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Thread: how long does it take to make maps

  1. #1
    Chris Lareau
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    Default how long does it take to make maps

    I am getting hit up on a daily basis about how long it take to make maps from start to finish, and I was wondering what other peoples time would be for this set up:
    recieve DTED, shapefiles for an area 900,000 square kilometers
    generate from that a 1:500,000 1:250,000 1:100,000 1:50,000 CADRGs and 1:250,000 printable maps. I use ArcInfo to create tiff files from the mxd files then using ERDAS Imagine, I mosaic the tiff files and export a CADRG and I do all this in 25 days.

  2. #2
    Chris Lareau
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    well, since I have not gotten any response to this thread I have improved my process and am now able to generate map (CADRG) scales, 1:500k, 1:250k, 1:100k, 1:50k for an area that is 1.1 million square kilometers in just under 3 weeks. That is starting with simulated data (shapefiles and dted), creating mxd files, exporting geotiffs, exporting 1:250k printable maps, mosiacing the geotiffs in ERDAS Imagine 2010, then generating CADRG for each scale using ERDAS Imagine.

    I really would like for someone to let me know if this can get done faster.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Dan Patterson

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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Did you read the help topics on Data Driven Pages? or check the Map Automation forum?
    Geomatics, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
    http://obidangis.blogspot.ca/

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    Chris Lareau
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Dan,

    I have looked on these before, but there is nothing about how long it takes anyone to generate maps from start to finish.

  5. #5
    Dan Patterson

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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    My point being, if you have a repetitive workflow, then you need to automate the process including data preparation (eg mosaicing) and final map production, hence the reference to those forums and perhaps you might add the Modelbuilder and Python forum to the list.
    Geomatics, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
    http://obidangis.blogspot.ca/

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    Chris Lareau
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Dan,

    I have already created an automated process, this is not the question that I am asking. I just wanted to find out in the GIS community how long it would take other people to do this process so that I could go back to my people and give them a comparison of the length of time.

    But thanks for the information

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    Dan Patterson

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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    I guess I am missing the points...I might take a day to develop a workflow to automate a process, then 1 minute to produce a series of maps using different data but the same workflow.
    Geomatics, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
    http://obidangis.blogspot.ca/

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    Chris Lareau
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    Question Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Patterson View Post
    I guess I am missing the points...I might take a day to develop a workflow to automate a process, then 1 minute to produce a series of maps using different data but the same workflow.
    OK, so you export geotiff files for an area that is about the size of the entire state of Texas and New Mexico (1.1 million square kilometers) combined from mxd files for 4 scales (1:500,000; 1:250,000; 1:100,000; 1:50,000)and generate CADRGs for each scale in about 24 hours?
    Last edited by clareau; 04-05-2011 at 10:44 AM.

  9. #9
    Darren Wiens

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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    I think it might help if you explained where the big time bottleneck is here. Are you trying to export each geotiff manually? Or is it taking a long time to build the mosaic?

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    Chris Lareau
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    I kick off my automated process (i don't have to be there while it is running) and each geotiff is exported for each scale (6 - 1:500k, 15 - 1:250k, 25 - 1:100k, 35 - 1:50k Geotiffs files). Then I use ERDAS imagine and mosaic the geotiffs for each scale. Then using ERDAS imagine again, I export the CADRG based off the mosaic for each scale. From the time that I get my data to the finished product it takes about 21 days.
    Last edited by clareau; 04-06-2011 at 03:40 AM.

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    Greg Keith
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    How long does each step in the process take, though, not the entire process.
    Step 1: Export geotiffs for scale - one hour, one day, one week?
    Step 2: Mosaic each scale - one hour, one day...?
    etc.
    Presumably there's a particular step or steps in the process that takes a really long time. Which step(s) is that? If they all take a long time, that info would help as well.
    You may also want to try processing subsets of data, maybe one scale, at a time, and see if it's one set of data causing the problem.
    Last edited by recurvata; 04-06-2011 at 05:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Chris Lareau
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    6 - 1:500k Geotiffs take 4.5 hours Mosaic takes 70 minutes CADRG takes 12 minutes
    15 - 1:250k Geotiffs take 17.25 hours Mosaic takes 3 hours CADRG takes 30 minutes
    25 - 1:100k Geotiffs take 81.75 hours Mosaic takes 12 hours CADRG takes 3 hours
    35 - 1:50k Geotiffs take 230.5 hours Mosaic takes 36 hours CADRG take 9.5 hours

