The Pathfinder cloud infrastructure runs processes to perform different data preparation and calculation tasks.
The user can open the Process Log to check the status of these tasks at any time:
Estimating the duration of a process in Pathfinder is nearly impossible because of the many factors involved, including how many other processes there are, but the Process Log shows the time it’s taking for each process to complete, so the users have an approximate estimation of how long it will take to run it again in similar conditions.
Data Preparation Processes¶
These processes are run automatically by the application:
When a project is created, a process is executed to prepare the Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Slope Map and other information relative to the project area.
When a layer is added to the project from a base dataset, or its ring/buffer options are changed, a process is executed to clip and buffer the data and prepare it for display and analysis.
It will not be possible to add layers to the project until its post project creation process ends.
Stop a Process¶
In some cases, a process can be running much longer than expected, or we wish to stop it in order to change some parameters and run it again. The Process Log shows a “Stop” button we can use to cancel the process.
After the process stops it will be displayed as “Failure”, but without the red color indicating a problem, and it can be executed again.
It is not advisable to stop the project post-creation process calculating the terrain variables. If this process is canceled, it becomes impossible to add layers to the project and we will need to recreate it.
Scenario Analysis Processes¶
Pathfinder can generate multiple analysis deliverables based on the active scenario parameters, to provide information about the optimal location and effects of the infrastructure placement.
These results are generated in sequence. Each one is needed to calculate the following ones.
To run the generation processes and access the available results, use the Results Panel, in the right section of the Project Viewer.
The panel is comprised of three sections corresponding to each processing step: Resistance Map, Corridor and Paths.
To expand/collapse each section’s items corresponding to different scenarios, click on the section header bar.
Instead of showing the Resistance Maps, Corridor and Paths stacked on top of each other, users can also split them in separate tabs by using the corresponding option in the View menu:
In this mode, each tab will show only one type of result, leaving room to view and manage more items.
Viewer users can not run scenario analysis processes, but they can add shared scenarios to see results generated by other users.
In this section, you can follow one of our tutorial videos:
The first result to be calculated from the Scenario parameters is the Resistance Map, a sum of the resistances of layers added to the project, multiplied by the corresponding category weights.
The Resistance Map can be used to calculate corridors or optimal paths (see below), but also in Site Analysis to determine the most optimal areas to locate an infrastructure like a power plant or substation.
To generate the Resistance Map (RM), click on the Generate button in the section header. Notice the active scenario name highlighted. The RM will be calculated for this scenario:
This process can also be invoked from the top menu option “Results/Generate Resistance Map”:
A new process is created and displayed in the Log:
When the process is finished, the RM is displayed on the View:
Note that areas with Forbidden values look transparent (bottom right area), so the background map is clearly visible.
To interpret the resistance map colors, you can open the Legend with the View/Legend menu option:
The yellow and reddish colors (see top color ramp) mean higher resistance values, while green and blue colors represent smaller values:
The Corridor Map displays possible paths from the Start to the End point which have an accumulated resistance near the optimum path, so in addition to hinting where this will be located, it also shows possible alternative routes.
The alternatives considered in the corridor map are defined by a percentage value, the width of the corridor.
As with the Resistance Map, the process to create the Corridor Map can be invoked with the Results/Generate Corridor menu option or with the Generate button in the Corridor Section of the Results panel.
After the process to generate the Corridor Map is completed, it will be displayed in the View:
The Legend shows the interpretation of the Corridor Map colors: more yellow means lower resistance and more blue means higher resistance. Areas with a resistance higher than the percentage threshold are shown as transparent.
What is the meaning of the corridor width? It depends on the corridor method selected in the Scenario Configuration.
The default option (percentage) calculates the corridor map as those areas crossed by routes whose resistance is limited by a percentage of the optimal resistance. As an example, if the total resistance of the optimal path is 1200 and the width is 10%, the corridor map will show paths with a resistance lower than 1200 + 10% de 1200 (120) = 1320.
