3DD 3.0
3DD 3.0 Technical Description

1. This Document

This document gives technical specifications and details for the latest release of ADAM Technology's premier mapping software suite, 3DD version 3.0.

2. 3DD 3.0 General Description

3DD — Three Dimensional Digitising — is a fast and efficient data capture, management and presentation system for 3D data. It has been designed specifically for the needs of the photogrammetric, cartographic and surveying industries.

3DD 3.0 is the ideal front end data capture package for any digital mapping, orthophoto map production, digital terrain modelling, land or geographical information systems. It also offers comprehensive project management, preparation and control, data editing, presentation and data transfer facilities. Aerial and terrestrial jobs are handled with equal ease.

3DD is an affordable and simple-to-operate PC software package. If offers a comprehensive range of features for a wide range of stereoplotter, table digitiser and mouse input devices. Output can be to raster or pen based plotters or to a data file for transfer to another system (e.g. GIS). 3DD combines the best of the PC’s easy-to-use features and power, with rigorous mathematical algorithms and reliable performance.

3DD can be used for any 3D data acquisition from stereoplotters on almost any sort of data, including architectural, engineering, mining, police and medical data.

3DD 3.0 - One software suite

3DD version 3.0 is purchased and delivered as a complete system. 3DD 3.0 has many new benefits and improvements over the last released version, 3DD 2.2. Orientation and Job Setup for ADAM Stereoplotters, ITN (Irregular Triangular Networks for automatic contour and volume computation) and Polygons (automatic data clean-up for GIS) have now been integrated into the menus for the complete mapping system. Version 3.0 has a large number of new features and productivity enhancements over version 2.2, including:

  • The mouse is available for editing during digitising, resulting in many productivity improvements (such as quickly snapping onto the end of a feature with the mouse and then driving the stereoplotter to the current mouse position).
  • In aerial mode, you can optionally snap onto a feature with either the stereoplotter or the mouse irrespective of its height (Move Z On Snap).
  • The display will now dynamically pan to follow the movement of the mouse or stereoplotter, allowing continuous digitising.
  • All map files in the current job directory can be displayed as "overlays" with a single keypress during startup.
  • The mouse speed can now be easily adjusted and the mouse buttons swapped in the new mouse configuration menu.
  • The number of symbols and templates per library has been increased from 50 each to 200 each.
  • The number of movements per symbol or template has been increased from 10 to 15 each.

3. System Requirements

3.1 Supported hardware and software

3.1.1 Computer:

3DD 3.0 will run on just about any PC with either DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and 98 or Windows NT. If you already run 3DD 2.2 you don’t need to purchase a new PC, as long as it has at least 1MB of memory, although the ITN functions may need more, depending on the complexity of the data. Generally you should get the best configuration on the PC that is used for editing , ITN and Polygons processing and sheet creation.

3.1.2 Operating system:

3DD 3.0 runs fastest under DOS. Windows 95 and 98 are a little slower and Windows NT is slower again. Windows NT has the most security-related overheads, which slow the system down. Windows NT can take almost twice as long to perform a "home" operation in digitising, Windows 95 and 98 may take 20% more time than DOS. (Note that restarting in DOS mode under Windows 95 and 98 makes 3DD run slower still, because the hard disk is cached while running under Windows. If you are running Windows 95 or 98 we suggested you try to run it with Windows active.) Starting up the digitising or editing shows little differences in speed between the various operating systems.

3.1.3 Processor:

3DD 3.0 can run on a PC AT, however the faster the processor the better, especially for ITN and Polygons. Get the best you can afford, keeping in mind the comments made under hard disk speed (section 3.1.5).

3.1.4 Memory:

3DD 3.0 uses the 640KB base memory for 3DD 3.0 and 53KB of upper memory for the dongle protection software. Only the ITN and Polygons modules make use of extended memory, and rarely do they need more than 8MB. There is virtually no benefit buying more memory than what is recommended for the various operating systems

3.1.5 Hard disk speed:

3DD 3.0 is a disk based system. Whilst in digitising or editing, every feature digitised or edited will be written to disk immediately, so a fast disk is greatly beneficial. You may consider a SCSI disk. While more expensive than IDE disks, they are usually 2 to 3 times faster. The faster the data transfer rate the better. You’d be better off spending your money on a faster disk than on the most expensive Pentium processor.

