12.1 Introduction

Subheadings for this chapter are as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Types of Plots
  3. Input Parameters
  4. Plot Descriptions
  5. Displaying the Plot File

This chapter discusses the basic and enhanced plotting features available in MicroMODEL. The process by which plots are created in MicroMODEL includes several steps, including choosing the type plot required from the menu system, answering the main plot configuration parameters, answering the plot appearance questions, creating the plot, and displaying the plot on a graphics display device. The following sections describe these procedures, and will help in producing aesthetic hard-copy output.

12.2 Types of Plots

Each MicroMODEL module contains several programs that create graphical output. Programs that create anything that could be considered a "map" (i.e. drill hole location maps, block model cross sections, etc.) produce what are called SCALED PLOTS. Programs that produce plots that are considered graphs (i.e. variogram plots, cumulative frequency plots, etc.) create what are called UNSCALED PLOTS.

The following are examples of Scaled and Unscaled plots:

Scaled Plots

Unscaled Plots

12.3 Input Parameters

When the user selects a program that produces a plot, he must answer questions relating to program specific parameters and questions relating to the appearance of the final plot. This chapter deals mainly with the questions relating to final appearance.

The user is frequently required to specify a pen color for a particular part of the plot. If the hard copy plotter cannot plot in multiple colors, then the choice should always be "1" (Black). Otherwise, the desired pen color can be chosen from a standard color dialog.

Pen number selection is up to the user, but several things should be considered. If the plots are to be reproduced, use only black or blue ink. Most other colors do not reproduce well. Color plots are great for display or demonstration, but all check work must normally be done on the originals. In addition, because changing pens on older plotters takes time, it may take longer to plot a map in multiple colors on these type of plotters than it will to plot in just one color. (New inkjet color plotters have eliminated this problem)

In addition to using multiple pen colors, different pen tip sizes can be used. For example, if a plotter supports six different pens, a thin-line black pen can be placed in position #1. This pen might be used to draw the titles and grid lines on a map. A thick-line black pen, placed in position #2, can be used to create border lines and title block lines. Pen positions #3 through #6 can contain thin-line blue, green, orange, and red pens. These pens can be used to highlight grade ranges in different colors.

Another typical portion of input in the plotting programs concerns ROW and COLUMN clipping. This feature offers control over the extent of the plot (in terms of model size). Typically, the first and last rows and columns will be specified, producing a plot that covers the entire area of the model. However, the user may "window in" on an area in the model by entering the specific starting and stopping rows and columns for the plot.

In some of the plotting programs, a similar option is offered for clipping by bench. The user specifies the starting and ending level number to plot.

Global and local grids can be made a part of a scaled plot. The user may choose from several display options for these grids. The local grid can be plotted with the following options:

Option 1 does not plot any local grid markings on the plot. Option 2 plots only tic marks and the row or column number on the edge of the plot, with the tic marks representing the cell outlines. Option 3 plots the cell outlines in the interior of the plot, with the cell numbers labeled along the outside of the plot. If options 2 or 3 are selected, then the user must also enter pen colors for the lines or tic marks to be plotted. (See Figure 12.1).

The global grid can be plotted with the following options:

Option 1 does not plot any global grid markings on the plot. Option 2 plots a full global grid with Northing and Easting labels on the lines. If Option 2 is selected, the user must enter additional information concerning the grid interval and pen color of the grid lines. (See Figure 12.1).

                     FIGURE 12.1

12.4 Plot Descriptions

This section discusses the methods available for placing unique descriptions on plots produced by MicroMODEL.

When creating Unscaled plots, several input fields allow the user to enter text descriptions particular to the plot. The fields are the DRAWING TITLE and the PROJECT TITLE. In addition, the pen number to use when plotting these items may be entered.

The Drawing Title appears under the X-Axis of the plot, and the Project Title appears in the upper left-hand corner of the plot.

Scaled plots have an added feature for specifying a unique description: A full featured title block. Title block output includes the TITLE BLOCK , the SCALE, and the PLOT FRAME EXTENT LINE. The title block answers are stored in a multiple answer set file, so more than one set of responses can be stored or retrieved. As with other multiple answer set programs, the user must select the answer set number to use and enter a description of the answer set which is updated.

