Working with 3DML’s Feature Layers

Mesh layers created from point feature layers with individually referenced 3D model files, imported BIM layers, and mesh layers classified using the legacy Classify Mesh Layer tools include associated feature layers that are pre-processed with their respective mesh layers. These feature layers support many of the editing, analysis, and querying capabilities available for standard feature layers, including:

§  Spatial queries to select features within a particular geographical area.

§  Use of the attribute information included in a 3DML’s feature layers to display only selected areas of the mesh model that match a specific attribute value.

§  Basing of feature properties such as tint and tooltip on the feature’s attribute values.

§  Data searches using the Attribute Table Tool to easily edit the attribute values of multiple features or create a new shapefile based on the filtered data.

§  Modification of basic layer and feature properties (a limited subset of a standard feature layer’s properties) from the layer’s property sheet.

Selecting Features from the 3D Window

To select a feature:

1.      In the Project Tree, select a mesh layer's associated feature layer. Then on the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Selection group, click Select Feature.

2.      In the 3D Window, select the required feature. The feature’s property sheet opens.

Note:       If you want to select multiple features, press and hold the CTRL key, while you select each of the required features.

Note:       If you want to deselect an item, place the cursor over or click a previously selected item while the CTRL key is still pressed. The item becomes deselected in the same manner as it was selected.

Spatial Queries

You can select features based on their spatial relationship with a polygon, line or point that you draw, or with an existing object. You choose whether to include only features that entirely overlap with your selected or drawn geometry, or whether to include also those that partially intersect. You also can define a buffer zone to include features within a certain radius of the selection.

To perform a spatial query:

1.      In the Project Tree, select a mesh layer's associated feature layer. Then on the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Selection group, click Spatial Query and then select one of the following from the drop-down list:

§  Area– Select all features spatially related to the polygon that will be drawn.

§  Line – Select all features spatially related to the line that will be drawn.

§  Point– Select all features spatially related to the point that will be drawn.

§  Object selection – Select all features that are spatially related to the object that will be selected.

§  From clipboard – Select all features that are spatially related to the objects in the clipboard.

Note:       This option allows you to perform a spatial query using another feature or object, thus eliminating the need to manually draw the selection area.

Note:       The selection of any objects that are defined around a point, (e.g., all 2D Shapes, but not Polyline or Polygon) selects an individual point and not the entire object.

Note:       The precise spatial relationship is defined in the next step.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Selection group, define the spatial relationship to the drawn geometry:

Parameter

Description

Buffer

If you want to include features within a certain radius outside the selection, select the required distance.

Units

Select the desired units of measurement: meters, feet, kilometers, or miles.

Intersect/Completely Within

§  Select Intersect if you want to select all features whose geometry intersect at any point with the selection geometry.

§  Select Completely Within if you want to select only features whose entire geometry fall within or overlap the selection geometry.

3.      In the 3D Window, do one of the following depending on the type of spatial query:

§  Area selection – Place the polygon points in the 3D Window by clicking in the desired locations. You must place at least three points. Finish the polygon creation by right-clicking.

§  Line selection – Place the line points in the 3D Window by clicking in the desired locations. You must place at least two points. Finish the line insertion by right-clicking.

§  Point selection – Place a single point in the 3D Window by clicking in the desired location.

§  Feature selection – Select any object by clicking it.

The selection area (including the buffer if there is one) is framed with a red border. All layer features within the selection area are marked with yellow selection frames.

Note:    If you want to turn off the Select Area mode, on the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Selection group, toggle off the Spatial Query command.

Searching and Performing Operations by Attribute (Attribute Table Tool)

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Attribute Table

The Attribute Table enables you to search the layer attribute database files and set visibility in the 3D Window based on attribute value. You can also search the layer attribute database files to easily edit the attribute values of multiple features and to create a new shapefile based on the filtered data. 

Search expressions are comprised of one or more conditions. A condition consists of an attribute, an operator and an attribute value.

