Zones_Polygons

Zone Polygons (GPSPlus) – for use with Datax III Data-heads
Our unique Zone Polygons or “Geo Fencing” feature allows you to map boundaries within your area.  This map is stored on the data head and is used by the data head to recognise the exact moment that it crosses a boundary into a new zone.
This clever feature has two different uses:


Vehicle Location  
Historically the Office system will “ping” the drivers data-heads to find out where the vehicle is currently plotted.  This system relied on the drivers keeping their current location up to date by “plotting” themselves into a new plot/zone manually.  So the office system was responsible for constantly asking the data-heads where they were; “where are you” “where are you now” “where are you now” etc.


What makes this new feature so special is that the data-head reports back to the office system whenever it crosses into a new zone, thereby saving the driver the task of manually plotting his position and saving the office system the task of constantly asking each vehicle where it is.  The response time is immediate, so the second the data-head crosses a boundary the new location of the vehicle is updated on the office computer.


Warnings

  • Zone Polygons can also be used to define many different types of areas such as:
  • No go areas Congestion charge areas Toll roads Speed restrictions Speed cameras
  • Whenever the vehicle crosses one of these boundaries, the data-head sounds a warning beep to the driver.   
  • The speed camera feature can even be associated with particular speed limits so if the vehicle is travelling too fast, the data-head will emit a different and more urgent beep.


What’s the difference between “Zones” and “Zone Polygons”?
“Zones” are used by the office system to “rank” your drivers and shows the location of your drivers on the Despatch Screen.
“Zone Polygons” are used to create a map of your zones and is stored on the data head and used to accurately pin point the exact location of the vehicles.


Tips on designing your zone polygons
Here are a few tips for designing your zone polygons.  Don’t worry if they’re not exactly right to start with, you can tweak them later.

Zone polygons will normally be the same as your plots/zones – initially make the polygons the same shape and size as your zones and then tweak them as necessary, i.e. you might want to split a zone into smaller polygons for accurate vehicle location or move the polygon boundaries to include or exclude certain roads.


Zone Polygons

  • Zone polygons must not overlap – overlapping polygons could cause the poor data-heads lots of headaches and confusion, so please don’t let them overlap!

 

  • Zone polygons are associated with Zones/Plots – Each polygon must be associated with a zone:  Let’s say there’s a Zone (plot) on the system called “Town”.  You would create a zone polygon called “Town” and then associate it with the Zone/Plot called “Town”.   

 

  • A zone polygon can be associated with more than one Zone/Plot – you can associate more than one polygon with each Plot/Zone.  For example, you could create 2 zone polygons in your “Town” Zone/Plot, one called “West Town” and the other “East Town” both of which will be associated with “Town”.

 

  • There must be at least 5 metres between each zone polygon – this will create strips of “no mans land” between each polygon.  This does not present a problem because the data-head only beeps when the vehicle crosses into a zone, not when it leaves a zone.  So as far as the system is concerned, the vehicle will remain plotted in the original zone even when it’s actually in “no mans land” and will beep and re-plot when it crosses the boundary into the new zone.

  • A zone polygon can contain many “speed camera” type polygons – whilst normal zone polygons mustn’t overlap, you can actually place as many different “speed camera” polygons inside a normal polygon as you like.  For example, there may be 2 or 3 speed cameras along a particular stretch of road in a zone and there may also be a school with a 20mph speed restriction.  Just create as many of these as you like.




Trunk roads bisecting a zone
What do you do if you have a major trunk road cutting through the middle of a zone with smaller roads crossing over or under it?  You probably don’t want the data-head to report the crossing of a zone boundary if it’s travelling along the trunk road.  In these situations, the best approach is to create a “no mans land” along the length of the trunk road, so that vehicles travelling along the trunk road don’t appear to be “in” the zone the trunk road is traversing.


Alternatively, you could use two zone polygons to define the Zone X this time excluding the trunk road.  This will mean that vehicles won’t plot themselves in Zone X as they pass through it on the trunk road; they will remain plotted in their original zone.


