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Lost Arts

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
How many planners can:

Draw watershed boundaries from topo maps?

Use a planimeter?

Know what a planimeter is?

Use a 3D aerial viewer?

Use Zip-a-tone?

Know what Zip-a-tone is?
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
In undergrad we used the 3d aerial viewer in Physical Geog, and Zipatone in Cartography. Haven't seen either since.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Definitely lost arts - but used all of them in college and in several jobs. Up until 1997 my former employer's zoning maps were done with zipatone. :(

We don't need to draw watershed boundaries by tracing anymore - ESRI 3D analyst saves the day!
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
I can do them all, but haven't since graduate level geography classes a long, long time ago.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
Tom R said:
How many planners can:

Draw watershed boundaries from topo maps?
That's why I have a consulting engineer.

Use a planimeter?

Know what a planimeter is?
Not a clue what it is.

Use a 3D aerial viewer?

Use Zip-a-tone?

Know what Zip-a-tone is?
No on the 3D viewer.

Not anymore on the zipatone, haven't used it since college.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,443
Points
34
Can do all but that zip-A-Tone thing
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
I can do all but don't need to anymore. But I really miss the zipatone and xacto knives.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
I can do it all baby! But haven't used any, excluding the planimeter, since school.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Zipatone and x-axcto knives. The Redevelopment Plan I put together used zipatone, and we actually use them on a weekly basis for our "Planning and General Plan Exhibits"

Planimeter-I know what they are, but I think I would need another lesson as a reminder on how to use them.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
how about using COGO to create your first digital maps
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
Chet said:
how about using COGO to create your first digital maps
..Ahh command-based GIS..I don't miss that at all.

We still use zipatone for our zoning map because we have been in this big budget mess, holding our GIS funding which is needed to upgrade my computer.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,194
Points
26
Used the 3D thing, but not the others. I did, however, have to use a compass to figure out the 300' buffer on properties for public hearings. Had to do this up until last week.

Now our base map is on Map Guide (because that's what the engineering techs wanted) so I can do the buffer on there, than hand write the addressses within the buffer, than go to the equilizer to figure out property owner/addresses. Still a long way to go, but better than, albeit slightly, before.

So while I haven't used those things, we aren't far from it, and I'm sure there are some in the building somewhere.

((The one negative about being in a small town))
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Had to do all at my first job (while still in school) haven't done any since but know I could. I just had to do a road profile last week old school style, pipes, grades (existing and proposed(, etc. Talk about boring.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
arts

I actually used a planimeter once but it took me 3 days to decipher how. Most of these "artifacts" can be found in antique stores and the world is better off for it.

Any other lost arts? Leroy lettering? Proportional dividers?
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,917
Points
37
Re: arts

Tom R said:

Any other lost arts? Leroy lettering? Proportional dividers?
I was going to mention Leroy lettering...now that was fun! I've used zip-a-tone, though we called it letratone up here. Never heard of the term "Planimeter".
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
What????

I did the 1st one once... But I am not sure what you are talking about with the rest of them.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
Re: arts

Tom R said:
Leroy lettering?
Untell I started last September, that is what our city used for many of the lables on our maps.

It was so sad when I tryed to reorder them. The guy at the art store laughed at me.
 

peterb

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
How about "Scribing ( negative drafting ), keylines, open window negatives, strip film & wax text overlays and calculating land use spreadsheets for a 281sq mile county (before PC's)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,706
Points
69
Great thread!

Zip-a-tone - yup. Letraset too ... this was back in the day before laser printers and WSYWIG word processing and desktop publishing.

Planimiter - yup. Still comes in handy with old paper maps and USGS topographic maps.

3D aerial viewer - if one can find old air photos that were taken to accomodate them.

Leroy lettering - yup. Learned it in high school.

Gad ... how many planners can still draft manually? How about decent penmanship? What about the ability to draw a map without GIS or Adobe Illustrator? Those skills have gone the way of pedestrian malls and streetside clocks.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Dan said:
How about decent penmanship?
Nope. Not a chance. I'm not allow to use a felt tip pen on anything that gets an office distribution. My writing is worse with felt tip pens.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,388
Points
26
Dan said:
Gad ... how many planners can still draft manually? How about decent penmanship? What about the ability to draw a map without GIS or Adobe Illustrator? Those skills have gone the way of pedestrian malls and streetside clocks.
HEY! I like our pedestrian mall in the nearby city and the new streetside clock they just dedicated in the village I'll soon call home!

