SoundPLAN - Graphics Concepts / Module
With the SoundPLAN Graphics you not only describe the findings of your particular job, you also set standards in presentations that count for the next jobs. SoundPLAN is designed to seamlessly integrate the creation of stunning graphics for multiple maps, multiple result types and result files into your project. No need to export data to a graphics package that has difficulty coping with a world coordinate system, no messing with the interpolation of contour lines in an external drawing package, no problems rendering 3D graphics with an overlaid noise map projected to the ground and an bitmap on top of this.
SoundPLAN sets the standard with its flexible data structures where you can create your company templates for all common printed sheet sizes and save them so that you only need to select the data files to fill the template with life. Either take one of the SoundPLAN templates and customize it or generate a plot wit your layout and save it as a template for the current project or globally for all new projects.
The graphics are designed around the drawing sheet. Select the size of your drawing and select the frame and background around it. On this canvas you can place all other elements of the sheet from separate drawings to noise maps, vector graphics, descriptive text boxes, diagrams etc. Even secondary drawings can be placed on top of the original sheet.
For each of the drawings placed on the sheet select the type of data to be displayed from a pick list and the one or multiple of the data files. The file selection manager saves all file selections with the sheet so that the sheet can be saved and recalled at any time later on. As only the settings and references to the data are saved, saving the sheet does not consume vast amounts of storage space and when recalled after the base data have been modified, will automatically represent the latest state of the SoundPLAN results. Saving a drawing without the file reference will generate a template.
On the sheet on the left side you can see a title text box acts as an anchor with a separate box for a noise map and a 3D picture of the situation forming the main message and a descriptive text box with a legend and a company logo/description box forming the explanations to the depicted content on the left. In this very simple example only a single noise map was selected to explain the acoustical findings and a single situation with very few Geo-Files to depict the geometry of the study area. Scales and legend boxes can be defined globally for the entire sheet or only for one of the drawings present on the sheet. Boxes can be independent or be nested as 'child' boxes inheriting the settings (frames, colors etc.) of their parent.
Further refinements to the graphics come from full control of each graphics element such as color, line width and line type. Many other graphics elements also allow user defined patterns and custom defined symbols to enhance the visual appeal. For area covering noise maps (Grid Noise Map and Meshed Map) it is also possible to customize the placement of the contour lines and set how they should be interpolated (with straight lines or Bezier type splines). The drawing sequence and the definition relative to ground as defined in the Digital Terrain Map, allow precise control of the sandwich of terrain coloring with a geo-referenced bitmap. Special elements such as roofs on buildings enhance the virtual reality feeling of the SoundPLAN 3D graphics.
On the left side you see a top view of a Façade Noise Map where residential buildings have been shaded in accordance to the maximum noise level found on that building and colored dots along the façade depicting the noise level for each calculate receiver. A 'north' arrow shows this map has not been rotated, the coordinate system is visible in the frame. Inserted in the picture is a detail of the Façade Noise Map in 3D where you can show the noise distribution on the entire façade in accordance to the scale on the text box on the right side. The scale in the description box is completely under the users control. The base colors and their interpolation for intermediate noise values is open for editing. In this case the results are presented for the Lden in dB(A), other choices would be for the Lnight or the Lmax¦
The last picture depicts the collaboration of several SoundPLAN modules. The objective was to show the density of noise exposure. The blue scale shows the density of people with noise levels exceeding 65 dB. The density of noise problems can be easily used to rank order different areas in town where noise control should be given higher and lower priority. For this valuable planning tool it is necessary that the city is overlaid with a structure of areas (districts, boroughs or neighborhoods) and that some population numbers can be associated with either each building or the districts. It is also possible to estimate the population for each building by stating the average living space for each of the inhabitants. The accounting and necessary formulas to undertake the averaging and conversion into a density of infringements are all part of the SoundPLAN spreadsheet (Noise Mapping Toolbox) which is unique to SoundPLAN.
As SoundPLAN can save all drawings made for the entire project, a built in sheet manager not only can recall a drawing but also with a snap of a finger you can redesign the appearance of the graphics. For example if you want to change the frame around the graphics for all your drawings to contain a light green color, you can do this with one command for all (tens or hundreds of) sheets in your project.
Even if the SoundPLAN graphics is perfect at creating presentation ready graphics, there is always the day where you need the raw data for further analysis in a different package. For this purpose it is possible not only to export the graphics in various graphics formats but also to export contour lines and the raw grid based data in various formats.