Version 6.00.06 - Pre-release

Integrated GDAL GIS Library

The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library has been added to the Pathloss 6 project. This library will allow Pathloss to read and manipulate most common raster and vector file formats.

In this first implementation, the GDAL library is used to open and read Shapefile and Mapinfo Map vector files. In the future, it will be used to add support for popular GIS file types such as GeoTiff.

User Link ID Value Added to Networks and Links

There is now a user entered value for Link ID saved in the network and link files. It is an alphanumeric string of max length 48 characters.

The Link List now has an editable column for Link ID. The Link ID column can be used to sort the Link List by clicking on the header. It can also be used in the Find operation by moving the active cell to the Link ID column and clicking Find in the Link List menu bar.

In the Link Design Window, the Link ID can be viewed by clicking on the site names in the status bar to open the Site Worksheet; the Link ID is the last row. Link IDs will be transferred between the link and the network if one has changed. The user will be prompted to accept the change if there is an existing Link ID at the target.

The Link ID can be imported via Link Text Import. The Link ID field is found under the "Link Data" category (was Design Parameters). The Link ID can be exported as part of the CSV report. The entry is found in the Link Data category. The Link ID can be added to the Transmission Summary and Detail Reports. The Option is found in Program Options under the Common Fields topic.

Finally, "Find Sites in Network" in the Opertations menu (Ctrl-F) has been changed to "Find in Network" and now allows Link ID as a search criteria. Selecting a link from this dialog will zoom the display to the bounds of that link.

Link Text CSV Export Improvements

The CSV Link Export operation (Operations - CSV Reports - CSV Link Report) has been updated to export the modulation state information and work with multiband .plz files.

Customizable Modulation State Export

When defining columns for export, there are 3 additional categories: Modulation State - Common, Modulation State - Time Below Level, and Modulation State - SES Unavail. Between them, these categories contain all modulation state attributes and calculation result fields. 

Modulation state fields added to the report are prefixed with the tag [MS]. These fields always come at the end of the definition and can not be moved above any non-[MS] field. They can otherwise be ordered as desired.

When the report is generated, the modulation state fields at the end of the line will be repeated, in order, a number of times equal to the number of active modulation states on that link. The headers will be suffixed with [MS-#] so the reader knows this is a value for a specific state. Setting the Modulation State name as the first column in the [MS] export section will serve an an identifier for the columns that follow.

Export Multiband Links

The CSV Link export will now open and export .plz links. If the file is a multiband link, each band will be output on its own line. There is a new definition item called Band Number under the Link Data category. Exporting this field will report the band number of the row.

Vector System Rework

The Vector System has received a major update covering most operations.

File Formats

As mentioned above, GDAL is now used to read Shapefiles and Mapfile format vectors. Although Pathloss 5 had a method for reading shape and mapfiles, Pathloss 6 with GDAL can utilize more features of the vector files regardless of format. New formats or vector feature types can be quickly added in to Pathloss 6 as they are encountered or required.

The Files menu in the Vector index has changed. The separate items for importing shape and map files have been replaced with a single "Open Vector File" item that will allow the user to select Shape or Mapfiles. 

Currently Pathloss 6 can read and display Vector files containing Polygons, LineStrings, or Points. As in Version 5, a building height field can be defined in the vector index. Pathloss will then use that vector database field to determine building heights when generating profiles.

Importing vector points from ASCII text files (Planet Style) is also still possible and the method is unchanged. 

Rendering Performance

Numerous optimizations have been made to the vector drawing methods. The vectors are now drawn directly to a Windows render target using Direct2D. This, along with other custom efficiency optimizations allow for much larger vectors to be displayed on screen without causing long draw times. This has been tested with vector files containing over one million large vectors.

This method will be also be used for site and link drawing in a future update.

Vector Styles and Attributes

Adding a vector file to the index now automatically creates an entry for that file in the definition table. If you open the definition table, you can change the appearance of the vectors on a file by file basis. The color, line thickness, and line style (Solid, Dash, Dot... etc) can be modified.

Automatic Projection Assignment

When a vector file is imported in to the index, Pathloss will attempt to set the projection based on the data included with the vector file. All vector files in the index must be geographic or have the same projection.

For Geographic projections, the datum can be automatically set to WGS84, WGS72, or NAD83.

Pathloss will detect UTM projections and set the zone and parameters accordingly.

For other projections, Pathloss will get the projection values from the vector file and set up the appropriate projection using those parameters. The following projections are currently supported and will be initialized when opening a vector file:

  • Transverse_Mercator
  • Albers_Conic_Equal_Area
  • Lambert_Conformal_Conic_2SP (including Belgium modification)
  • Lambert_Azimuthal_Equal_Area
  • Hotine_Oblique_Mercator

In these cases the projection category will read "Set from Vector File". Any drop-down list to select specific projection parameters will be hidden. 

Projections not covered above can still be set manually in the vector tab of the GIS Dialog Box. Additional projections may be added if needed.

Added Remote Desktop Operation for Windows Server 2012 and newer.

Pathloss 6 can be installed on Windows RDP Servers. User specific data is stored in roaming profiles, while terrain data is stored in a common folder and can be shared by all users.

Pathloss 6 will switch to floating licenses when installed on a Remote Desktop Server and will require an internet connection in order to operate. 

Bug Fixes

Fixed Terrain Data Download bug that could cause a crash

U/I and Language tweaks.

Fixed a potential bug in the display routine that hopefully accounts for sites and links not drawing on some systems.