©The Rothwell Group, L. P.  2011.  All rights reserved.

PaleoGIS™ for ArcGIS™

The Rothwell Group, L. P.

PaleoGIS User’s Manual

Version 4.0


Table of Contents

PaleoGIS User’s Manual Version 4.0

Table of Contents

Introduction to PaleoGIS

Accessing PaleoGIS in ArcGIS

Basic Reconstruction Work-flow

Preparing for Reconstructions and/or Animations

Create a Second Data Frame For Holding Your Data

Validate Data Layers

Reconstructing User Data Layers

ArcGIS Skills

ArcGIS Table of Contents

Activating a Data Frame

Activating a Layer in ArcGIS

Setting Display Units for a Layer

Setting Selectable Layers

Select a Feature

Selecting more than one Feature in a Layer

Selecting Only One Feature in a Layer with Stacked Polygons

PaleoGIS Basic Functions Toolbar

Reconstruction Tool

Fixed Plate Tool

Clear Fixed Plate Tool

Animation Tool

Quick Spin Tool

Configuration Tool

Common Configurations

Adding a Plate Model

Removing a Plate Model

Advanced Configuration Options

Miscellaneous Settings

Application Settings

Model Settings

Models

Timescales

Help Tool

PaleoGIS Moving Functions Toolbar

Genealogist Tool

Pole Finder Tool

Spin and Drop Tool

Drag and Drop Tool

Enter Pole Tool

Pole Saver Tool

Promotion Tool

PaleoGIS Analysis Toolbar

Azimuth & Rate vs. Time

Instantaneous Motion

Point Path Visualization

Power Users Dashboard

PaleoGIS Data Frame Context Menu

Save Reconstruction

Export to ArcGlobe

Refresh Cache

Empty Scratch Directory

Validate All Layers

PaleoGIS Layer Context Menu

Refresh Cache for Single Layer

Un-reconstruct

Validate Layer

Repair Layer

Preprocess Raster

PaleoGIS Application Settings

T_PaleoGIS_Settings Table

T_PaleoGIS_Timescales Table

T_PaleoGIS_Models Table

Command Line Tool and Batch Scripting With PaleoGIS

Product Support

Introduction to PaleoGIS

PaleoGIS is a comprehensive collection of desktop tools allowing the user to create, display, and manipulate tectonic reconstructions directly from the ArcGIS user interface as an extension.

PaleoGIS allows the user to create a set of reconstructions with data that build upon and extend a default plate tectonic model. This application allows users to incorporate pre-existing data into a reconstruction, in which each reconstruction creates a labeled data frame in ArcGIS and each layer in the data frame can be saved or exported.

This documentation specifically refers to PaleoGIS 4.0 running on ArcGIS 10. If you are using a previous version of ArcGIS some of the content and all of the screenshots specific to ArcGIS functionality may not be accurate for the version you are using.

Accessing PaleoGIS in ArcGIS

  1. Click on the Customize option on the ArcGIS main menu and click on Extensions. The following window will display.

  1. Click on the PaleoGIS for ArcGIS checkbox to activate. If the box is already checked, PaleoGIS is activated.  This activation takes some time. Note: By clicking on PaleoGIS to highlight, the PaleoGIS properties will display in the Description box at the bottom of the window.
  2. Click Close.
  3. If the PaleoGIS tools do not automatically display after activating click on View on the ArcGIS main menu, click on Customize > Toolbars and select the PaleoGIS tools.

  1. The PaleoGIS toolbars will display as follows. Note: The PaleoGIS toolbars can be anchored to the toolbars in ArcGIS by dragging them to the desired location.

  1. PaleoGIS also presents a menu option called PaleoGIS when the user right-clicks on a data frame or a layer in the Table of Contents. Selecting this option displays a context menu with the choices enabled when appropriate. Right click on a data frame, and PaleoGIS will display a menu as follows.

Basic Reconstruction Work-flow

We can begin by looking at the most common work-flow for using PaleoGIS. PaleoGIS is a robust software package that can be used to do many plate tectonic modeling tasks, but for many users the goal is to simply reconstruct user data layers back to a particular geologic time using an existing published plate model. The work-flow for doing this common task is described below. If you are unfamiliar with any ArcGIS terms used in this section, please reference the next section of this document called ArcGIS Skills.

Preparing for Reconstructions and/or Animations

First, make sure to turn on the PaleoGIS extension and at least the PaleoGIS Basic Functions Toolbar as described above in the Introduction to PaleoGIS section. Then open the Configuration window using the Configure Tool. You will see the PaleoGIS Configuration Options window below.

Select the desired plate model from the Select Model dropdown menu and press the Load Selected Plate Model button. The model will now be loaded into memory and the plate polygons will be loaded into the ArcMap table of contents.

You will notice, once you close the configuration window, that the top data frame in the table of contents has been given the name of the plate model that you just loaded. This data frame is the PaleoGIS “present day” (top) data frame because it now contains the present day version of the plate model polygons that you just loaded. Do not insert any other data frames above this one because PaleoGIS always performs reconstructions and animations on this top data frame. PaleoGIS will allow any additional data layers that you add to this present day data frame to be reconstructed as well.

Create a Second Data Frame For Holding Your Data

It can be  helpful to create a second data frame in the ArcMap table of contents while using PaleoGIS. This new data frame should be inserted below the present day data frame, NOT above it. This data frame can be used as a convenience to hold all the layers you are going to be working with on a regular basis.

To do this  click on the Insert > Data Frame menu option as seen below.

Give the new data frame a descriptive name, like “My Data”. After renaming the data frame, use the standard ArcMap Add Data button to add any layers you would like to work with (shapefiles, geodatabase featureclasses, or imagery layers). Now you can simply drag and drop these layers from this new data frame into the top level “present day” data frame in order to perform a reconstruction with these data layers.

Validate Data Layers

It is important to validate any data layers before performing reconstructions on them. This is important because this process will tell you if the layers are a PaleoGIS supported format or contain any malformed geometries. Layers that are improperly formatted or contain malformed geometries cannot be reconstructed. You can validate a single layer or all the layers in the present day data frame by using the PaleoGIS context menu options as seen below.

A window will be displayed showing the results of the validation. This window also contains a few paragraphs with tips for working with data layers in PaleoGIS. Please read these paragraphs carefully.

If the validation windows says that a layer is not a specified format, then you can right-click on that layer and choose the Data > Export Data option. This will allow you to create a copy of the data layer in a supported format. You can export the layer to a shapefile, or a featureclass in a Personal or File Geodatabase, which ever you feel comfortable with.

If the validation routine specifies that there are malformed geometries, then you will want to run the Repair Layer option in the PaleoGIS context menu. This option calls the ESRI Repair tool and should fix any problems with the data layer.  

Reconstructing User Data Layers

After ensuring that the data layers are valid, you are ready to reconstruct your data. In the Basic Functions Toolbar you can either select a geologic age from the Age drop down or enter an age directly. To execute the reconstruction, select the Go button.

PaleoGIS will display a number of windows as it processes the user data layers and the plate model polygons, and then display these reconstructed layers in a new data frame placed at the bottom of the table of contents.

It may be helpful to explain what PaleoGIS is doing when you press the Go button to do a reconstruction.

First, PaleoGIS compares the list of layers in the present day data frame to the list of layers in the cache file. Layers are added and/or deleted from the cache in order to synchronize the cache with the present day data frame. Regardless of what format the layers are in the present day data frame (SDE, shapefiles, etc.), the layers will be copied to the cache in the same format.

Next, PaleoGIS performs an intersection routine on any new layers in the cache using the currently loaded plate model polygons. This process is often called “cookie cutting” because the currently loaded plate model polygons are used, like lots of little cookie cutters, to slice up the features in the user data layers. The attributes from the plate model polygons (plate code, appearance age, and disappearance age) are transferred to the attribute table of the user data layer. Now the user data layer is “coded” with the information necessary for PaleoGIS to reconstruct the its features back to a given geologic age.

It is important to understand that PaleoGIS is not directly reconstructing the data layers that are referenced in the present day data frame. PaleoGIS is reconstructing the copy of these layers that have been intersected with the plate model polygons in the cache.

You can perform this “caching” process explicitly by right-clicking on the present day data frame and choosing the the PaleoGIS > Refresh Cache option. This may be helpful if you are receiving an error while performing a reconstruction and you want to determine if the problem is actually occurring while the layers are being copied to the cache or while being reconstructed. It is much more common for an error to occur during the very complex geoprocessing steps needed to copy the data layers to the cache and intersect them. This is why the validation step described above is of great importance.

