This week we released version 8.14, or “GeoStudio 2012, December 2014 Release”.
We’re aiming to continue to provide useful improvements in every release to customers with annual maintenance. If your license includes maintenance through December 2014, then you can immediately upgrade to this release.
Take a look at the release notes for the full list of changes. I want to highlight a few here that I personally find particularly interesting.
SLOPE/W Root Finder
A new “Root Finder” algorithm can be selected in KeyIn Analyses – Advanced – Search Method. The search method available in version 8.13 and older was a linear technique that calculated the factor of safety values at several lambdas and then searched for a cross-over point.
The new root finding strategy forecasts the required percentage of the inter-slice force function (lambda) based on previous estimates using a non-linear function. This non-linear prediction can sometimes reduce the number of iterations required to find the converged lambda.
You can see in the “Factor of Safety vs. Lambda” graph how the algorithm narrowed in on a solution and found where moment and force are within the tolerance that was set. (I’ve highlighted the points to make them easier to see.)
The Preview of the next major release of GeoStudio has seen a number of changes.
It now handles AIR/W and CTRAN/W analyses (which are now first-class citizens, no longer needing to be connected to a SEEP/W analysis).
Particle tracking is no longer a feature exclusive to CTRAN/W: you can now track particles in any analysis that contains data about air flow or water flow.
And much more, which you can read about in the GeoStudio Preview overview.
User Interface Improvements
Workflow – Dialogs that Stay Open
In the past, any time you switched between analyses, or went from Define view to Results view, any dialog you had open would close.
That can be tedious when you are trying to compare results between several analyses: you go into Draw Graph, look at some numbers, switch to another analysis, click Draw – Graph and select the graph again, switch back and start all over.
Likewise if you want to assign a new material across several staged analyses for example, you go Draw Materials, click on a region, switch to a child analysis, click Draw – Materials again, select the material from the list, click the region, switch to the next analysis, and start over.
Now many such dialogs will stay open as you change analyses. Draw Materials, click a region, change analyses, click a region, change analyses…
We weren’t able to do that for all dialogs yet, but we’ve picked the ones we felt would most benefit. If we missed one that you feel would benefit from this as well, do let us know.
We’ve continued to make improvements around importing DXF files. Many situations where in the past you would have to go back to AutoCAD or whatever application created the DXF, and make additional changes in order for it to be imported into GeoStudio, now those cases will import correctly.
When a DXF contains a cross-section that is not on the Z=0 plane, it used to come into GeoStudio “squished” (possibly squished right down to a line if we were looking at its edge), as GeoStudio would ignore the Z component. Now GeoStudio will figure out the normal vector and rotate it before importing.
When a DXF is oriented in a “side-view” projection in AutoCAD instead of a “top-view”, or it was created by an application that orients cross-sections vertically, previous versions of GeoStudio would ignore the Z values, and the imported cross-section would appear as a single line of points. This line was essentially the top edge of the cross section.
You could fix that in the past by opening the file in AutoCAD, rotating it, then re-importing. But that’s not always an easy thing to do. Now GeoStudio will align itself so it’s looking at the cross-section “face on” regardless of its 3D azimuth. Here’s the same DXF imported in the December 2014 Release (with material colours added for clarity):
When importing a DXF as regions, in the past, GeoStudio would only import closed polylines. I know that was a frustration to many people because it’s not always obvious in AutoCAD which polylines are marked as closed, and some applications don’t even have a way of controlling that property. Now GeoStudio will include polylines where the first and last points are identical. It also supports HATCH elements.
When you choose a DXF to import (either as regions or as a Sketch Picture), you’re faced with a somewhat daunting dialog box giving you options for adjusting the origin and scale to better fit the extents of the DXF. It isn’t always clear what the effects of your choices will be.
We’ve added an Apply button so you can now experiment. Check both boxes, hit Apply, and look at what it does to your page. If you don’t like the result, edit one of the numbers and hit Apply again. When you’re happy with it, you can close the dialog.
A lot of effort was put into making GeoStudio “snappier”, especially when working with larger files (with a large number of analyses, lots of small regions, large meshes, etc.). You should notice it taking less time to open files, for example. When you click the Solve button, it should start solving much more quickly. Switching from one analysis to another should be faster.
The screen should update more quickly as well. That will be especially noticeable when you’re scrolling, zooming, or working over a remote desktop session.
Français and español join 中文(简体)
We’ve expanded the number of languages supported by GeoStudio. GeoStudio 2007 introduced a Chinese version (thanks to our friends in China, CnTech). And a couple of years ago we added Spanish to (parts of) GeoStudio 2012.
We have now completed the Spanish translation to include nearly everything in the software–only online help and the engineering manuals remain in English–and we automatically run in Spanish if your operating system’s language is Spanish.
We also added a brand new French translation, which will be used automatically if your OS is French.
We would love to hear some feedback about these translations. Are they helpful? Are they useless without also translating the online help, the engineering methodology books, our web site, or providing support in those languages as well? Should we target additional languages?
I’m looking forward to seeing how much these languages get adopted.