Circum-North Pacific Map (CD-ROM): SurView (Circum-North Pacific)
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to SurView
  2. Circum-North Pacific data files
  3. File naming conventions
  4. Types of files
  5. Using SurView with the Circum-North Pacific data files
  6. DBF files
  7. Cartographic projection


  1. List of \CIRCUM\SHP and SurView files on CD-ROM

1. Introduction

You should have already read \CIRCUM\DOC\HTML\SURVIEW1.HTM (or equivalent \CIRCUM\DOC\PC\SURVIEW1.TXT), which contains a general description of SurView and describes the optional installation procedure for the SurView software (\CIRCUM\SURVIEW\...) and/or data files (\CIRCUM\SHP\...) contained on this CD-ROM. This file contains information which is specific to the Circum-North Pacific data files in \CIRCUM\SHP and assumes you have installed SurView and are familiar with the basic file types.

2. Circum-North Pacific data files

This Circum-North Pacific CD-ROM project provides line, polygon, and point data files in four primary data formats:

Circum-North Pacific file formats
Data format Location on CD-ROM
Arc/Info Export *.E00 \CIRCUM\E00
CAD 'Drawing Interchange Files' *.DXF \CIRCUM\DXF
ArcView 'shape' *.SHP \CIRCUM\SHP

The data files in the \CIRCUM\COVERS and \CIRCUM\E00 directories require an Arc/Info or other GIS system in order to import and/or display them. The \CIRCUM\SHP\... directory contains Arc/Info 'shape' (*.SHP) files, which are directly viewable by both ArcView 2 or 3 and SurView. These .SHP files are copies of most of the line, polygon, and point data found in the \COVERS directory.

The \CIRCUM\SHPGEO\... directory contains a duplicate of \CIRCUM\SHP\... but containing geographic (longitude, latitude) co-ordinates instead of Lambert.

Note that ArcView 1 can not display .SHP files. ArcView 1 users must import the *.E00 files found in the \CIRCUM\E00 directory.

(Optional) installation of data files

SurView is quite efficient and can read and display the files directly from the CD-ROM: no installation of the data files is required.

However, if you wish to install the data files on your hard disk, create a directory (any name, any location) and copy the data file(s) to it (recall that the easiest way to do this is with File Manager or Explorer - just 'drag & drop'). A complete set of *.SHP files (the entire \CIRCUM\SHP directory tree) requires approximately 38 Mb of disc space.

When moving any of the files (for any reason), keep in mind the restrictions outlined in SURVIEW1.* documentation regarding the relative pathnames of the filenames contained in .FDL and .ASX files. In particular, the ...\ZLUT directory is required by the .ASX files and it must be located at the same level as the individual 'theme' directories (...\BASE, ...\GEOL10M, etc.).

3. File naming conventions

A complete list and a short description of all of the \CIRCUM\SHP data files supplied on the CD-ROM appears in Appendix A at the bottom of this document. The interactive help for SurView contains detailed descriptions of the .ASX, .BOB, and .FDL file types. The .SHP and .SHX files are Arc/Info proprietary file types: a technical description of .SHP files is available from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).

There are four SurView file types that are used for the Circum-North Pacific files:

4. Types of files

Shape files
Each .SHP file belongs to a 'family' of four files, three of which are for Arc/Info and one of which is specific to SurView:
  1. Primary data files (*.SHP, *.SHX, *.DBF)
    These are binary data files exported from Arc/Info with the arcshape command. These files are directly viewable by ArcView 2 and 3: simply select a .SHP file. The .SHP files contain the projected co-ordinates (easting, northing) of the arcs or polygons, the .SHX file is an index file used by ArcView and the .DBF file contains the data attributes (age, period, rock type, unit, etc.) attached to each arc or polygon in the .SHP file.
  2. Secondary files for SurView (*.ASX)
    SurView does not use the .SHX file for viewing .DBF files. However, each .SHP file does requires a corresponding .ASX file which contains the information that SurView needs to display the .SHP file. The .ASX file is selected in SurView and it in turn points to the corresponding .SHP file. For most .SHP files, the .ASX file also points to a .DBF 'Lookup Table' (LUT) containing the colours used to draw the arcs or polygons. The 'Lookup Table' is also presented in the form of a legend window when the .SHP file is drawn by SurView. All of these *LUT.DBF tables are located in the \CIRCUM\SHP\ZLUT directory and the .ASX files contain relative pathnames to refer to them. The ...\ZLUT files are only used by SurView.
.BOB files
SurView only supports .SHP files containing arcs and polygons. For other data types (point data, text labels), SurView's proprietary .BOB (Binary OBject) files are used. These files contain all of the (x,y) co-ordinates, symbol definitions, and text labels for display.
.FDL files
In addition to the individual .ASX and .BOB files, there are also several .FDL files located in all of the directories in \CIRCUM\SHP. These are simply convenient lists of .ASX and .BOB files which allow the set of files to be selected as a group by SurView. For example, selecting \CIRCUM\SHP\BASE\BASE.FDL is equivalent to selecting the following files:
These files are located in \CIRCUM\SHP\MBELTS (used to link BLTNAM.DBF to the metallogenic belt .SHP files) and \CIRCUM\SHP\DEPOS (used to link PLACERM.DBF and LODEDEP.BOB to their equivalent .DBF 'memo' files).