Finally, if you have validated your data layers and refreshed the cache, you can perform a reconstruction or animation with high confidence that there are no geo-spatial or format issues that could cause errors.

Also, make sure to run the PaleoGIS > Refresh Cache option if you have edited a data layer and want these edits to be reflected in reconstructions or animations. If you make changes to a data layer that has already been copied to the cache, PaleoGIS will not notice that the layer has been changed and it will reconstruct the layer as it was before the edits were made.

ArcGIS Skills

ArcGIS Table of Contents

The ArcGIS Table of Contents is the column of layers listed on the left side of the ArcGIS main window.

In the above example, there are two data frames with three layers each.  “EarthByte_demo” is active, as indicated by the heading in bold.

Activating a Data Frame

  1. Click to highlight the data frame heading and then right-click on the mouse.  The following menu will display.

  1. Select Activate.  The data frame and its layers will then be activated.
  2. You can also quickly activate data frames in ArcMap by holding down the ALT key and then left clicking on the data frame you wish to activate.

Activating a Layer in ArcGIS

In order for the PaleoGIS Tools to work, a layer or layers will need to be activated within the data frame.

Setting Display Units for a Layer

Note:  The default Unit of Measure for all layers in an ArcGIS project is set to Degrees, Minutes, and Seconds.  

  1. Select the data frame heading and right-click the mouse.  The following menu will display.

  1. Select Properties and the Data Frame Properties window will display.

  1. Select the General tab.
  2. Under the Units section, click on the Display dropdown menu and select the desired Unit of Measurement in which the layer will be displayed.
  3. Click OK.

Setting Selectable Layers

  1. In the ArcGIS Table of Contents, right click the layer that you want to limit selections to and select  Selection > Make This The Only Selectable Layer as show below:

Select a Feature

To select a feature in a layer, click on the Select a Feature Tool  in the ArcGIS toolbar, then click on the feature to be selected.  By default, the selected feature will be highlighted in light blue.

Selecting more than one Feature in a Layer

  1. While holding down the Shift key, use the Select Feature Tool to select the desired features.

OR

  1. Using the Select Feature Tool, click and drag a box around the desired features.  When using this method, features that fall partially or wholly inside the box will be selected. Features will be selected from all of the currently selected layers.

Note:  To de-select the features, from the ArcGIS toolbar click Selection > Clear Selected Features.

Note:  This differs from Selecting a Graphic with clicking and dragging the pointer.  Only graphics that fall entirely within the box are selected.

Note:  There are various other ways of selecting features in ArcGIS, including selecting a feature by using shapes, finds, records, or a query.  For more information, go to the ArcGIS help topic Selecting Features in a Layer.

Selecting Only One Feature in a Layer with Stacked Polygons

The PaleoGIS tools will require that only ONE feature is selected.  If multiple polygons are stacked in a layer, they will ALL be selected with the Select Feature Tool.  When this happens, a warning that more than one feature is selected will display.  In this case, use the attribute table to select the one desired feature.

  1. Use the Select Feature Tool  to select the desired feature, then right-click on the correct Layer in the table of contents.  The following menu will display.

  1. Select Open Attribute Table and the attribute table for the selected layer will display as follows.

 Note:  The selected features will be highlighted.

  1. Click to highlight the desired feature from the table.  Only that feature will be selected in the layer.
  2. Close the table.

PaleoGIS Basic Functions Toolbar

 Reconstruction Tool: Sets the desired time of reconstruction.

 Fixed Plate Tool: Sets the reference frame for reconstructions.

 Clear Fixed Plate Tool: Clears the reference frame.

 Animation Tool: Using an entered interval the Animation tool makes a series of reconstructions. Each reconstruction will be saved as an individual file that can be viewed individually or animated.

 Quick Spin Tool: Using a specified point on the map, the Quick Spin Tool will re-center the map to the set point and set the project to a "view from space".

 Configuration Tool: Is used to configure PaleoGIS.

 Help Tool: Opens PaleoGIS Help.  It will first attempt to access an online version of the user documentation.  If that fails, it will access a local copy.

Reconstruction Tool

This is the most commonly used tool in PaleoGIS. It is used to perform a plate model reconstruction to the geologic age of interest.

  1. Load a plate model and user data layers as described in other sections of this document.
  2. Enter either a numeric value or choose a timescale interval from the Age dropdown list.
  3. Press the Go button to begin a reconstruction.

Fixed Plate Tool

The Fixed Plate Tool is used to set the reference frame to a selected plate for a reconstruction.  The effect is that the selected plate will not move from its present day position while everything else will move relative to its fixed position.

  1. Click on the Fixed Plate Tool  and click on the desired plate to be fixed.

  1. When clicking on a plate using this tool you will notice a message in the ArcGIS status window confirming the Plate ID that was clicked.
  2. The reconstructions will now move around that selected plate to create a new plate model, as shown below.

Clear Fixed Plate Tool

The Clear Plate Tool is used to clear the plate that was fixed.

  1. Click on the Clear Plate Tool and the fixed plate will be cleared and reconstructions will be performed relative to the “spin axis” of the model, which is the default reference frame.
  2. You will notice a message in the ArcGIS status window confirming the Plate ID has been set back to 0.

Animation Tool

The Animation Command is used to make a series of reconstructions through a specified time period. These reconstructions can then be animated to preview the reconstruction.

  1. Starting with a present-day map, click on the Animation Tool  and the Animation window will display as follows.

  1. In the Start Age field, either enter the start date or click on the dropdown menu and select the starting time period.
  2. In the End Age field, either enter the end date or click on the dropdown menu and select the ending time period.
  3. In the Step Interval field, either enter an interval or click on the dropdown menu and make a selection.

Note: 1 = 1 million years

  1. The Show Preview? option automatically opens the Animation Preview window when when the animation is finished processing.  The Remove Dataframes option automatically removes each reconstruction dataframe from the Table of Contents when the next animation reconstruction dataframe is added.  If this option is not selected, all of the reconstruction dataframes for the animation will remain in the Table of Contents.

Note: By default, these options will be automatically selected. To deselect, click in the checkbox to remove the checkmark.

  1. If desired, change the animation output folder name in the Animation Name field.  The output path can also be changed by clicking on the ellipses button to the right of the Path field, and then browsing to the new output location.
  2. The Output Format option determines the image file format that is outputted for each static reconstruction image that is used to create the animation preview. If the GIF option is chosen, the Animation Preview window will include a Save to Animated GIF button for  creating an animated GIF file from the individual static images.
  3. The File Counter Start is an incremental numeric string that is added to the file name of each output image. This can be used to create image names that can easily by imported and animated in third party image editing programs like Blender.
  4. Click Start. The Animation Preview window will display as follows.

  1. Click Play to view the reconstruction. There are a number of options available on this window to slow down or speed up the rate of animation. There are options to reverse and loop the animation as well.
  2. Click Close.
  3. If the user chooses to save the data frames during the animation, each interval created will be listed in the table of contents in ArcGIS, as shown below.
  4. Each interval can be viewed, edited, or saved individually as its own plate model.

Quick Spin Tool

The Quick Spin Tool is used to re-center the map on a selected point and resets the projection to a "view from space".

Note: This tool is used for viewing purposes only.

  1. Click on the Quick Spin Tool  and click on desired point on the map.
  2. The map will re-center itself on the selected point.

Note:  The Project will remain as a "view from space" until the user chooses to change it using the ArcMap tools to change the reconstruction. This projection seems to have become slower with ever release of ArcGIS since 9.0. Please be aware that it can take time for the map to redraw.

Configuration Window

PaleoGIS will first need to be configured to the data set being used before any reconstructing is done. These configurations will be saved automatically, so this exercise will only need to be performed once.

To access PaleoGIS Configuration, click on  in the Basic Functions Toolbar and the following window will display:

Common Configuration Tasks

  1. Click on the Select Model dropdown menu and select the desired plate model.
  2. Click on the Do age conversion checkbox and select the desired timescale from the Timescales dropdown menu. This will now cause PaleoGIS convert geologic timescale names to the numeric age values from the selected timescale.
  3. In the Sort Timescale By section, select either Alpha Numeric or Age Value to be displayed in the reconstruction and animation Age fields on the Basic Functions Toolbar.
  4. Select any other specialized options that pertain to the work you will be doing.
  5. Click on the Load Selected Plate Model button to load the selected plate model into memory. The plate model polygons will be added to the ArcMap table of contents as well.
  6. Click Close.

