There are times to when it is useful to store extra non-graphic information landscape plans. It might for example, be advantageous to store behind a furniture symbol, the details of size, cost, manufacturer, material used in construction. In the same vein, GPS and Google Earth and photographic information about species symbols might also be required in some instances by users. The CAD drawing containing this extra information then becomes much more than a simple replacement for a drawing board. The can become a living document, one that evolves over time as the garden or larger landscape develops.
Tip: It is possible to store extended information behind any entity – lines, arcs, blocks etc. are all candidates for stored information.
Although it is not obvious, the design shown below contains a considerable amount of extended information. Details of outdoor furniture, seating, paving, irrigation design are all there but only appear when required
Types of extended data
For example, you may have specified outdoor furniture from a particular manufacturer in the design. It would be useful to store manufacturer name, type and cost of the furniture shown above. The figure below shows a furniture block in a gCADPlus drawing with extended entity information about that furniture set. This information is not printed, but can be displayed on cue.
A design may well call for an area of paving outlined by a polyline. The STOREDATA feature is used here store information about the supplier, paver size/type, cost/paver etc.
The example here store information about a quotation for a custom build of some decking/seating around the base of a tree.
The length type and supplier of irrigation equipment is stored.
Total area to be grassed, the type and company contracted to lay the grass are available.
Important information about lighting data can also be stored.
The species option of the extended data tool allows storage of considerable extended information about particular plants. Although not used in the example below, if gCADPlus was being used in (say) a botanical gardens or arboretum, information on Google Earth location and GPS data can be recorded along with species information in the extended data dialog box.
The species data dialog box also allows storage of klm file information. Afeature that may well be useful for staff at botanical gardens.
Link to URL
gCADPlus features the ability to store a URL, a link to an external location as part of extended entity data. In the example shown if a user clicks on the link to url button in the species dialog box, they will be taken to an online database where information on propagation methods for the plant is stored.
Tip: To display the information in real time, make sure that EXT tab is pressed and when your mouse hovers over the entity, much of the stored data becomes visible. It’ works just like a tool tip.
Highlight extended data
If entities such as the circle outlining the canopy of a specimen of the Grey Alder (shown below) contains extended data, this option can be used to highlight in magenta color those entities in a design that have extended data associated with them.
Extract stored data
This option writes all extended entity information contained in a drawing to a CSV data file ready for spreadsheet analysis.
Propagate stored data
Use this option to update a block symbol with extended data. For example, if in an arboretum, the same symbol had been used to indicate many instances of the same plant species then use this tool could be used to update all instance of the block to carry that same extended entity data.
Movies showing the use of extended data
This movie attempts to answer this question from a potential user “Firstly I want to be able to design my garden, then I want to make it a living document where I can record the plants as I plant them and record information about them such as date of planting, where I bought them from etc.”