Starting from Scratch

Quick-Start Guide

(For people who don't like to read manuals)


  1. Create a new project by choosing File / New Project on the menu or by clicking the New button on the toolbar. Expand the project window by pressing the Maximize button on the upper right corner of the project window.

  1. Choose View / Map Drawing Toolbar from the menu. This displays a toolbar used specifically for drawing a map. Typically a map will be loaded from a DXF or SHP file, but if one is not available it is possible to draw your own map using these tools. This toolbar may also be docked if you prefer to get it off the project window. All the drawing functions described below are also available on the menu under Map.

  1. Draw Line. Click the Draw Line button on the toolbar. The cursor become a cross indicating you are in drawing mode. Click a point on the map. You will now see a line between the cursor and point you clicked. Continue clicking points to make a complex polygon. If you make a mistake, click the Undo button on the main toolbar (or select Edit / Undo from the menu or press Ctrl-Z on the keyboard). This will remove the last point you entered. Points can also be entered on the keyboard. Just enter the X, Y coordinates for each point (for example: type 32,48 and press the Enter key). You can see the coordinates that you are entering on the status bar at the bottom of the window. To connect a line to a point already entered (for example: to connect the last line to the first point to create a closed polygon) hold the Shift key while clicking with the mouse. Holding the Shift key can be used in most drawing operations to select the nearest point on the map without having to carefully position the cursor. Holding the Ctrl key while moving the mouse allows you to draw a horizontal or vertical line without having to be careful. To finish the line, right-click the mouse or click the Draw Line button on the toolbar again.

  1. Draw Rectangle. Click the Draw Rectangle button on the toolbar. Click on a point on the map that you want to be one corner of a rectangle. Holding the Shift key while clicking causes that point to be attached to an existing point on the map. Move the cursor to the opposite corner of the rectangle and click the mouse button. Holding the Ctrl key while moving and clicking forces the rectangle to be a square. The X, Y coordinates of the corner points can also be entered on the keyboard. Alternatively, you can enter the dimensions of the rectangle by entering them on the keyboard, for example 200x100 <Enter>. Using this method, one corner will be placed at 0,0 and the other corner at 200,100.

  1. Draw Ellipse. Click the Draw Ellipse button on the toolbar. Drawing an ellipse is basically the same as drawing a rectangle. Holding the Ctrl key forces the ellipse to be a circle. Coordinates can be entered just as for a rectangle. You can also enter a circle from the keyboard: start by entering the radius on the keyboard, for example 50 <Enter>, and then click on the map where you want the center or enter the coordinates of the center.

  1. Draw Curve. Click the Draw Curve button on the toolbar. Click a point on the map. Click a second point on the map. A line is drawn between these first two points. As you move the cursor around the map, this line is stretched to become a curve. When the curve has the shape you want, click the mouse (this is the control point). The X, Y coordinates for the three points can also be entered on the keyboard.

  1. Delete Lines. If you want to remove any line from the map, simply highlight it and press the Delete key. To highlight a map line, left click on or near it with the mouse. A small square at each vertex of the line indicates that the line is selected. To deselect a line, just click on a blank part of the map away from any map line. Note also that the Undo button will remove the last drawn map line.

  1. Now that you are familiar with the drawing functions, remove the sample areas that you have created by choosing Edit / Sample Areas / Delete Selected Sample Areas (or click on the Remove Areas button on the Toolbar). Delete all the map lines until the map is clean again.

  1. Draw a single large ellipse in the middle of the map. This will become our sample area. Move the map drawing toolbar from the project window (if you haven't already) by either docking it to the right of the main toolbar or by choosing View / Map Drawing Toolbar on the menu.

  1. To add samples to the project choose one of the sampling designs. For this exercise, choose Sampling Goals / Compare Average to Fixed Threshold from the menu. A dialog box appears allowing you to set the parameters for a one-sample t -test. Enter the following numbers in the blank boxes: 95, 10, 8, 10, 3. The meaning and usage of these parameters is beyond the scope of this guide, but if you entered the numbers in the right order VSP will calculate that you need 21 samples. Press the Apply button. The Costs tab gives you access to the sample area size information and sample cost parameters. Press the Close button when finished setting the parameters.

  1. VSP has two different random number generators to create the sampling locations. Using pseudo-random numbers it is possible for sample to appear close together. A quasi-random number generator forces samples to be more dispersed. Choose Options / Random Numbers / Pseudo-random Numbers from the menu to see the effects of the different generator.

  1. VSP allows you to add new samples into previously sampled areas. Assume that the samples that now exist in you sampling design are from a previous sampling event, and that you want to take additional samples in the area. Choose Options / Sample Placement / Adaptive Fill from the menu. Now select Sampling Goals / Compare Average to Fixed Threshold from the menu again (or click on the Last Design button on the main toolbar). When you press the Apply button VSP adds samples filling in spaces between previous samples.

  1. Look at the Graph, Report, and Coordinate views to see how the sampling plan affects the views.


Previous Next