Adding a Plate Model

If a published plate is not listed in the dropdown, it can be added to the list of available models.

  1. Click on the Register Model button and the following window will display:

  1. Either enter the plate model path or click on the Browse button  and navigate to where the plate model file is located.
  2. Enter a Model Name or accept the default.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Select the new model from the list of models and click the Load button as described in the previous section.

Removing a Plate Model

  1. Be sure that the plate model you wish to remove is not the currently load plate model.  If it is load a different plate model before proceeding.
  2. Select the plate model to be removed in Select Model dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the Unregister Model button.  A warning message will display.
  4. Click OK.

Advanced Configuration Options

Click the Advanced Options tab to access this window:

Miscellaneous Settings

Click the Misc. Setting tab to access this window

Application Settings

This section documents the configuration settings included in PaleoGIS for ArcGIS. PaleoGIS is highly configurable in ways other than the default configuration. For a complete list of all the settings that can be found in the specified tables of the PaleoGIS Settings File (PaleoGIS_Setting.mdb file) please see the PaleoGIS Application Settings section of this documentation.

To access the application settings click the Applications Settings tab in the Configuration window and you will see the following:

Model Settings

PaleoGIS model settings can be accessed from the Model Settings tab in the Configuration window.

Models

PaleoGIS registered models can be accessed from the Models tab in the Configuration window.

 

Timescales

PaleoGIS timescales can be accessed from the Timescales tab in the Configuration window.

Help Tool

This tool links to this document on the internet or locally if an internet connection is not found.

PaleoGIS Moving Functions Toolbar

 Genealogist Tool: Allows the user to view a plate and all of the related plates (i.e. children).

 Pole Finder Tool: Displays the latitude, longitude, and angle of rotation for a selected plate. It also displays the plate number, parent plate, map ref plate, and age.

 Spin and Drop Tool: Allows the user to spin a selected plate with a three point pole of rotation.

 Drag and Drop Tool: Allows the user to drag a selected plate(s) to a specific point.

 Undo Last Move Tool: Allows the user to undo the last plate movement they made.  There is no limit to the number of times the “undo” command can be issued.

 Redo Last Move Tool: After a user has issued the “Undo Last Move” command, this tool allows them to redo that move.  The “redo” command is only limited by the number of “undo” commands that have been issued.

 Enter Pole Tool: Allows the user to enter new pole coordinates for a plate.

 Pole Saver Tool: Allows the user to save poles of rotation for plates that have been moved.

 Promotion Tool: Allows the user to save plate rotation data and can be promoted to a Master Table if the additional features of the model turn out to be valuable enough to disseminate widely. It also allows the user to apply other manipulations of pole sets (edit, delete).

Note: A reconstruction must first be done in order for the Plate Moving Functions Toolbar tools to work.

Genealogist Tool

The Genealogist Tool is used to view a plate and all of its related plates (i.e. children) within a reconstruction dataframe.

  1. Select the layer in the Table of Contents that you want to use the Genealogist Tool on. Do this by simply clicking on the layer. Once the layer is selected it will be highlighted in blue.
  2. Click on the Genealogist Tool  and click on the plate in question. If there is more than one plate related to the selected plate the following window will display:

  1. Click on the dropdown list to select the desired plate.
  2. For the layer with the selected feature, every plate that is a child of the selected plate will be selected (see below).

  1. Each plate will be labeled with a number.  The number indicates the generation – 0 is the selected plate (the parent), 1 is a child, 2 is a grandchild, and so on.

Tip: When using the Genealogist tool you can clear the graphics created by the tool by holding down Ctrl + Shift and clicking the map. You can also clear selected features by holding down Ctrl and clicking the map.

Pole Finder Tool

The Pole Finder Tool is used to display the latitude, longitude, and angle of rotation for a selected plate.

  1. Set the Selectable Layers to the layer to be edited.
  2. Click on the Pole Finder Tool  and click on the desired plate. If there is more than one plate related to the selected plate the following window will display:

  1. Click on the dropdown list to select the desired plate.
  2. The plate information will display as follows:

  1. To exit, click Close.

Spin and Drop Tool

The Spin and Drop Tool is used to move a selected plate around a pole of rotation.

  1. Set the Selectable Layers to the layer to be edited.
  2. Using the Select a Feature tool , click on the plate to be moved.

Note: Only ONE selected feature will activate the Moving Functions Toolbar. If more than one feature is selected, see the section on Select a Feature for selecting one feature with stacked polygons.

  1. After the plate has been selected, click on the Spin and Drop tool and click on the three points that construct a pole of rotation for that plate.  The second point will be the axis about which the spin will occur.  Note that this “pole of rotation” is merely a graphical tool that allows you to move the selected plate to a new position.  This is not the pole that will move the plate during reconstructions - the “real” pole that will be added to the rotation table is automatically calculated by PaleoGIS based on the location of the plate after it has been moved to its final position during the plate editing session.

  1. When clicking on the third point the plate and any of its children will automatically move to the new position.

Drag and Drop Tool

The Drag and Drop Tool is used to offset the position of selected plate(s) to a new position.

  1. Set the Selectable Layers to the layer to be edited.
  2. Using the Select a Feature tool , click on the plate to be moved. The plate and the plate’s children will be selected.

Note: More than one plate may be selected.  If only one polygon needs to be moved, see the section on Select a Feature for selecting one feature with stacked polygons.

  1. Click to select the Drag and Drop tool and click on the starting point and then click on the ending point that represents the distance and direction of the drag.

  1. After clicking on the ending point, the plate and its children (if selected) will automatically move to the new point.

Enter Pole Tool

The Enter Pole Tool allows the user to enter new pole coordinates to create a new reconstruction.

Note: A reconstruction must first be done in order for the Plate Moving Functions Toolbar tools to work.

  1. Set the Selectable Layers to the layer to be edited.
  2. Using the Select a Feature tool , click on the plate to be moved.

Note: Only ONE selected feature will activate the Moving Functions Toolbar. If more than one feature is selected, see the section on Select a Feature for selecting one feature with stacked polygons.

  1. Click on the Enter Pole Tool  and the following window will display:

  1. Enter the new Latitude.
  2. Enter the new Longitude.
  3. Enter the new Angle of rotation.
  4. Click to select Total Finite or Stage.
  5. Click Apply. The plate will move to the new pole position.

Pole Saver Tool

The Pole Saver Tool is used to save poles of rotations after they have been calculated.

  1. After the plate positions have been calculated or new poles have been entered for a plate, click on the Pole Saver Tool and the following window will open:

Note: Step one will only occur if the Application Setting EDIT_SKIP_PLATE_LIST is set to FALSE. The default setting is TRUE.

  1. Click to highlight the plate to be edited or saved. The following window will display:

  1. To make changes, click inside the field and enter the new information.
  2. To delete a row, select the far right column (has a black triangle in it) and use the “Delete” key on your keyboard.
  3. When edits are complete, click Save.
  4. When finished editing/saving the poles, click Close.

Promotion Tool

The Promotion Tool allows the user to save, move, delete, and edit plate rotation data.  This data can be either discarded or moved (promoted) to another sub-table or the Master Table.

Note: The Master Table includes all of the original published rotation data, and should rarely be altered.

  1. Click on the Promotion Tooland the following window will display:

  1. In each of the sub-sections, click on the Source Table dropdown list to select which table is to be moved/deleted/edited.
  2. After selecting the Source Table, the next field will activate. Click on the dropdown menu to select the plate to be moved/deleted/edited, or in some cases, select <All>.
  3. For a Move, click on the Destination Table dropdown menu to select where the plate and source table will be moved to.
  4. By default for the Move function, the checkboxes Delete from Destination before move and  Delete from Source after move will be selected. The Delete from Destination before move option ensures that if the plate is listed in the destination table it will be deleted and replaced with the new data after the rotation .  Likewise, the Delete from Source after move option ensures the data in the source table will also be deleted, effectively moving the data cleanly.  This is the normal course of action. To de-select, click on the checkbox to remove checkmark.
  5. In the Delete section, click on the Source Table dropdown menu to select the source. Click on the Plate to delete from source dropdown menu. Click Delete.
  6. In the Edit section, click on the Source Table dropdown menu to make a selection.
  7. Click Close.

