Editing Map Layers

Map layers are displayed and edited in the Map View of the project window, which can be selected by clicking the Map View button in the project menu bar:



When a single map layer is selected in the Layers List, the Layer Details panel is populated with edit options for that layer. The edit options shown vary according to the type of layer that is selected:



1. Layer Name

Layer name can be edited here for any layer type.


2. Layer Options

Layer level options represent options that are applied to the whole layer. In the case of vector layers, which contain vector components, the layer level style will be used as the default style for all components. Individual components may be able to override some or all of the layer styles. Layer level options are persisted across project map builds for generated map layers.


3. Components List

Vector map layers contain a set of vector components, which are shown in a list underneath the layer options. By default, components take their style from the layer, but component styles and geometries can also be edited individually. Note that any changes made to individual components in a generated map layer will be lost when the map is regenerated.



Colour Schemes

Vector colours can be chosen from one of two colour schemes; AT5 and RGB. The AT5 colour scheme is a limited set of colours that can be used in maps targeting older Lowrance and Simrad chartplotters. The RGB colour scheme offers an unrestricted colour palette and should be chosen in preference to AT5 when there is no need to target Lowrance or Simrad devices.


Lowrance devices and vector colour schemes

Recent model Lowrance and Simrad units are now able to accept RGB colours for polygon and isobath components, but still require AT5 colours for polyline and contour layers.


When targeting Lowrance units from HDS generation 2 onwards, the suggested colour schemes for map projects are:


Use the RGB colour scheme for polygons and isobaths.

Use the AT5 colour scheme for polylines and contours.


If RGB colours do not display correctly on your device, try re-exporting the map using an AT5 colour scheme.

The default colour scheme for new polygon and line map layers can be set in the Global Settings window.

Any colour scheme can be used for raster layers exported to Lowrance or Simrad units.



Vector Styles and Opacity




1. Opacity

All raster map layers and polygon and isobath vector layers have adjustable opacity (at the layer level only). Adjust opacity using the slider (1).


2. Line Width and Colour

For polylines and contours, line width and colour applies to the component and can be adjusted using the numeric input and colour selector (2).

For polygons and isobaths, the line settings refer to the border of the area. Leaving the line width field empty, or reducing it to zero, will remove the border.


3. Fill Colour

Fill colour for polygons and isobaths. Note that isobath layers do not offer a default fill colour at the layer level - instead, a palette is selected that automatically colours individual isobaths according to their relative values within the layer.



Flat Raster

The flat raster layer is a colourised representation of the DEM grid generated as part of the map generating process, which can be used as a coloured background underneath contour lines.


The only edit options available for a flat raster are opacity and the palette:





Shaded Relief

The shaded relief layer is a pseudo 3D view of the map with shadowing applied to gradients. Shaded relief can provide an attractive alternative to isobaths or a flat raster map background, and the shading helps to convey information about the topography of the area.


The opacity, palette, light direction and vertical exaggeration can all be edited, with the current settings are shown in the map details panel:




To edit the 3D parameters Light Direction, Vertical Scale and Brightness, click the Edit Settings button to open an editing window where changes to the model are shown in real time:



By convention, shaded relief is usually illuminated from the north west (135 degrees), but this can be changed if required.

Increasing vertical scale will exaggerate any shadowing.


When changes are made to any shaded relief parameter, the underlying 3D model needs to be rebuilt. This process may take some time, and is performed in the background. The shaded relief image will update once this process is complete.


Image Layers

Image layers are images of any type. To add an image layer to a map project, the image first needs to be imported into the ReefMaster workspaces (see Background Images) so that it is available as an image asset in the asset library.


Adding an Image Layer to a Map Project

To add an image layer:


Create a new map layer using the New button in the map layers list, selecting Image as the layer type. Once the new map layer has been created, the required image can be selected in the layer edit panel.

Right-click and image in the asset library and choose the menu option Add Image to Map Project. This will create a new image layer, with the image set to the chosen image.

Drag an image from the asset library into the project map view. This will create a new image layer, with the image set to the chosen image.


Image Layer Options



1. Selected Image

The image used in the image layer can be selected from any image present in the workspace by using the drop-down list.


2. Clip Image

Image clipping is a useful feature that can be used to clip an image layer to any polygon or isobath map layer within the map project. This allows precise control over where the image is rendered. In the example above, two image layers have been added to the project; a satellite image and a sidescan mosaic export (created with the Sidescan Mosaic module). By drawing the sidescan mosaic image on top of the satellite image and clipping to a generated water body polygon layer, the sidescan image is not drawn over land areas. The same effect could be achieved by drawing the satellite image on top of the sidescan image and clipping the satellite image layer to land areas.


Images can be clipped to any polygon or isobath layer present in the map project, and will be clipped to the union of all polygons present in that layer.

The polygon layer used for clipping does not need to be visible in the map project.

If fine-grained control over image rendering is required, consider creating new polygon layers just for use as clipping layers and drawing or importing polygons as required.

To limit rendering of images to specific depth ranges, duplicate an existing isobath map layer and remove components outside of the required range. The example below shows sidescan clipped to 4-8m isobaths, with the satellite image clipped to the land area:





PolyLine Layers

PolyLine layers offer layer-level settings for colour scheme, line width (pixels) and line colour:



Individual components can be viewed and edited in the Components List shown underneath the layer style. See Editing Map Layer Components.


Contour Layers

Contour layers offer the same line styling options as polyline layers, as well as the option to show labels. To show labels for contours, select the Show Labels option. The font size for the labels can be adjusted using the Font input. Note that not all font sizes are supported when exporting in the AT5 format. If the selected font size is not available when exporting, the nearest available font size will be used.



Contours have a Value field, which is displayed for each contour in the components list. To sort by this field, click the Value header. Click the header again to reverse the sort order. This can be useful when selecting contours by depth for copying or deleting.


Polygon Layers

Polygon layers offer layer-level settings for colour-scheme, opacity, line (border) width and colour and fill colour:



Individual components can be viewed and edited in the Components List shown underneath the layer style. See Editing Map Layer Components.


Isobath Layers

Isobath map layers offer layer-level line (border) width and colour, but not fill. Instead, a palette is used to assign colours to individual isobath components based on their relative depth:




1. Show Scale in Map

When checked, this option shows a depth scale in the map view based on the selected palette and depth range. This depth scale will be included in image exports.


2. Palette

Select the required palette from the drop-down list. The palettes shown will depend on the colour scheme chosen.

Palettes can be either variable depth or fixed depth. Variable depth palettes interpolate colours across the palette using the minimum and maximum values of the components being drawn. Fixed depth palettes use a fixed minimum and maximum depth when interpolating colours, and are useful for aligning depth colours across different map layers. See Palettes for more information.


Individual isobaths are shown in the components list and have a Value field that shows the minimum and maximum depth (or hardness value) associated with the isobath. To sort by this field, click the Value header. Click the header again to reverse the sort order. This can be useful when selecting contours by depth for copying or deleting.

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