3.1.6 Disk space:

3DD 3.0 requires some 15MB of disk space and creates relatively small data files. A few hundred MB of disk space are generally sufficient.

3.1.7 Graphic adapters:

3DD 3.0 uses its own graphics drivers and does not use any Windows display drivers. In order to get the highest resolution (up to 1600x1200), you need to select a card that supports the standard "VESA VBE 1.2". Your supplier may not know if a particular card supports VESA mode. Test it with the operating system you intend to use, especially as few cards support VESA properly under Windows NT. There is no benefit in buying a special Windows accelerator card.

3.1.8 Monitor:

A reasonably large sized monitor (eg 15") to reduce eye strain, especially for the edit station. For higher resolutions (such as 1024x768), you may consider a 17" monitor or greater.

3.1.9 Networks:

Extremely useful if more than one PC is involved. You may have difficulties with networks under DOS with the amount of base memory the network drivers use.

3.1.10 Acquisition Devices:

  • Analogue stereoplotters with the MIMAKA stereoplotter interface (3 or 4 axis) — available from ADAM Technology
  • The GTCO type 5 table digitiser
  • Microsoft Mouse (Bus or serial)
  • All ADAM Technology analytical stereoplotters (Promap, Promap Ortho, MPS-2, and ASP 2000)
  • All ADAM Technology analogue to analytical conversions
  • WILD BC1 and BC2

If you require support for additional acquisition devices, please discuss your needs with your 3DD distributor.

3.1.11 Raster plotters:

  • Hewlett-Packard DesignJet plotters

3.1.12 Pen plotters:

  • HPGL plotters (HP, MUTOH, etc)
  • CALCOMP (907 data format)
  • Wild TA, TA2 and TA10 tables
  • Houston DMPL
  • GRAPHTEC 4000

Other plotters which emulate any of the above plotters may work but have not been tested

4. Product Specification

4.1 Delivery Kit

  • Installation CD or 3.5" disks (7)
  • Software licensing key
  • Using the ADAM 3DD 3.0 Software — User's manual for installation, operating instructions and tutorial
  • ADAM 3DD 3.0 Reference Manual — Reference manual of technical information including program command line operations, 3DD ASCII Format specification, menu tailoring and language translation procedures
  • ADAM 3DD 3.0 keyboard command reference — laminated card
  • Release Notes — notes pertaining to the current release

Existing users of 3DD 2.2

3DD 2.2 users can purchase the new version of 3DD at a reduced price provided you return your 3DD 2.2 hardware lock (key). 3DD 2.2 users with current maintenance contracts are eligible for a further discount. You will get a new and different hardware key with 3DD 3.0. To allow a smooth transition to 3DD 3.0 you will have thirty (30) days in which to return your old hardware key

4.2 Operational specifications

4.2.1 Installation and system setup

  • Installation controlled by batch file
  • Configuration selections (can also be made at run time) — primary digitising device, secondary edit device and their input ports, communication parameters, sizes and resolutions
  • Selection of plotter type, on-line/off-line, port and communication parameters for plotter connection are made at installation or run time.
  • Rigorous definition of most stereoplotters’ orientation characteristics
  • Primary digitising device and secondary edit device can be connected and used simultaneously

4.2.2 General

  • Direct source co-ordinate display for trouble shooting
  • "Terrestrial" mode allows full 3D operation
  • "Aerial" mode facilitates map and DTM production
  • Window/menu operation
  • Operation menus can be tailed for special purpose uses
  • Simple single key stroke operation
  • Colour palette for graphics operations can be defined where hardware allows
  • Operation menus may be set up by users for specialised applications
  • MS-DOS commands may be called from 3DD menus
  • Operation menus at two levels: user operations and supervisor operations
  • Special "Edit Station" menus provided for operation without a stereoplotter
  • Operation on analogue stereoplotters, analytical stereoplotters, table digitisers are identical in so far as the hardware allows
  • Advantages for analytical stereoplotters are utilised with stereoplotter moved under computer control
  • Project specification (entered before digitising commences) covers setting up of all job header facilities