PaleoGIS Analysis Toolbar

The PaleoGIS Analysis Toolbar is used to perform one of three types of analysis on a plate model:

Note: This toolbar can be extended with proprietary analysis tools. Please contact The Rothwell Group, L. P. for details.

Note: A reconstruction must first be done in order for the Plate Moving Functions Toolbar tools to work.

The PaleoGIS Analysis Toolbar is used to perform one of four types of analysis on a plate model:

Azimuth & Rate vs. Time

The Azimuth & Rate vs. Time analysis graphically shows the speed and direction of movement for a single point on a single plate over a specified time range at specified step intervals.  This tool operates on a present day map (not on reconstructed maps). The position, azimuth and speed of the point is calculated for each step interval from present to past.

This type of analysis can be used to spot rapid changes in azimuth and unreasonable movement rates which can indicate errors in the plate model. However, if the changes in azimuth and/or rate are real, these changes can have dramatic effects on basins where the oils are forming, being trapped, etc.

  1. Starting with a present-day map, use the ArcMap Select Feature tool to select the plate to be analyzed.
  2. Click on the Analysis Toolbar dropdown menu and select Azimuth & Rate vs. Time.
  3. Click Go and the following window will appear:

  1. The Latitude of Feature Center and Longitude of Feature Center fields are by default populated with the coordinates for the centroid of the selected plate; however, you can manually change these values to coordinates for any point of interest on the plate.  The analysis will show the movement of the point indicated by these coordinates.
  2. The Plate ID for the selected plate, and the selected Reference Plate (if there is one) will be indicated in the respective fields.
  3. Enter the desired Start Age (Ma) and End Age (Ma) values.
  4. In the Step Interval field, enter the interval in millions of years for the analysis steps.
  5. The Calculate using half rates? option can be used to show the speed and direction of movement of the point of interest relative to a mid-ocean spreading ridge, rather than relative to the earth’s spin axis or another plate.  For proper use of this option, the reference plate should first be set (using the Fixed Plate Tool), to be the plate that is moving in the opposite direction from the spreading ridge relative to the plate selected for this analysis.  For example, if the point being analysed is in S. America, then to use Calculate using half rates to show the movement of the point relative to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Africa should be set as the reference plate since S. America is moving away from the spreading ridge at half the rate that it is moving away from Africa.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. The analysis results will display as follows:

  1. To print the results, click Print.
  2. To exit, click Close.

Instantaneous Motion

This type of analysis begins on a reconstruction where a user-defined grid interval (normally four degrees) and a user-defined age delta (usually 100,000 years) are entered. A regularly-spaced grid of points at the specified grid intervals is generated where all of the points are assigned to a plate. All of the points are reconstructed to the time of the original reconstruction and then reconstructed again to a slightly older or younger time based upon the entered age delta. The positions of the points are then compared and the results are used to create a map layer in which those points use arrow symbology to indicate the direction and relative speed of movement of each point.

Using this analysis can illustrate the "instantaneous" stress affecting the plates. By comparing the motion between plates, the relative motions can be inferred (colliding, diverging, translation, trans-tension, and/or transpression).

  1. Perform a reconstruction.  this tool will not work on a present day map.
  2. Click on the Analysis Toolbar dropdown menu and select Instantaneous Motion. Click Go and the following window will display:

  1. Click on the up and down buttons to enter the Regular Grid increment (in degrees).
  2. Click on the up and down buttons to enter the Delta to add to reconstruction age (negative to subtract, in Ma).
  3. In the AOI (Area of Interest) or whole map section, click to select to Use Whole Map or use just Map AOI.
  4. Click Calculate. The map will display as follows:

  1. A point layer will be created displaying the plate motion, with each point symbolized as an arrow. Each of the arrows points in the direction of rotation and the length of the arrows indicates the speed of rotation.

Point Path Visualization

This tool operates much the same as the Azimuth and Rate vs. Time tool, where the position of a single point is calculated back through time and then the direction and rate of motion is calculated. However, instead of creating a set of graphs, a line will be drawn on the map showing the path of the point through time. The thickness of the line is a function of how fast the plate was moving at a given time. The starting point of the line will be the present day location of the point that is entered for the analysis, and the end of the line will be its position at the oldest analysis step.  Like the Azimuth and Rate vs. Time tool, this tool operates on a present day map (not on reconstructed maps).

Using this analysis is useful for the same reasons as Azimuth and Rate vs. Time but this provides a different way to view and understand the data.

  1. Starting with a present-day map, use the ArcMap Select Feature tool to select the plate to be analyzed.
  2. Click on the Analysis Toolbar dropdown menu and select Point Path Visualization.
  3. Click Go and the following window will appear:

  1. The Latitude of Feature Center and Longitude of Feature Center fields are by default populated with the coordinates for the centroid of the selected plate; however, you can manually change these values to coordinates for any point of interest on the plate.  The analysis will show the movement of the point indicated by these coordinates.
  2. The Plate ID for the selected plate, and the selected Reference Plate (if there is one) will be indicated in the respective fields.
  3. Enter the desired Start Age (Ma) and End Age (Ma) values.
  4. In the Step Interval field, enter the interval in millions of years for the analysis steps.
  5. The Calculate using half rates? option can be used to show the speed and direction of movement of the point of interest relative to a mid-ocean spreading ridge, rather than relative to the earth’s spin axis or another plate.  For proper use of this option, the reference plate should first be set (using the Fixed Plate Tool), to be the plate that is moving in the opposite direction from the spreading ridge relative to the plate selected for this analysis.  For example, if the point being analysed is in S. America, then to use Calculate using half rates to show the movement of the point relative to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Africa should be set as the reference plate since S. America is moving away from the spreading ridge at half the rate that it is moving away from Africa.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. The analysis results will be displayed as a line layer on the map as illustrated here:

  1. The table of contents view for the resulting line layer provides a legend for the speeds indicated by the line thickness:

Power Users Dashboard

This tool presents an array of useful tools that make calculations commonly used by power users: pole addition, point rotation, great circle distance calculation, and pole position calculation.  Once this tool has been activated, it will stay available.  A Power user can activate this tool and drag its window over to a second monitor, where it can stay open and functional, to be called whenever it is needed.

  1. Click on the Analysis Toolbar dropdown menu and select Power User Dashboard. Click Go and the following window will display:

  1. The normal function of each tool is the same – the user enters values in each white text field for that tool, and presses the Calculate button.  The results are displayed in the gray text boxes.

PaleoGIS Data Frame Context Menu

Selecting items on the data frame Context Menu causes PaleoGIS to execute the following actions:

Save Reconstruction

This function allows a user to save all the data layers shown in a reconstruction to a new directory for permanent storage.  Until that is done, the layers are only stored in a “scratch directory.”  After clicking Save Reconstruction the data is saved in a personal geodatabase along with layer files that will render the data with whatever symbology was assigned to the reconstruction.

  1. Right-click on any reconstructed data frame.  The context menu will appear.  Select Save Reconstruction.
  2. The following dialog will appear.

  1. Select a location from the dialog.  You can also create a new directory.
  2. When complete, the following is displayed.

  1. As a result the selected folder contains the layer files which point to the data contained in the mdb file, as shown here.

Export to ArcGlobe

This function allows the user to export the entire data frame to ArcGlobe, assuming the user has ArcGlobe installed.  Once the data is exported, ArcGlobe will open and show the data.

  1. Right-click on any reconstructed data frame.  The context menu will appear.  Select Export to ArcGlobe.
  2. The status of this process will show in the ArcMap status bar in the bottom left corner of the ArcMap window.
  3. When complete, ArcGlobe appears with the layers loaded:

NOTE: For best results make the following changes to your ArcGlobe application before using the Export to ArcGlobe tool:

In the main menu select Customize > ArcGlobe Options as seen below:

Next go to the Messages tab and make sure the option to “Use wizard when adding a new layer” is NOT selected as seen below:

Refresh Cache

This tool allows the user to refresh the cached data for all the layers in a data frame. It will copy that data to the cache.  When attributes are changed for features in the “Present Day” map (the first data frame), the attributes will not be updated in the cached data; it is important to refresh that data to make sure the cache is up-to-date.  Normally, PaleoGIS manages the cache automatically, but in the case of attribute and feature edits it does not.

  1. Right-click on the “Present Day” (topmost) data frame.  The context menu will appear.  Select Refresh Cache .
  2. All layers will be validated.  If there are any problems, they will be reported.
  3. PaleoGIS will then copy all data that is visible in the “Present Day” (topmost) data frame to the cache.  Any errors will be reported.

