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Plotting Trials, Tribulations, and Successes. Introduction The Illinois State Geological Survey formed a Plotter Support Technical Team in May, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Plotting Trials, Tribulations, and Successes. Introduction The Illinois State Geological Survey formed a Plotter Support Technical Team in May, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plotting Trials, Tribulations, and Successes

2 Introduction The Illinois State Geological Survey formed a Plotter Support Technical Team in May, The Illinois State Geological Survey formed a Plotter Support Technical Team in May, Comprised of staff from IT, GIS, public outreach, mapping, and publications sections Comprised of staff from IT, GIS, public outreach, mapping, and publications sections Sheena Beaverson, LeAnn Benner, Daniel Byers, Craig Gain, Steven Gustison, Richard Hansen, Robert Krumm, John McLeod, Daniel Nelson, Daniel Thurston Sheena Beaverson, LeAnn Benner, Daniel Byers, Craig Gain, Steven Gustison, Richard Hansen, Robert Krumm, John McLeod, Daniel Nelson, Daniel Thurston

3 Introduction Goals of the Plotter Support Technical Team Goals of the Plotter Support Technical Team Develop a system to produce the best possible output Develop a system to produce the best possible output Derive a minimum set of standard plotting methods Derive a minimum set of standard plotting methods Educate plot users about these quick and easy methods Educate plot users about these quick and easy methods Enforce software RIP/discourage plotter hardware RIP Enforce software RIP/discourage plotter hardware RIP

4 Introduction Over the past year, the team has worked to address the goals outlined. Main questions: Over the past year, the team has worked to address the goals outlined. Main questions: Hardware and Software Hardware and Software What do we have? What do we have? What do we buy next? What do we buy next? When can we drop hardware maintenance? When can we drop hardware maintenance? Legacy Plots Legacy Plots File formats File formats Page dimensions Page dimensions Media Media ‘Production’ paper vs. ‘Draft’ paper vs. other media ‘Production’ paper vs. ‘Draft’ paper vs. other media

5 Hardware Trials and Tribulations Large-format printers

6 Hardware at the ISGS Agency-wide use Agency-wide use 36-inch wide HP750c 36-inch wide HP750c 36-inch wide HP750c+ 36-inch wide HP750c+ 54-inch wide HP3500cp 54-inch wide HP3500cp 36-inch wide HP1055cm 36-inch wide HP1055cm Section-specific use Section-specific use 36-inch wide HP750c+ 36-inch wide HP750c+ HP DesignJet 488ca HP DesignJet 488ca

7 Hardware at Other Surveys Gina Ross Gina Ross Kansas Geological Survey Kansas Geological Survey 60-inch wide HP5500ps 60-inch wide HP5500ps 54-inch wide HP3500cp 54-inch wide HP3500cp 36-inch wide HP1055cm 36-inch wide HP1055cm Kathy Campbell Roushar Kathy Campbell Roushar Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey 42-inch wide HP inch wide HP inch wide HP2500cp 36-inch wide HP2500cp 36-inch wide HP inch wide HP650

8 Hardware at Other Surveys Paul Schruben Paul Schruben US Geological Survey US Geological Survey HP755cm HP755cm HP3800cp HP3800cp HP1055cm HP1055cm Richard Koch Richard Koch US Geological Survey, Western Region US Geological Survey, Western Region 54-inch wide HP3500cp 54-inch wide HP3500cp

9 Hardware Discussion RK: Good luck, Rich … PS: Just curious. Where did you get my name/address? SB: I sent the inquiry to the Digital Mapping Techniques (DMT) list. So, if you’ve never attended a DMT conference, either someone in Alabama or that sneaky Dave Soller decided you needed to be on the list… RK: It’s sneaky Dave Soller …

10 Hardware Discussion Most ISGS plotters have been around for 5 to 7 years. Maintenance costs are increasing. Most ISGS plotters have been around for 5 to 7 years. Maintenance costs are increasing. Need decision about future hardware purchases Need decision about future hardware purchases With 4 different plotter types and state budget constraints, keeping supplies in stock is tricky. With 4 different plotter types and state budget constraints, keeping supplies in stock is tricky. Can one plotter answer all needs? Media widths, types. Can one plotter answer all needs? Media widths, types. Given the time horizon, is it possible to purchase identical models? Given the time horizon, is it possible to purchase identical models?

11 Hardware Discussion HP1055cm is not the plotter to buy for output on photobase media. HP1055cm is not the plotter to buy for output on photobase media. This will probably stop us from buying a second one. This will probably stop us from buying a second one. HP plotters seem to be popular within the geological surveys HP plotters seem to be popular within the geological surveys Is anyone using other brands of plotters? Is anyone using other brands of plotters? HP5500 appears to be the next choice HP5500 appears to be the next choice 42-inch vs. 60-inch? 42-inch vs. 60-inch?

