Spectrum Spatial (SSA/LIM)

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Unnecessary confusion with area measurement tool

  • 1.  Unnecessary confusion with area measurement tool

    Posted 10-31-2018 19:32

    My engineers like to keep me on my toes.

    When you draw a line with the line measuring tool, it gives you a nice straight answer, no worries.

    When you start to use the area measuring tool, it attempts to give you a perimeter BEFORE you make enough points to create a shape. This is confusing because at the first click it is telling you twice the distance the line measuring tool gave you.

    Other online mapping services don't have this issue, so maybe something can be done to make it less confusing?

    I've included a screen shot to show the problem.



    See Attached

  • 2.  RE: Unnecessary confusion with area measurement tool

    Posted 11-08-2018 04:50

    Very well spotted, Rebecca. Having just tried it in our SSA I can see exactly what you mean.


    I've not noticed that before. It's a shocker!


    Hopefully PB can fix it in time for the SSA November/December release.

  • 3.  RE: Unnecessary confusion with area measurement tool

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 11-09-2018 04:41

    Hi Rebecca,

    Thank you for the feedback, the original purpose of that feature was as you said to give you the total perimeter and that first click total is basically the area tool closing the area (ie going back to the start point). As you click for a second time that number will change as it will add the total of the three sides to calculate the perimeter and then also above that provide the area.

    Is the ideal solution that the first click only shows you the first line number and then and further clicks are added?




  • 4.  RE: Unnecessary confusion with area measurement tool

    Posted 11-11-2018 17:19


    As a GIS professional that is the assumption I made. Unfortunately my end users may not jump to the same conclusion. I need to cater for everyone from engineers to planners to customer service and the general public.

    Based on my experience with other mapping services, three options are quite workable.

    1. No measurement is given until a polygon is completed (has limitations if you wish to know an area based on a particular length) (eg. SiX Maps)
    2. The tool works the same way it does now, but doesn't calculate a perimeter until at least 2 axis are created and the line is dragged towards a 3rd axis (I think SiX used to work like this)
    3. The tool works the same way as it does now, but provides 3 measurements (the total perimeter, the length of the line it is currently creating, and once there is 3 clicks, an area) (similar to Vic Planning Maps online, it actually gives a prediction of line length before a click, then a summary with each line length, a total perimeter and an area once 3 clicks or more are made)


    I hope that makes sense

    The example my engineer brought to me was he was measuring a lot. It had a 20m frontage. He wondered what the area of the lot was. He clicked to draw the front of the lot and now the line measured 40m. If he'd been wanting to design a lot based on a different frontage and was doing a bit of Spectrum preliminary investigations, it would be difficult to predict a frontage and area with the tool working the way it is now.

  • 5.  RE: Unnecessary confusion with area measurement tool

    Posted 11-12-2018 08:09
    For what it’s worth, I’d vote for option 2. Regards, Stuart