There are three types of attributes:

§  String

§  Integer

§  Double

Each Attribute type has its corresponding operators.

A search expression can consist of more the one condition. In this case, you need to insert a connector between the conditions to specify their relations. In addition to AND, you can use the OR, NOT and [] connectors to define the relations between conditions.

To search and perform operations by attribute:

1.      In the Project Tree, select a mesh layer's associated feature layer. Then on the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Attributes group, click Attribute Table.

2.      If you want to search for a previously-searched-for search expression, select one from the Search String drop-down list, and skip to step 6.

3.      In the Query builder section, enter an attribute, condition, and value and click Insert String. The search expression is displayed in the Search String field.

Note:       All attribute values are listed in the value drop-down list.

Note:       If you want to clear the Search String field, click Clear.

4.      If you want to include additional strings in your search expression, click one of the connector buttons: and repeat step 4 for the next condition.

5.      Click Search. Your search results are displayed in the search results list at the bottom of the page.

6.      To fly to a feature, right-click the feature’s row in the attribute table, and select Fly to selected item.

7.      For each attribute value that you want to modify, double-click and type the required value.

8.      Do any of the following:

§  To select a feature: in the Feature ID column, select the required Feature ID. Use CTRL-click or SHIFT-click to multi-select. This feature will remain selected even when the Attribute Table is closed.

§  To fly to a feature, right-click the feature’s row in the attribute table, and select Fly to selected item.

§  To modify attribute properties: double-click the attribute value and modify as required. In the 3D Window, the plane flies from the current location directly to the selected feature.

§  To set the visibility of features based on their attribute values using the search expression entered in steps 3-5: click the Operation button and select Set Visibility by Attribute. The features matching the search criteria and their annotations are displayed on the terrain, and the Visibility property is saved in the project. If you want to redisplay all features, click the Operation button and select Clear Visibility by Attribute.

Note:   All visibility by attribute settings are saved to Visibility property in the layer’s property sheet under both the Annotation and Feature tabs. You can also set visibility by attribute directly from the layer’s property sheet. See the Visibility property in “Polyline Property Sheet Parameters” and “Polygon Property Sheet Parameters” in the “Objects and Labels” chapter.

9.      If you want to save the filtered layer to a file, do the following:

a.      Click the Operation button and select Save As.

b.      In the Save As dialog box that is displayed, select the file type (.fly or .shp).

c.      Browse to the required file directory, and type a file name.

d.      Click Save.

Editing Feature Attributes

To edit selected features’ attributes:

1.      Select the required features by selecting them in the 3D Window or by spatial query. SeeSelecting Features from the 3D Window” and “Spatial Queries” in this chapter for information.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Attributes group, select Attribute Table. The Attribute Table for the selected layer opens with the selected features and their attributes displayed in the Search Results section.

3.      For each attribute value that you want to modify, double-click and type the required value.

Editing Feature Layer Properties

Layer and feature properties can be modified from the layer’s property sheet. If a 3DML was loaded with feature layers (see “About 3D Mesh Layers” in this chapter) with attribute fields, you can apply different properties based on the attribute field values of the feature layers. SeeAbout Basing Native Feature Layer Properties on Layer Attribute Fields” in the “Feature Layers” chapter for information. 

Layer Tab

The layer tab includes the following groups and fields:

Field

Activity

General

Name

Type the description or name of the layer.

This text appears in the Project Tree as the name of the object.

Activation Action

Select the action to perform when selecting the layer from the Project Tree.

Location

Defines the initial location of the camera when a layer is selected from the Project Tree.

Altitude Method

Sets the altitude method to be used for the specified location:

§  Select Relative to Terrain to place the location point at a specified altitude above the ground.

§  Select Absolute to place the location point at a specified altitude above the terrain database vertical datum base ellipsoid.

Altitude

Enter the altitude above the ground for the specified location.

X

Enter the X-coordinate of the location of interest.

Y

Enter the Y-coordinate of the location of interest.

