Introduction to the Map Editor
When you create or select an existing map from the My Maps page, the map will be displayed in the MapWithUs Map Editor.
On left side of the MapWithUs Map Editor, there is a box with some options in it. This box is the Map Tools Pane. Above the tool pane, you will notice 5 green icons. Each of these icons represents one of five main tools used to edit MapWithUs map data. In the following sections, we will walk through each of these tools and examine functionality available in each.
If you are interested in details about navigating the map in this mode, check out the Creator Map section.
When you start the Map Editor, the add and edit items tool is selected by default. Generally speaking, if you are adding content to your map from your computer, this is the tool you are going to use.
The first option in this section is to Preview this map. Clicking on this link will open your map in the Map Viewer, where the map will appear as everyone sees it if your map were published (note: if you are editing an already published map, it will remain published unless you explicitly set it to unpublished).
The next item you will run into on the Map Tools pane is a drop-down menu titled Save item to. By default, this is set to this map, but you can also select a specific overlay of the map to add the content to. If you don't have any overlays, you can create one using the Overlays on this map tool. You can also read more about overlays in the overlays section or watch our YouTube™ video on Overlay Management.
You can quickly add an item to the map in one of 2 ways with the add and edit items tool. Adding an item to the map will automatically select that item, and start Item Edit Mode in the Map Tools Pane, described in the next section.
- The quick addition tool allows you to add items to your map by simply dragging the blue marker with your mouse onto your map at the location you would like your item to be placed.
- Enter an Address
- Alternatively, you may enter a physical address and click the Create link to add an item at the supplied address. A complete address isn't required, but giving a more complete address will yield better results.
Map Item Edit Mode
When an new item is created, or the 'edit' option is selected from within an existing item, the editor goes into Item Edit mode. The Map Tools Pane will have a new view, and the box above your item will allow you to add components to your items.
Edit Item, Map Tools Pane
- Here are the options available to you in the Map Tools Pane when you enter Item Edit Mode.
- Zoom Levels
- By default, items appear no matter what level the map is zoomed to. When we create or edit a map item, we can set a maximum and minimum zoom level for the item. The control for setting the max and min zoom levels looks like this:
- If the map is zoomed out beyond the minimum zoom level, the item will not be visible and if we zoom in past the maximum zoom level, the item will not be visible. When thinking about zoom levels, it might be helpful to imagine yourself in outer space looking at Earth. If you zoom in with a telescope, the farther you zoom, the more detail you will be able to see. Thus, as zoom level increases it appears as if you are getting closer and closer to the ground. If you zoom out, you will be able to see more of the planet, and you aren't zoomed in as far so your zoom level decreases.
- Title and Icon Settings
- Before we can finish adding the item to our map, we need to set the Title and Icon settings. This can be done once the item has been added to the map, but before the item is closed. You should see something similar to the following in your tool pane:
- In the title field, you should enter the title for your item. Even if you elect not to show the title on the map, the item's title will still appear in the white item bubble. By default, new items are named Untitled Item. If you do decide to show the title, you will see something like this on your map where the item is located:
- If you elect to show an icon, it will be placed on the map where the item is located. If you select the clustered option, the item will be clustered with other items appearing on the map around it if they also have their clustering option checked. When you choose to use an icon, by default the center of the icon is placed at the point on the map the item is located at. You may also elect to anchor the icon so the top or bottom and left or right corner is placed at that position on the map. To change these settings, just select the corresponding options on the dropdown menus that appear for Anchor when the Show Icon option is selected.
There are several icon sets available for use by default, but you can also upload your own or even use a picture that you have already uploaded. If the picture is too large, a resized version of it will automatically be created and used instead.
Adding and Editing Map Item Components
Once you have added an item to your map, you are ready to put something inside of it. Each piece of data inside a map item is called a Component. Map items can contain multiple Components which can be Text, Web Links, Files or photos, Zoom-tos, RSS feeds, or Web Videos.
Click Finished Editing at any time to de-select the item and close the box.
- Text is simply anything that you can type. It could be a description, a story, a name, etc. Use text to provide information about the items on your map. Any html entered into the text field will be escaped and treated as plain text. The text component consists of two parts: an optional title and an optional description. The title can contain whatever text you would like and will appear in the item in a boldface and slightly larger font while the description will appear as normal text.
