restore up to 95% of all dotted lines? Or to recognize automatically most of elevation marks in a topographical map and actually all lampposts in a 1: 2 000 map?
Reconstruction of topological relations and line form optimization are final steps of automatic vectorizing. Shape refining often destroys connections of polygons (lakes, buildings, etc.) with linear objects (rivers, communication lines, etc.). They should be restored with the Topology Correction utility before optimization of linear objects.
Partition of vectorizing into simple and understandable steps protects you from annoying surprises typical of automatic vectorizers. You needn't to shovel a pile of nice but senseless vector lines. Our result is an accurate and topologically correct model of vector data reliably connected with their attributes.
Correct line form is not a commonplace for shabby color maps or low-resolution scans. Strictly speaking, there are no lines at all sometimes, only their remnants. As a result, the shape of "raw" lines is usually imperfect.
Filtering corrects many defects but not all of them and the operator will have to do the rest. Thus, the time of vectorizing depends greatly on available tools of manual editing. It takes just seconds or minutes to run the utilities, but manual control and correction of vector data is much longer. There are not so many editing tools in Easy Trace. The easier - the quicker. It is quick and easy to master and apply them all.
It is difficult to understand now how could we manage without the Camber Editor. Tens of working seconds are substituted for a couple of clicks. Note that the tool can edit even boundaries of adjoining objects.
It is convenient to apply the Shift/Resize tool together with the Comber Editor. This tool is particularly effective at polygon vectorizing in photos.
The Topology Editor can now bundle vertices up. One click is required to specify the exact position of a node or common vertices. Shears can use polygonal objects as cutting contours. And the Group Editor not only selects objects but "puts them on the conveyor" for quick review and correction.
The Search for Lines tool is added to tracers (which are seldom in use today). It extracts even long dashed lines out of "raw" vector data.
First of all, they work faster now. Radically faster. Easy Trace apply topological utilities together with editing tools at data refining after automatic tracing. It is possible to drag line ends to snap points or adjust boundaries with any Editor, but the utility makes thousands corrections at once. It takes a dozen of seconds to correct a map sheet. The utilities have acquired the shell that helps to form groups of tests (correction tasks). Besides, they have become much more clever and powerful.
For example, the "Adjust polyline segments" operation corrects not only common boundaries of polygons, but also more complicated situations such as boundaries along a river or a road. At that, it does not generate a line full of vertices taken from all the objects to be adjusted. On the contrary, the boundary strictly corresponds to the line of the reference layer.
You may control both total and patchy polygonal coverages in ET 8.7. False errors are eliminated. The process itself takes only seconds. Subtraction of polygonal coverages is provided.
The group is crowned by the Topology Optimization utility. It can delete up to 30% of "rubbish" from a typical GIS-project without any violation of its topological connectedness.
Any "correct" working place comprises a comfortable seat, sufficient light and air conditioning together with a powerful computer. Similarly, a "correct" vectorizer does not come to tools and utilities but has a set of additional features that form its shell.
Copyright 2013. MapWorld Technolgies Ltd., All rights reserved.