12 Software Trials and Tribulations File output and RIP

13 Software at the ISGS 2 Operating systems (UNIX and PC) 2 Operating systems (UNIX and PC) 9 software packages to generate for-plot files 9 software packages to generate for-plot files 15 to 20 file formats within production paths 15 to 20 file formats within production paths 5 methods to RIP (Raster Image Processor) files 5 methods to RIP (Raster Image Processor) files 6 custom programs to ‘streamline’ plot submissions 6 custom programs to ‘streamline’ plot submissions 9 common plot file production paths 9 common plot file production paths (not to bad, considering variables multiply to 256) (not to bad, considering variables multiply to 256)

14 Software at Other Surveys Randal C. Phillips Randal C. Phillips Colorado Geological Survey Colorado Geological Survey Wasatch SoftRIP Wasatch SoftRIP Gina Ross Gina Ross Kansas Geological Survey Kansas Geological Survey ArcPress ArcPress As far as Onyx software, I do not like it all. I tested it for a month. Not only it does not handle Postscript 3 well but the service is terrible. As far as Onyx software, I do not like it all. I tested it for a month. Not only it does not handle Postscript 3 well but the service is terrible.

15 Software at Other Surveys Paul Schruben Paul Schruben USGS USGS Onyx Postershop RIP. Onyx Postershop RIP. We haven't set up ICC color profiles. We haven't set up ICC color profiles. Kathy Campbell Roushar Kathy Campbell Roushar Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey ONYX software with the 5500 and the 2500 ONYX software with the 5500 and the 2500 We have not mastered all nuances We have not mastered all nuances

16 Software at Other Surveys Rich Koch Rich Koch USGS USGS Most plots go to the plotter to be RIP'd Most plots go to the plotter to be RIP'd Use Onyx Postershop for "Print-on-Demand" production, where we don't want to have to RIP the file each time a plot is requested. Use Onyx Postershop for "Print-on-Demand" production, where we don't want to have to RIP the file each time a plot is requested. I have only tried messing with color calibration a couple times and was not especially successful. I have only tried messing with color calibration a couple times and was not especially successful.

17 Software Discussion Getting consistent output from different plotters is a challenge. Getting consistent output from different plotters is a challenge. Color palette and saturation levels Color palette and saturation levels We need ‘magic bullet’ in RIP software We need ‘magic bullet’ in RIP software ArcPress not feasible with ISGS production process ArcPress not feasible with ISGS production process ImageReady is a no ImageReady is a no Onyx was a no, but further inquiries, and a trip to some software consultants, brought it back to the testing phase. Onyx was a no, but further inquiries, and a trip to some software consultants, brought it back to the testing phase.

18 Software Discussion Onyx is our RIP choice. It the industry leading RIP and, when installed correctly and properly set up, it works fine. Onyx is our RIP choice. It the industry leading RIP and, when installed correctly and properly set up, it works fine.

19 Software Discussion Onyx (after proper set up) Onyx (after proper set up) Fast and consistant Fast and consistant pretty good color adjustment tools pretty good color adjustment tools a good preview application a good preview application control over scaling,rotation, output device, etc. control over scaling,rotation, output device, etc. accepts.ps files, tiffs, pdfs and other formats accepts.ps files, tiffs, pdfs and other formats best format is a device independent postscript file best format is a device independent postscript file Can be used with any plotter Can be used with any plotter Contains the color model, profile and rendering intent. Contains the color model, profile and rendering intent. Pdfs work but, will give varying color output Pdfs work but, will give varying color output

20 Legacy Plot Files Trials and Tribulations File output and RIP

21 Legacy Plot Files at the ISGS 15 to 20 file formats within production paths 15 to 20 file formats within production paths 12 legacy file formats in ‘plot on demand’ archive 12 legacy file formats in ‘plot on demand’ archive With respect to Onyx (any RIP software) With respect to Onyx (any RIP software) We have legacy files that will need to be re- constructed to get the best color management. We have legacy files that will need to be re- constructed to get the best color management. We get an interpretation of what Onyx thinks we want. We get an interpretation of what Onyx thinks we want. Need a file that tells Onyx exactly what we want Need a file that tells Onyx exactly what we want Device independent file with embedded color profile. Device independent file with embedded color profile.

22 Sucesses Near-term Solutions and Long-term Planning

23 Near-Term Solutions Discontinue maintenance contracts for HP750c plotters on June 30, 2004 Discontinue maintenance contracts for HP750c plotters on June 30, 2004 Ordering supplies for HP750c plotters designated as lowest priority Ordering supplies for HP750c plotters designated as lowest priority Load draft (cheaper) media on HP750c plotters Load draft (cheaper) media on HP750c plotters

24 Near-Term Solutions Extend maintenance contract for HP3500cp Extend maintenance contract for HP3500cp Route all Photo base output to HP3500cp Route all Photo base output to HP3500cp First purchase priority is Onyx for software RIP and a robust computer for file spooling and queuing First purchase priority is Onyx for software RIP and a robust computer for file spooling and queuing Minimum output requirement is to achieve similar results from HP1055cm and HP3500cp Minimum output requirement is to achieve similar results from HP1055cm and HP3500cp

25 Long-Term Planning Delay purchase of new plotter until concrete decision emerges in team discussions. Delay purchase of new plotter until concrete decision emerges in team discussions. Remember not to break any popular file submission routines until something better is fully tested. Remember not to break any popular file submission routines until something better is fully tested. Allow plotter hardware RIP on 1055cm until ‘magic’ software is found, installed, and tested. Allow plotter hardware RIP on 1055cm until ‘magic’ software is found, installed, and tested.

26 Long-Term Planning DMT Presentation to foster discussion among peer group DMT Presentation to foster discussion among peer group Find the HP representative at DMT and become his best friend Find the HP representative at DMT and become his best friend (Hi Randy, what’re doing for dinner?) (Hi Randy, what’re doing for dinner?)


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