In this example, this zone polygon is defining “Zone X” which is encompassing part of the trunk road.  As a car travels along the trunk road it will plot itself into Zone X.Zone Polygons


Creating zone polygons  
Bear in mind that your zone polygons will closely resemble the zones that have already been set-up in Navigator, so try and have either a map of your zones or someone with you who knows the zones intimately before you start!  


To access the Zones Polygon feature:


1. Click on the Plots menu and highlight Zones then select Polygons, the Zone Polygons dialogue box will be displayed:



Zooming the map in and out  
Use the Zoom In and Zoom Out buttons to zoom in and out:


Or right-mouse click on the map, highlight Zoom and choose a zoom option:


Map Fading
It’s possible to fade the map to make it a bit easier to see the polygons.  To apply a fade, right-mouse click on the map, highlight Fading and choose Slight or Medium.  To remove the fade, repeat the process but choose None.


Moving around the map
There’s a bit of a knack to moving around the map!  This is a vital skill to master in order to draw the polygons.


1. In the middle of the map window you’ll see a red crosshairs.


2. Drag a point on the map towards the centre and let go when you’re over the crosshairs – this will centre the map to your starting position.
So in this example if you want to move South Hampstead into the middle of the map, position the mouse over South Hampstead, click and hold down the left mouse button, drag to the centre crosshairs and let go!
If you want to move East, position the mouse pointer at the left-hand edge of the map, click, hold and drag to the centre and let go.  Keep going until


Drawing a Polygon
In this example, we’re going to create a polygon called “St. Johns Wood”.



1. Make sure the Type field is set to Zone (Speed Cam is used when creating polygons for speed cameras or other restrictions)


2. It’s advisable to always start in the top left-hand corner of the Zone and draw in a clockwise direction.
Locate the top left position of the zone and drag to the centre of the map so it’s positioned under the red crosshairs.


3. Click the Add (Insert After) button, this will create the first “node”.


4. Move the map to the next change in direction making sure that the position of the next node is under the red crosshairs, and click Add (Insert After)


5. Keep going in a clockwise direction creating as many nodes as you need to create the desired shape.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t get too worried about the exact placing of the polygon boundaries, you can always perfect the shape later.  Just create a rough outline for the moment.


6. The two ends don’t need to meet up, stop when you get to the second to last node.



7. Click into the Name field and type the name of the zone St John polygon, in this example “St. Johns Wood”


8. Finally click Add Item – this will finish the polygon joining the two ends together and you’ll see the polygon name listed in the left-hand column
Start

Associating the new polygon with a Zone
Before you do anything else, the new polygon must be associated with a Zone/Plot:


1. Select the new polygon from the list in the left-hand column


2. Next scroll down the list of Zones until you find the zone that this polygon is associated with, in this example “St Johns Wd”


3. Click Apply to associate the polygon with the Zone


4. IMPORTANT:  


Modifying the polygon (changing its shape)
Once the rough outline of the polygon is created, you can modify the shape to include or exclude certain streets or areas, this will become an on-going job!  Your drivers can report back to you any zones that may need tweaking – they will be able to tell you if they think boundaries are wrongly positioned.  


Selecting a polygon
Only one polygon can be selected at any one time.  The boundaries and nodes of the selected polygon is shown on the map in bright green, the boundaries and nodes of all the other non-selected polygons are shown in dark green.



Selecting a Node
There are two methods of selecting nodes:

  • Select the node by selecting it’s decimal reference from the list of nodes
  • Or Nodes can also be selected on the map by clicking on node whilst holding down the SHIFT key.

When you select a node from the list of nodes, the map will re-position to show the location of the node on the map.  You can also see the latitude and longitude of the node in both decimal and DMS (Degrees minutes seconds) references as well as the Eastings and Northings references.



Changing the shape of a polygon
Nodes can be moved, deleted and new nodes inserted in order to change the shape of a polygon.


Moving a Node
There’s a bit of a knack to moving a node, so be patient whilst you get the hang of it!
1. Select the node you want to move from the list of node references, the map will centre and the node will be positioned under the red crosshairs
(Alternatively, you can select the node, by holding down the SHIFT key and clicking on the node on the map, once the node is selected, let go of the SHIFT key)


2. Once the node is selected, drag the map until the new location of the node is positioned under the red crosshairs


3. Click the Change to button

4. The node will move to its new location


Deleting a node
Nodes can be deleted.  When a node is deleted, the polygon boundary reroutes and joins up the nodes directly before and after the deleted node.


