After generating the project results, the next step is to analyze them and check if they match our expectations, and possibly modify the scenario or create new ones to study different alternatives.
This is typically an iterative process:
Define the scenario with constraints and cost factors
Generate the results
Analyze the results
Modify the scenario and/or create new ones
After we are satisfied with the results, at least with a preliminary version, we can export them.
Analyze Resistance Maps¶
Some aspects of the Resistance Map to consider:
Areas with Forbidden values should look transparent, regardless of the value of other layers in those locations.
The more red the color (farther from blue), the higher the resistance. The visible resistance includes the multiplicative effect of the category weights.
Colors are assigned starting with blue for the lowest resistance. If you add a new smaller resistance value in the scenario configuration (e.g. a very negative number), this may make other values look more red even if they haven’t changed.
The blue/green areas in the Resistance Map show preferred locations for the infrastructure, but the overall path will be calculated to optimize the total resistance along the route, so it may cross some higher resistance areas.
This tool can be activated from the 2D or 3D View toolbar:
And also from the Tools menu:
When the tool is activated, the cursor will change to prompt the user to pick a location:
After picking a point, a dialog will appear showing the geographic coordinates and resistance values in the selected location (data may take a few seconds to pop up, depending on the number of layers):
The Corridor Map shows in bright yellow hues the areas where an optimal path is most likely to pass through. This provides a quick overview of routing options:
For instance, in the previous image we see a clear optimal track on the right side, but also a possible alternative track on the left.
According to the corridor map, the left alternative will have a higher resistance, but we might still force our solution to pass through this area by adding one or more intermediate points on it.
The most important results of Pathfinder are probably the optimal paths which can be used as routes for our infrastructure, so it is essential to understand how to analyze its fitness and compare different options.
There are several key factors we can analyze separately to support the decision about the best route:
Impact and compliance of each path with the Scenario constraints
Vertical profile of each path
Resistance along each path
Estimated monetary cost
In this section, you can follow one of our tutorial videos:
To access the path analytics, we can use the menu option in Results:
At the top of the analytics window, we’ll find selectors to choose the content of the chart:
The scenarios to compare
The layers to include in the comparison
The minimum percentage threshold for layers to include (if we are not interested in layers with low coverage)
The maximum percentage threshold for layers to include (if we prefer to ignore layers with a high coverage)
Below the selectors there is a first chat showing the percentage and length of the path as it crosses the selected layers regardless of their category:
If the chart includes too many layers, we can change the thresholds or select only those layers we are interested in.
Below the summary chart we can see the total length of the selected paths:
In the bottom sections, the same information is shown for each category, so we can focus on the impact of the paths in each layer group:
The Path Analytics chart, as all Pathfinder charts, it can be exported as an image file or CSV (spreadsheet) file by using the top right corner menu:
The exported CSV can be open in spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc to create custom calculations and charts:
In some cases, like after removing a layer from the project, the path analytics may need to be refreshed.
In these cases, a warning message will appear at the top of the page together with a link to recalculate the analytics:
This chart shows the variation of the elevation along the path. Multiple paths can be selected in order to compare their profiles.
Note that the elevation values are shown as altitude above sea level (geoidal elevation). Also, note that the elevation values are shown at the pylon locations. Different paths may have different number of pylons, so some lines may extend further on the right side of the chart.
Below the line chart, these statistics are shown:
Height difference: Shows the difference between the maximum elevation of the profile and the minimum elevation.
Height variation: Shows the sumation of height differences for all line sections (each section measured between two pylons), that is, the total variation of height when the line goes either up or down from start to end.
The resistance profile chart shows the variation of the resistance (cost) along the paths. Again, multiple paths can be selected to compare the impact of each alternative and decide which one is more optimal.
Resistance values are shown for each pylon along the routes. Because the number of pylons will vary among the paths, lines can extend more or less on the right side.
The path cost analysis can be accessed from the menu option in Results:
This report can also be opened simply by clicking on the path cost number in the Results panel:
Both will open the Path Cost report window:
Note that, because it is possible to have multiple cost models activated in one scenario:
The user can choose which cost model results to show in the table. Each model results with contain a different cost breakdown (different cost items or categories) defined in the model.
