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The New Lake Erie Metropark

I’ve been working a bit each day in my graphing software, putting together the foundation for a new course plan. Still waiting on things to appear on the AKC’s web site before acting on other events.

Here’s what I have for my new Lake Erie Metropark.

As I mentioned, earlier, I thought the 50-foot image that I grabbed last Saturday would suffice for drawing course plans. In the image above, I’ve used that image as the canvas for this project. While I did that, I put in a course line that was 16-2/3 yards in length (i.e., 50 feet), and tweaked the scale on the image until the 50-foot rule in the lower right-hand corner of the image matched the length of my line in the software. I think softened the image to about 50%--enough to make out the features, while allowing me to see what I would be doing in the other layers. When I print an actual course plan, I will “soften” the canvas to 0%, so that it won’t be visible.

Speaking of layers, I usually have four layers in my lure coursing project, as named in this one—Course, Feedback, Terrain, and Boundary.

I use the Boundary for notes and marks that I would like to see while laying out the course in the program but do not want in the final print. The dotted blue, yellow, and red lines are what I’ve placed in the Boundary layer for this project. The blue dotted lines are a reminder as to the nominal north boundary of the field, for visibility, and the margin where the grass is no longer groomed. The yellow dotted line marks where I think the larger of the two gulleys lies, and the red dotted line marks the small ridge.

The Terrain layer is for physical features that I do want to appear in the final print. The softball diamond, pavilion, paved areas, and trees—as best as I can discern—are all depicted here. If the field had more substantial elevation changes, I would also include small squiggly arrows donating which direction the land is rising. When I print the course plan, much of these terrain features will be cropped out for the premium to conserve space. I’ll often leave the full picture for the copy of the course plan that is to be used that morning to actually lay out the course. Those physical features help orient the field.

The Course layer is, of course, for the course itself. By separating the terrain, that doesn’t change, from the course plan, which does change from event to event, it’s easier to copy the project and just edit the Course layer for a new course plan.

Last, I don’t often use the Feedback layer, but if I do come across some things to bear in mind for the future, I will jot down notes or note an adjustment, such as if standing water was interfering. I may not use that information to actually edit the course plan, but I will likely use it to inform decisions when using that plan as the basis for a new plan.

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