Best-Fit Computing - COLUMBUS Network Adjustment Software

Quick Tips for Using COLUMBUS

Configuring COLUMBUS

All Options Settings are now stored in the Options Library

All Options Settings are saved in the Options Library. By using the Options Library Manager, you can customize different sets of Options for different project types (or equipment types. etc.)

Multiple Options Sets allow you to customize your COLUMBUS Options based on the type of project you are executing in the field. Some projects might require less precise measurements, therefore, you might want different default observation standard deviations for these projects. Other projects might occur in different State Plane zones or even using a different linear unit setting.

By establishing an Options Set for each project type, you can easily activate a specific Options Set prior to computation. You don't need to remember all the settings you used before (for this project type). You simply activate the Options Set that is suitable for the type of project you are working with in COLUMBUS.

Each Options Set, has a unique name (established by you) for easy remembering.

The Options Library Manager is summarized below:

  • The shipped (read only) Options Set is called COLUMBUS Initial Options. This initial set of Options Settings can be copied (then modifed) as needed. It cannot be altered or deleted.

  • Only one Options Set can be active at a time. Open the Options - Library Manager to see the active set.

  • When you open the Options - Library Manager dialog, you will find simple instructions for Renaming, Copying, Deleting, and Activating an Options Set.

  • Whenever you change a specific Options Setting (e.g., linear units, state plane zone, active datum, network adjustment type, default azimuth standard deviation, etc., the current active Options Set (assuming it is not already in the modified state) will be copied (internally) and labeled as modified "(mod)". This new Options Set will become the Active Options Set. Subsequent changes will be placed in this modified Options Set.

  • To Freeze an Options Set from additional changes, change its name to remove the "(mod)" addition.

    For example, you currently have the Options Set called "Wild T2" active. You then change the zenith angle default standard deviation from 10.0 seconds to 5.0 seconds. Columbus will automatically create a new (or switch to the existing) Options Set called "Wild T2 (mod)" and set it as the Active Options Set. The new standard deviation change will be placed into the "Wild T2 (mod)" Options Set.

    A few minutes later, you then decide to change the linear units to U.S. Feet (from meters). That change will also go into the active "Wild T2 (mod)" Options Set. To ensure no more changes are made (accidentally) to this Options Set, rename it to something else by removing the "(mod)" text. To rename it back to the original "Wild T2" name, you must first delete the original "Wild T2" Options Set.

    There are two primary ways and existing Options Set can change from a non modified state (no "(mod)" text at the end) to a modified state.

    1. You enter any of the Options dialogs, then click on the OK button.

    2. You open (File - Open or Append) a file which contains Options Settings or in some way alters an Options setting value.

      Some subtle change might include loading a file that has the linear units set to U.S. Feet, when the current linear units are set to meters. Another subtle example is when you load a file with a different datum setting than what is currently active in COLUMBUS.

    In either case, the current Options Set will be copied and changed to a modified state (or switched to if the modified Options Set already exists), then made active. If the Options Set was already in the modified state, the changes will be put into that Options Set directly and it will continue to be the Active Options Set.

  • After making a series of changes in the Options - Library Manager dialog (e.g., renaming, deleting, or copying), you can cancel these changes by simply clicking on the Cancel button.

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All COLUMBUS configurations settings are made from within the Options dialogs

When creating a data file for input to COLUMBUS, each of these Options Settings can be defined. When not defined in the file, the current active Options Settings in COLUMBUS will prevail when the file is loaded.

To Save the Options Settings to your COLUMBUS input file (by selecting from the File menu either Save or Save As), from the Options menu, select Save and enable the Options With Data check box.

To create a quick starter file with the current Options Settings already defined, do the following:

  1. Run COLUMBUS.

  2. From the File menu, select New.

  3. From the Options menu, select the applicable dialogs and make any setting changes. Be sure to enable the Options With Data check box in the Save dialog.

  4. From the File menu, select either Save or Save As to create an output file. This file will contain all the Options Settings you just defined. You can then add more data to this file with any text editor.

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Adding a new datum to COLUMBUS

To add a new datum to COLUMBUS, you must add the new datum into the active Options Set.

To add a new datum to the active Options Set, do the following:

  1. From the File menu, select New to open a new project.

  2. From the Options menu, select Options Library Manager.

  3. Select the Options Set the new datum will be added to, then click OK. This Options Set will now be active.

  4. From the Data menu, select Datums. Add the new datum parameters and invoke the Keep and Exit button. The new datum will be added to the current (mod - modified) Options Set.

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Setting the working directories within COLUMBUS

COLUMBUS allows you to define working directories specific to your needs.

Default directories include those for generating reports, importing/exporting data, and converting third-party files to COLUMBUS-compatible files.

The Work directory is the location where COLUMBUS creates any temporary files during processing of network adjustments or network pre-analysis. For example, when adjusting a large network (with hundreds of stations), you may need to specify a different logical drive in order to satisfy the hard disk requirements for temporary files.

To set up the working directories, do the following:

  1. Run COLUMBUS.

  2. From the File menu, select New.

  3. From the Options menu, select Directories.

  4. Enter or Browse for the applicable directories. Bring up the Help topic for additional information.

  5. Click OK.

Hint: When running a network version of COLUMBUS on a local client machine, be sure to set all working directories to the local machine drive(s).

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Setting the visible entity colors within COLUMBUS

One of the first things you should do after installing COLUMBUS is set up the color choices displayed for various visible entities, such as station names, station symbols, observation links, and so on. By setting up a color scheme, you can quickly identify each entity and their current mode (for example, station fixed in 1D, 2D, 3D or not fixed) as they are selected.

For example, within the colors dialog you can set stations fixed in 1D, 2D or 3D to be of a different color. You can even differentiate between fixed stations and constrained stations (those that can move somewhat during an adjustment according to their standard deviations.) Point-and-click COGO lines can be given a different color from observation lines. Error ellipses can also be customized.

To set up the color scheme, do the following:

  1. Run COLUMBUS.

  2. From the File menu, select New.

  3. From the Options menu, select Colors.

  4. For each item in the list, highlight that item and then click on a color.

  5. Click OK.

Your colors are now configured and will take effect as soon as the dialog is closed.

Network Adjustment and Coordinate Transformation
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