Empty Scratch Directory

This tool allows the user to clear all temporary data out of the scratch directory so that the directory does not grow too large.  It will also delete any reconstructed data frames in your current MXD.  It is important to first run the Save Reconstruction  tool to save any reconstructions that the user wishes to preserve.  Note: this is a “blanket” delete – EVERYTHING in the scratch directory will be deleted, even non-PaleoGIS-related files.  If there are any locked files, they will be left untouched until the next time this command is run.

  1. Right-click on any data frame.  The context menu will appear.  Select Empty Scratch Directory .
  2. The following warning will appear.  Click Yes to proceed.

  1. When complete, this message will appear:

Validate All Layers

Allows the user to validate all the layers in a data frame to make sure they are compatible with PaleoGIS.  Sometimes a user will try to reconstruct data that is improperly formatted or contains malformed geometries.  This tool will make sure all layers are usable within PaleoGIS.

  1. Right-click on any data frame.  The context menu will appear. Select Validate All Layers .
  2. As the validation occurs, the following status window appears:

  1. When complete, a report appears as follows.  It will contain an entry for every layer, as well as the result of the validation.  Any failures will be noted here, as well as suggested actions to repair the problem.

PaleoGIS Layer Context Menu

Selecting items on the Layer Context Menu causes PaleoGIS to execute the following actions:

Refresh Cache for Single Layer

This tool allows the user to refresh one layer in a data frame. It will copy that data to the cache.  When attributes are changed for features in the “Present Day” map (the first data frame), the attributes will not be updated in the cached data; it is important to refresh that data to make sure the cache is up-to-date.  Normally, PaleoGIS manages the cache automatically, but in the case of attribute and feature edits it does not.

  1. Right-click on any layer in the table of contents.  The context menu will appear.  Select Refresh Cache for Single Layer .
  2. The selected layer will be validated.  If there are any problems, they will be reported.
  3. PaleoGIS will then copy just this one layer into the cache.  Any errors will be reported.

Un-Reconstruct

Allows the user to add point, line, or polygon data layers to a reconstructed map and then do a “reverse” reconstruction on the data, moving the features to their present-day coordinates.

  1. Add the data layer(s) that you want to un-recontruct to the reconstructed dataframe.  This data can be existing data that you might have that corresponds to the reconstruction age, or it can be a new layer that you might have created based on reconstructed features in the reconstructed map.  There is no need to add any special attributes (such as appearance, dissappearance, or plate code) to the data layers that are to be un-reconstructed, as these will be added automatically during the un-reconstruct process.  Right click on the layer to be un-reconstructed in the table of contents.  From the PaleoGIS context menu select Un-Reconstruct .
  2. PaleoGIS will do the processing required to intersect the data with the reconstructed plate model, and then move the data to its “present day” position.
  3. When complete, the new layer will be added to the “present day” (topmost) data frame where it will have its original name with “_0” appended to it.
  4. In order to view the un-reconstructed data, you must activate the present day (topmost) layer.

NOTE: If is also possible to add features directly to a reconstructed layer in the reconstructed map, and then un-reconsructed the edited layer.  However, since the reconstructed layer will already contain plate code, appearance, disappearance columns that were added during the original reconstruction, you MUST manually add these attribute values for the newly added features in order for them to to properly un-reconstruct.

Un-Reconstruct Example:

The figure below shows 3 layers that have been added to a reconstruction – a point layer with 3 points, a line layer with 2 lines, and a polygon layer with 1 polygon.


The present day un-reconstruct results for the 3 layers shown above looks like this:

Validate Layer 

Allows the user to validate a single layer in a data frame to make sure it is compatible with PaleoGIS.  Sometimes a user will try to reconstruct data that is improperly formatted or contains malformed geometries.  This tool will make sure that layer is usable within PaleoGIS.

  1. Right click on any layer in any data frame.  The context menu will appear.  Select Validate Layer .
  2. As the process runs, the following status window appears.

  1. When complete, a report appears.  It will contain an entry for only the selected layer, as well as the result of the validation.  Any failures will be noted here, as well as suggested actions to repair the problem.

Repair Layer

Allows the user to repair a single layer in a data frame.  Sometimes a user will try to reconstruct data that is improperly formatted or contains malformed geometries.  This tool will attempt to fix any geometry errors (i.e. null geometry, crossover polygons, etc.) so the layer will work within PaleoGIS.

  1. Right-click on any layer in the table of contents.  The context menu will appear.  Select Repair Layer .
  2. The selected layer will be repaired using the ESRI Repair Geometry ArcToolbox tool.  If there are any problems, they will be reported.
  3. The layer will be removed from the table of contents while being repaired, but will be added back at the top of the data frame.

Preprocess Raster

Allows the user to preprocess a single raster layer prior to doing a reconstruction or animation. Raster layers (imagery data) can be reconstructed in PaleoGIS but they use more system resources and take more time to reconstruct. The first and most time consuming step in this process involves “cookie cutting” the raster into numerous fragments based on the borders of the loaded published plate model. The parts are then placed in the PaleoGIS cache so they can be used by the reconstruction and animation tools. This tool will perform just this first step and will keep the fragments in the cache as long as the  Cache raster fragments option is checked in the configuration window. Once the raster has been “cookie cut” into fragments using this tool, you can do any number of reconstructions and animations without “cookie cutting” it again.

PaleoGIS Application Settings

This section documents the configuration settings included in PaleoGIS for ArcGIS. PaleoGIS is highly configurable in ways other than the default configuration. Below is a table of all the settings that can be found in the specified tables of the PaleoGIS Settings File (PaleoGIS_Setting.mdb file).  Many of these settings can be set and saved to the PaleoGIS Settings File through the PaleoGIS Configuration window.

T_PaleoGIS_Settings Table

Setting

Required

Example

Default

Function

ADD_UNIQUE_ID

No

TRUE

FALSE

Adds a unique numeric ID field called “PaleoUniqueId” to the attribute tables of all vector layers when they are copied to the cache. This field is then persisted to the reconstructed and animated layers. This is useful if you want to trace the lineage of a reconstructed feature back to the present day feature.  This value sets the default for the “Add unique ID to cache” option in the Configuration window  “Advanced Options” tab.

APPEND_DISPLAY_LAYERS

No

TRUE

FALSE

When a plate model is loaded from the configuration GUI, by default, the ArcMap Table of Contents will be cleared before loading the plate model.  If this value is true, the TOC is not cleared.  This value sets the default for the “Don’t remove layers in the table of contents...” option in the Configuration window “Basic Options” tab.

ATB_AFTER_FC_RECON

No

ToolboxName|ToolName

“”

If this value is set to valid “Toolbox Name|Tool Name” pair, the PaleoGIS will run that Toolbox tool after each layer in the TOC is reconstructed.  That tool can be a out-of-the-box ESRI tool, or a user-created tool.  By default, no tool is run.

ATB_AFTER_RECONSTRUCTION

No

ToolboxName|ToolName

“”

If this value is set to valid “Toolbox Name|Tool Name” pair, the PaleoGIS will run that Toolbox tool after a reconstruction is completed.  That tool can be a out-of-the-box ESRI tool, or a user-created tool.  By default, no tool is run.

ATB_APP_STARTUP

No

ToolboxName|ToolName

“”

If this value is set to valid “Toolbox Name|Tool Name” pair, the PaleoGIS will run that Toolbox tool at PaleoGIS extension startup time.  That tool can be a out-of-the-box ESRI tool, or a user-created tool.  By default, no tool is run.

ATB_BEFORE_FC_RECON

No

ToolboxName|ToolName

“”

If this value is set to valid “Toolbox Name|Tool Name” pair, the PaleoGIS will run that Toolbox tool before each layer in the TOC is reconstructed.  That tool can be a out-of-the-box ESRI tool, or a user-created tool.  By default, no tool is run.

ATB_BEFORE_RECONSTRUCTION

No

ToolboxName|ToolName

“”

If this value is set to valid “Toolbox Name|Tool Name” pair, the PaleoGIS will run that Toolbox tool before a reconstruction is completed.  That tool can be a out-of-the-box ESRI tool, or a user-created tool.  By default, no tool is run.

ATB_COOKIE_CUTTER

Yes

Analysis Tools|Intersect    

Analysis Tools|Intersect  

This value must be set to a valid “Toolbox Name|Tool Name” pair for using to intersect the Display layers with a “cookie cutter” layer. This is an essential part of performing reconstructions.

