Abstract Layers

Abstract Layers in the VTP software means any kind of raw geometry data (points, lines, polylines, polygons) which do not represent a real-world object.  For example, waypoints, political boundaries, property areas, GPS tracks.  These are the kind of features traditionally handled by GIS software.  Abstract Layers can be loaded and saved to SHP files (ESRI Shapefile format, often with an accompanying DBF file).  You can have any number of abstract layers on each terrain.

Adding Abstract Layers to your Terrain

To include structures from a SHP file, you can:

  1. Edit the properties for your terrain.  Under the Abstract Layers tab, double-click to choose from a list of all the SHP files that are located in PointData folders on your data path.  (The directory is called PointData because VTP used to only support points, but you can in fact put any kind of SHP dataset there.)
  2. Or, use the Load Layer button in the Layer Dialog, at runtime.

Each layer can be displayed with its own Style, which you set with the Style Dialog.

You can also create a new, empty Abstract Layer at runtime, containing labeled point features, by pressing Create in the Layer Dialog.  The Style Dialog will appear.  You can also do this by using the Create Points mode (menu Tools: Points, or the pushpin on the toolbar) which will create an Abstract Point Layer for you if none exists.