R2V Used for Mine Clearance

Able Software's R2V for Windows is currently being used by the Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC) to create GIS databases and rebuild automated map printing capability for land mine and unexploded ordnance clearance programs in Cambodia. The CMAC is the national organization responsible for coordination of landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance programs in Cambodia. All database input, output, and management are conducted entirely by this organization.

In January 1996, PBS screened a documentary on NOVA which dealt with land mines in Cambodia, and in which CMAC's mined area information system was demonstrated. Cambodia does not have the human or material resources to generate and print maps. Most of Cambodia's skilled topographic mapmakers were killed or fled during the long conflict. Hence, the labor-saving aspect of using computers to create maps is important here.

CMAC and the Geographic Department of the Council of Ministers (Royal Cambodian Government) are attempting to use R2V for Windows to leap directly into the computer mapping era, by creating digital map data from 1971 USDMA (United States Defense Mapping Agency) topographic maps (1:50,000 scale). Current efforts are underway to raster-scan and convert to vectors the elevation contours, hydrographic features, and transportation infrastructure.

CMAC is raster scanning the separates at 400 dpi using a CONTEX FS-8000 large format scanner (B/W). Raster to Vector conversion is performed using the R2V software. The unedited vectors are saved to CD-ROM and provided to the Geographic Department of the Council of Ministers who are responsible for editing (cleaning up) the vectors and assigning relevant labels using R2V.  

The Geographic Department has recently purchased one copy of R2V for Windows and one set of PC ArcINFO. At the present time, the joint project is concentrating on elevation contours, hydrographic features, and transportation routes. Once scanned, converted, and edited, the map data will be used by the Geographic Department to layout map separates for use in printing. In this manner, the Department will gradually obtain both the data and the skills necessary to use digital data for map printing and distribution to support GIS activities. Meanwhile, CMAC benefits from access to cleaned and labeled digital map data.

Mr. Michael Sheinkman, Technical Advisor of CMAC, states, "I provide training and advice to enable the CMAC Database Unit staff to scan and convert the data to ArcINFO format coverages. I am very pleasantly surprised by how fast and easy R2V for Windows is to use. R2V's Line Editor package is easy to use to clean up the vectors. CMAC had purchased another software package from a different vendor in1993, but was not satisfied with the results. We are highly satisfied with R2V. It does what it claims to be able to do. With a Pentium 75 processor and 32-MB RAM, conversion of an 8-MB image takes only a few minutes."

Able Software's R2V for Windows software is a fully automated, raster-to-vector conversion system with functions for both vector data and raster image editing. It is designed for production type map digitizing. A large number of scanned maps can be converted automatically with a single command. According to Dr. Yecheng Wu, president and founder of Able Software, "We have been working closely with the users of R2V since the start to make the software easy to use and effective to convert from all raster image sources, including scanned maps, aerial photos, and satellite imagery at a high accuracy level."