Direction

Enter the horizontal angle of the camera when viewing the location.

Tilt

Enter the vertical angle of the camera when viewing the location.

Viewing Distance

Enter the distance between the camera and the specified location.

This property also affects the radius of the flight patterns.

Set Viewpoint

Click Capture to capture the current camera position and set as the camera parameters for this location.

Jump To Viewpoint

Click Jump to make the 3D Window reflect the changes made to the location’s fields.

Layer Bounding Box

The loaded feature layer area is bounded within the coordinates of a fixed rectangular area. These coordinates are retrieved from the source file or the source server.

Upper Left X

Read-only.

Upper Left Y

Read-only.

Lower Right X

Read-only.

Lower Right Y

Read-only.

 

Feature Tab

The feature tab includes the following groups and fields:

Note:    You can apply different properties such as tint color or visibility, based on the attribute field values of the features. SeeUsing Attribute Fields” in the “Feature Layers” chapter for more information.

 

 

Field

Activity

Appearance

Tint Color

The color used to tint each feature.

Tint Opacity

The opacity of the tint color.

The opacity is defined as a percentage, where 100% is opaque and 0% is transparent.

General

Message

The message associated with the object. The number displayed is the number of the message.

To create a new message, or update an existing message, open the Create Message dialog box by clicking in this field and selecting Edit. SeeUsing the Create Message Dialog Box” in the “Working with Objects” chapter for more information.

Tooltip

Type a Tooltip text to appear when the mouse cursor is placed over the layer in the 3D Window.

 

Using Attribute Fields

Most feature layers can store attribute field values for each of their features. This information can be used to:

§  Display attribute field information in the Information Query Tool results. See “Information Query Tool” in the “Analysis Tools” chapter for further information.

§  Control the appearance and behavior of layer features based on field attribute values. SeeAbout Basing Native Feature Layer Properties on Layer Attribute Fields” in the “Feature Layers” chapter and “Attributes Messages” in the “Working with Objects” chapter for further information.

Modifying Layer Attribute Data  

You can view and edit the attribute field values of the feature objects in the 3DML feature layers.

The attribute values appear in the Attributes group in the object’s property sheet. Any change you make to the attribute fields values is saved in the FLY file.

To edit layer attribute data:

1.      Select a single object for editing.

2.      On the Feature Layer tab, in the Selection group, click Select Feature.

3.      In the 3D Window, select the object. A yellow frame surrounds the feature object and the feature’s property sheet opens.

4.      In the layer’s property sheet, in the Attributes section, click the parameter name to edit. The Help text at the bottom of the property sheet displays the field’s data type (e.g., “String. Character Length:13”, “Double”, etc.).

Note:       Each attribute field that was loaded from the feature layer has a Parameter Name in the Attributes group. The value in the parameter’s value is the appropriate value for the selected object.

5.      Click the parameter value field and enter the new value.

Note:       Only valid inputs according to the field’s data type are updated and saved.

Saving Feature Layers

Layer changes can be saved in the following ways:

§  Save Layer Changes to the Original Data Source

§  Save Layer Changes to a New File

§  Export Selected Features to a New File

Saving Layer Changes to the Original Data Source

Modifications to a 3DML feature layer can be made to the original source file.

To save 3DML feature layer changes to the original source file:

1.      In the Project Tree, select the 3DML feature layer.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Classification Layer group, click the arrow next to Save Layer, and select Save.

Saving Layer Changes to a New File

You can save a 3DML feature layer to a new local file. This can be particularly useful if a layer is located on a slow accessed remote server; by saving to a local file, you speed up access.

Note:   A layer can be saved to a new file when the Entire Layer was loaded (fully or partially), as well as when a layer was streamed.

You can save to the following file formats:

§  SQLite (.sqlite)

§  GeoPackage (.gpkg)

§  Shapefile (.shp)

§  Geospatial PDF (.pdf)

Note:   Layers saved as Geospatial PDF are read-only when loaded back into TerraExplorer (i.e., their Save command is unavailable).