1. Select the node by either selecting it from the list of nodes or by SHIFT clicking on the map (as described above)


2. When the correct node is selected, click on the Delete button



3. The polygon boundary reroutes and joins up the nodes directly before and after the deleted node.


Inserting a new node
New nodes can be easily inserted in order to bend an existing boundary.


New nodes can be inserted either before or after existing nodes.  There are 2 buttons that are used to insert new nodes; Insert and Add (Insert After).


The Insert button is used to insert a new node before the currently selected node (working in a clockwise direction), the Add (Insert After) button is used to insert a new node after the currently selected node.


1. First select the polygon you wish to modify


2. Next select the node directly before or after the location of the new node


3. Drag the map so the location of the new node is under the red crosshairs



4. Click Add (Insert After) to insert the node after the selected node.  If you have selected the node positioned before, click on the Insert button (see diagram above for a visual aid)
Your polygon should look something like this:


5. Don’t worry if you clicked the wrong button!  If you have clicked the wrong button your polygon will probably look something like this!


6. Just press the Delete button to delete the incorrectly inserted node and try the other button!


“Speed Camera” and other polygons

  • Zone Polygons can also be used to define many different types of areas such as:
  • No go areas Congestion charge areas Toll roads Speed restrictions Speed cameras

Whenever the vehicle crosses one of these boundaries, the data-head sounds a warning beep to the driver.   

The boundary has now moved to the position of the newly inserted node.The speed camera feature can be associated with particular speed limits so if the vehicle is traveling too fast, the data-head will emit a different and more urgent beep.

A zone polygon can contain many “speed camera” type polygons
Whilst normal zone polygons mustn’t overlap, you can actually place as many different “speed camera” polygons inside a normal polygon as you like.  For example, there may be 2 or 3 speed cameras along a particular stretch of road in a zone and there may also be a school with a 20mph speed restriction.  Just create as many of these as you like.


Tips on creating “speed camera” type polygons

  • Speed cameras or speed restrictions – make sure that the polygon is long enough to give the driver adequate warning in order to reduce his/her speed
  • Swivelling cameras – some speed cameras are periodically turned around to face the other way, so make sure the polygon is long enough to cater for this.
  • Congestion charge areas –these polygons aren’t necessarily designed to warn drivers that they are about to enter a congestion charge area, they are designed to inform the company that the vehicle has entered a congestion charge area.  It’s important that these polygons accurately define the area because if the boundary is a few meters out the system will inform the office that the driver has crossed into the congestion charge area when in actual fact the vehicle just passed close by.

Creating a “speed camera” type polygon
Exactly the same principle is used when creating “speed camera” type polygons but rather than being associated with “Zones”, they’re associated with “Speed Cameras”.  Don’t worry about the association for the moment because we’ll associate the polygon after it’s been drawn.
1.



2. Locate the speed camera location on the map and zoom in – this will help you create an accurate polygon


3. Adjust the map so the top left-hand corner of the polygon is under the red crosshairs in the centre of the map (making sure that you’ve allowed enough and then click the Add (Insert After) button



4. Working in a clockwise direction, drag the map to the second point and click the Add (Insert After) button again


5. Continue to the third point (or second to last point if the polygon isn’t rectangular) and click the Add (Insert After) button again


6. Next click into the Name field and type the name of the speed camera e.g. “Mary1-30” (try to choose a meaningful naming convention this name indicates that it is the first speedcamera in Marylebone and it’s in a 30mph zone)  


7. Click Add Item



8. The speed camera polygon will now show on the map


Associate the new polygon with a speed camera and speed limit


Before you do anything else, you need to associate the new polygon with a speed camera and a speed limit.


1. Select the polygon from the left-hand list


2. Select the Speed Cam type


3. Next select the speed limit from the list


4. Finally click Apply


And that’s all there is to Zone Polygons!  Remember that you can delete or modify any of the polygons that you’ve created.