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Help Center Blog

USER GUIDE: WhiteStar Metes and Bounds Add-In for ArcGis Pro

WhiteStar


QuickStart

Setup

Install the Add-in

Download the Add-in from the WhiteStar website. Double-click on your local copy to install the Add-In on ArcGIS Pro.

QuickStart_1.png

Sign-In to WhiteStar Cloud

Launch ArcGIS Pro and click on the Metes and Bounds Add-In tab.
Click the Sign In button and enter your email address and password.

Create a New Project

Click the Start button in the QuickStart group to create a new Metes and Bound Project.

Load a Deed

Select a deed file from your computer. PDF, Image files and Text files are supported. The Add-In will recognize the words in the deed, analyze them to identify parameter phrases and display them in the Deed View control.

QuickStart_2.png

Set the Commencement Origin

Commencement origin is set in the settings panel. You can set the commencement origin by entering a legal land description and using WhiteStar Legal Mapper or manually by clicking on a point on the map or by entering X and Y the coordinates.

Add Segments

  • Click on the Segments Tab to view the segments panel. Select Commencement from the direction combo box. To add the first segment, click the plus button below the segments data grid.

  • This will enable the Curve Editor Control and highlight phrases found
    in the deed. Available parameter phrases and used ones will be highlighted in the deed viewer.

  • Select the curve type for the first segment.
    Add parameters from the deed (or manually).

  • Click save to add the segment to the project. The new segment will appear in the segment data grid.

  • Repeat this process for the remaining commencement segments (if any), segments defining the plat.

Reverse Workflow (optional)

Select ‘Back’ from the segment direction combo box. Navigate to the last set of parameter descriptions in the deed (i.e. before returning to the point of beginning). Add a segment as above. When the segment is saved, switch to view All and click on the backward segment in the segment grid view. The reverse segment will be highlighted on the active map, connected to the point of beginning.

Save the Project

Click on the Save button to sync your project to the WhiteStar Cloud. On the first save, you will need to change your project a name (from ‘Untitled Metes and Bounds Project’) before you can save it. You can change the project name at any time prior to saving.

Legal Mapper Web Application

Click on the Metes and Bounds tab on the WLM web application to see a list of Metes and Bounds projects and to download plats. Projects are organized by cloud user email and sorted by last modified date. (link: https://metesandbounds.whitestar.com/projects )


Overview: Workflow and Definitions

The WhiteStar Metes and Bounds Add-In creates polygon geometry by locating a point of commencement and extracting segment geometry described in deeds. Projects are created and edited using the Metes and Bounds Add-In for ArcGIS Pro. Results can be downloaded as ESRI File Geodatabase and Shapefile formats.

  1. Load a deed

    A Metes and Bounds Project will typically begin by loading a deed. The Add-In supports PDF files, image files, and plain text.

  2. Set the commencement origin

    The commencement origin describes the point in the deed from which commencement to the point of beginning starts.

  3. Extract segments

    There are three segment types: commencement segments describe the path from the commencement origin to the point of beginning. Forward and backward segments describe the path from the point of beginning back, around the plat polygon, and back to the point of beginning. Note: the backward segment type is included for convenience only to enable you to work backward from the point of beginning to better resolve any problems that occur in extracting and rendering the deed plat.

  4. Defining segments: parameters, curve types, and units

    Parameters are the direction, angle and/or distance measurements that define each segment.

  5. Closing the plat

    A plat is closed when the plat segments meet back at the point of beginning, or if backward segments are used, when the forward segments reach the backward segments. The closure indicator is a guide that shows distance and direction of a line segment that would be needed to close the polygon.

  6. Metes and bounds on the WhiteStar Cloud

    Anyone in your organization with a WhiteStar Cloud account and Metes and Bounds permissions can view your organization’s Metes and Bounds projects and download the resultant plats as ESRI Shapefiles or File Geodatabases. The Metes and Bounds Add-In saves project files to the Cloud and supports local editing when disconnected.


Segment Types

The Add-In supports three segment types: lines, curves, and meanders

Segment-types_1.png

Lines

Line segments are defined by a direction or internal deflection angle and distance.

Curves

Curves are defined as arc segments. Currently, 10 curve types are supported.

Meanders

Meanders are polyline segments that are traced on the active map with an optional offset.

Line Adjustment

The end point of any line segment can be manually adjusted to a point on the map using the end point adjustment tool.

Relative versus absolute position

All line and curve types are relative by default as the start of each segment is the end of the previous segment. Commencement origin is absolute, while the point of beginning is relative. Adjusted end points are absolute. Meanders are absolute, except for the first vertex, which is connected to the end vertex of the previous segment. The absolute position for commencement origin is editable and lines can be adjusted multiple times.


Controls

Controls_1.png

Add-in toolbar

Account:

The sign-in button connects you to the WhiteStar Cloud to load/save Metes and Bounds Projects and to enable LegalMapper to set the commencement origin from a legal land description.