 

To save a layer to a new file:

1.      In the Project Tree, select the layer.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Classification Layer group, click the arrow next to Save Layer, and select Save as. The Save As dialog box is displayed.

3.      Browse to the required Save location and in the File name field, enter the file name.

4.      From the Save as type drop-down list, select a file type (.sqlite, gpkg, .shp, or .pdf).

5.      If you are saving the layer as an .sqlite, .gpkg, or .pdf file, type a Layer name.

6.      Click Save.

Exporting Selected Features to a New File

To export selected features to a new layer:

1.      Select the required features either by selecting them in the 3D Window or by spatial query. SeeSelecting Features from the 3D Window” and “Spatial Queries” in this chapter for information.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the Classification Layer group, click the arrow next to Save Layer and select Save Selected Features As. The Save As dialog box is displayed.

3.      Type a File name.

4.      Select a file type (.sqlite, .gpkg, .shp, or .pdf).

5.      If you are saving the layer as an .sqlite, .gpkg, or .pdf file, type a Layer name.

6.      Browse to the required Save location and click Save.

Displaying by Attribute

If a 3DML's feature layers include attribute data, this information can be used to display only selected areas of the mesh model that match a specific attribute value. The tool scans all feature layers under the 3DML, and for each layer all attribute fields.

To display by attribute:

1.      In the Project Tree, select the required layer.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the General group, click the arrow next to Display Tools, and select Display by Attribute. The Display by Attribute dialog box is displayed.

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Display by Attribute Dialog Box

3.      Select the attribute according to whose values you want to determine what parts of the mesh layer are displayed. If the number of unique values for this attribute exceeds 200, a warning message is displayed asking you to select a different attribute. Then select the check boxes of the values you want to display. If you want to display all, select All.

4.      If you want the mesh layer to continue to display by attribute value after closing the dialog box, and save the attribute display setting in the mesh layer’s classification layer, click Save. If after closing the dialog you want to remove the display by attribute setting, reopen the dialog and select All. You can also open the property sheet of the mesh layer’s classification layer, and under the [feature] tab, delete the value from the Visibility property.

Note:       All visibility by attribute settings are saved to the Visibility property in the layer’s property sheet under the Feature tab. You can also set visibility by attribute directly from the layer’s property sheet. See theVisibility property in “Polyline Property Sheet Parameters” and “Polygon Property Sheet Parameters” in the “Objects and Labels” chapter.

5.      Click X at the top right of the dialog box to close the dialog.

Colorizing by Attribute

If a 3DML's feature layers include attribute data, this information can be used to colorize the mesh model based on attribute value, with a different color assigned to each attribute value. The tool scans all feature layers under the 3DML, and for each layer all attribute fields.

To colorize by attribute:

1.      In the Project Tree, select the required layer.

2.      On the 3D Mesh Layer tab, in the General group, click the arrow next to Display Tools, and select Colorize by Attribute. The Colorize by Attribute dialog box is displayed.

Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically generated

Colorize by Attribute Dialog Box

3.      Select the attribute according to whose values you want to colorize the mesh layer. If the number of unique values for this attribute exceeds 200, a warning message is displayed asking you to select a different attribute. 

4.      Set the opacity of the colorization.

5.      If you want to change the color of an attribute value, click the color and then select a color from the color palette.

6.       If you want to set all attribute values to the same color, click Set all to, select a color from the color palette, and then click Set.

7.      If you want to assign different random colors, click Reshuffle. You can repeatedly reshuffle until you get the desired color combination.

8.      If you want the colorization to display after closing the dialog box, and save the attribute colorization setting in the mesh layer’s classification layer, click Save. If after closing the dialog you want to remove the attribute colorization, open the property sheet of the mesh layer’s classification layer, and under the [feature] tab, delete the value from the Tint Color property.

9.      Click X at the top right of the dialog box to close the dialog.