Filtering, Annotating, and Exporting Day Plans

Now that everything has been drawn, you are ready to finalize the day plan. This involves filtering for desired data, annotating, and exporting.

Filtering for the data you need #

  1. To filter for desired data, right click on the [EA]_day_plan_polygons_[year] layer and  select Filter… The Query Builder window will open, containing Fields, Values, Operators, and Expression panels. Using these tools, write an appropriate filtering statement that selects only the features you would like to display (or write it directly into the expression window below using common SQL statements). Use the Test button to check your filter before clicking OK.
    1. Writing filters takes practice. Ask for help at the beginning. Below are a few examples that might help conceptualize the process.
      1. Imagine you are working in EA 99.526 and have drawn 10 spatial context polygons over the course of a season. Three of these (Contexts 99.526.8, 99.526.9, and 99.526.10) were excavated today, and these are the only contexts that need to appear in the day plan. 
      2. In the Query Builder, you would select a field that contains unique information for each spatial context polygon: the best column to select is usually context_key. In the expression panel of the Query Builder window, you would compose the following expression: “context_key” = ’99.526.8’ OR “context_key” = ’99.526.9’ OR “context_key” = ’99.526.10’
        1. Note: it is important that you know the difference between “OR” and “AND” when writing filter expressions. If you use “AND”, the query will look for all entries that have 99.526.8, 99.526.9, and 99.526.10 as the context_key (which none of them do). If you use “OR”, the query will look for any context containing one of those three options. Note that “context_key” needs to be repeated in each clause of the expression.
      3. You can add each part of the expression by writing it directly or by clicking or double-clicking on the appropriate items in the Fields, Values, Operators panels. 
        1. Once you have selected or double clicked a Field, click All under the Values panel to see all possible options, from which you can select the attributes you want (e.g., ’99.526.8’) by double clicking them.
        2. Note: If you enter the Query Builder when there is already a definition query saved for the file, you will only see the options that are available through that definition query (for example, if the query above were in effect, you would only be able to see contexts 8, 9, and 10 when you clicked on “All” Values). In order to see all options again, you must click the Clear button, deselect the Field, reselect the Field, and click “All” Values again.
      4. Filtering expressions will differ for every excavation area and may change from day to day. If you are excavating an area that has been open in previous seasons, there will most likely be a definition query on some of the files that will make sure that important features like walls remain visible. If this is the case, it would be wise to copy the definition queries present at the beginning of the season into a Word or Notepad document in your temp folder so that you can remove and then paste them back into the expression panel as needed without having to recreate the query from scratch. Alternatively, you can save queries to a convenient location using the Save button in the Query Builder window.
      5. On a day to day basis, you will need to consider definition queries for the following layers of data:
[EA]_day_plan_elevation_points_[year]Display only the points associated with new contexts
[EA]_day_plan_lines_[year]Display lines as needed to illustrate conditions
[EA]_day_plan_polygons_[year]Display polygons as needed to illustrate conditions
[EA]_context_spatial_polygonsDisplay only the contexts excavated that day
[EA]_context_approximate_pointsDisplay only the contexts excavated that day
[EA]_context_illustration_polygonsAs certain features are archived, their continued display
may be useful for orientation purposes
[EA]_context_illustration_linesAs certain features are archived, their continued display
may be useful for orientation purposes
[EA]_day_plan_annotations_[year]Display annotations as necessary to label and improve
the clarity and legibility of the day plan as a self-standing
record of excavation

NOTE: It may help to think of writing a filter expression as a basic type of coding. It is a difficult process to learn, so don’t worry if you need frequent help or guidance from a supervisor or another excavator. Often all it takes is another pair of eyes to determine what might be wrong.

Using annotations to increase the explanatory value of your day plan #

  1. After all the filter expressions are written and the plan of the area looks correct to you, you need to annotate it. Annotations are used to label features (e.g., Wall 50, Pit 715), to highlight extents with polygons, and to add linear illustrations (directional arrows or slopes), all with the aim of improving the clarity and legibility of the day plan by highlighting or explaining things of interest (e.g., a suspicious concentration of pebbles and ceramic sherds on the surface may be annotated as “Possible pebble-sherd deposit?”)
  2. To add an annotation, use the Annotations Toolbar to add a “New Annotation Layer” to your project. (If the toolbar is not visible by default, right click in the toolbar area and check the checkbox for Annotations Toolbar.) A new layer called “Annotations” should appear in the Layers panel. Note that this layer does not act like a normal layer. It is stored in the project and is inseparable from it; that is, it cannot be shared or manipulated outside the project like other layers in the GeoPackage. For this reason, it is well suited to the temporary needs of making day plans. Select the Annotation layer in the Layers panel to begin annotating.
    1. To add text annotations (e.g., “Pit 715”), select “Create Text Annotation at Point” from the Annotations Toolbar. Click a point where you want the annotation to appear; the Layer Styling panel will open and you can add text, change its style, add a mask, etc. If you need to move the annotation in the map, right click and drag it to the new location, then right click again to place the annotation. 
    2. You can also add polygon and line annotations where necessary. The polygon annotation tool is useful for indicating the extents of open excavation areas, which are temporary and eventually replaced by the spatial context polygon when the context is closed. Lines are helpful for indicating the direction of excavation in a large context, or other similar information. These can be drawn the same way as other polygons and lines, and edited in the Layer Styling panel.

Finalizing the layout and exporting the day plan #

  1. Finally, with filters and annotations in place, it is time to examine the layout and export it for archiving and incorporation in Evernote.
    1. Go to Projects> Layouts> KAP_EA_Dynamic_A4_Portrait to open the Layout window.
    2. Make sure to set the view (position and scale) using the preset Spatial Bookmark for the project. Do not pan or scale manually, as that will result in inconsistent coverage from day to day.
    3. Make sure the information in the project title and legend is correct, including your initials, the date of the day plan, etc. (This is especially important to check if you are making a day plan for a previous day of excavation, because the standard template prefills this information with the current date.)
  2. Now you are ready to export! 
    1. Layout> Export as Image…
    2. Layout> Export as PDF…

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