with VNS 3: GIS Basics
Part 8A. Importing
Shapefiles with Attributes
1. Go to the Tutorials\GIS
project folder and open GISBasics. Save it as GISBasics8
to avoid overwriting the original file.
2. Render a Main preview.
3. The global Environment is
composed of the two Ecosystems we've been working with: Grassland
and Pine Burn. The Rules-of-Nature work well for rendering
convincing landscapes, but reproducing actual land cover usually
requires real-world data. We're going to use vector data in the
form of a shapefile to drive Pine Burn Ecosystem placement.
4. Shapefiles have the advantage
of storing database information associated with vectors. Search
Queries and Thematic Maps can save production time, and can dynamically
update when vectors change.
5. Open the Database Editor to see the 12 DEMs we have so far.
6. Launch the Import Wizard. Go to the VNS 3 DVD
database folder and select the PINE BURN.shp file.
The Wizard will correctly identify the file as an Arc Shapefile.
Continue to the Next window.
7. The LOAD AS window will load
the shapefile as Vector objects enabled for rendering. Go to
the Next window.
8. OUTPUT FILE TYPE AND NAME
gives us the option to ReImport when Project Loads. This
is for when you expect the input data to change and want it automatically
updated when the project is opened. We don't, so continue to
the Next window.
9. The COORDINATE SYSTEM SUMMARY
will show a Custom Coordinate System using the Geographic
NAD 27 projection method and system. Go to the Next window.
10. The Attributes section
of the SHAPE OPTIONS page lists all the attributes VNS found
in the shapefile. We're going to Assign DB Names from an Attribute
Field and Load Attributes, so make sure they're checked.
VNS will Add File Layer for our convenience. Import
11. We're going to stick with
the Coordinate System we have, so decline the offer to change
12. The first Database Fields window is looking for attributes
to load. Always double-check what VNS is asking for. The request
windows will depend on your choices in the last Import Wizard
SHAPE OPTIONS window. We want all attributes so Select All.
13. The next Database Fields window wants a name field to
assign to each shapefile object. A unique identifier is best,
so let's use the VectName.
14. After the data is imported,
the realtime Plan view will refresh with the vectors.
Editor will show 9 new
objects. Save the project.
15. Go to the Database Editor and turn to the Attribute page.
Here we see the subdominant and dominant foliage density values
and the ecosystem type.
16. The Layer page shows
that PB01 is a member of two Layers, including PINE
BURN. If you can't read the entire column header, click it.
This gives you access to Layer operations, too.
17. Switch the Main view
back to realtime mode. The vectors aren't visible, so let's find
out why. Back in the Database Editor,
Edit Database Object
to open the PB01 Vector Editor.
Go to the Selected Points page and you'll see that the
Elevation is 0 meters. That means the vectors are underground
in the Main view. By design, planimetric views see vectors regardless
of their elevation. Close the editor.
18. Go back to the Database Editor. Select the PINE BURN Layer to
select all member objects.
19. The Database Editor will show 9 of 21 objects selected.
21. Confirm the operation. VNS
will verify that all 9 vectors have been conformed to the terrain.
The Main view will refresh and show the vectors, now that
they're at ground level. Save the project.
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