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Data Tags - Better Viewport Annotations Object Recognition


ericjhberg

Question

I love the functionality of Data Tags, they have completely changed our documentation workflow and data tracking,  for the better.

 

That said, I wish there were a few functionality upgrades. I'll post them in separate posts, so for this one...how data tags work on sheet layers in recognizing objects.

 

It is clear that when adding a data tag in Viewport Annotations that it is designed to find the geometric center of the object, which may be fine for small or relatively "square" objects. Where this gets challenging is for objects that often span multiple viewports or asymmetric objects. For example, if you applied a Data Tag to the letter 'C', the Data Tag would be positioned in the void of the letter, not on the edges.

 

The best practical example I have is a trail project where a long, linear trail is broken into several (10-20) different viewports with matchlines. To adequately identify the trail object (a single, closed polygon), the Data Tag tool will only find the object in the viewport that contains the geometric center point...not every viewport where the object is visible.

 

To combat this, you have to break the object into a separate polygons per viewport. This is less than ideal becuase you have to break up geometry that should be simple, which enters opportunity for error in multiple ways. Even then, if multiple competing long, linear objects exist in one viewport, Data Tags defer to stacking order in the Design Layers to select which object to apply a tag to...making application of Data Tags almost impossible. You can use the Select Eligible Objects Mode to place all the Data Tags, but then positioning the leaders/arrows to accurately point to the correct object becomes an exhausting effort.

 

Instead, Data Tags should be designed to recognize the edges and/or the fill of objects, not the geometric center point.

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This is particularly bad for planting plans, there are often areas of planting where you literally can't get the tag attachment point on the plant you want becasue of others overlapping.  Also seems to default (with multiple attachment points) to a rectangle around the item, rather than the boundary.

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