The TITLE BLOCK COLUMN is composed of a SCALE and three boxes of information; the COMPANY NAME BOX, the TITLE BOX and a SIDE BOX which is composed of several smaller information boxes. (See Figure 12.2).

                       FIGURE 12.2
                   TITLE BLOCK LAYOUT

The COMPANY NAME BOX normally contains the COMPANY NAME, but may show any text string the user chooses. The TITLE BOX contains five lines of text information. Two lines are for the PROJECT TITLE and, three lines are for DRAWING TITLE.

The SIDE BOX is actually six small boxes. The information plotted in these boxes are the DATE the plot was created, the DESIGNER, the DRAFTER, the CHECKER, the PROJECT NUMBER, and the FIGURE NUMBER. The DATE is automatically entered as the computer system date, and the DRAFTED and CHECKED boxes are left blank, allowing space for the draftsman and manager to sign off on the final drawing. The other three boxes; DESIGNED, PROJECT NUMBER and FIGURE NUMBER; can contain user specified text.

Responses to all prompts concerning measurements are in inches for English projects, and centimeters for Metric projects. SIDE BOX width and height, TITLE BOX width, and COMPANY NAME BOX height may all be changed in size. Selecting the SIDE BOX height also sets the TITLE BOX height. Selecting the SIDE BOX width and the TITLE BOX width also sets the COMPANY NAME BOX. (See Figure 12.3).

The user directly or indirectly controls the CHARACTER HEIGHT of the displayed text. The individual SIDE BOX character heights are fixed at one-third of the height of the smaller interior boxes. The COMPANY NAME BOX and the TITLE BOX character heights are set by the user, and these heights are entered as a percentage of the SIDE BOX height. For example, entering a SIDE BOX height of 0.25 inches and a TITLE BOX character height of 0.6 (60 percent) sets the character height at 0.15 inches.

Remember, all measurements in the TITLE BLOCK COLUMN are in either centimeters or inches. Figure 12.3 shows the default TITLE BLOCK dimensions. All the parameters the user must specify are displayed.

                                       FIGURE 12.3
                               DEFAULT TITLE BLOCK LAYOUT

In addition to the TITLE BLOCK, a SCALE bar is drawn. When determining the size parameters for the SCALE, the user should be sure that the SCALE bar parameters selected can be displayed within the confines of the TITLE BLOCK at the largest scale (smallest map size) that will be used. If the (NUMBER of UNITS + 1) times the SCALE UNITS is greater than the width of the COMPANY NAME BOX at the largest desired plot scale, the SCALE bar will not fit inside the TITLE BLOCK COLUMN. If the selected SCALE bar parameters exceed the TITLE BLOCK COLUMN size, the program prompts the user to re-enter the SCALE bar parameters.

For example, if the scale unit is 100 feet, and the number of scale units is 4, the finished scale would require 5 inches of space to plot at a maximum plot scale of 1"=100ft. This exceeds the available space if the default side box width plus the title box width is selected (4.2 inches). A valid choice in this case is 5 scale units of 50 feet each, giving a scale bar 3.0 inches long. This fits easily inside of the 4.2 inch title block column. Note: When displaying plots that include the title block an a graphics screen with "P"review scale, the SCALE bar is not drawn at correct size. All other aspects of the title block are displayed as they actually appear on a hard copy plot.

Two input items must be entered that control the appearance of the PLOT FRAME EXTENT LINE, which is a line that is drawn around the outside of the map. This line frames the entire extent of the map, and is drawn a user-specified distance away from the actual map on all sides. The user specifies the distance the frame is drawn away from the map extent in scale units. For example, for a COLUMN width of 25 units, a response of 25 draws the EXTENT LINE one COLUMN width away form the actual plot. The user also specifies the PEN NUMBER used when the PLOT FRAME EXTENT LINE is drawn.

12.5 Displaying the Plot File

Once a plot file is created, the user is immediately able to display the plot on the computer screen. A dialog box is shown that says "Select Plot File to Display on the Screen." The file name listed in the File Name field is the one just created by the user. The user can display the file by pressing the Open button. The Cancel button can be used to skip screen display.

The user should refer to Volume I, Chapter 6, section 6.4, for more information on display options that are available from MicroMODEL.