Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm an excellent tracer

On Screen Digitizing
So, at work, I'm tracing.  I've been tracing tent ring rocks for the past couple of weeks and I probably have another week or two left.  If I was trying to impress an old classmate, I might call it "on screen digitizing", but really I'm just tracing.

Lori mapping a 1 x 1m unit
 I'm making the feature maps for this summer's final report.  When we excavated the sites, we mapped each 1 x 1m unit that we dug.  We excavated between 50 and 100% of each structure, so depending on the size of the feature, there are anywhere from 1 to 25 individual 1 x 1 m unit maps to stitch together and trace for each tent ring or dwelling.  I'm doing the stitching and tracing in Adobe Illustrator.

Binder full of Unit Plans
The two fat binders of level records were scanned in the field on rain days, so that saves a lot of time this fall.  I'm opening up all of the scanned unit plans, cutting the maps out and pasting them into a new Illustrator document were I finish scaling and fitting them together.  We mapped the unexcavated areas of each feature as well, so those also need to be copied into the new document.  Once everything is in the right position I make a new layer and trace around each rock with the mouse.  Its pretty tedious work.

The tent ring s starting to take shape
I have another stack of feature maps to trace that don't have to be stitched together from multiple sources and I'm going to try tracing those on the iPad.  I'm looking forward to that.  In the meantime, if I go back to posting more vacation photos, I hope you'll forgive me, but you really don't want to see a month of on screen digitizing posts.

This tent ring map was stitched together from 11 hand drawn field maps and is ready for scaling and labeling.  The two squares outline the 8 sq. m that we excavated and the rocks outside those squares were mapped separately. 
Photo Credits: Tim Rast


  1. I always enjoyed digitizing (tracing) maps. Mindless, but rewarding when you're finished :)

  2. I often enjoy it, but not always.


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