VEGPLOT Procedures - Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural

27 Apr 2004
VEGPLOT Standard Map Product
VegPlot is a Vegetation (Forest Cover) map plotting routine written in Arc Macro Language
(AML). It produces a map (that looks similar to the old paper Forest Cover maps) using current
official corporate spatial and attribute data posted in the Land and Resource Data Warehouse
(LRDW). The AML is available to internal government Terminal Server users and the maps
produced by this AML are intended for government use only.
The project to produce this AML resulted from an over-welming desire expressed by users of
Forest Cover data to be able to continue to use a traditionally well received product (Forest Cover
The map produced by VegPlot is based on 1:20,000 BCGS mapsheet with approximately 400
metres of surrounding Vegetation data. Within the 1:20,000 BCGS mapsheet, the product may
contain (although not restricted to) the following features:
 Terrain Resource Information Mapping (TRIM) base map transportation, water features
and other data.
 Primary Parcels, Provincial/Federal Parks, Protected Areas and Ecological Reserves from
 Select Forest and Lands related management boundaries from FADMIN.
 Vegetation polygons with associated projected label information from the Vegetation
Resource Inventory (VRI).
 Geographic co-ordinates and UTM grid.
 Descriptive legend depicting Forest Vegetation label content details.
The 1:20,000 BCGS, Universal Transverse Mercator projection, general use thematic "Vegetation
Map" is intended for information purposes only and is not to be considered as a legal document
for any tenure.
Preliminary versions of the AML were reviewed by various MSRM & MOF staff throughout the
province. Suggested modifications were evaluated and prioritised by Resource Inventory Branch
& Information Management Branch and many were implemented.
The first production version of this AML is now available for use on the GIS Terminal Server.
Please try it out, the procedures for running the AML are contained in the attachment on the next
Send comments and/or suggestions via e-mail to Tim Salkeld (Resource Information Branch,
MSRM) for consideration in a future release. For immediate concerns with the AML, Tim can be
reached at (250)-387-6736.
Resource Information Branch,
Land Information Services Division,
Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management
VEGPLOT.AML Procedures
This AML is used to create a Vegetation (Forest Cover) plot of a BCGS mapsheet. The AML
was originally developed by Clover Point Cartographics (CPG) and modified by Geo Tech
Systems (George Eade) to meet Ministry code and installation standards. The AML is
configurable by setting variables that determine what is plotted and what files are saved after the
plot is produced.
This AML will plot a Vegetation map more or less using the old forest cover hardcopy plot as a
guide. The actual output has been modified significantly to accommodate the VEG information.
All of the data is obtained from the SDE running under the Oracle instance IDWPROD1. This
includes VEG, TRIM, Tantalis and other management information.
A major difference with the forest cover plots obtained from this system compared to the old way
of plotting forest cover is that information from the surrounding mapsheets is plotted, since the
spatial data is coming from a database that is continuous for the province. A strip of
approximately 3cm in width at 1:20000, is plotted around the outside of the requested mapsheet.
The process starts by exporting the vegetation label point coverage for the requested map area.
This includes labels for surrounding maps. Basically, each label is examined and it is determined
if the label can be placed within the forest cover polygon or if the polygon is too small. If the
label is too large, the full label is placed in the overflow area and a short form of the label is
placed in the map area.
Information in the label attribute table is used to determine if the label will fit or not. Some
additional pre-processing of the label information has been done when the labels were loaded into
the SDE. At the end of the label pre-processing phase the point coverage contains all the
information required to plot the VEG labels (referred to as VEG Annotation).
Only labels for the requested mapsheet can be plotted in the overflow area. Labels from
surrounding maps are NEVER plotted in the overflow area as there could be polygon number
After the labels have been processed, the AML connects to SDE and starts plotting the requested
layers. A map composition directory is created during the creation process.
Once all the layers are plotted, the labels are plotted on the map surface and any overflow labels
are plotted in the overflow area. Then map surround information is plotted, this includes
neatlines, a legend, annotation, and outline boxes.
Once plotting is completed a graphics file is produced and if requested an HP2 or Postscript plot
file. If the user has a direct connection to a plotter the plot file can be sent directly to the plotter.
r_getangle - gets rotation angle and other attributes from 20K grid
r_getadjacent - gets adjacent 250K sheets from 250K grid
.tag - BCGS map number with leading zeros (eg. 092H001)
LRDWID - User ID for access to the SDE instance on IDWPROD1
LRDWPASS - Password for the user id to IDWPROD1
A map composition and .GRA file are always created. These are named for the map
composition and y%.tag%.gra for the GRA file. Currently the default setting is to create an HP2 file called
z%.tag%_20.hp2. This file can be sent to an HPGL2 compatible plotter. Optionally a postscript file can
be created.
Terminal Server access previously set up through “Citrix Program Neighborhood” with mounted
write-able drive. Mount the drive in the Terminal Server environment within the GTS “My
Computer” window.
Log into Terminal Server through Citrix:
To run “VegPlot” while in the Terminal Server environment, click on
START - Programs – Accessories - Command Prompt
CD to your own workspace/directory
Arc: commands
&sys dir
&sys cd
= show current workspace
= list coverages
= directory command
= change work directory
= run AML command
= exit arc command prompt
Initiate Plot File Creation:
Start an Arc session, by typing “arc” at the command prompt
OR open an arc workstation session directly
START - Programs – ArcGIS – ArcInfo Workstation - Arc
Then type (as example:)
Arc: &r %AMLWHSE%/plotting/vegplot <map#> <IDIR user> <your IDWPROD1
Wait for processing to complete. The average processing time should be approximately 10-15
Plotting the File:
Return to you local PC and open a command prompt, then change directory to your workspace
Then copy the “z082e083_20.HP2” file to your pre-assigned HP plotter device.
After plotting is complete, clean up your workspace directory.
Known problems:
If the number of SDE users is exceeded, the process will not produce a plot file with all the
requested information. (this problem is being looked into).
The following JPG illustrates what you would expect to see in the Terminal Server session.
If you have any problems, suggestions, recommendations, or enhancements please document and send to
Tim Salkeld at the Resource Information Branch, MSRM via e-mail.
NOTE(1): to GIS power users: If you require the plot map to include other specialized layers of
information, you will have to copy the VegPlot.aml to your local working directory and make changes to
the AML as you see fit. Ex: Under the “Configuration Variables Start Here” section change the value for
the “&sv delGRA” from a “1” to a “0”. You will then have to use the ArcPlot routine, good luck.
NOTE(2): to all users. The capability to create (overnight) multiple maps, should be ready within 2 weeks.
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