Countfire’s matching algorithm works by recognising similar looking symbols, however, symbols that are actually the same can sometimes be drawn quite differently (from the software’s perspective).
Some examples of this are:
- Symbols that are rotated / on a different angle (unless they look the same when rotated, and you hold the shift key when selecting them—more here)
- Symbols that use very different line widths.
- Symbols that have different colours.
- Symbols that look the same, but are made up of a very different number of elements.
Countfire’s matching algorithm
To increase automatic counting, Countfire’s matching algorithm is necessarily fuzzy, however, this also needs to be balanced with reducing false positives.
Because of this need for balance, the software generally won’t automatically count symbols that fall into the above examples.
Make multiple selections
However, the software has been designed to handle each of these scenarios, and in every case, it’s just a case of making a selection to give the software more information to work with.
In the clip above, you can see one kind of Type EM symbol is rotated vertically and another kind is rotated horizontally.
An initial selection is made of the vertically orientated Type EM symbol, and Countfire automatically counts all the Type EM symbols that look the same.
It doesn’t, however, count the horizontally orientated Type EM symbols, because, from the software’s perspective, they’re different enough to be classed as different symbols (for now).
Then, a second selection is made of the horizontally orientated Type EM symbols, which are then also automatically counted.
You can also see two selections listed below the Type EM symbol description:
However, by holding down the shift key whilst making a selection, this tells Countfire to look for 90 degree rotations of that symbol automatically. Therefore, we can count the above 10 symbols with one selection.
Building up a library of selections
Making additional selections, provided you are making good use of the keyboard shortcuts, should be a very quick operation to carry out.
And provided those selections are clean, you’ll need an average of about 4-5 selections per symbol description to complete the project.
The goal is to build up a library of selections which cover all the different permutations of symbols on your project and gives Countfire enough information to automatically count them all.
I’m having to make a large number of selections, is that right?
There are a few reasons why you might find you’re having to make a lot of selections:
- Your selections aren’t clean, meaning automatic counting is less efficient (learn about ensuring your selections are clean).
- Your drawings have very complex and unique selections (learn about simplifying complex selections).
- Your building is circular, or at many different angles, resulting in an increased number of rotated symbols.
How to: Save your progress.