ATB_DELETE

Yes

Data Management Tools|Delete

Data Management Tools|Delete

When PaleoGIS needs to delete a featureclass, it calls this toolbox tool.  Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_DISSOLVE

Yes

Data Management Tools|Dissolve

Data Management Tools|Dissolve

When PaleoGIS needs to do a dissolve on a featureclass, it calls this toolbox tool.  Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_FC_COPY

Yes

Conversion Tools|FeatureClassToFeatureClassas

Conversion Tools|FeatureClassToFeatureClassas

When PaleoGIS needs to do a copy on a featureclass, it calls this toolbox tool.  Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable. This method of copying is obsolete but still moderately in use.

ATB_GROUP_FC_COPY

No

Conversion Tools|FeatureClassToGeodatabase

Conversion Tools|FeatureClassToGeodatabase

This method of copying is obsolete in PaleoGIS, but should be left in the table for backwards compatibility.

ATB_GROUP_RASTER_COPY

No

Conversion Tools|RasterToGeodatabase

Conversion Tools|RasterToGeodatabase

This method of copying is obsolete in PaleoGIS, but should be left in the table for backwards compatibility.

ATB_MOSAIC

Yes

Data Management Tools|Mosaic

Data Management Tools|Mosaic

This method is used for one step in raster reconstruction. Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_RASTER_COPY

Yes

 Data Management Tools|Resample

Data Management Tools|Resample

This method is used for one step in raster reconstruction. Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_RASTER_WARP

Yes

Data Management Tools|Warp

Data Management Tools|Warp

This method is used for one step in raster reconstruction. Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_RENAME

Yes

Data Management Tools|Rename

Data Management Tools|Rename

When PaleoGIS needs to rename a featureclass, it calls this toolbox tool.  Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_REPAIR_GEOMETRY

Yes

Data Management Tools|RepairGeometry

Data Management Tools|RepairGeometry

When PaleoGIS needs to repair the geometry of a vector featureclass, it calls this toolbox tool after asigning plate codes.  Users can change to a different tool if needed, but this is not advisable.

ATB_SHOW_TOOLBOX_WINDOW

Yes

FALSE

Required for correctly displaying all ArcToolbox Tools that are run. Do not change.

ATB_SHOWPROGRESS

Yes

TRUE

Required for correctly displaying all ArcToolbox Tools that are run. Do not change.

ATB_VALIDATE

Yes

FALSE

Required for correctly displaying all ArcToolbox Tools that are run. Do not change.

CACHE_PATH

Yes

C:\Temp\PaleoGIS\cache.mdb

%TEMP%\cache.mdb

This value sets the type and path of the cache.  If it is an empty string, then the cache is virtual (in memory).  If it ends in .MDB, then it is a personal geodatabase.  If it ends in .GDB, then it is a file geodatabase.  This value can also be set and saved through the Misc. Settings” tab in the Configuration window.  This value sets the default for this option in the Misc. Settings tab.

CACHE_RASTER_FRAGMENTS

No

TRUE

FALSE

This option is useful if you plan on doing a lot of raster reconstructions. Performance is increased when performing more than one reconstruction or animation using this option. See the detailed description of this tool above in order to understand exactly what this option does.  This value sets the default for the “Cache raster fragments” option in the Configuration window “Advanced Options” tab.

CACHE_ROTATION_TABLES

No

TRUE

FALSE

This option makes a copy of the plate model rotation tables in the local cache so that PaleoGIS will be able to work from the cached copy during reconstructions.  This option is useful for increasing performance when the plate model is stored in a remote network location instead of on the local machine.

CRS_CAN_RECONSTRUCT_0

No

TRUE

FALSE

No longer in use.

CRS_IGNORE_AGES

No

TRUE

FALSE

This option makes it such that any reconstructions and animations will ignore the “appearance” and “disappearance” fields in the plate model and any user data layers. This means that regardless of the reconstruction age, all plate model features and all user data features that intersect a plate polygon in the plate model will be reconstructed and displayed in a reconstruction or animation.  This value sets the default for the “Ignore assigned ages” option in the Configuration window “Advanced Options” tab.

CRS_IGNORE_CHILDREN

No

TRUE

FALSE

This option is pertinent when using the Moving Functions Toolbar only. This option removes the linkage between a parent plate and its children when using the Drag and Drop and the Spin and Drop tools. This option does not affect reconstructions and animations.  This value sets the default for the “Ignore children during drag/drop” option in the Configuration window “Advanced Options” tab.

DO_MULTI_PROCESS

No

TRUE

FALSE

This option allows PaleoGIS to reconstruct multiple vector layers in parallel by using an external process to reconstruct each featureclass layer in the present day dataframe. This option is only useful if you are working on a multi-CPU computer. Only use this option if the number of layers you wish to reconstruct is not greater than the number of CPUs in the computer.  This option is also controlled by the “Advanced Options” tab of the configuration window.  Setting this value sets the default value in the GUI.

DO_TIMESCALE_CONVERSIONS

No

TRUE

FALSE

When a plate model is loaded from the configuration GUI, by default, the ArcMap table of contents will be cleared before loading the plate model.  If this is true, the TOC is not cleared.  This option is also controlled by the “Basic Options” tab of the configuration window.  Setting this value sets the default value in the GUI.

EDIT_SKIP_PLATE_LIST

No

TRUE

TRUE

When performing plate model pole-of-rotation edits using the Plate Moving Functions toolbar, if this option is set to TRUE, the user must save the edits (using the Pole Saver tool) for a given plate before to poles for another plate can be edited.  If this option is set to FALSE, multiple plates can be edited before saving, and then when the Pole Saver tool is clicked.  A list of Poles to Save will be displayed, and each edited pole can be saved at that time.

EXCEPTION_CONTACTINFO

Yes

The Rothwell Group, L.P. at  PaleoGIS@RothwellGroup.com

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_DEFAULTDOMAIN

Yes

paleogis.com

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_DISPLAYDIALOG

Yes

TRUE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_EMAILSCREENSHOT

Yes

FALSE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_EMAILTO

Yes

paleogis@rothwellgroup.com

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_IGNOREDEBUG

Yes

FALSE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_KILLAPPONEXCEPTION

Yes

TRUE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_LOGTOEVENTLOG

Yes

FALSE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_LOGTOFILE

Yes

TRUE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_SENDEMAIL

Yes

FALSE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_SMTPSERVER

Yes

NONE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

EXCEPTION_TAKESCREENSHOT

Yes

TRUE

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

HELP_PATH

Yes

http://www.paleogis.com/dotnetnuke/UsersManual/tabid/56/Default.aspx

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

HELP_PATH_LOCAL

Yes

PaleoGIS_User_Manual.pdf

PaleoGIS_User_Manual.pdf

Name of the local copy of the User’s Manual installed with PaleoGIS in the PaleoGIS installation folder, usually at C:\Program Files (x86)\Rothwell\PaleoGIS.

INCLUDE_AGE_IN_MAP_LABEL

No

TRUE

TRUE

When PaleoGIS finishes a reconstruction, it places a multi-part label on the map - this option controls the geologic age (numeric, in Ma) part of the label.   This value sets the default for the “Include geological time text in map label” option in the Configuration window “Basic Options” tab.

INCLUDE_PLATEMODEL_IN_MAP_LABEL

No

TRUE

TRUE

When PaleoGIS finishes a reconstruction, it places a multi-part label on the map - this option controls the plate model part of the label.  This value sets the default for the “Include plate model name in the map label...” option in the Configuration window “Basic Options” tab.

INCLUDE_TIMESCALE_IN_MAP_LABEL

No

TRUE

FALSE

When the PaleoGIS finishes, it places a multi-part label on the map - this option controls the geologic age name (e.g., “Berriasian”) part of the label.  This value sets the default for the “Include timescale text in map label” option in the Configuration window “Basic Options” tab.

INCLUDE_RELATIVETO_IN_MAP_LABEL

No

TRUE

TRUE

When PaleoGIS finishes a reconstruction, it places a multi-part label on the map - this option controls the “relative to” (if a reference plate has been fixed) part of the label.  This value sets the default for the “Include [Relative to...]...” option in the Configuration window “Basic Options” tab.

LOG_LEVEL

Yes

INFO, ERROR, or WARN

ERROR

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

LOGFILE_PATH

Yes

C:\Temp\PaleoGIS\PaleoGIS_Log.txt

%USERPROFILE%\PaleoGIS_Log.txt

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

PG_ANALYSIS_1

PG_ANALYSIS_2

PG_ANALYSIS_3

PG_ANALYSIS_X...