(But my penmanship and drawing skills have always sucked....)
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
Dan said:
Gad ... how many planners can still draft manually? How about decent penmanship? What about the ability to draw a map without GIS or Adobe Illustrator? Those skills have gone the way of pedestrian malls and streetside clocks.
No drawing skills...otherwise I'd probably be an architect right now....my penmanship (cursive handwriting) is horrible. My usual is to write in all caps basic 2nd grade handwriting, which, IMO is pretty good.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
peterb said:
How about "Scribing ( negative drafting ), keylines, open window negatives, strip film & wax text overlays and calculating land use spreadsheets for a 281sq mile county (before PC's)
Oh, man! What memories that brings. Scribing on ink sheets in the dark over a light table... They had these big lettering devices that were all flat except for ONE little point. When the lights came on for coffee break at 10:00, you could tell who'd been sleeping by the little tell-tale indentation on the forehead.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,917
Points
37
Mastiff said:
Oh, man! What memories that brings. Scribing on ink sheets in the dark over a light table... They had these big lettering devices that were all flat except for ONE little point. When the lights came on for coffee break at 10:00, you could tell who'd been sleeping by the little tell-tale indentation on the forehead.
One of my first tasks as a young volunteer at the local planning department was to update the City's Property Map. I was given a tech pen, plans of recently-built subdivions, the master map (on mylar) and sent on my way...
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Dan said:
Gad ... how many planners can still draft manually? How about decent penmanship? What about the ability to draw a map without GIS or Adobe Illustrator? Those skills have gone the way of pedestrian malls and streetside clocks.
I have the opposite problem. Other than one semester of GIS training and another of SPS work, we had to do everything manually back in school. The sad result is that I can't do squat on a computer aside from the basic office suite publishing/presentation stuff.

This kind of came in handy when I had to use an old analog planimeter at my first job at a consulting firm. The boss was too cheap to buy a digital one or a map digitizer and I was the only one in the office who knew how to use it. The same went for doing statistical analysis. Jeez that was a crappy place to work.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
hmmm considering that Chile is sometimes WAY behid the US and other developed countries... I'll probably have to do the things you guys did before PC's :p ... that's IF I become an urban planner ;) Although I'd be working in like 10 more years ;) and hopefully by that date they will be at your level :D

Oh, and about handwritting.. mine is practically unreadable for many.... and I can draw.. like a kid in 1st grade :p (hence that's why I left Architorture :p)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,706
Points
69
mike gurnee said:
Anybody still have an electric eraser handy?
Yuppers. Have one here at the ranch. If I'm doing any sort of cartography work at home, it's one the old fashioned way, with pencil and pen. The electric eraser is a must.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
Planners use an electronic planimeter reasonably regularly here - mainly for applicant's paper drawings, don't know zip-a-tone, we use a stereoscope (3D viewer) less regularly. We have a supply of up to date aerial photographs from our state mapping authority

Catchment management is a big issue for us so watershed (catchment) mapping is a common skill. We use electric ersaers mainly at community workshops - especially 'inquiry by design' type workshops.

A vanishing skill is manual slope analysis - either on plan or transect. Computers can do it faster but I doubt the results are as closely scuritinsed and therefore as well understood.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Im embarrassed to admit this.

We still have a GIANT digitizing table. The biggest one ever made. When I started here 4 years ago it was still fairly new. It was used upright as a room divider in the cube farm. The Council Prez. wouldnt let me declare it surplus equipment because our predecessors INSISTED they needed it.

We have never ever ever used it for its intended purpose. Well, we did once, but it was to show newbies what they were, and not because we had to.

To this day, the office's low man on the totem pole gets it for use as a table. Nothing more. It is hooked up to a 633 MhZ PC, but only for looks (for that Council Prez that is now Mayor).
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
No idea what a Planimiter is.

I can't use 3d viewers very well because of my eye sight, but if I hold matching pairs of air photos just right (right hand closer) I can almost see them in 3D.

