Settings and preferences

GeoData Manager has many settings that you can change to set up GeoData Manager to your liking. This section describes:

Company settings

Read more.

General settings

Graph settings

Map view settings

Miscellaneous settings

General program preferences are stored in the file preferences.ini and you can change some of these preferences directly in the Preferences window: click Tools in the menu bar, then click Preferences:

Make any changes and click OK. For more information about:

Note You can work with the file preferences.ini directly if you want see below.

The settings files

Each user has their own settings files:

In addition, GeoData Manager uses these files internally:


The settings files folder

GeoData Manager stores a user's settings files in a settings folder. A typical path for this folder might be C:\Users(your user name)\AppData\Local\Gradient\GDMan, though the path name will be different for different versions of Windows.

Because that path depends on 'your user name', each user has a different, and private, settings folder. When GeoData Manager is first installed, each user will have the same preferences files. However, as each user works with GeoData Manager and changes preferences and defaults, their preferences files will diverge from other users.

To see the files in the settings folder, click Tools, then My settings, then Open settings folder.

Refreshing units from XML manually

You can manually recreate units.mdb in your settings folder:

Click Tools, then Refresh units from XML.

How settings files are installed and upgraded

First installation

When you install GDM for the very first time (but don't run it) the installation puts information about settings in the GeoData Manager program folder (where it puts the GeoData Manager program). A typical path for this program folder might be C:\Program Files (x86)\Gradient\GDManager4, though the path name will be different for different versions of Windows. When a user runs GeoData Manager for the first time, it creates the user's settings folder and inserts the default settings files:

Settings when upgrading GeoData Manager

When you install an upgraded version of GeoData Manager, the installation might put upgraded information about unit preferences in the GeoData Manager program folder. For example the xml files might have a new unit type. Note that an upgrade to GeoData Manager will not upgrade:

When a user runs an upgraded GeoData Manager for the first time, GeoData Manager will check to see if there is a new version of the units xml file in that folder and if there is, it will upgrade each user's existing units.mdb, leaving existing unit preferences as they are. For example if the unit xml files have a new unit type then GeoData Manager will add this unit type to each user's units.mdb.

There is a special case when you upgrade GeoData Manager and have linked to different Python scripts see here.

If a settings file gets lost

If a user's settings file in their settings folder gets deleted or corrupted, GeoData Manager will automatically reload that file. The user's settings will change back to GeoData Manager's defaults. If you have earlier loaded the file from company settings you must reload it manually.

Company settings: sharing settings with others

You can share settings files with other users; the main use of this is to set up GeoData Manager so it has the same look for each user in the company.

1 - Upload the company settings

A power user or administrator should use GeoData Manager until it is set up the way they want it. Then:

  1. Click Settings, then Company settings. Click the Upload tab.

  2. Browse to find a company folder for GeoData Manager to upload the company settings. The folder should be accessable by to all GeoData Manager users.

  3. Click one or more of the grey Upload buttons in the window to save those settings to the company folder.

2 - Then for each other user

On each users computer, in GeoData Manager:

  1. Click Settings, then Company settings. Click the Download tab.

  2. Browse to find the company folder where you uploaded the company settings above.

  3. Click one or more of the grey Download buttons in the window to get those settings to the company folder.

Note As each user uses GeoData Manager the settings in the settings files will inevitably drift apart slightly. The look and feel will remain the same.

Working with the settings files manually

Click Tools, then click My settings. Then:

Using Preferences.ini directly

You might use preferences.ini directly:

  1. To back up preferences.ini using Windows Explorer.

  2. To change it manually, see below.

Manually changing Preferences.ini

We don't recommend doing this; it is easier and more reliable to just change the setting by using GeoData Manager. But, if you want to:

  1. Use Refresh Preferences.ini File to reorder it into alphabetic order by heading, so it is more comprehensible.

  2. Use Open Settings Folder to find which Windows folder containing Preferences.ini.

  3. Open Preferences.ini with a text editor, make changes to the settings, save it.

  4. Use Reload Preferences.ini File to load the new settings into GeoData Manager.

Managing the Python scripts

Python is a programming language, and GeoData Manager's Python scripts are small programs used by GeoData Manager. Most GeoData Manager users can ignore this section.

Reloading the Python scripts

GeoData Manager automatically loads the Python scripts each time you start GeoData Manager. In addition, you can manually reload the Python scripts while GeoData Manager is running if you have occasion to change a script; this is useful during debugging. To reload the scripts:

Linking to Python scripts in a different folder

By default, GeoData Manager installs the Python scripts into the GeoData Manager program folder and then loads the scripts from there.

If you want to work with the scripts then it is often better to put the scripts into your own scripts folder, because using files in the folder where the GeoData Manager program is stored might require IT permission. There are two aspects to this:

Getting hold of the scripts

Copy the existing scripts into a new scripts folder on the server that is visible to all users, then make your changes. Note that when GeoData Manager installs the scripts into the GeoData Manager program folder, it also copies them to each user's settings folder; it might be easier for you to copy them from there.