Yes

Azimuth & Rate vs. Time|AzimuthAndRateExt.DLL#AzimuthAndRateExt.AzimuthAndRateExt

“”

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

PROXY_SERVER_BYPASSEXPECT100

NO

TRUE

TRUE

This setting is required to be TRUE by most proxy servers for proper connection to the PaleoGIS license server.  For more information contact your IT department. This setting sets the default for the “Bypass Expect100Continue header” option in the Configuration window “Misc. Options” tab.  This option will only be visible in the “Misc. Settings” tab when the PROXY_SERVER_SETTINGS_SHOW setting is set to TRUE.

PROXY_SERVER_SETTINGS_SHOW

NO

TRUE

NA

If you are using a concurrent PaleoGIS license and you cannot connect to the PaleoGIS license server because of firewall issues, add this setting to the PaleoGIS Settings File, either directly or by adding it to the table in the Configuration window “Application Settings” tab, and set the value to TRUE.  This will make a Proxy Server Information form visible in the Configuration window Misc. Settings tab.  Fill in your proxy server information in the form to allow PaleoGIS to connect through the firewall.

SCRATCH_DIRECTORY

Yes

C:\Temp\PaleoGIS\

%TEMP%\

Sets the output directory for all PaleoGIS output files. This value can also be set and saved through the “Misc. Settings” tab in the Configuration window. This value sets the default for this option in the Misc. Settings tab.

VERSION

No

4.0.4

Value depends on the current version.

Set by Rothwell, do not change unless directed by support staff

T_PaleoGIS_Timescales Table

Australian Geological Survey, 1995

i.e. Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=$PGD$;User Id=admin;Password=;|AGSO95|OLDER|YOUNGER|NAME                                                                              

Berggeren, 2005
i.e. Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=$PGD$;User Id=admin;Password=;|BERGGERE|OLDER|YOUNGER|NAME                                                                            

DNAG 1999
i.e. Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=$PGD$;User Id=admin;Password=;|DNAG99|OLDER|YOUNGER|NAME

Kent & Gradstein 1986 (DNAG 1986)
i.e. Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=$PGD$;User Id=admin;Password=;|DNAG86|OLDER|YOUNGER|NAME

T_PaleoGIS_Models Table

ScoteseDemoModelv2d3
i.e. Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=ScoteseDemoModelv2d3.mdb;User Id=admin;Password=;|T_Model_Settings

UTIG_demo
i.e. Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=UTIG_demo.mdb;User Id=admin;Password=;|T_Model_Settings

PaleoGIS Metadata Settings

In several cases, PaleoGIS uses the layer metadata functionality in ArcGIS to change the way a layer is processed.  Using this functionality is normally done by people who construct plate models, rather than normal users.  PaleoGIS looks for certain keywords in the “Purpose” field o "f a layer’s metadata, and if it is found, processes that layer in a different way.  There can be any other text in the “Purpose” field, so this does not preclude using the “Purpose” field as it was intended, but PaleoGIS expects to find it’s keywords somewhere within the field, and expects to find it on a line by itself.

Keyword

Action

CACHE_IGNORE_DEF_QUERY

Putting this keyword in the metadata causes PaleoGIS to copy the ENTIRE dataset to the cache, rather than just what is visible on the present day map.  This is useful when a definition query has been placed on a layer to cause it to just show present day data on the present day map, but the actual data set contains data that is also specific to other times.  This option will cause all the data to be stored in the cache, then the automatic “age of appearance / age of disappearance” functionality to operate on the entire data set in the cache, and only the appropriate data will be reconstructed.

TIME_DEPENDANT_COPY_TABLE_SQL= SQL query

(Syntax note:  There cannot be a space between ...TABLE_SQL and the equals sign, i.e., the correct syntax is  ...TABLE_SQL= , not ...TABLE_SQL =)

Putting this keyword along with an SQL query in a joined table allows “time-dependant joins” to occur.  PaleoGIS will preserve feature-to-table joins when it makes reconstructions.  This works well with one-to-one joins, but not well for one-to-many joins, where the one-to-many joins are there because of time, and for any one particular time, the one-to-many devolves to a one-to-one join.  Think of the stratigraphy in a well - a vertical well is represented by a single point, but a stratigraphy database has many rows related to that one point, and for any one reconstruction time, a maximum of only one row in the stratigraphy table should be related to the well point. By using this keyword/SQL query string pair with the table that joined, the

PaleoGIS will use the SQL query to reduce the data that will be joined, usually based on the time of the reconstruction.  In order for this to work, the SQL must have a replaceable parameter that will customize the SQL query on the fly.  The replaceable keywords are:

%AGE%: Age of reconstruction

%PM%: Plate Model name

%RF%: Reference Frame plate number

Example:

 TIME_DEPENDANT_COPY_TABLE_SQL= StratAge = %AGE%

...for a reconstruction age of 100.5Ma this example will cause the PaleoGIS to pre-filter a joined table by the query “StratAge = 100.5”

These SQL queries can get as complicated as needed in order to produce the required result - they just need to be valid SQL (once the replaceable keyword substitutions have been made).

 

Command Line Tool and Batch Scripting With PaleoGIS

The PaleoGIS suite of tools also offers a command line that enables some of the most commonly used functions that can be carried out in the PaleoGIS GUI in ArcMap. There are also some utility functions that only make sense in a batch scripting environment. This functionality is available to you via the PaleoGISExternal.exe program, a simple DOS executable can be found in the installation directory of PaleoGIS. This program has no GUI - all of its functionality is accessed via options on the DOS command line. Various options have various numbers of optional parameters that must also be provided via the command line. The program will provide various status messages as it progresses, and will write error and warning messages to the usual PaleoGIS logging folder.

The advantage of a command line tool is that it can be scripted with DOS scripting tools, and set to run jobs in a batch-oriented way. These scripts can be written once, then run many times, at regular or irregular intervals, and they will produce the same results repeatedly.  

 Below is a list of the existing command line options that are available to you.

Location:

C:\Program Files\<EIMT or Rothwell>\PaleoGIS\PaleoGISExternal.exe

Basic Format:

…/PaleoGISExternal.exe /<Command> <Argument1> <Argument2> ... <ArgumentN>

Making Batch Reconstructions:

To use PaleoGISExternal.exe to make batch reconstructions, there are 4 to 5 commands you need to know.  They must be called at specific times, and in a specific order for them to work correctly.

Command

Arguments

Description

/Setup_For_Reconstruction

"model name" - the name of the plate model.

"path to model MDB"-  the complete path to the  plate model.

“Model settings table" - the name of the table in that model MDB that contains the rest of the settings from that model.

“Destination geodatabase” - the full path to the reconstruction geodatabase where the reconstructed data will be stored.

“Age of reconstruction” - Age of the reconstruction in millions of years, positive is older.

“Cache path” - the full path to the cache.

To do a batch reconstruction, you must call this option once for each age you wish to reconstruct.  This is normal done once, before any other steps.  This option creates the reconctruction MDB, and an XML file containing all the details of the plate model needed by the next step in the process.

/CopyToCache_Vector

“Layer Path” - Full path of the layer to copy to the cache.  Can be shapefile or geodatabase featureclass. In the case of a a layer in a geodatabase, the path is specified as “path to mdb”\”name of layer”.

“Name in Cache” - the name the layer will have in the cache.

"Query String" - SQL query that allow you to limit the amount of data to be cached based upon an attribute query.  Can also be “” to cache all features.

“Cache path” - the full path to the cache.

To do a batch reconstruction, you must call this option once for each layer you wish to reconstruct.  This option copies your layer into the cache.  This step must be carried out after /Setup_for_reconstruction, but before /copy_workspace_structure.

/Copy_Workspace_Structure

“Cache path” - the full path to the cache.

“Destination geodatabase” - the full path to the reconstruction geodatabase where the reconstructed data will be stored.

“Layer name” - the name of the layer in the cache whose structure will be copied.

{Optional} “New name in Reconstruction MDB” - the name that the layer will have in the reconstruction geodatabase. Default is same name.

To do a batch reconstruction, you must call this option once for each layer you wish to reconstruct.  This option copies the structure (attribute table layout) of your layer to the reconstruction MDB, but does not copy the data.  That is done in the next step.  This step must be carried out after /CopyToCache_Vector, but before /Reconstruct_Vector or /Reconstruct_raster

/Reconstruct_Vector

 “Name of Layer in Cache” - the name of the layer to be reconstructed, as it was stored in the cache.