4.2.3 Data Storage

  • Job header contains co-ordinate system parameters (plan and height), zone number, false origin, presentation resolutions (plan and height), general accuracy — one value for plan and height accuracy, Feature Definition File name and contour interval specifications
  • Feature types — Line, Point, Text, Symbol (point with bearing), Area boundaries
  • Feature header contains reference to feature code (Feature Definition File selection), feature source indicator, closure flag, squared flag, mark flags
  • Line types — Point-to-point, continuous, smooth, arc and no filter lines
  • Obscured (non-plotting) line segments can be embedded in lines
  • Co-ordinate types — 3D, 2D and fixed level point strings
  • Any line feature can change between point-to-point and use all digitising line types.
  • Up to 252 characters of unformatted description can be stored against any point or feature (the space is only reserved if required)
  • Text — variable height and width; fixed or variable scaling; left, centre, or right justification; placement exact or with margin; bottom, middle or top alignment; horizontal, angled, skewed in 3D space or curved; free, associated with other features or embedded inclines; proportional or non-proportional character sizes; italics slant; simple or serif font
  • Special 3DD supplied fonts are used. Characters on maps therefore appear exactly the same on graphics screen and plotter and are independent of both the graphics screen and the plotter used
  • Feature code lists (stored in Feature Definition Files) supply advance specification of digitising method and feature specification (allowable line types, closure, squaring etc.)
  • Feature code lists are tree structured allowing easy grouping of features by classification and sub-classification
  • Multiple Feature Definition Files for different jobs can exist simultaneously on a system

4.2.4 Calibration for ADAM Stereoplotters

ADAM stereoplotters are machines that handle jobs of great precision. To achieve the maximum possible precision, 3DD has a calibration utility to measure and correct any slight imperfections that remain after manufacture. Its main functions are to:

  • Measure reproducible errors in the ADAM Stereoplotter’s drive mechanisms
  • Calculate correction bicubics (and cubics for the ASP-2000's delta-Y adjustment) and store them
  • Store the corrections in the ADAM stereoplotter’s EEPROM
  • Produce a calibration report consisting of a summary of the current calibration status, a history of calibrations performed since the calibration file was first created and the correction tables that are downloaded into the ADAM stereoplotter

4.2.5 Control and transformation

  • Lens and camera library management
  • Photogrammetric job management functions
  • Orientation control for ADAM stereoplotters
  • Transformation control for analogue stereoplotters and table digitisers
  • Comprehensive, full screen entry and editing of control option co-ordinates
  • Control point co-ordinate list applies to total job
  • Control can be read from ASCII files
  • Vertical scale derived from plan scale on analogue stereoplotters
  • Model scale and height residuals displayed to assist with absolute orientation
  • All residuals displayed in ground units
  • Activating and de-activating of individual points without re-digitising to assist in orientation trouble-shooting
  • Orientations stored on hard disk to reduce need for re-transforming
  • Model points’ plate and model co-ordinates can be exported to ASCII format

