Problems using Wacom graphics tablet / stylus when placing points

In GPlates, graphics tablets don’t seem to work so well. I am using a Wacom Intuos CTL-4100WL myself. I have to often click several times with my stylus for the points to appear, like 2-3 times. I think I found out that the problem is that when holding a stylus, it moves a lot more around than if I used, say, a mouse, and GPlates don’t want to put down points if you left click while moving the cursor around too much. Tested with the mouse, and there’s the same problem there when moving the mouse too much. It’s very problematic for me, as I prefer the movement freedom of a graphics tablet/stylus more than a mouse. Does anyone know of a solution to this problem other than switching to a mouse?

Hi Lukas,

Unfortunately I don’t know of a current workaround.

In the longer term we will allow the user to configure the pixel distance threshold that determines when dragging occurs (versus clicking). Currently it’s only a few pixels, so if the mouse moves more than this between the mouse press and mouse release then GPlates will consider it a mouse drag. But for this (ie, your tablet stylus shakiness) and other reasons we should make this configurable.

Also related to this is the pixel distance that determines how close you have to be to a geometry on the globe when you click to actually select/focus it. That should also be configurable. A further side note on this is that these pixel distances should be independent of whether you’re using a high DPI display or not (eg, having an Apple Retina display should not make it harder to click on a geometry compared to a pre-Retina display just because it has many more device pixels in the same physical screen area).

Hi Lukas,

I’d say that GPlates is not really made for massive digitising tasks like you are describing (although the Digitising tool in GPlates is actually really efficient to use, I wish the GIS people would adopt it :wink: ).

Without knowing whether you use real world data, I’d recommend working in a GIS (QGIS or ArcGIS) which can deal pretty well with Wacom tablets (have done that myself a few years back). You can then load the data (either as SHP or Geopackage or GeoJSON) file in GPlates.

When using QGIS you can save the file in QGIS (committing your edits) and simply reload the same file in GPlates via the “manage features” dialogue (the reload button) - should work on MacOS and Windows. ArcGIS (Win only) does file locking so, it will get a bit of a hissy fit when you do the same thing there.

Based on my experience, this workflow makes it relatively efficient to digitise or edit vast amounts/high resolution geospatial data.