Quickstart:

The Start button will walk you through selecting a deed, optionally defining the commencement origin and launching the segment editor.

Project:

The project group contains buttons for opening and saving projects and displaying the Metes and Bounds dock panel for editing and viewing segments or settings.

Metes and bounds dock panel

Metes and Bounds Dock Panel

Settings panel

The settings panel contains groups of controls for defining project settings including the Project Name and declination, defining and editing commencement origin, and accessing user settings for line and highlight colors and styles.

Segments panel

The segments panel contains all the controls used to extract, view, and edit segments and the corresponding parameters from a deed.

Direction filter combo box

Sets the filter for viewing deed segments in the grid view below. Commencement, forward, and back modes allow adding new segments, ‘All’ allows editing existing segments.

Segments grid view

Displays the parameters and metadata for each segment. Click on a segment to highlight the parameters in the deed and also the line segment(s) in the map view.

Closure indicator

The closure indicator displays the forward line segment that would close the polygon. You can double-click on the closure indicator to add the closure segment to the forward path.

Controls_3.png

Add a segment

Add a segment by right-clicking a segment row in the segments data grid. You’ll be prompted to add a segment before or after the selected one, or to edit or delete it.

Controls_4.png

Shortcuts

Click the [+] button or below the segments data grid to append a new segment to the plat. Or use the Control-A keyboard shortcut.

Controls_5.png

Parameter Sources and Overrides

The Add-In tracks the origin of each parameter and the history of any edits to it. For example, a line that was extracted from a deed may have had it’s parameter values edited from the deed if a number e.g. 17 feet was misinterpreted by the OCR engine as 11 feet. In this case, the modified value would be used and the parameter override would be included as metadata, showing the original values from the deed and the modified value. Similarly, if the line adjust tool was used, the original parameter values for direction and distance would be captured in the overrides column.

Deed viewer

The deed viewer occupies the bottom part of the dock panel. It shows the text extracted from the deed or, optionally, highlights the phrases extracted from the deed overlaid over it. In either mode, selectable, available, and used parameters are highlighted (default is light yellow for current/available and grey for used). Deed highlight colors can be set in color/line settings.

Deed viewer settings

The menu at the top of the deed viewer panel contains buttons to navigate to the previous and next page of the deed, a checkbox to switch between text and overlay modes, and controls for adjusting the font, font size and zoom level.

Text mode

In text mode, words in the deed are wrapped in the viewer and whitespace is only displayed between sections.

Overlay mode

In overlay mode, the original deed image is highlighted. By default, highlights are rectangular, semi-transparent blocks but text and switched on/off and opacity can be changed from 1-100% in settings.

Selecting a parameter

Click on a parameter in the deed to add it to a segment currently being added or edited. This will populate the first parameter of its type (i.e. distance or direction) in the segment editor. If multiple parameters of the same type define the curve type, click the input box for subsequent parameters to populate them.

Phrase interception and editing

When you click on a highlighted phrase in the deed viewer, the phrase interception control will display above the deed viewer. The parameter value will populate the segment parameter with the value if it is immediately recognized. If there is a problem with how the text was interpreted, you can edit the inbound text:

Controls_6.png
  • Click on the parameter in the deed

  • Edit the text for the parameter in the input box to the left

  • If the parameter is interpreted as valid, click Apply to push it to the segment parameter panel

Adding a missing parameter

You can manually input a parameter in any of the parameter value input boxes by typing it in to the input box. In this case, the parameter value is treated as an override.
Alternatively, you can select a rectangle around deed text in overlay mode and add the phrase to the set for the deed. Note, parameter interception works the same for phrases added manually.

Parameter units

Parameter units are displayed next to the parameter values for distance paramters. The add-in attempts to populate the units from the recognized text and parameter units can be changed and converted using the combo box to the right of the parameter input boxes.

Controls_7.jpg

Segment parameter panel

Segment parameters are set and edited in the panel on the upper right. The segment panel has a combo box for setting the line or curve type, and input controls for setting and editing parameters.

Line adjust tool

Click on the end-point adjust tool then select a point on the map. Repeat as necessary. Changes are applied when the segment is saved.

Meander tool

Select the meander type in the segment parameter editor to enable the meander tool.

Controls_8.png

Trace mode

The meander tool traces geometry present in the active map (trace mode can be deactivated in settings).

Trace offset

The offset input box allows you to specify an offset distance. Positive offsets are outside concave and above or right of straight segments.

Working offline

All project files are stored locally and then synced to the cloud. If you are unable to connect to the internet or to the WhiteStar Cloud, your local project will still be saved, loaded and editable. You can load a local project by clicking the Open button and clicking on the local projects button. When you are able to sign in to the cloud, Save the project as usual to sync it.