Direct Map Interface Controls

These are the controls found on the [[ map window]] itself. The top bar of the window contains:

The Applications time. This is the time for the selected application. When the simulation is executing this time defaults to the simulation time. But when the simulation is not operating and a live or recorded radar feed is being played this defaults to the radar feed time. The time displayed here can be selected and changed through the Clock Controls available under the System Controls on the Main Menu.

The current projection, which can be changed by clicking on the 'Projections' menu bar below.

The current wall clock time - that is the actual time of day at this location.

None of these fields are interactive; they are used only for monitoring.

The second bar is a menu bar containing:

[[ Program]] - Let's you toggle from a map to the FORCES logo. The [[ logo]] is used to ensure that texturing and font support is present. Quit is also here.

[[ Assets]] - Let's you set the display of icons by class. So you can tailor the map to display the sensor detection, etc. desired for this workstation. This is a step towards tailoring workstations in a new way for specific operator functions. Works, but still under development because we're intending to add:

1) A division of assets, groups, targets and other icons by category both to aid the user in finding items of interest and also to filter by categories.

2) A capability to store and use different filters. Currently tailoring a display is tedious, but if the display can be maintained between runs the time would be effective.

[[ Projections]] - Allows the operator to present a view of the globe in either [[ 3D Globe]], [[ 2D Cylindrical World]] , or [[ 2D Polar World]]. Note that detailed raster background maps may ONLY be displayed in the 2D Cylindrical World projection. Accordingly, using 'Backgrounds:Map Image Select' (See below) will automatically switch to the 2D Cylindrical World projection.

[[ Locations]] gives the operator the capability to select defined world viewpoints (CONUS, Ft. Hood, Korea, Middle East or Strait of Hormuz in this example). These viewpoints are user defined in a file in $GRAPHICS_DIR/locations.dat. Feel free to add new entries for your interests. You'll have to restart the FORCES interface to recognize changes in this file; the data is read only when the system initializes.

[[ Backgrounds]] - This option offers the capability to modify the background. Options are:

VMAP (Vector map) coastal outlines can replace the standard filled-area globe. This is useful for helping pull details (including scenario icons) from background clutter.

Map Image (only on when the 2D Cylindrical World Projection is on). This permits the user to select from a library of gif and jpg map backgrounds. This library is dynamic and can be added to. The files must be stored in the $MAP_DIR directory and a line defining the latitude/longitude extents, name and description must be added to the library.dat file found in that directory. Usually you'll have to do some tweaking to register the maps properly in the map window. There are three steps to this:

1) First, put your best guess as far as location in the library.dat file and display the new map.

2) Often you'll see significant projection distortion. To correct this use a graphics editor. "gimp" comes on all standard FORCES Linux installations and will do this job nicely, though you can do it in other editors (e.g. Photoshop) if desired. To load the file into gimp open a terminal window and type "gimp $MAP_DIR/(filename). Then edit and save the file. Repeat as necessary to get rid of projection errors.

3) Finally, after the projection error is acceptable, you'll probably need to set the corner points in the $MAP_DIR/library.dat file. Typically this is done by bringing up the vector overlays for coasts, roads, etc. under the Overlays option (next menu button) and changing the locations until satisfied.

DTED Image - This is the standard filled-map seen in the example. Use button to return from "VMAP Outline"

DTED 3D Mesh - Generates a 3D map surface. Beautiful (if you have DTED data in the $DTED_DIR directory), but SLOW. VERY SLOW. REALLY VERY SLOW. Neat for viewing valleys and so forth while the simulation is paused.

Map Image Select - Provides a selection widget for the stored maps reference in the discussion on the "Map Image" button, above.

Background Fade - Fades the background. Useful on map images and DTED backgrounds to help see the scenario elements.

DTED Color Editor - Lets the user define the colors and range bands used in generating a DTED map. Useful when higher visual elevation resolution is required than provided on the default map. But recognize that generate a new DTED map can take a while (often a couple minutes), so plan on a delay and avoid hitting any interface buttons after you've chosen to generate a new map until you see the new map displayed. After this delay the new maps is a responsive as the original display.

Update Background - Like the above button, but doesn't ask you for color or band inputs - it just uses the current definitions.

[[ Overlays]] - Permits the user to select overlays from stored vector map (VMAP) sources. Note that data is loaded for an area around the current view center. Current options include :

[[ Options]] - allows the operator to select: Day/Night, Earth Lock, Compass, and Speed/Heading Scale.

Compass is the switch for a [[ compass overlay]].

Camera is used to switch between the Perspective or Orthographic Cameras. The current camera is reflected in the shape of the cube in the Camera Button on the Control Bar(see below).

Day/Night is the switch for Sun lighting.

Earth Lock can be used to allow the Earth to rotate with time.

Speed/Heading Scale... is used to scale the size of the speed heading vectors that can be shown on simulation entity icons. It is structured such that the value set using the [[ slider]] determines the speed (in nautical miles per hour) that is represented by a line the same length as the icon. Thusly, an entity traveling twice as fast will have a speed heading vector twice as long.

Tether Lock - When on provides for continuous view updates to track tethered entities(see below). Click again to unlock. When the Tether Lock is on, a small lock image will appear in the lower right-hand corner of the Tether button on the Control Bar(see below).

The middle area of the map window is the map display itself.  Some special controls available in this area are:

A Control Bar along the bottom of the display area has the following controls (in order from the upper left):

Range/Bearing Vector - can be used to determine the range and bearing between two ground points, two simulation entities, or a point and an entity. When passing over an entity icon, the end of the Range Bearing Vector will 'gravitate to the entity position. Note that when attached to a simulation entity the range bearing vector will update to reflect entity motion.

Crosshairs – Is the on/off switch for interactive entity identification. When active(pushed in) this control allows a user to simply pass the pointer over a simulation entity to show identification information.

Lat/Long - This sets the center of the map to the values entered. You must hit the "Enter" key for your input to be recognized. These controls also reflect the current view center when other controls are used as well.

Four arrows to recenter the map left, up, down and right.

A distance for the eyeball. Making this number larger amounts to zooming out' smaller will zoom in. You must hit the "Enter" key for your input to be recognized.

In & Out buttons - Zoom controls

Tilt and Twist text boxes- Tilt & twist the view of the map.

Tilt and Twist buttons that provide "click control" for tilt and twist.

Vertical 'v' and Horizontal 'h' buttons provided as shortcuts to perfectly horizontal and perfectly vertical views. The horizontal view can be used in conjunction with the Orthographic camera to provide altitude comparisons between entities.

View Tether (linked ovals) - When pressed allows you specify an area as per the Zoom Area below(on click for upper left, a second click for lower right). The view is then 'tethered' to all entities within the specified area. The view will periodically automatically update to keep there entities in view. Click again to release the tether. Note: Ctrl+Left Click is a shortcut to toggle the Tether Lock normally available through the Options menu.

Camera (cube) – This button is used to switch between the Perspective or Orthographic Cameras. The shape of the cube reflects which camera is currently active. That is: when the Perspective camera is active, the cube will show perspective foreshortening. The Orthographic camera is meant to be used with the 2D projections to reduce perspective distortions in position and altitude.

Zoom Area. After choosing this button, left click on the map at the upper left of the area you wish to zoom to, then click on the lower right of the desired area. The map will zoom in on the area specified.

The Home button can be used to return you to the default world view.