Optioneer returns a lot of useful data to the user. There are many types of data that Optioneer produces; the data has different uses and various optimal visualisation methods. This article covers the main types of data that users can analyse in Optioneer as well as currently supported export formats.

Option centerline

Each option is fundamentally a line on the map. The line is composed of many points that are spaced at approximately 30m and connected together. Each point of the line has three fundamental parameters:

  • latitude

  • longitude

  • altitude defined with respect to ground level at the point

The points that make up the line are an important building-block of Optioneer. A lot of other data is defined on a per-point basis. Discrete items (crossings, chambers etc.) are tied to specific point location along the line - the 'index' of a point. On-hover tooltips on the Vertical Profile Chart and on the map are acting on points - this is why the functionality might appear 'jumpy' when you examine the option in detail.

Option metrics

Option metrics are values that describe high-level, aggregated metrics of an option.

Examples of option metrics:

  • lengths: option length, lengths of paths through different constraints (aggregated) etc.

  • cost components: individual CAPEX constituents, OPEX constituents etc.

  • technical parameters like total volume of excavation, number of chambers or towers required etc.

  • penalty scores: environmental, technical, constructability etc.

  • numbers of: features within catchment (by type), crossings (by type), chambers (by type), land parcels crossed etc.

You can use option metrics to:

  • compare options to one another (Analysis -> Option Comparison)

    • visualise on a spider chart (see below)

    • show option metrics in a table

  • analyse an option in detail to evaluate its feasibility (Analysis -> Option Analysis)

    • select option metrics of interest in edit space (on the right hand side)

Discrete items

Discrete items are objects related to an option that are found at a specific point along the centerline. Discrete items are denoted with icons on the map and the Vertical Profile Chart.

Examples of discrete items:

  • crossings of existing linear infrastructure - roads, railways, rivers, utilities (disaggregated by type) etc.

  • chambers - air valves, washouts, joint bays etc.

  • towers (for overhead lines)

You can use discrete items to:

  • quickly locate important objects influencing the option

    • on the map

    • on the Vertical Profile Chart

  • identify potential risks and challenges

Screenshot below shows how discrete items are displayed both on the map and on the vertical chart. Right-hand side shows option metrics which provide a summary of 'totals' for numbers of discrete items.

Per-point quantities

Per-point quantities include data which is present 'along the route', at every point of option centerline.

Examples of per-point quantities:

  • option geometry parameters per-point: gradient, curvature, depth/height

  • quantity offtake per-point: volumes, costs

  • penalty / costs

  • layers that the option goes through

    • covers penalty / cost layers - both technical and environmental

    • soils / sediments

  • engineering parameters e.g. pressure

  • distance-to-nearest GIS feature at every point

You can use per-point quantities to:

  • create long-section graphs showing quantities along the chainage

  • identify areas of high-risk

  • get automated results for various calculations

Example with penalties:

Example (focused on Vertical Profile Chart only) with depth of cover:


Heatmaps provide a map plot which visualises clustering of solutions considered by Optioneer.

Intensity of the colour indicates how many options were considered in a given area. More intense red indicates areas where a lot of options were considered. This gives an indication of the most feasible corridors.

There is no units associated with heatmaps or a specific quantity they indicate - instead, they give an insight into the process that happens 'inside' of Optioneer.

You can use heatmaps to:

  • build rapid understanding of the entire 'solution space'

  • identify suitable corridors and alternatives

  • build confidence that options suggested by Optioneer are in fact the best

If the heatmap associated with a case shows a single solid trunk without any alternatives, it is likely that there is in fact one dominant corridor. This often happens for short and/or simple cases where there aren't many alternatives. There might be 'local' diversions or alternatives. See example below:

If the heatmap shows a number of 'trunks', it is likely that there are multiple corridors worth considering. See example below:


Optioneer currently supports the following types of exports:

  • Basic JSON

    • contains all the data associated with an option

    • not a very human-readable format but great for taking results out of Optioneer to other software

    • not a .geojson, will not open in GIS software

  • GeoJSON with Metrics

    • contains a drag-and-drop .geojson which can be open in GIS software

    • contains option metrics

  • Excel with Quantities

    • .xlsx file which can be open in Excel

    • provides all per-point quantities, for every single point along the route

    • you can recreate Optioneer charts with this data

  • Excel with Discrete Items

    • .xlsx file which can be open in Excel

    • provides all per-point quantities at points where discrete items are located (crossings, chambers etc.)

    • useful in reports

  • Excel with Option Metrics

    • .xlsx file which can be open in Excel

    • simple table with values normally found in spider chart / analysis tables

The list will be expanded in the future.

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