The percentile option calculates the limit as a percentile of the resistance values, so a width of 10 will display the 10% of points with a resistance above the optimal one, and it will show a subdivision of this range in four categories. For instance, a width of 10 will use different colors for points with values above 0% to 2.5%, between 2.5% and 5.0%, 5.0% to 7.5% and 7.5% to 10%.
However, in the case of the Corridor Map associated to the Explore routing algorithm, the corridor width is used to control the spatial influence of the routers combined to make the corridor, regardless of the selected corridor method:
You might get a failure message if the Start or End points are inside a Forbidden area.
Visibility and Transparency¶
As we create multiple results of different types, or for different scenarios, we probably need to control their visibility to focus on the information we need.
The “eye” icons on the right side of the Results panel can be used to show or hide results already calculated:
In addition, the opacity input or slider can be used to make a result more or less transparent and therefore control the way it is overlaid on top of the base map and other results and project layers.
The ultimate goal of Pathfinder is to find the optimum routes for a linear infrastructure between the Start and End points (possibly passing through some intermediate locations).
Pathfinder offers a default fast routing algorithm to perform this calculation. Depending on your company license, you may also have access to other routing algorithms.
The routing method can be selected in the Path and Pylons section of the Scenario Settings in the Right Panel:
Some methods may generate multiple path candidates. They may also differ in the way pylons are positioned. For more information, see the section about routing algorithms.
To calculate one or more optimal paths on the active scenario parameters, using the selected algorithm, click on the Generate button:
Or use the Results/Generate Path menu option:
After the calculation process is completed, the path line or lines will appear in the View.
In addition to the paths calculated by Pathfinder, external paths created from other tools can be imported to perform the analysis of possible alternatives.
Path files to be imported must include a single polyline in the WGS84 (EPSG:4326) coordinate system (latitude and longitude).
To import a path, click on the button in the Paths panel:
Select the scenario where the path will be inserted, and type its name. Then, drag and drop the path file on the dialog:
The imported path will be shown in the Paths panel and displayed in the View. Its statistics and cost are also evaluated.
Monetary Cost and Other Indicators¶
If one or more cost calculation models are activated in the scenario settings, these models are applied to the optimal paths when calculated.
The calculated value of the first cost model is displayed next to each path name:
The user can select to display instead a different cost model result, or the path distance.
The path costs will be automatically updated if the user edits the path using the pylon tools in the 3D View.
When an external path is imported, its cost calculation is done automatically.
A detailed path cost report can be used to review the details of the cost estimations. This report can be open by clicking on the numeric cost value displayed for each path.
Generate All Results¶
Instead of generating the Resistance Map, Corridor and Path(s) one by one for the active scenario, the user can choose to generate all automatically in sequence. This can be done by using the Generate All button corresponding to the scenario.
Notice that all the results are generated in a single process. The results will become all visible after the process is completed.
A key feature of Pathfinder is the ability to compare the results of different scenarios.
By default, the list of results includes all of them, for each scenario. The results for the active scenario are highlighted in orange:
As we saw for corridors, each result can be made visible or invisible by switching on and off the eye icon to the right, and also assign an opacity value from 0 to 1, so multiple results can be overlaid for visual comparison:
A key result of Pathfinder is the comparison of optimal paths for different scenarios and also against imported paths.
The monetary cost estimations for all paths can be easily compared by checking the figures shown next to each path name.
To identify each path more clearly in the View, the user can click on the color square next to each path name and assign different colors to each one:
The Map View will show the routes with the assigned colors:
This visual comparison can also be done in the 3D View.
Path comparison can also be done quantitatively in terms of:
Monetary cost, by using the Path Cost report.
Layer coverage, in the Path Analytics page.
Elevation profile, with the Vertical Profile chart.
Resistance profile, in the Path Resistance chart.
Single Scenario Results¶
If the user wants to focus on the results of the active scenario, this can be done by using the Active scenario option in the Results header bar. When this option is selected, only the results for the active scenario will be presented:
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.