4.2.6 Capture and edit

  • Data is transformed to ground units at capture
  • All features displayed on PC graphics screen as they are captured
  • Adjacent or overlaying files can be displayed together with the current map file
  • When digitising with orientation, acquired data is displayed at the same orientation as source material
  • Floating mark and mouse cursor’s 3D position shown on PC graphics screen
  • Stereoplotter data can be captured in 2D or 3D individually for each feature
  • All line smoothing and filtering completed (to smoothing scale requested in job specification) before graphic display and writing to disk
  • An alphanumeric description of up to 76 characters can be added to any feature
  • Data may be viewed from any angle or orientation in 3D space
  • Dynamic pan and background display refresh means as soon as the cursor moves outside a user-defined box, the screen is centred on the new position of the cursor and the display is redrawn without interfering with the current capture activity
  • Large variety of windowing and zooming options including: zooming around floating mark to selected scale, windowing by corners of selected rectangular window, panning up, down, left or right
  • Data is coded by user selected colour and line weight on digitising and edit screens
  • Overlaying or adjacent data may displayed during digitising and/or edit, in normal colour or a user-specified colour
  • On-line squaring and closing
  • Sophisticated squaring correctly handles features with multiple axes of squaring and with curved line sections within the job’s accuracy.
  • Squaring works in any plane in 3D space
  • Squaring makes vectors orthogonal in 3D space whenever possible
  • Squaring also performs alignment
  • Groups of features can be squared and aligned on the same axes
  • Line digitising modes: continuous, arc, point to point, smoothed and no-filter
  • Parallel line digitising using either entered or digitised offsets
  • Digitised points can be ‘snapped’ onto existing data on the current file or overlaid and adjoining files (Models are joined at data acquisition time.)
  • Move Z on Snap option moves the Z value of the stereoplotter or mouse to the height of the currently snapped feature, even if the height of the stereoplotter or mouse is outside the snap tolerance range
  • All edit functions are available during data acquisition
  • Editing functions include: feature deletion; feature reclassification; line reversing; line splitting, clipping, and appending to lines; joining features; moving part of a line; line segment corrections; feature copying; feature moving
  • Editing can be performed without source material using a mouse
  • Additions of embedded and other text can be done either at data acquisition or in later editing
  • Feature header view/update function provides details of feature including length, area, feature code, enclosing box, feature descriptions, text of annotation features, etc. Details may be updated where feasible
  • All edge data for a particular model can be extracted into one "edge file"
  • DTM digitising on analytical stereoplotters automates capture of gridded DTM’s
  • Gridded DTM’s are captured within user defined polygons
  • Gridded DTM’s can be captured with different profile separation
  • Bearing of profiles of gridded DTM can be selected
  • Extra points can be included or inappropriate points omitted and any point moved while digitising a DTM

4.3 3DD ITN (Irregular Triangular Network)

4.3.1 Overview

3DD ITN is now fully integrated in 3DD and is combined with the 3DD menus. It is a general purpose DTM, automatic contour generation and volume calculation package which extends the functions of the 3DD system. Designed to be used with 3DD, ITN reads data from standard 3DD map and feature definition files. 3DD-generated contours are written to standard map files and can be edited, plotted or processed with any program that operates on standard 3DD files

4.3.2 Irregular triangular network and contour generation

  • Features to be included and how those features are to be used are declared in a Triangle Style File
  • Features are included according to the 3DD feature Ident
  • Point features can be included as surface points or point smoothing singularities (e.g. the apex of a stockpile shaped like a cone)
  • Line features can be included as surface lines, line singularities (break lines), chains of points, edges or holes
  • Triangle style files relate to 3DD Feature Definition Files and need only to be set up once
  • A specific edge line is used to avoid ill-conditioned triangles at the edge of the surface
  • User-controlled filtering of curved line segments reduces the number of points to process
  • Input data validation resolves duplicated points, points outside of edge feature, crossed lines and points on lines
  • Generated triangles and contours are displayed as they are formed
  • Contours are generated as contiguous lines
  • Map files can be "draped" over triangular networks, updating the heights of all 3D features to the height given in the triangular network

4.3.3 Volume Calculation

  • Volumes are calculated directly from the triangular mesh surface
  • Volumes can be calculated over the whole area or within a user-specified bounding polygon
  • Bounding polygons can be supplied as ASCII or in the MAP file format
  • Volume is calculated from any nominated datum
  • Volumes above and below the datum are reported separately
  • The areas where the surface is above and below the datum are reported separately

4.4 3DD Polygons

4.4.1 Overview

3DD Polygons is an integrated, menu-based feature intersection and polygon processing package. There are two major functions — intersection processing, where digitised line features can be clipped or extended at T-junctions; and polygon processing, whereby topological polygon structures are created from digitised line data.

