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I don't know of any dictionaries. Your best source may be URISA or another
group involved with digital cartography. I base my opinion on how to spell
linestring on what I know about CAD and the GIS (geographic information
systems) industry, what I've learned about how language evolves, and how I
I don't like Linestring because the word is not a proper noun.
I favor linestring, because the need to distinguish between a line and a
linestring has existed over a decade, long enough to merge line and string
Linestring is NOT a concept exclusive to MicroStation. The concept of a
linestring has been around for over ten years in the GIS and digital mapping
worlds. A little bit less in the CAD world , but not significantly less. In
1987, when comparing the vector databases of AutoCAD and GRASS ( a GIS
program), I encountered linestrings. While GRASS had linestrings, the
closest graphic primitive AutoCAD had at the time was plines. The GRASS
group spelled it linestring. The concept of linestring is critical to areal
analysis and GIS. It is not as critical for CAD. AutoCAD didn't have them
in its early days.
10 years is long enough for linestring to become one word, among those
familiar with the concept and why the distinction between line and
linestring is desirable and necessary.
I will probably be pinged for not punctuating this correctly and for using
an out-of-date version, but here goes:
Chicago 13th ed. page 163:
6.30 General principles. For some years now, the trend in spelling
compound words has been far away from the use of hyphens; that is,
there seems to be a tendency to spell compounds solid as soon as acceptance
warrants their being considered permanent compounds, and otherwise
to spell them open. It should be emphasized that this is a trend, not
a rule, but it is sometimes helpful, when deciding how to spell some new
combination, to remember that the trend exists.
As for following MicroStation as an example, I also refer to them for
specific MicroStation conventions, but I would not blindly follow them. They
are still hyphenating subdirectory, spelling it sub-directory even though
the current American Heritage dictionary, available to any aspiring college
student, spells it subdirectory.
PS. As a former landscape architect/GIS person and amateur geographer, I'm
interested in your products and what you do. Please send me some info to
jgreene104 -at- aol -dot- com (home).
At 03:29 PM 5/15/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I was wondering if anyone had a good source for drafting or other
>specialized dictionaries. The other day, we all (me and a building full of
>CAD operators and cartographers) could not agree on some specific terms.
>For example: The word 'linestring' is spelled three ways in our current
>manual - line string, linestring and Linestring. We use MicroStation a
>lot, so I checked their manual and help. They use line string in the book,
>but in the program, their tool tip help calls them linestrings. Couldn't
>find the word in Websters, so I figured a 'technical' dictionary would
>Does such a beast exist? Covering CAD? Programming? Or are all these topics
>Ginna Watts - Technical Writer
>Pacific International Mapping Corp.
>gwatts -at- pim -dot- bc -dot- ca
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