Selecting Units and Assigning Zones

Units can be selected from the drop down menu in the upper left corner of the Editor. The list of Units is composed of all string and integer (discrete value) attributes that are present in the Block Table. These units can be used to group Blocks into larger spatial units such as Watersheds, or protected areas. All blocks that are a member of that particular spatial unit will be assigned the Eligibility status designated for the group when the changes are "Applied".

Although an 'unmanaged' Block may be assigned a particular 'Eligibility' status in the column of the Block Table, the acutal availability of the unmanaged will never change. 'Unmanaged' Blocks are always unavailable since no treatment will ever be scheduled.

Using the Units to group Blocks into larger categories is one of the most useful aspects of the Timing Constraint Editor. In the illustrative example above the dataset was amalgamated to 6 Units, which applied changes to over 30 000 Blocks. Amazingly, Units can be further amalgamated into Zones so that a number of Units will share the same characteristics and can be adjusted as a single entity.

Zones can be user defined, or if no Zone is assigned the default will be the unique Unit value. In the original example two Zones were assigned in the Constraint Editor: Avail and Unavail. This further reduces the 30 000 Blocks in the Block Table to only 2 categories! MARTEN 1-6 have been assigned Unavail, therefore any constraint changes made to any individual Unit will automatically be made to all other Units in that Zone.

This can be an incredible time (and frustration!) saver. These simple changes in the Constraint Editor can now be 'Applied' to 30 000 individual Blocks with one click. Different timing constraint tables can be quickly created to represent different managment options and substituted into the model. Fine tuned adjustments can always be made to the individual Blocks in the Block Table.

In Figure 62, “The Timing Constraint Editor”, the WATERSHED data columns was chosen from the units menu as the classification variable grouping. All blocks that are members of similar watersheds can be adjusted at once. To further group similar units, each unit can be assigned a Zone. In the above example each watershed was assigned to either: High, Med or Low. This has now reduced the 30 000 individual blocks in this dataset to a classification based on 3 Zones! By applying a constraint to any one of the 3 Zones, all units with the same zone will recieve the same constraint.

To assign zones, double click in the zone column beside the desired unit, and type in the zone name that you would like to use.

Figure 64. Grouping Blocks into Zones


You must click on the Apply button to register any changes in the Timing Constraint Editor. Units, Zones and Eligibility can be viewed in the last 3 columns of the block table in the Table Viewer.

The following example will walk you through the steps of using the Scheduling Constraint Editor on the sample data set to change the eligibility of blocks using zones.

  1. Open the Scheduling Constraint Editor by selecting Tools > Open Access Table.

  2. Select WATERSHED from the Units column drop down menu. The values in the Units and Zone columns will now show each watershed name in the sample data set.

  3. Create a zone entitled 'High'. To do this double click in the first cell in the zone column. This will allow you to type the name of your zone (High). Move down the list and assign the 'High' zone to three more watersheds.

  4. To change the scheduling availability of the blocks in these zones select the red 'scheduling mode' button in the upper right hand corner. The green cells to the right represent each planning period. Click with the mouse in the first planning period cell for our 'High' zone. Notice how all the watersheds that we have assigned the zone 'High' to change at once.

    Change the first 5 planning periods to red for the 'High' zone, to indicate they are untreated and unavailable to the scheduler.

  5. Click Apply. A progress bar will appear as all the appropriate blocks in the data set have their status changed.

  6. To view our changes select the 'Seral Stage' layer in the Patchworks legend panel and then select the 'Show Table' icon to open the Block Table. Using the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the table scroll to the far right of the table. The last three columns are entitled: Unit, Zone and Eligibility. Move the time slider bar (on the right hand side of the table) up one planning period to 1. Notice then that the values in the Eligibility column change from Available to Unavailable. If you slide past period 5 the status of the blocks returns to Available.

TRY assigning Zones to the timing table using the sample dataset. After Zones have been defined, assign a few restrictions. Notice that every row with the same Zone changes simultaneously, drastically reducing the pointing and clicking to set up different restrictions over the entire planning horizon. When a few restrictions have been assigned click the 'Apply' button and open the Block Table (In the Legend panel of the main Patchworks window select the Block Layer and the 'Show Table' icon from the main tool bar). In the table move to the far right (the last 3 columns). Notice that the Unit, Zone and Eligibility have been applied to each individual Block in the Block Table. Use the slider bar to move forward in time and view the changes in eligibility that you have assigned. 30 000 Blocks assigned eligibility with a few simple mouse clicks!


To undo the changes to the block availability chose 'COMPART' from the 'Units column' again and press 'Apply'. If a blockavail.csv file had been previously saved you could also reload this using the 'Load Table' function. For more information about the Scheduling Constraint Editor see the section called “Adjusting Block Eligibility using the Timing Constraint Editor”. This section includes a discussion of Availability vs. Eligibility, mapping with Eligibility, as well as saving and loading timing constraint tables.