“Reconstruction Geodatabase” - fuull path to the reconstruction geodatabase in which the reconstructed data will be stored.

“Process ID” - any user supplied number that will identify the process.

{Optional} “New Name in Reconstruction MDB” - the name that the layer will have in the reconstruction geodatabase. Default is same name.

To do a batch reconstruction, you must call this option once for each vector layer you wish to reconstruct.  This option reconstructs the actual vector data and copies it to the reconstruction MDB.  This step must be carried out after /Copy_Workspace_Structure, but before /AddLayerToMxdAndSymbolize

/AddLayerToMxdAndSymbolize

 “MXD Path” - full path to MXD to be edited.  If it does not exist, it is created.

“Name of data frame” - name of data frame in MXD to which the layer will be added.If it does not exist, it is created.

“Data Path” - full path of the layer to be added.  It can be a shapefile, or a featureclass in a geodatabase.  In the case of a a layer in a geodatabase, the path is specified as “path to mdb”\”name of layer”.

“Layer Name” - Name of layer as it should appear in the TOC.

“Layer File” - full path to a layer file that should be used to symbolize data.

{Optional} “Group Layer” - If you want to embed the layer in a group layer, specify it with this argument.  If the group layer does not exist, it will be created.  If you want to embed it further, seperate the group layers with a “\”, like this: GroupLayer\SubGroup\SubSubGroup

This is a optional tool that will open an MXD and add a specified layer to a data frame in it.  This is useful for visualizing a layer after reconstruction.

Speeding up reconstructions:

One way to speed up the reconstruction process (both interactive and batch) is to do all the pole calculations ahead of time, store them as a “flat” rotation table, then just read them from storage instead of recalculating them.  PaleoGISExternal.exe offers two related tools for doing the pole “pre-calculation”.

Command

Arguments

Description

/Dump_Flat_rot_header

“path to MDB” - the full path to the MDB that will be updated.

“name of the table” - the name of the table to create.

This tool adds a blank, correctly formatted table to an MDB.  If it is already there, it will not touch it.

/Dump_Flat_rot

"model name" - the name of the plate model

"path to model MDB"-  the complete path to the  plate model

“Model settings table" - the name of the table in that model MDB that contains the rest of the settings from that model

"reference frame plate number" - the plate number for the reference frame you wish to flatten on - almost ALWAYS 0

"Start Age in Ma" - the age in Ma when you want this calculation to start.

"End Age in Ma"  - the age in Ma when you want this calculation to end.

"Increment in Ma" - the increment age in Ma to step between start and end.

This tool stores the “flat” rotation data in the previously created table.  The user specifies the destination, the plate model, the reference frame, start age, end age, and the step interval, and this tools calculates all the “flat” poles for ALL the plates in the model.  Note that it is possible to specify overlapping time ranges, which would incorrectly store duplicate poles.  If this tool is called more than once to write to the same flat rotation table, make sure not to overlap time ranges.

Reconstruction Script:

The best way to use this executable to perform batch reconstructions is to use the batch scripting capability that is built into DOS for handling command line programs like PaleoGISExternal.exe.  Some DOS scripting experience is definitely required to do this correctly and successfully.  To help accelerate the learning process, a sample batch script has been included below, with annotations to explain what each step means: annotations start with >>> and are in green bold font..  You will need to modify some of the parameters in the batch file to get this to work - simply cut and paste this text to a file on the disk, and edit it there.  You will have to delete all the annotations.

After making your edits and saving the batch script file, open a DOS window, change to the directory where you stored the batch file, and run it like this 9but all on one line):

batch_reconstruction.bat

"<path to PaleoGISExternal.exe>"

"<source path with featureclass name>"

"<featureclass name>"

"<age of reconstruction>"

"<path of reconstruction file geodatabase to be created>"

"<Path to published model to use>"

"<name of settings table in published plate model>"

Example:

batch_reconstruction.bat         

"C:\Program Files\Rothwell\PaleoGIS\PaleoGISExternal.exe"                 

"C:\Temp\Reconstructions.gdb\cities"

"cities"

"30"

"C:\Temp\Reconstructions.gdb"

 "C:\Plate Models\UTPlates\Demo\2009_06_24\UTIG_demo.mdb"

 "T_Model_Settings"

>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<START OF BATCH RECONSTRUCTION SCRIPT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

echo off

>>> Turns off extraneous messages to the DOS Window

REM

>>> Any line that starts with REM is a “Remark”, and will be ignored by DOS
REM %1% (first argument) - path to PaleoGISExternal.exe
REM %2% (second agrument) - source path with featureclass name

REM         ie. (c:\xxx\MyShape.shp  or c:\xxx\MyPGDB.mdb\fc_name)
REM %3% (third agrument) - featureclass name to use in cache
REM %4% (fourth agrument) - Age of reconstruction
REM %5% (fifth agrument) - path of reconstruction File Geodatabase to be created
REM %6% (sixth agrument) - Path to published model to use
REM %7% (seventh agrument) - Name of setup table in published plate model

REM

REM To do the reconstruction, you must call PaleoGISExternal.exe 4 times for each layer -

REM once to create the reconstruction mdb/xml, once to copy the layer to the cache, once to copy workspace

REM structure to recon mdb, and once to actually do the reconstructing

REM

REM If you have more than one layer to reconstruct to the same time, you can repeat the last 3 steps as many REM times as needed

REM

REM step 0: Save the arguments to this bast as local variables

REM

>>> Previous 18 line are simple documentation

set EXE=%1%

set SOURCE=%2%

set FC=%3%

set AGE=%4%

set RECONMDB=%5%

set MODELMDB=%6%

set MODELTABLE=%7%

set MODELNAME=BatchModel

set CACHE=%temp%\pgiscache.gdb

>>> Previous 9 line grab variables from the command line you provided, and makes local variables

>>> from them. We will later refer to this local variables as %EXE%, %SOURCE%, and so on.  These

>>> variables are provided once on the command line, then used in various combinations by all the

>>> steps in the process.  This step is required because as soon as another program runs, %1%,

>>> %2%, %3% are wiped out, so we need to preserve them

echo cleaning up some old files, if they are there (may produce file-not-found errors, which is ok)

>>> This is a message that the user will see

DEL /f /s /q %RECONMDB%

del /f /s /q %CACHE%

>>>Previous 2 lines will clean up old files, if present.  If not present, these command will throw an

>>> error but it is safe to ignore it

echo start reconstructing %SOURCE% to %RECONMDB%

>>> another user message

REM Step 1: Create the reconstruction MDB/XML

echo Creating reconstruction MDB/XML as %RECONMDB%

>>>Another user message

%EXE% /setup_for_reconstruction %MODELNAME% %MODELMDB% %MODELTABLE% %RECONMDB% %AGE% %CACHE%

>>> This step calls the first required option of the PaleoGISExternal.exe, using the local variables

>>> we recently saved.

REM Step 2: Cache the layer they want to reconstruct

echo Copying %SOURCE% to %FC%

>>>Another user message

%EXE% /copytocache_vector %SOURCE% %FC% "" %CACHE% %MODELNAME% %MODELMDB% %MODELTABLE%

>>Do the next step.

REM Step 3: Copy the workspace structure of the layer to reconstruct (no data)

echo Copying workspace structure for %FC% to %RECONMDB%

>>>Another user message

%EXE% /copy_workspace_structure %CACHE% %RECONMDB% %FC%

>>> Do the third step

REM Step 4: Do the actual reconstructing

echo Doing reconstruction of %FC% to %RECONMDB% for age = %AGE%

>>>Another user message

%EXE% /reconstruct_vector %FC% %RECONMDB% 1

>>> Do the final step.

echo done reconstructing %SOURCE% to %RECONMDB%

>>>Another user message
echo on

>>>Turn echo back on, since we turned it off last time.

>>> <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<END OF BATCH RECONSTRUCTION SCRIPT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

It is very common that users wish to make multiple calls to the external program in a loop.  DOS offers the “FOR” command that allows looping.  Type “FOR /?” at the DOS command for more information.

Product Support

The Rothwell Group, L. P. provides PaleoGIS product support for all users. For any questions concerning PaleoGIS, please contact us:

www.paleogis.com/support

support@rothwellgroup.com 

The Rothwell Group, L.P.        www.paleogis.com