    Now that I have retold everyone how long it takes me to make maps from start to finish, I would like to find out how long it takes for OTHER people to make maps, given the above criteria from my original or second post.
    Last edited by clareau; 04-06-2011 at 06:18 AM.

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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Speaking just for myself, I haven't had the opportunity to work on a project like that. 25 days seems a lot, but if that is because you have to process a lot of data, then well it would have to take that long. The first time always takes the longest amount of time, because you have to research, get your head straight on what to do, etc. Once you, me or anyone gets the flow of things, I imagine the time it takes to complete the task is dramatically reduced.

    As mentioned in some previous posts, I'd definitely automate as much of your process as possible, getting extra computers to crunch out the process at night, weekends, whatever. At my agency, it is difficult to really say how long it takes to complete a task, because we are often working on multiple GIS service requests (maps, analysis, reports, etc.) at one time. There are also times when you know that a particular request can be completed in a day or two, but can get to the client in double that time because of a change in priority, you have critical requests that need immediate assistance, or you have meetings to go to that you'd rather skip, etc.

    Sorry. I probably didn't really answer your question.

    So, I think you are really asking if there is an easier, more efficent way of doing what you are doing. Don't blame you, we are constantly on our toes over here too. In that case, I suggest that you call technical support. They have given me some good advice and recommendations in the past about my own workflows. Wouldn't hurt to call and verify that you are doing a task correctly or just simply ask if there is a better or faster way of doing it. If you don't have a lot of patience (like me sometimes) I would go to the "Chat with an Analyst" route to get that immediate assistance. Good luck.
    Using ArcGIS 10 SP 1
    Windows XP, SP 3

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    Chris Lareau
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Thanks Goh_Raj, I forget that most people are not having to work on just maps (I don't do anything else but make maps and improve my process all year round ). My process is pretty much completely automated, except for when I am getting the data prepared. My computer is working automatically (night and weekends) non-stop, I just check on it from time to time to make sure there aren't any errors. I do have a manual process that takes even longer (about 12 weeks) for entire countries that are about 1.1 million sq km (or roughly the size of Texas and New Mexico combined).

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    Jim W
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    Default Re: how long does it take to make maps

    Quote Originally Posted by clareau View Post
    6 - 1:500k Geotiffs take 4.5 hours Mosaic takes 70 minutes CADRG takes 12 minutes
    15 - 1:250k Geotiffs take 17.25 hours Mosaic takes 3 hours CADRG takes 30 minutes
    25 - 1:100k Geotiffs take 81.75 hours Mosaic takes 12 hours CADRG takes 3 hours
    35 - 1:50k Geotiffs take 230.5 hours Mosaic takes 36 hours CADRG take 9.5 hours
    I used to do this with 10cm orthos and then mosaic up from say 1:2000 to 1:500,000. My experience is that my old P4 3.4GHz single core with Hyperthreading turned off (circa 2006) would do this 4 or 5 times faster than the newer 3.2GHz Dual core that it was replaced with.

    My suggestion would be to find the fastest single core machine you have and try it on there - that is the GHz of the computer divided by the cores. So for example, a quad core 3.2GHz is only going to give you at best 800MHz of raw processing for this type of work (I am over-simplifying).

    My current Core 2 Duo is faster at data processing then the Quad Core Xeon I had previous.

    Also, on your machine, I find setting the Affinity to a single core and the priority to High will give you maybe a 20% bump if you are using Windows.

    If they want it faster, give you a hardware budget.

    Edit: It is also my experience that for working with Geotiffs the quality of your GPU will also improve your processing time.
    Last edited by withershin; 04-06-2011 at 08:12 AM. Reason: GPU too

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