The path cost figure shown in the Results panel corresponds to the first active model in the scenario:
See the Scenario Settings section on how to define the cost model parameters.
In many cases, it is useful to display or export a list of the path pylons or anchor points. This can be done by using the pylon report, which displays a table of all the pylons or points created for each path, with their location and other properties.
From the table of the report, we can locate any pylon just by clicking on its table row. The map will zoom to it and hightlight it with a yellow circle.
As with other charts and reports, it can be exported to a CSV fle.
This table is also available in the printed report, for each scenario (see next section):
3D Inspection and Editing¶
The 3D View provides all visualization capabilities of the Map View and, in addition, it supports a better visual analysis of the results.
To enable the 3D View, use the View/3D View menu option:
or click on the 3D View view toolbar button:
Data layers and results can be displayed in the same way as the Map View, appearing as draped on the terrain. In this example, we can see the resistance map with two proposed routes:
The visualization of the paths in 3D is more detailed, since we can see the 3D shape of pylons and the cables in their context:
Showing 3D Buildings¶
In the 3D View we can add a global buildings dataset which provides a good reference of constructions near the path, and what is the visual impact of the proposed infrastructure.
To show the 3D buildings, use the View/Show/Buildings menu option:
When enabled 3D building data will be streamed and added to the view. Notice that some constructions may not be present in this global dataset:
Integrating 3D Assets¶
The integration of external reference data can help providing important information of the current environment, or future construction plans that need to be taken into account.
Pathfinder can easily integrate any 3D data published to the Cesium Ion server, which is free up to a certain storage level. Sample data is provided for each of the types supported, and users can add their own assets by specifying the correct IDs.
This video shows how the integration operates.
In the dialog, first paste the Cesium Ion account token. You can access it from your Cesium Ion page or it may be given by an external data provider.
Second, type or paste the 3D asset ID number, which can be found in your assets page or given by an external data provider.
Third, you need to select the type of asset, which you can also check in the Cesium Ion server, and click on the Add button.
To try our samples:
Select the type of asset you wish to test.
Click on the Try Example button, which will fill the token and ID fields for you.
Click on the Add button.
You may need to wait some time for the asset to be downloaded and displayed.
Samples of the 3D assets supported are:
KML/KMZ models (for instance, used in the integration with PLS-CADD)
Geographic features (GeoJSON) with or without elevation. For instance, we can import underground utility data:
Our model may contain imported underground assets as well as earth cables or other subterranean lines generated by Pathfinder. In order to display and explore these assets properly, we have to enable the Underground viewing option in the 3D View menu.
This option has two effects:
It makes the terrain surface semi-transparent, so we can see the objects below.
It allows the viewing point to rotate or move under the surface, so we can explore these objects closer.
In some cases, the paths calculated by Pathfinder should not be displayed in 3D using pylons or underground supporting structures, but as lines following the surface. Think, for instance, of pipelines, roads or other linear infrastructures.
The Show/Pylon toggle in the View menu can be used to hide the pylon structures in both the Map and the 3D View:
The infrastructure path and the position of pylons is calculated by the selected routing algorithm. However, the user can manually adjust both by using the Pylon Tools in the 3D View.
To activate these tools, use the corresponding Tools menu option:
Once activated, the Pylon Toolbar will be visible:
Click on the Move tool to enable editing. Yellow handlers will become visible at the pylons’ locations:
The user can move the pylons by clicking and dragging their handlers. After doing so, the cables will become dotted lines to show that the path section has been edited:
To close and validate the edit press the right mouse button and accept the confirmation:
After the editing is accepted, a new path is created with the modifications, so it can be compared to the original.
The new modified path is also shown in the Results panel. Note that the Path Analytics and Path Cost will be automatically calculated for the modified route:
The cable warnings tool automatically checks the segments along the path where the cables may be too close to the ground.
After the tool is invoked, a list of warnings will appear and problematic segments are displayed in red.
By clicking on each warning line, the user can zoom to the location of the potential problem.
Finally, the Info tool lets user get additional information about specific pylons, like its geographical location, elevation and pylon type parameters:
Disclaimer: the scenarios depicted in this manual do not represent actual customer projects or infrastructure proposals, and are presented for demonstration purposes only.