Tech Support and FAQ

What to do when you have a problem or request?

First, we recommend you to take a look at our question list below. If you don’t find the answer to your question, use the support chat or report the problem from Pathfinder itself, so it goes directly into our issue management system.

Support Chat

You can find the support chat link in the Help menu:

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And you can also open it from the button in the top bar:

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The chat dialog will open. Please provide a user name and email, and click on “Start the chat”:

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Then, type your message and attach sample data or screenshots related to your problem or question.

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A tech support associate will respond to you as soon as possible.

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Note

If you have an Ad Block or Privacy Web browser extension active for the Pathfinder site, it may prevent the application from showing the chat window. If the chat button is not visible, disable these extensions for Pathfinder.

Report a Bug

If you find a problem with the software, you can report it directly to us, using this menu option:

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Your default email application will open to send an email to our internal issue tracking system.

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To make your report email more effective, please:

  • Describe the steps you follow to find the problem

  • Attach an image or video capture

  • If the problem is data-specific, attach some sample data to reproduce the issue

Common Questions

Data Preparation

A common question asks how to prepare data to be used in Pathfinder. This figure summarizes the criteria and most frequent steps for preparing vector data.

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If your organization needs help to prepare data, check our data preparation services.

Login Failure

If you login into Pathfinder from a different computer, or after a long time, you might get this error message:

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In this case, just click on the “Logout” button in the right corner of the top bar, and log in again.

If you have problems logging with the “Remember me” option on, check this option off before logging.

Project Thumbnail

If you wonder how to create a project thumbnail that is visible in the landing page, your organization administrator can set it up.

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Maximum Area/Resolution

In principle, a project may have any area size. However, the product of the area by the resolution is limited to certain number. By default, the limit is 5,000.

This means that at 10m resolution you can only work with an area that is 50x50 Kms.

If you need to work with a larger area, you will also need to increase the size of the resolution value. For instance, you can work with a 500x500 Kms area, but increasing the resolution size to 100m.

Gilytics support can increase the maximum size number to 16,000. However, this may slow down your data processes and cause failures for large datasets. If you still want us to increase this size, let us know.

Changing Project Area or Resolution

Sorry, it’s not possible to change the project area of its resolution after is has been created. The reason for this is that important internal data like the digital elevation model and slope are setup after the project creation and affect its layers.

If you need to modify the project area or resolution, do this:

  • Save the scenarios in your current project to the Scenario Catalog.

  • Create the new project.

  • Add new layers from the base datasets. They already exist in your company, so you don’t to upload any data again.

  • Create the scenarios and import them from the ones you saved in the Scenario Catalog.

Elevation Sources

A digital elevation model layer is automatically added to Pathfinder projects when they are created. This layer uses data from the Tilezen Terrain Tiles hosted by AWS. This data service is mostly based on the Global SRTM terrain data.

This dataset is geoid-corrected, meaning that it’s values represent height above the sea level.

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On the other hand, the Cesium World Terrain Layer in used in Pathfinder’s 3D View. Its resolution varies quite a lot from a few meters to one kilómeter depending on the region. This elevation source provides ellipsoidal values, meaning elevation about the average global ellipsoid, so the elevation values at sea level are not necessarily zero.

However, these elevation values are only used for 3D visualzation and do not affect the data products generated by Pathfinder.

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Maximum Data Size

Some processes may have problems, taking a long time, even failing, for large datasets (with many features, or very complex geometries).

If you try to upload data (e.g. a zipped Shapefile) larger than 50 MB, we recommend you to simplify it or split it into multiple datasets using GIS software, so all the processing will be faster.

Optimize Route Length

The length of a route is an important cost factor, so it is usually convenient to reduce it as much as possible.

The user can manually shorten the path length by reduce the relative resistance differences between layers (make their differences less important) while keeping approximately the same relative absolute values.

For instance, if layers have initial resistance values like 2, 3 and 4, scaling up these values to 20, 30 and 40 will make no difference: the resulting path will stay the same. What we can do is to use values like 22, 23 and 24; or 32, 33 and 34, which reduce the relative difference between the layers.

This scaling is done automatically by using the length optimization factor in the scenario settings. The higher the value of this factor (near 1.0), the smoother and more straight the path will be, at the expense of other optimization criteria.

Also, you can consider using an advanced algorithm with pylon spotting and set an angle weight to make the path smoother.

Custom Pylons

The company administrator can add custom pylons to Pathfinder, but we can also do it for you.

To do so, we need:

  • A 3D model of the pylon, best in glTF/glb format, but it can be in 3DS, OBJ, FBX or other 3D file format.

  • The real height in meters of the pylon.

Custom Background Image

It is possible to use your own image or tiled Web Map Service as background map in the 2D and 3D views.

Contact us and we will help you to set it up.

Chat Not Visible

As mentioned earlier, if you have an Ad Block or Privacy Web browser extension active for the Pathfinder site, it may prevent the application from showing the chat window.

If the chat button is not visible, disable these extensions for Pathfinder.

Also, the chat will not be visible if you did not accept the use of cookies, which are needed by this feature.

90-Degree Crossings

A common constraint for routing is to favor 90-degree crossings of other linear infrastructures like highways or transmission lines.

The routing model of Pathfinder is designed so this constraint is applied automatically, just by:

  • Creating a ring or buffer on the linear elements for which we want to optimize the crossings

  • Set a relatively high resistance to the layer containing the linear elements

With these conditions, the routing algorithm will try to minimize the length over the linear feature, and therefore, will cross it near 90-degree angles, unless other constraints are given more priority (for instance, reducing the route length).

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Note

The larger the buffer or ring distance around the lines compared to the project resolution, the better the 90-degree angle will be approximated. For instance, if your project resolution is 10 meters, a buffer of 100m or 150m will induce more precise perpendicular crossings than a buffer of 30 or 40 meters.

Bundling with Existing Lines

In some cases, we would like the route to run close to existing roads or transmission lines, reducing the right of way, and the cost of construction and maintenance.

We can use per-ring resistances to achieve this “bundling” effect. Usually, we should set a high resistance close to the lines we don’t want to cross too often, but we can also set a negative or small resistance in a second or third ring, at the right distances, to favor routes which are not too far from the existing lines.

This image shows the bundling effect achieved by applying this technique:

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Prevent Crossing Forbidden Areas

If you need to prevent strictly the path from crossing forbidden areas, you must use the algorithms including pylon spotting, disabling the “between points allowed” choice in the advanced options.

Points in Forbidden Areas

When calculating a corridor, it may fail with the following message in the Process Log:

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The problem here is that the Start, End or intermediate points of the path lies within a forbidden area, so a route is not possible.

You must either:

  • Change the FB value of the layer the points is in to a high-resistance value

  • Move the problem point out of the forbidden area

Failure with Forbidden Areas

Algorithms may fail to find a path when large or long forbidden areas are defined, or they generate unexpected results.

For this reason, and because of the strong restrictions they impose, it is recommended to limit the use of forbidden areas, especially for large linear features like highways or rivers.

https://registry.opendata.aws/terrain-tiles/




Disclaimer: the scenarios depicted in this manual do not represent actual customer projects or infrastructure proposals, and are presented for demonstration purposes only.

For more help, please use the help chat in the application, or contact Gilytics.