My leroy story is from university, I had to update 100 year old water maps with a leroy. If I never see the letters DICL 6"/150mm again it will be too soon. I had a leroy claw for about 5 months after finishing the job.

Have used zip tone, command line GIS (CARIS), command line CAD (Autocad), electric erasers, lectra set and can barely hand draw.

My hand writing is getting progressively worse, I might have to get a PALM just so that my notes to myself are readable.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
tools

Has anyone ever used those random dot area estimator sheets? Also, I have a proportional divider gizmo in my desk. One agency I worked for was so poorly equipped that we used to use the windows (real windows, the glass kind) to trace maps. I remember when the agency got its first PC. The director fought getting it and after we finally did he treated like a poisonous snake.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Re: tools

Tom R said:
Has anyone ever used those random dot area estimator sheets? Also, I have a proportional divider gizmo in my desk. One agency I worked for was so poorly equipped that we used to use the windows (real windows, the glass kind) to trace maps. I remember when the agency got its first PC. The director fought getting it and after we finally did he treated like a poisonous snake.
OMG, I've done most of that... dot estimator sheets, tracing on a window....

Remember before PC's when they had word processing machines? They were kind of like a glorified typewriter. I used one as an intern. At my next job the organization bought its first computer after I started (for me to use!). We also picked up a pen plotter that worked for a few months, and then kept having communications problems that shut it down half-way through printing.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
We still have many of the old school tools, such as a light table for tracing, an electric eraser, and there where NO electronic maps until I got here. Everything was on paper, or mylar. We still have a wall of maps in tubes.

The best part is the chair of our planning commission is the former RETIRED senior planner who thinks that computers are just a fad, and that I should only use the mylar, and make any street changes to those, and not bother with the computer anymore. (He still shows up a few times a week and thinks he is still the senior planner)
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
Re: Re: tools

Michael Stumpf said:
Remember before PC's when they had word processing machines? They were kind of like a glorified typewriter. I used one as an intern.

At one job we had a stand alone word processor that was about the size of a small desk. It had diskettes that were about 10" across. The powers that be (secretary) gave it up kicking and screaming. We actually found a machine at the local university that converted the data to regular diskettes. Lucky!
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Remember the noise pen plotters would make?

The first office I worked in had one, when we plotted I thought we were in a war zone. rat a tat tat for 8 hours a day, then one pen would jam and you'd have to replot the drawing.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,706
Points
69
Oh man, I was going to mention pen-based plotters. They're great!

Today, just for kicks, I tried installing a ancient 5 1/4" floppy drive that I scrapped from an old 486 into my spare computer. It works, but I couldn't get the PC to recognize the second 3 1/2" floppy drive.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
software

Dan said:
Oh man, I was going to mention pen-based plotters. They're great!

Today, just for kicks, I tried installing a ancient 5 1/4" floppy drive that I scrapped from an old 486 into my spare computer. It works, but I couldn't get the PC to recognize the second 3 1/2" floppy drive.
We still have a bunch of 5 1/4 discs here in out "archives" and one computer that has a drive but some of the files are in Wordstar and I have yet to be able to open them.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Wordstar -- now that is something I had forgotten. Kind of like Lotus 1-2-3.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Bring out the way back machine, how about using wordstar on a NEC APC with 8 inch floppies? The monitor was colour, orange, blue or white text on a black background. No graphics or graphic capabilities.

That was my home computer growing up.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
michaelskis said:
We still have many of the old school tools, such as a light table for tracing, an electric eraser
These aren't too old school. They are still used daily in my office (and all engineering offices) for lot grading.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,804
Points
61
1- drew watershed map for comp plan.
2- used both types rotary dial and digital
3- if yes to #2 then yes to #3
4- last used way back as an undergrad
5- yes with sharp and pointy blades
6- color and % grey dot pattern

Orginally posted by Tom R -
Leroy Lettering? - still use it

Orginally posted by mike gurnee -
Anybody still have an electric eraser handy? - yes, got 2 of them

OLD SCHOOL -
anybody old enough to remember doing early GIS - Harvard? using punch cards to create overstriked grid maps?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
OK, I had a meeting today with an "engineer" that did a floodplain fill / compensating storage analysis with a planimeter. I damn near fell on the floor.
 
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