updated: 21-Sep-2010

 Copan for Windows

Getting Started

  1. Some Conventions
  2. Installing or Uninstalling Copan
  3. Program Settings
  1. CoordFile Functions
  2. Survey Calculations
  3. Bugs, Crashes and Improvements

Copan is a powerful tool for land surveyors and civil engineers who do field and office calculations with plane coordinates and survey measurements. To use Copan, you must be familiar with basic Windows operations and with basic geomatics (or surveying engineering) concepts.

1. Some Conventions

This Manual

The Software

2. Installing or Uninstalling Copan

If the software is not there already, see § Installing or Updating on how to install or update Copan on your computer.

Had enough already? See § Uninstalling on how to remove Copan.

3. Program Settings

There are various general settings you can make which control program behavior, such as the name and address of your compay, the the precision of listed or displayed distances and coordinates, or the tolerances for acceptable traverse closures. See § Program Settings on the various ways to customize Copan for your preference.

The most important program setting to make after installation may be to the Angle Units and Bearings (or azimuth) type. The default Angle Units setting is Degrees Minutes Seconds, but you may choose Gons (Grads) instead. By default, Whole-circle bearings are North-based, but you may choose South-based instead. Also you choose to List/display bearings in Whole-circle form, by default, or in Quadrant form instead.

4. CoordFile Functions

The Copan package includes a number of different files — some are essential and others are supplemental to using Copan. See § File Locations on the various files that make up the Copan package and how to change their locations.

Virtually everything in Copan involves a coordinate file, or coordfile for short. Even if you'd like only to process coordinates from another program, you must first create a new coordfile and then import them. Until a coordfile with points is open, most CoordFile menu items are grayed out.

A coordfile contains a single head record and a set of survey point records. See § Coordinate Files on how to do basic coordinate file management and § Point Records on the nature and management of point records.

See § Point Lists on listing points, § Bulk Point Editing on mass editing point attributes, § Import and Export on importing and exporting points from/to text files, and § Export to Total Station File on exporting points to survey instrument files.

See § Viewing and Printing Graphics on how to graphically navigate a displayed coordinate file, how to specify paper units, and how to print graphics to scale.

5. Survey Calculations

Copan provides many geomatic data processing functions:

See § COGO Calculations on how to do basic coordinate geometry — direct and inverse calculations, various kinds of intersection calculations, and corner angle calculations — using identified points, bearings, and horizontal distances and offsets.

See § Multiple Inverse Calculations on how to calculate bearings and horizontal distances, or distances and offsets, to many points from a single point.

For processing raw field survey data,

For processing reduced survey data, even those describing curved boundaries or alignments,

See § Coordinate Transformations on how to mathematically transform many points based on known rotation, scale and shift parameters, or on how to calculate the best-fit transformation between one set of points and another.

Remember that for most Calculation menu items to be enabled, a coordfile with points must be open. An exception is Map Check, which is only enabled when no coordfile is open.

6. Bugs, Crashes and Improvements

Copan is a work in progress and you may encounter some problems. Please be patient. See § Bugs and Other Problems regarding bugs, crashes, and error messages.

We are continuously trying to improve Copan: increasing its functionality, making it easier to use, or making it more stable.

Let us know what improvements you suggest. support@underhill.ca. Please note the software version and release date (see § Software Version) in all communications.

updated: 21-Sep-2010