- Web links consist of three parts: an optional title, a URL, and optional text. The URL should contain the web address you would like the link to point to. For example, if I wanted to link to the MapWith.Us website, I would enter
MapWith.Us Websiteas the title,
http://mapwith.usas the URL, and
This is a link to the mapwith.us websiteas the text. The resulting component would be:
- Files and photos have four possible fields: the file itself, an optional title, an optional URL, and optional text.
- Files or photos
- The file can be any file that you would like to share. Our standard, free account has a file size limit of 5 megabytes per file. If you would like to share larger files, check out our other account options.
- The title for your file will be displayed in a bold-face font below your file if the file you post is an image. If your file is a different type of file such as a .pdf file, the title will not be shown.
- The URL field will only be used if the file you upload is an image. In this instance, the image itself will act as a hyperlink to the supplied URL. If you upload a different type of file, the link shown will be to the file itself and the supplied URL will not be used.
- Text Description
- Your description should describe the file you are sharing. It will appear in normal text either below your image, or to the right of the link to your file.
- A zoom-to is similar to a normal web hyperlink except that instead of taking you someplace on the Internet, a zoom-to will take you somewhere else on the map. A zoom-to component consists of three parts: an optional title, optional text, and a required destination or target location to zoom to. If the zoom-to is the only component inside of the item, clicking the item will result in you being taken to wherever the target of the zoom-to is located. If there is more than one component inside of the item, the item will open normally and the zoom-to will appear as a link inside of the item.
- The title will be displayed inside of the item on the map. If the zoom-to is the only component inside of the item, the title will never be seen since the user will be taken to the target of the zoom-to upon clicking on the item.
- The text will also be displayed inside of the item on the map. Like the title, if the zoom-to is the only component in the item, the text will never be seen.
- To set the target location for your zoom-to, click the Select a location button. Once this is done, you should notice text across the top of your map stating Recording zoom-to target: Select this location. Now, simply move the map around and zoom in or out until it contains the view you would like to zoom to. To complete your zoom-to, simply click the Select this location link. Voila, your zoom-to is done!
- Putting an RSS feed on your map allows allows you to share dynamic content. RSS feeds consist of three components: a title, a URI, and a description. To add a feed to your map item, open the item for editing, click the RSS icon, and enter the desired fields. The URI should be the address of the feed itself.
- MapWith.Us supports embedding videos from several sources. When you click to add a Web Video component to your map item, you will be given the option to select the source of your video. The information that you will need to enter will vary slightly depending on the source of your video. Below we describe the various fields that you may see depending on which video source you are using.
- A title for your video
- Video Source
- The website or service your video is hosted on, selecting an option will open up 2 more text fields:
- Video URL
- The URL of the video itself
- Video Embed Code
- The embed code of your video. This will be supplied by the site or service you are obtaining the video from
- Additional text related to the video.
Paths, and Path Edit Mode (Advanced)
The last option is the Paths option. Clicking this link will allow you to create a new path, and enter Path Edit Mode in the Map Tools Pane. Once in path mode, you can click on the map to add a new location to your path; as you add new locations, a path line will be drawn from the last location to the new one. Once a path has a name, hitting the Save Button at the bottom of the Map Tools Pane will save the path.
Clicking on any existing path on your map will enter Path Edit Mode. Clicking "Delete Path" will delete the path, and click "Edit this Path" will allow you to add more points by clicking on the map. Hitting the Save Button will save the new path.
Any of the options below can be changed in Path Edit Mode, and will be updated when you click the Save Button at the bottom of the Map Tools Pane
- This is the hexadecimal value of the color you would like your path, route, shape or area to be. Values range from #000000 - #FFFFFF. If you aren't sure what the hexadecimal value of your color is, a simple web search for something like "HTML color chart" should provide you with a chart of colors and their corresponding codes.
- Opacity determines how transparent the lines of your path will be. A value of 0% makes the lines invisible and a value of 100% makes them completely opaque.
- The width value determines how wide the lines of your path will be. A smaller width correlates with a narrower line.
- Fill This Path
- If checked, MapWith.Us will do its best to fill in the interior of your path, route, shape, or area. Open-ended or unusual shapes may not be filled quite as you might expect them to be. For best results, play around with the tool a bit to get a feel for how it works.
- This is the hexadecimal value of the color you would like to fill your path, route, shape, or area with.
- This opacity value determines how transparent the fill of your path, route, shape, or area will be.
- If selected, the length of each segment of your path, route, shape, or area will be calculated and displayed in the specified unit of length.
- When selected, the area inside the path will be displayed on the map with the appropriate units.