5. Using SurView with the Circum-North Pacific data files

SURVIEW1.* describes many of the things you can do with SurView in a general fashion. This section refers specifically to the features in the Circum-North Pacific data set.

(a) Displaying the files

Once you have installed SurView properly (see \CIRCUM\DOC\HTML\SURVIEW1.HTM or \CIRCUM\DOC\PC\SURVIEW1.TXT) , so that the File Association is in the Windows registration database, you can use File Manager or Explorer to browse through the \CIRCUM\SHP directory tree. Any .ASX, .BOB, or .FDL file can be 'run' directly by clicking on it.

You can also start up SurView directly from the \CIRCUM\SURVIEW directory and use the File | File Display List menu item to select any combination of files you wish.

For example, you might select ROX10M.ASX, PLACER.ASX, and HYDRO.ASX to draw the geology, placer districts, and drainage for the map area.

Drawing order of layers

Each single file is a 'layer'. You can change the drawing order of each 'layer' or file by dragging and dropping the filenames in the listbox displayed by File | File Display List.


While viewing a collection of files, you may or may not see a legend. For some files, the legends are superfluous and are disabled (i.e. drainage, water mask, etc). Otherwise, you can use the View | Legends menu option to show or hide any of the available legends. Each legend can be resized. The vertical size governs the scaling of the legend elements, while the horizontal size only affects the amount of the legend that is visible. Right click on the legend window to bring up a dialog box which allows you to modify the shape and appearance of the legend.

Selecting a subset of displayable entities

Right click on the legend window (for example if you are viewing ROX10M.ASX, click on the legend window specifically for that file). Click the Select... button and a list of all legend elements will appear, all of which are initially selected. You can select a subset of these entities and close the dialog box, at which point only those selected elements will be drawn. For filled polygons, the outlines of the unselected polygons will be drawn, but without any fill colour. To completely suppress the outlines of the nonselected elements, select the Edit | Display Attributes menu item and select the Line colours, etc. item for the appropriate .ASX file. Check the Fill lookup must succeed option. When the map is redrawn, only the selected elements will be drawn, both in the map view and in the legend window. Explanation: by default, if either the line or fill colour lookup succeeds, the polygon is drawn accordingly. Checking the 'succeed' option ensures that only polygons for which the FILL colour lookup succeeds will be drawn.

Polygon outlines

By default, most polygons are drawn with a black outline and the fill colour is obtained from the lookup table (i.e. POLYLUT.DBF for ROX*.ASX files). However, this black outline can tend to dominate and obliterate the polygon filled interior when viewing a large area. Select the Edit | Display Attributes and menu item and then Line colours, etc. In the dialog box, the line colour can be suppressed by unchecking the Active checkbox. A similar de-activation can be applied to the fill colours (so that just the polygon outlines are drawn).

Disabling a file ('layer') entirely

You do not have to remove a file from the File Display List if you don't want it to be drawn. In the File | File Display List dialog box, any 'layer' or file can be temporarily removed from the drawing list by selecting the file and clicking Hide. Reverse the procedure to enable it later. The listbox displays the hide/show status on the left of the filename.

