FME2011 Use Case: Ascent Calculation
Another short post – this time inspired by a question on the GIS StackExchange group.
The question can be found here, and was:
I am working on a series of footpath routes and have been asked if it possible to calculate the total ascent that a walker would have climbed if they travelled along each route? I know that it is simply not a case of max-min because the footpath is not just one single climb but has many stages where the path ascends and descends.
Presently, I have the data as a series of polylines and an underlying dtm.
Sounds like another case for the FME Superhero!
This question was quite timely because my previous post was about how to turn a 3D transit line feature into a cross section (like below). So, having done that – or, at least, using the same data – can I calculate what the actual ascent is?
Well, yes I can. It took about ten minutes to create a solution. Here’s the workspace (click to enlarge):
If you think you recognize the first part, then you could well be correct. It’s the same as I used in the previous post to actually create the data by draping the line over the DEM.
Here’s the key processing part:
The steps are:
- Chop the transit polyline into a series of two point lines
- Extract the Z coordinates for the start/end of each two point line
- Calculate the difference between Z1 and Z2
- Sum the differences with the StatisticsCalculator
The bit I’m proudest of is the ExpressionEvaluator and how it calculates the offset. That’s because it has a built in check for where Z2 < Z1 (ie that line descends, not ascends).
The expression is:
@Value(_z1)<@Value(_z2) ? @Value(_z2)-@Value(_z1) : 0
It uses a technique you can find described here on fmepedia.
And, finally, if there were multiple routes/features I wanted to calculate separately, I would just use a Group-By in the StatisticsCalculator to group by route ID.
So, if you merely subtract the start elevation (151.471) from the end elevation (289.637) you get the result 138.166 feet of ascent. But – as the questioner notes on StackExchange – it is not a simple case of max-min because the line has sections where it ascends and descends.
The correct answer, according to the workspace, is: 266.887
No, sir. Don’t thank us. We’re all part of the same team. Good night.