selection in draw graph

Graphing of results in CONTOUR was really showing its age in GeoStudio 2004.  In fact it had hardly changed since SEEP/W version 1 way back when Windows was first released, other than adding additional parameters you could graph.

I’m excited about how the graphing feature has changed in GeoStudio 2007.  I’ll take the next couple of weeks to describe it, but I’ll start this week with describing how you select data to graph, to continue the selection theme (see “selection in keyin lists“, and “mouse selection“).

Data Source

When creating a graph, one of the first things to do is to select where you want the data to come from.  You can graph data from nodes or gauss regions, convergence data, or other sources depending on what kind of analysis you’re performing.

The “Data from” selection

We’ll just take a look at Nodes today because I want to describe how to select nodes.  The other data sources generally don’t have any selection at all, or let you select from a list.

Set Locations

After picking “Nodes” you need to choose which nodes.  We call that the “Location” of the data, so you click the “Set Locations…” button.

The Graph window disappears to clear up room for you to select on your drawing, and is replaced by a smaller box.

The “Set Locations” dialog box

Here you can choose whether you want to select “Geometry Items” or “Custom Locations”.  “Geometry Items” is the simplest–it lets you pick regions, lines and points.  “Custom Locations” is the most powerful, letting you pick any coordinates you want.

Geometry Items

To pick geometry items, you use the same selection techniques we discussed last month:

  • Click on any point to select it.  The data will come from the node under that point.
  • Click on any line to select the entire line.  The data will come from each node under the line.
  • Click on any region to select the entire region.  The data will come from each node in the region.

And of course all the multi-selection techniques work too:

  • Drag a rectangle and any points, lines or regions fully contained in the rectangle will be selected.
  • Hold down Shift and click twice and any points or lines between the two clicks will be selected.
  • Hold down Ctrl while selecting something and it will be added to the current selection.
  • Hold down Ctrl and click on something already selected, and it will be removed from the selection.

Custom Locations

What if you want to graph data from a specific coordinate but there’s no point there to select?  Maybe not even a node?  Or what if you want graph along an arbitrary line, but you want to experiment with different mesh configurations?

Enter Custom Locations.

Custom Locations de-couple graphing from how the geometry is defined.  You can pick any point, line, rectangle, or combination thereof.  If a node exists at the location you want, the graph will use data computed at the node.  If no node exists data will be interpolated from the nearest nodes to get a reasonable estimate.

  • Click anywhere to graph at a point.  If you’re near (within a few pixels) a node, the node will be selected, otherwise the graph will interpolate from the nearest nodes.

Selecting an arbitrary coordinate

  • Hold down Shift and click two coordinates to graph along a line.  The graph will contain data for every point where your line crosses an element edge or a node.

Selecting an arbitrary line in space

  • Drag a rectangle.  The graph will contain data for every node in the rectangle.

Selecting an arbitrary rectangle

And again you can use the multi-selection techniques to combine the above.  Hold down Ctrl while clicking, shift-clicking, or dragging a rectangle and the new locations will be added to the existing ones.

Multiple selection

When you’re done selecting where data will come from, click the “Show Graph…” button to go back to the main Draw Graph view.  I’ll look more at what Draw Graph can do next week.

selection in keyin lists

I referred to this briefly in last week’s blog about mouse selection, but on further reflection I think it’s important enough to give it its own article: the KeyIn dialog boxes let you interact with the drawing too.

Graphical Selection 

Take KeyIn Boundary Conditions for example.

KeyIn Boundary Conditions with too many similar items

Here I want to edit the pressure on the left side of my dam, but I have six boundary conditions, all of them are red, and I didn’t do a good job of naming them.  I can tell by the symbol it isn’t one of the standard Fixed BCs but how can I remember which of the other three it is?

Easy.  Instead of selecting an item in the list, click on the edge of the dam itself.  As your mouse approaches it the cursor changes to the “Line Selection” cursor, indicating that there’s something you can click on.  When you click, it figures out you’ve clicked on the “Reservoir pessure” boundary condition and selects it in the list.

Multiple Selection

Most lists in GeoStudio (such as the list of BCs above) also support multiple selection, allowing you to change properties on more than one item at a time.

In my example above I have two “Reservoir pressure” BCs because I’m running some experiments.  They’re both Fluid Pressure with the same elevation but different gamma values.  I can select both, change the elevation one time, and both will have the new elevation while retaining all their other properties (gamma, name and colour).

When more than one item is selected, you’ll notice those fields where each item has different values will be blank; where every item has the same value the value will be displayed.

Multiple selection in a list

Multi-selection in lists follows the standard Windows approach:  ctrl-clicking (holding down the Ctrl key while you click) items in a list will add to the selection; ctrl-click a selected item to unselect it; shift-click to select a range of items (everything between your previous click and this one); double-click any item (or press Ctrl-A) to select everything.

And of course you can use the single selection, line selection and rectangular selection techniques we saw last week to graphically select straight from the drawing.

mouse selection

Continuing with last week’s theme of efficient use of your mouse, this week I’ll show the three ways to select things with the mouse.

There are three ways to select objects on your drawing:  single selection, line selection and rectangular selection.

Single Selection

This is the obvious one that everyone knows:  click on an object to select it. 

Note, though, that in some modes you also have to pick what type of object you’re going to select.  In Draw Materials, for example, you first pick from the dialog box whether you want to assign the material to regions or to lines.

Draw Materials

Line Selection

Line selection is probably the least obvious one, but it can be very helpful.  Hold down the Shift key and click once.  Continue holding the Shift key and you’ll see a dashed line following your mouse around.  Click a second time to complete the selection.  Everything on the line between the two clicks will be selected.

Line selection (also referred to as “shift-selection”) is especially useful for selecting points or lines along an angled surface.  For example, drawing boundary conditions on a slope.  (This was even more useful in v6 and older versions where you were applying BCs to the nodes, without the luxury of being able to simply click on a the line.)

Using line selection to apply a boundary condition

Rectangular Selection

Rectangular selection is another common one most of you will be familiar with.  Drag a rectangle (click the left mouse button and move the mouse without releasing the button) around the objects you want to select.  Any object that is completely contained by the rectangle will be selected.

It’s mostly because of rectangular selection that some modes (like Draw Materials) force you to choose what you want to select.  Since materials can be applied to regions or to lines, if you dragged a rectangle around a couple of regions we need to know whether your intent is to apply the material to those couple of regions or to all the lines.

All of the Draw modes support these three basic selection types, as does Modify Objects.  Even some of the KeyIn dialogs support graphical selection–try KeyIn Materials, for example, and click on a region in your drawing.  Draw Graph supports even more advanced selection, but that will be a topic for some other time.

Do you have any tricks you’ve learned that help you make the most of GeoStudio?  Leave a comment so we can all benefit!