(b) Querying or 'picking' features

You can query polygons (ROX*.ASX geological regions), polylines (FLT*.ASX faults), and points (LODEDEP.BOB symbols) by 'picking' them with the right mouse button. SurView displays the corresponding record from the associated .DBF file. You must configure the right mouse button to pick lines, polygons, or points from the Pick | Right Mouse Button Pick Mode menu option. If you are having difficulty picking a feature, check the following:

- is the feature 'pickable' (see list below)?

- is the right mouse button in the correct mode (line, polygon, point)?

- is the line or point tolerance set appropriately?

Some files have been deliberately made nonpickable, since there is no worthwhile information attached to the features. Others are pickable:

File type 'Pickable' features?

ROX*.ASX yes

FLT*.ASX yes




BLT*.ASX yes






6. DBF files

Each .SHP file has a corresponding .DBF (dBase IV) file which contains attributes for the arcs and polygons in the .SHP file. In addition, there are several .LUT files (actually dBase IV files) in the \CIRCUM\SHP\ZLUT directory which contain lookup information for drawing colours and lines symbols. These are used to draw the .SHP files in SurView.

7. Cartographic projection

All of the .SHP files contain projected co-ordinates (easting, northing) using the following projection:

Circumpolar Map projection parameters
Parameter Value
Type Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection
Units metres
Spheroid Clarke, 1866
Projection origin 175 00 00 W (central meridian)
70 00 00 N
False origin (easting, northing)=(0, 0)
Radius 6370997 m

This information is NOT stored in the .<SHP SHX DBF> files produced by Arc/Info, so you may need the above information if you are viewing the .SHP files with ArcView. SurView also requires this information and it is provided to SurView via the Projection= entry in the *.ASX files.

The projection information is stored in the LODEDEP.BOB file (lode deposit symbols).

The 'Smart Cursor' (menu item Options | Smart Cursor) displays projected (easting, northing) co-ordinates for the above projection, but can also display (longitude, latitude) in several different formats, equivalent UTM zone, and National Topographic System (NTS) map sheet numbers.

Appendix A: List of SurView and \CIRCUM\SHP files on CD-ROM

The following SurView files and data files are provided on the CD-ROM. All of the data files are located in the \CIRCUM\SHP directory tree on the CD-ROM.

Documentation (\CIRCUM\DOC\HTML (or ...\PC))

surview1.* (SurView installation and general instructions)
surview2.* (this file)


surview.exe (Windows executable)
surview.hlp (interactive help file)
licence.txt SurView licence
...\SYSTEM\ctl3dv2.dll (3D control module for Windows 3.x, NT 3.5x)

Data files:


HYDRO.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> rivers and shoreline
LATLON.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> latitude/longitude grid
POLIT.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> political boundaries
W_MASK.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> water mask
BASE.FDL contains <border, hydro, latlon, polit> asx


LODEDEP.<BOB DBF> lode deposits
PLACER.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> placer districts
PLACER<TY CO>.ASX two different views of PLACER.SHP
DEPOS.FDL contains placer.asx and lodep.bob
ZFILES.DBF and ZLINKS.DBF links PLACER and LODEDEP with 'memo' files PLACERM.<DBF DBT> and LODEDEPM.<DBF DBT> respectively


GEOLOFF.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> offshore geology
ROX10M.<SHP SHX DBF> geology
ROX10M.<TE ER PE EP UN> five different views of ROX10M.SHP
GEOL10M.FDL contains <rox10mte, ..\base\w_mask, geoloff, flt10m> asx


ROX5M.<TE ER PE EP UN> five different views of ROX5M.SHP
GEOL5M.FDL contains <rox5mte, ..\base\w_mask, flt5m> asx


*BLT.<SHP SHX DBF ASX> metallogenic belts
BLTNAM.DBF metallogenic belts data
MBELTS.FDL contains <bltpr1, bltpr2, bltpr3, bltacc, bltpos> asx


Colour/Style Lookup Tables for SurView (\CIRCUM\SHP\ZLUT)

BASE.LUT base linework (used by <border, hydro, latlon, polit>.asx)
FLT.LUT fault linework (used by <flt10m, flt5m> .asx)
GEOLOFF.LUT offshore geology linework (used by geoloff.asx)
PLACER.LUT placer district areas (used by <placer, placerco, placerty> .asx)
MBELTS.LUT metallogenic belts areas (used by <bltpr1, bltpr2, bltpr3, bltacc, bltpos> .asx
ROX.LUT geological areas (used by <rox10m, rox5m><.., te, er, pe, ep, un>.asx)

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