Thursday, January 24, 2013

Controlling the "Digitizer Wiggle" and other editing options

Controlling The Digitizer Wiggle

Have you ever smudged your data when you selected a feature during editing that results in this?
I call this "The Digitizer Wiggle" -- something done accidently. The result may be just a few feet on the ground, but it really messes up your data and makes your work very sloppy. ADDITIONALLY, getting back to normal is a pain. So the important thing here is to control this so you don't do it in the first place! It's very easy to do.

When you don't need detailed feature editing (like when you are selecting features to edit the attributes and not the location), then all you have to do is go to Editor > Options (on the Editor toolbar) and set the Sticky Move Tolerance under the General tab.

The default Sticky Move Tolerance is 0 pixels. This mean you only have to move the feature 1 pixel (actually anything greater than 1/2 pixel) on your screen to complete the move. It is very difficult to see that small movement on your screen and very easy to do. For most anyone, I suggest that you set this to 3 pixels as shown above. 

How much is 3 pixels on the ground? Display scale and the resolution of your screen have to be factored in to figure this out. It really doesn't matter for attribute editing. When you want to do detail work, then set this to 0, but be careful! Remember, that fixing errors is a lot harder than not making them in the first place.  

So go ahead and experiment with this next time you're editing features. And by the way, look at some of the other options that are available!

Are there other examples of "The Digitizer Wiggle" (TDW)? Sure. I lump all shaky-hand and tentative editing into TDW. Editing skillfully takes lots of practice, knowledge (of many options), focus, interest and patience. It's not for everyone.

Some Editing Options

Do you know about the ArcMap Advanced Settings Utility? It's great, and I've had to use this a few times. Actually the Sticky Move Tolerance used to be included here, but esri moved into a more accessible area. So what is this ArcMap Advanced Settings Utility? Well, it controls all sorts of registry settings and any skilled user should know about it. You will find it located in:
c:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.1\Utilities (at least on your pc) and named AdvancedArcMapSettings.exe.

Simply double-click to start it and take a look at all the options you can control! 

Most of these I've had no interest in at all. There is one, though, that students have asked me about frequently. This is how to control the mouse wheel and the action it performs. Click the Miscellaneous tab and note you can either scroll up/down with the mouse or zoom in/out. The scroll up/down used to be the default setting for early versions of ArcGIS Desktop.

Again, I urge you to explore the options and see if there's anything of interest. For instance, take a look at the Symbols/Graphics tab. 

Change Mouse Wheel Zoom Action From out/in to in/out

I've had a number of CAD users ask me how to control the out/in when zooming because they are used to in/out wheel control. Well, you find that in another menu! In ArcMap, go to Customize > ArcMap Options... (on the Main Menu), click the General tab and look towards the bottom. Viola!

As always when doing something like this, take the opportunity to explore other options. 

So have fun with some QDT today and keep an eye out for more of my blogs. (Many of my students know this term -- Quality Dink Time -- and if you're talking to your manager, call it Quality Development Time!!!)

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