4.4.2 Intersection Processing

  • "Clean up" menu item processes all intersections in 3DD MAP files, removing overhangs and extending features at T-junctions
  • All processing involves the use of the job’s accuracy and resolution settings
  • "Clean up and split features" menu item additionally splits all line features into disjoint features at intersection points
  • An undo option is provided to restore the original map file in the event of unwanted changes

4.4.3 Polygon Processing

  • Constructs closed polygons from simple line feature data in any standard 3DD map file
  • Point, Area and Name features can be written to the 3DD map file containing the polygon features
  • A printable ASCII report file can be generated from the map file which can contain Polygon names, areas, perimeters, centroids, side lengths and side bearings

4.5 Map Processing

  • Presentation of digitised data in simple ASCII format
  • Loading of 3DD MAP files from that simple ASCII format
  • 3DD files are transferable to other 3DD systems (see section 5)
  • Off-line deleted feature and point removal (file compression)
  • Re-smoothing of existing data to a new scale
  • Zone to zone conversions for data in any UTM system
  • UTM to geographical conversions and vice versa
  • Conversions of data between different UTM Systems
  • Conversion of data from planar systems to geographicals and UTM systems
  • Printed reports of feature data available at three levels
  • Trimming of data to irregular polygons (user defined)
  • Removing of data from irregular polygons (to assist map updating etc.)
  • Rounding heights on contours to defined contour intervals
  • Removing contours to give data with a larger contour interval
  • Re-assigning feature codes to correct consistent digitising errors, allowing for updated feature code lists or copying of data between jobs using different featured code lists
  • Feature extraction, file splitting and file merging
  • Transformations between co-ordinate systems based on control point updating or mathematical definition

4.6 Symbolisation and Plotting

  • Symbolisation process takes all or selected data from job and adds symbols as required
  • All aspects (scale, window and orientation, symbolisation style, etc.) of plot tailoring may be selected prior to symbolisation processing
  • Titles, borders and other layout details are added automatically at symbolisation
  • Title files and symbolised files are the same format as 3DD MAP files (all 3DD edit and processing facilities will operate on 3DD plot files)
  • Any symbolised file can be used as a title sheet file allowing key diagrams and multiple plans per sheet
  • 3DD files may also be plotted directly without symbolisation
  • Symbolised plot files store line colour and line weight details in feature description (pen assignments are not stored in plot files)
  • Symbolised plot files may be edited with the 3DD acquisition/edit program (providing limited drafting facilities)
  • Colour (red, green, and blue triplet) and weight can be defined by the user for Hewlett Packard Design Jet raster plotters for ten user-defined pen settings in the ‘pen map’
  • Colour and weight of pens loaded in the plotter’s pen stocker are shown in the ‘pen map’ for pen plotters
  • Six independent pen maps exist simultaneously in the system
  • Multistroking is automatic if available pens are not of sufficient line weight
  • Plotting may be to an off-line plot file in device format or directly to plotter
  • Plot is sorted to use pens in sequence
  • Paper size is read from plotter (if supported by plotter)
  • Plot may be automatically centred or manually positioned
  • Plots may be rescaled after symbolisation
  • Rotation of plots (90 degrees) to fit on paper can be either automatic or manual
  • Plots can be mirror reversed
  • Plot Style files supply symbolisation specifications for individual feature types
  • Symbol library supplies point symbol and line template definitions
  • Symbols and templates may be updated by user
  • New symbols and templates may be added by user
  • Line templates are scaled to fit an even number to each line
  • Lines may be symbolised at the ends only
  • One feature may be symbolised with up to 10 parallel lines of differing templates, colours and line weights
  • One feature may be shaded up to 10 times using differing shade angles, templates, colours and line weights
  • Correct contour level values are automatically inserted at nominated insertion positions
  • Plotter fonts are not used. All text is formatted exactly as shown on the graphics screen
  • Project specification contains definition of all plot sheets to be produced for job
  • Plot sheet definitions may be entered before digitising commences or at any time before symbolisation of sheet
  • Plot sheet definitions themselves may be symbolised for key diagram production
  • Grids are automatic (if requested in sheet definition)
  • Grids may be full, cross grids or ticks at the sheet edge
  • Grid annotation may be placed on any combination of the four sheet edges
  • Grid annotation may be positioned with four different styles
  • The sheet neat line may be suppressed
  • The colour, space and line weight of the grid and its annotation may be controlled independently
  • Plot windows may be rectangular or irregular
  • Plot windows may be oriented in any direction (The grid will be skewed)
  • Standard 1:100,000, 1:50,000, 1:25,000 sheets may be selected by their sheet number
  • Oblique views and elevation may be symbolised with optional grids
  • Long sections may be plotted in two different formats