Loading the new scripts into GeoData Manager

For each user that will use the new scripts:

  1. Click Tools, then Preferences and click the Python tab.

  2. Browse to your scripts folder and select it. Note that if you set your scripts folder to the user's settings folder, the path is displayed as:

  3. Click OK in the preferences window. The new scripts automatically load, and GeoData Manager will continue to load these new scripts in the future.

Upgrading scripts when you have linked to a different folder

When you upgrade to a new version of GeoData Manager, it might have new or changed Python scripts:

Managing users and permissions

User names and permissions

There are three separate sets of users and permissions in GeoData Manager:

  1. GeoData Manager's own user names and permissions; these are described in this section.

  2. Windows own user names and permissions, to allow users to log into and out of Windows. You should have already set these up in Windows: Control panel: User Accounts. Ensure each GeoData Manager user's name that you set up is the same as their Windows user name.

  3. The stand-alone Windows database manager program Microsoft SQL Server has its own permissions:

    • All GeoData Manager users must be granted SQL Server read/write permissions and private table create/destroy permissions. An undefined user may cause the program to crash.

    • GeoData Manager Administrators must have SQL Server permissions to create tables accessible by other users in order to upgrade a GeoData Manager database. The recommended way to implement this is to create a SQL Server db_owner role for the GeoData Manager databases, and to assign GeoData Manager Administrators to this role. This allows Administrators to update GeoData Manager databases as required, without causing problems for other users.

    • Normally your IT department sets up SQL Server databases for GeoData Manager. Ensure that the IT department are aware of the special requirements for GeoData Manager users, and Administrators in particular.

Databases and permissions

Database permission levels

Permission Level Symbol Allows the user to edit
0-Read only Nothing
1-User Group definitions and column orders at all nodes; data sets at the specified Subsystem Group nodes; nothing at other nodes (there the symbol is
2-Administrator Everything
3-Data entry Enter new data, and edit recent data (entered within a specified time; the default is 10 days)
4-Power user Everything, except for setting permissions and for database upgrades
Undefined Nothing


Using the Permission Manager

  1. Open GeoData Manager's Database Manager and select the database to work with.

  2. In GeoData Manager's main window, click Database in the menu bar, then click Database Permissions ...:

There are four commands:

New Create a new user
Edit Change the selected user's permissions, but not the user's name
Rename Change the selected user's name
Delete Delete the selected user

The User Name here must match the user's Windows user name. You can also right-click in the window to bring up a menu of these commands.

New & Edit commands

Field Note
User Name Use Rename to change the user name
Permission Level Choose from the dropdown list
User Subsystem Groups For some Permission Levels: select the parts of GeoData Manager that the user can use

Warning about permissions

When you create a new SQL server database or upgrade one as part of upgrading GeoData Manager, you must have Admin permissions plus either SQL Server dbo rights (eg IT staff) or you and other GeoData Manager users must all be members of a db_owner role for this database.

We recommend that at least one senior GeoData Manager user (probably your chief reservoir engineer) should be granted GeoData Manager Admin permissions and also be given db_owner rights for all the GDM SQL Server databases. This user should create new SQL server databases and upgrade SQL server databases when GeoData Manager is upgraded.

Setting mapping parameters

The mapping parameters are specific to the location of the field and specify the mapping conversion from location (E and N) and latitude/longitude at the field. Do not change these unless the local map grid changes.

Setting the primary coordinate system

GeoData Manager stores coordinates in two systems:

Most people use and are familiar with Projected (map) coordinates. We recommended using Projected primary coordinates and entering map coordinates. GeoData Manager will calculate WGS84 latitudes and longitudes.


Using mapping parameters define the conversion from one coordinate system to the other.

To view and change the mapping parameters:

Field Note
Spheroid type When is a lookup field which automatically fills the Semimajor axis and Semiminor axis
Field Elevation for Atmospheric Pressure Calculation Used for gauge-absolute pressure conversions in GeoData Manager if the elevation of a measurement location is not defined
UTM Zone A lookup which automatically fills Central Meridian (zero longitude of map)
Central Meridian Is separately editable for mappings that do not use the standard UTM Zones; if you edit Central Meridian UTM zone will be set to 0 to indicate a custom value
Base Parallel Is the zero latitude of the map - this is usually 0 deg (equator) in the Northern Hemisphere and -90 deg in the Southern Hemisphere
False Northing and False Easting Origin offsets to avoid negative northings and eastings on maps
Scale Factor Is at Central Meridian; is usually 0.9996 but sometimes taken as 1.0
E2,E4,E6,EP2, M0 Are filled in when you enter the other fields

Note: Conversions are for Transverse Mercator projections and possibly Conical Lambert when there is no offset from WGS84. In these cases, the conversion between projected and geographic will match local maps.

Mapping parameters for a new database

After you create a new database, you are invited to set the mapping parameters for the database. If you don't do this, and click Cancel then:

Setting the field limits

The field limits are the extent of the geothermal field in in the current database. The units are the units of the primary coordinate system.

Click Tools in the menu bar, then Field limits: