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Package description review for CycloGraph


I'm packaging CycloGraph for debian and I'd appreciate if some native
english speaker reviews my package description.
I also attached a draft of the user manual, whose first part might be
useful if some more information is needed.
Of course I'm available if something is not clear.

Federico Brega
CycloGraph User Manual

Federico Brega, Pierluigi Villani

1 Introduction

CycloGraph is an application born to let the cyclists visualize 
their routes and see how difficult they are.

It is important to stress out that plotting the elevation of a 
path can be interesting also in other sports: i.e. running, 
hiking or even skiing.

The goal of the application is to show the altitude and the slope 
along the route. The plot shall also be as elegant as possible. 
Many other softwares show a simple plot of the altitude but the 
graphics is essential although some of them implements other 
functionalities. CycloGraph aims to be great to produce 
graphically appealing images to be shown on web pages, journals 
or to document the stages of a race.

1.1 Features

  Manual insertion

The purpose of the application is to draw a graph; to do this a 
source of informations is needed. The application can be feed 
manually, which is very straightforward but soon becomes tiring 
because the user insert every single information which he 
previously wrote down when he did the trip.

  GPS tracks

GPS devices are very common nowadays, their problem is the very 
high rate of recording. CycloGraph allows to import a track 
recorded and stored in gpx (GPs eXchange format). If your GPS 
device produces files in another format you may use Gps Babel (www.gpsbabel.org
) to convert it to gpx. Note that GPS tracks are usually not 
enough to produce an high quality plot because they contains a 
lot of points, but only a few really add some information to the 
plot. CicloGraph tries to import a reasonable number of points, 
but the best results can be achieved by importing more points 
than needed and then manually deleting the ones that are not 
relevant. You may want to edit some point adding a name as well.

  Files produced by other applications

Interoperability is important and CycloGraph permits to open 
files saved by other applications.Supported formats are:

• GPS eXchange Format(.gpx)

• Keyhole Markup Language (.kml)

• Salitaker (.sal)

• Training Center xml (.tcx)

• Ciclotour (.crp)

• Ciclomaniac (.xml and .txt)

  Kml and draw on map

Importing a slope from a kml file is a unique feature. This is a 
complex process because a kml file doesn't contain the altitudes 
so they are downloaded from an Internet service. Many services 
can be chosen, each one has different performances in therm of 
resolution and and download speed.

Google Earth (earth.google.com) let you create a route and save 
it in kml.

CycloGraph embedds a tool to create a kml file by drawing a 
polyline on a map (Open Street Map or Google Maps). The same tool 
can also interface to Google Maps' directions.

Note that this tool permits you to visualize how hard a slope is 
even if you have never been there. This is very useful in 
planning trip. Please note that using an automatic tool might 
lead to misleading results i.e. if two consecutive point are too 
distant the can miss a peak between them. On the other hand if 
they are too close the slope may be very inaccurate due to the 
resolution of the altitude data.

2 Basic usage

2.1 Start the application

CycloGraph has many interfaces either graphical or command line. 
If you are a Windows user you're probably interested in the Qt 4 
interface, because it is the only one which we support in the 
package for your platform.

Note that all graphical interfaces have the same functionalities, 
the only difference is in some minor aesthetic detail. This is 
relevant if you are a Linux user since only Qt interface is 
officially supported on Windows and unofficially supported on Mac 
OS X. 

The same interface (i.e. Qt 4) looks different when used on 
different platforms so don't be confused if the screenshots look 
a bit different from what you see on your screen.

  Qt 4

The Qt interface uses the Qt4 framework to provide the graphic 
user interface. While for Windows packages Qt is the only 
interface available, for GNU/Linux there is also the GTK+ 


The GTK+ interface has two versions, the first one uses the GTK+ 
2.0 toolkit while the other one uses GTK+ 3.0 .

  Command Line

This interface allow to run the application in a console, without 
the need of a graphical server. This is considered for experts 
not because it is hard to use but usually only “experts” use the 
command line.

2.2 Editing and empty file

You can start creating a new slope by selecting the first element 
of the toolbar, alternatively selecting the element “New” on the 
File menu. You can add check-points selecting the “add 
check-point” on the toolbar or by pressing “+” from the keyboard. 
To modify one point select this on the list and than on the “
modify check-point” on the toolbar. You can also delete one or 
more points by selecting them on the list and then press “delete 
check-point” or “-”.

2.3 Show the plot

To show the plot after you have created or loaded one slope, you 
have to press the “plot your slope” button in the toolbar. A new 
plot window will pop up showing the desired graph, drawn 
according to the settings on the Options>Preferences menu. If you 
want to change these settings you can use the menu of the plot 
window, these changes only affects the current plot window while 
the preferences settings are applied at the opening of every plot 

2.3.1 Save the plot as Image

You can save the image as seen on the new window to a file.

Many file formats are supported but the most common are:

• svg: It is a vectorial format, which means that can be zoomed 
  without any artifact.

• bmp: It is a raster format which means that changing the zoom 
  level of the file will affect the quality of the image. No 
  compression is used so the format is simple but the size is 

• png: It is a raster format with loose-less compression which 
  means that the quality is not affected by the compression 

• jpeg: It is a raster format that degrades the quality with the 
  level of compression, bu can achieve very small files.

3 Advanced Usage

4 Expert Usage

4.1 Command Line

The command line interface exposes a subset of the features of 
the graphical interface. Many of them are not accessible because 
the console is not suitable for this use case i.e. drawing a path 
on map.

Editing is not possible but more appropriate tools can be used 
instead, see Subsection [sub:Editing-csv].

When CycloGraph is invoked without any option the application 
will guess a suitable graphical interface.

A specific graphical interface can be selected by means of an 

The complete and updated list of supported flags can be shown 
using the “--help” option.

If no graphical interface is selected but a file is opened (using 
“--file=filename”) the application will run from commandline. 
This means that the slope will be plotted and printed in svg 
format in the standard output. If you want to save it you can 
simply use the output redirection operator of your shell (usually 

4.2 Editing the CycloGraph csv file<sub:Editing-csv>

Cyclograph csv files use ";" delimiter for fields in the same 

# line 1: slope informations, 6 fields 

1. csv version 

2. slope name

3. slope state 

4. author

5. author's e-mail 


# line 2,..,n: check points, 3 fields

1. distance 

2. altitude 

3. check point name

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