5. Map Data Transfer Methods

3DD’s internal file structure is a proprietary format which is optimised for speed of operation. Transfer of data to any other system therefore requires a translation procedure. Conversions to ASCII and AutoCAD DXF format is included with the 3DD system.

5.1 MAF (3DD ASCII Format)

MAF is a simple ASCII structure which can be both read and written by 3DD. This format:

  • Contains all the information in the original 3DD file
  • Is easily understood and interpreted manually
  • Is easy to read using programs written in any computer language
  • Is easy to create using programs written in any computer language

It can be used to:

  • Examine the contents of data files in detail for trouble-shooting purposes
  • Transfer data to outside systems where a simple ASCII structure is required. A program must generally be written to read the MAF file into the target system but his program is very simple because of the MAF file’s simple ASCII format. It can be written in any language
  • Transfer data into 3DD from other systems
  • Special editing and processing programs can be written which operate on MAF files. The data can be transferred to MAF, processed and transferred back to 3DD format
  • Produce Orthophoto maps on ADAM Promap Ortho System stereoplotters

5.2 AutoCAD DXF

AutoCAD DXF (Document eXchange Format) is an ASCII format both written and read by the AutoCAD drafting system. AutoCAD is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc. DXF files can also be read into Microstation.

  • Both 2D and 3D DXF files can be created
  • Heights can be passed as text into 3D DXF files
  • A conversion table that is based on the feature code list (Feature Definition File) gives the relationship between 3DD codes and DXF layers. This conversion table is set up interactively.
  • The decision to transfer as 2D or 3D can be made by 3DD feature code
  • Several different conversion tables can exist for any feature code list (Feature Definition File)
  • A printed report of any conversion table can be made
  • A conversion report detailing the number of features converted and which failed to convert is made for each file converted
  • Can be operated from either the 3DD menus or MS-DOS command lines
  • Supports up to and including AutoCAD version 14

Because AutoCAD is not a feature coded system, data transfers in the reverse direction will result in incomplete 3DD files as reconstruction of feature codes and certain internal flags is not possible. (3DD comes with an unsupported program, ACAD2MM, which will read some components of DXF files. This program is supplied "as is" and without warranty. ADAM Technology does not encourage transfer from AutoCAD DXF to 3DD at this time.)

5.3 Migrating from 3DD 2.2 and ADAM 3 format

All jobs and their associated data created using ADAM System Software 3.0 and 3DD 2.2 are upwards compatible with 3DD 3.0. 3DD 3.0 will configure the menus on installation to allow easy transfer according to the system and environment settings of the user’s computer.

6. Support Services

While complete documentation is provided with 3DD 3.0, most users also benefit from the support services provided by ADAM:

  • Installation — to be up and running with minimum delay
  • Training — to reduce operators’ learning time (minimum 3 days recommended initially)
  • Software Maintenance Updates — to automatically receive maintenance updates of registered products you need to have a current ADAMcare Software Support agreement.
  • Consulting — for training, quick customisation, data translation, and other special requests are available if you need them.

Services are able to be tailored to each user's specific needs and are in addition to the standard components of the 3DD system. Contact us to discuss your requirements.