Dist & Dir Recall and Math

Discussion of FieldGenius related issues and questions.

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Dist & Dir Recall and Math

Post by jmahun » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:58 pm

In FG 2006 on our Trackers (and emulators), we were able to combine simple math operations with direction and distance recall for calculations. For example, in the Traverse/Inverse Calculations menu I could enter 1..2-90.3410 in the direction field press enter or tab and FG 06 would respond with the correct calculated direction (an angle left from the bearing of line 1 to 2). Ditto the distance field. This made for quick entry.

It appears that this is not possible in FG 2008. It says in the manual that you must use the RPN calculator for this now. The only way I've been able to figure out how to do it (in the emulator) is:
- first recall the direction and press enter or tab to calculate it,
- then double-click in the direction field and pick on the keypad option,
- then click the calculator button,
- then do the math in the calulator and click <Enter>
and you finally have your direction.
This is considerably slower than the FG 06 method.

The only time this didn't work in FG 06 was when you used alpha point IDs.

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Post by CHRIS L » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:22 am

Yes, the RPN cacl function has been around for the last version or so if I remember right (2007) You'll get used to using it is about all I can say. If you search back through the old posts. I believe the direct math function that was in 2006 was dropped to keep the user performance of the new version handle able with the upgrades that were made.

The only thing I would like to see in the RPN Calc function is the ability to enter in data using the point to point method. ( 1..2 ) Maybe have a box pop up that asks for the angle or distance, since there is 2 sets possibilities for the (1..2) function.

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Post by getrsurveyed » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:54 am

This is the main reason I have stayed with 2006. Sometimes new is not
better. If I recall .. they wanted all the dist/brg functions within the same
prog module and thats fine .. BUT, 1..2 is just too easy and compatible
with the desktop software to be left behind. Write a separate module for
this and forget about being "code correct" ... make the front end easy to
use regardless of how much code is involved. My $.02

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Post by CHRIS L » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:22 am

Just to clarify my post. The 1..2 function still works for bringing up distances and bearings. Just the math function that went along with that is no longer available. (1..2+4..5) to add the 2 distances together, ect.

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Post by jmahun » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:24 am

I'm running the FG 08 emulator on a laptop and there's a button/menu overlap issue with the resolution and font size I'm using (same issue with FG 06 emulator). I wasn't aware the Interior Angle Traverse method was added to the drop down list because, well, I couldn't see it.

The overlap issue didn't bother me too much in FG06 since I knew what options were available and could scroll my way down the list to get what I needed. The Interior Angle Traverse method does work and it's certainly faster than bouncing into the calculator (although I'll have to figure out an efficient way to calculate similar problems in Offset Intersection).

That said, the old 1..2+93.4025 (for direction and distance input) method was not only quick, but easy for my students to understand and pick up. The only drawback was that it didn't work with alpha point IDs.

If I had my druthers, I'd really like to see the recall and math combo be brought back for any direction or distance input field, and include alpha point IDs.:)

Jeff Austin
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Post by Jeff Austin » Fri May 08, 2009 5:59 am

I totally agree with Jerry.

I am currently looking at FG and think I will pass based on this fact alone. One of the "maddening" things about TDS is the need to call that damn calc to do what should be handled in one step in the input box.


Dave Tlusty
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Post by Dave Tlusty » Fri May 08, 2009 6:32 am

I agree also. Bring back the point/math functions! For example, to set a point on line and halfway between two others, defining that distance cannot be done more efficiently than 1..2/2. It just can't (well, really it can but thats not what we're discussing here). So why make us jump somewhere else to do some computing and bring the result back? Surveyors want and need to be efficient!

I remember trying FG a couple years ago and really like that feature. Within the last 3 weeks I bought FG on an Allegro and didn't even realize you guys took it out. Please bring it back! :(

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Post by Jason Poitras » Mon May 11, 2009 8:45 pm


Just a quick note to let you know we're not ignoring you. :D

At the time when this functionality was removed we added advanced unit support and the RPN calculator at the same time. Adding the ability to mix up units at any distance or direction field added complexity to the strings we needed to be able to parse correctly.

To make the parsing as accurate as possible we decided to let the user do their calculations in the RPN calculator which for the most part works just fine, but as you know it isn't necessarily the most efficient method to calculate.

So I know what you're thinking. You're thinking what got so complicated? One of the most challenging things we added was support for feet and inches. In any distance field you can enter feet and inches and fractions of an inch. So for example you can enter 10'6 1/2 which is interpreted as 10 feet 6.5 inches. So where the parsing gets tricky is we have to be able to distinguish a "/" slash as a either a math operator, or as a fraction of an inch.

In other words, what if the user entered 3/4. Did the user enter 3/4 of an inch, or did they want to calculate a division.

So while we added some functionality we took some away to simplify things. All I ask is some for some more patience as we will be revisiting this in a future version.
Jason Poitras
General Manager

John Coldrick
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Re: Dist & Dir Recall and Math

Post by John Coldrick » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:56 pm

Your wait will soon be over. We have added these back and will be in the next release of FieldGenius 2012.
Thank you all for your comments. This user forum is very important to us, and we appreciate the time you take to voice your opinions.
And we listen!
Thank you for the feedback,

John Coldrick
MicroSurvey Software Inc.

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