- Geodesic Display
- Enabling Geodesic display will show shortest paths across the spherical surface of the earth, as opposed to the flat surface of the map. This will not make much visual difference at small scale, but a path from New York to Berlin or Seattle to Tokyo will show a significant difference.
The Map Settings menu provides you with an easy-to-use interface for managing your maps' settings and options. All settings can be changed at any time simply by revisiting the page and changing the setting to the desired value. At any time from the map settings page, you can delete the current map, or export it by using the links at the bottom of the Map Tools Pane.
- Publication settings control how your map is shared with the MapWith.Us Community.
- When you first create a map, you will see a checklist at the top of the Map Settings section listing what needs to be done before your map can be published. Being published means that other users of the site will be able to view your map. If you don't publish your map, you will be the only person able to view it. Before a map can be published, you need to do three things:
- Set the map's title
- Set keywords for the map
- Set the map's default view
- Once the three prerequisites have been met, the checklist will be replaced by the globe icon that you see above in addition to a message stating that your map is now ready to be published. The title and keywords can be set in the About subsection, while the default view is set in the Views and Overlay subsection.
- Setting a map as Embeddable allows it to be embedded in any web page. This allows you to post your map in a blog post, share your map via our Facebook® application, or share your map via a third-party site that takes advantage of our Developer's API such as folfing.com.
- Checking the RSS feed for updates option will create an RSS feed for your map that others can subscribe to in order to follow updates to your map. Users can subscribe to the RSS feed for your map by clicking on the RSS icon at the bottom of your map when viewing it.
- The About section of the Map Settings allows you to manage settings that describe your map to the MapWith.Us community.
- A title is required in order to publish your map. You can name your map pretty much anything you would like. After all, it is your creation. To rename your map, simply click the edit link to the right of the title and enter the new name.
- A map's keywords are a set of words that describe the map. Adding keywords to your map allows it to show up in search results on the MapWith.Us site and provides an indicator of what the map is about. The idea is to provide a set of words that uniquely describe the content of your map. As an example, suppose you made a map of all the city zoos in the United States. As keywords, you might enter:
zoo zoos city United States public. Common words such as the, is, and, etc are ignored and will be dropped from your keyword listing automatically. You have to set the keywords for your map before you can publish it.
- The description is where you describe your map in all of its glory. Be as descriptive as possible, short or meaningless descriptions will make your map less likely to be viewed by others. A description is not required for publication.
- In the Visuals section of the Map Settings you are able to specify your map's logo and thumbnail icons.
- A map's thumbnail is the image that appears throughout the MapWith.Us site anywhere the map is listed. Examples of where this occurs include on the My Page Tab or on the Maps Tab. The thumbnail also appears next to the map's title when viewing the map.
- A map's logo is the image that appears above the map's title when viewing the map and is slightly larger than the map's thumbnail.
- The views and overlays section allows you to define alternate views or attach overlays to your map.
- Setting the default view for a map defines what your map contains by default. The view encapsulates both the current zoom level and the latitude/longitude coordinates that contain the current viewing area. To set the default view, adjust the map itself to contain the area you would like to be shown and adjust the zoom level to the desired level. Once you have it set just how you want it, click the Default View icon in the Views & Overlays submenu. You can change or adjust the default view at any time by simply clicking on the icon again. You can also add alternate views to a map as described below in the Map Views section.
- Map views are alternate views that you set for your map in addition to the default view. To set an additional view, simply adjust the map to where you would like it (exactly the same procedure as setting the default view) and then enter a title for the view and click on Add a view. You can add as many additional views as you would like to your maps.
- In this section you can view the overlays currently attached to your map, remove overlays from your map, and set which overlays will be displayed by default when your map is being viewed. In the My Overlays and Other Overlays sections, you will see list of overlays currently attached to the map. To remove an overlay from this map, click on its detach link. To show an overlay by default, select the checkbox to the left of that overlay's listing. If you would like to attach a different overlay to your map, select the Manage my overlays link.
- Once your map is published to the community, you will have the option to change how it is shared. These settings define how others are able to interact with your map. You are able to define settings for Registered Users and Anonymous Users.
- Registered Users
- Registered users are users who have signed up for a MapWith.Us account and are currently logged in.
- Anonymous Users
- Anonymous users are users using the site who have either not signed up for a MapWith.Us account or are not currently logged in.
- Note: this is probably NOT what you want most of the time.
- In the Browsing section of the Map Settings you can adjust settings that affect how user's interact with your map and the items on it.
- Items Per Page
- Paging allows maps with many items to be broken into smaller, more digestible, chunks. Instead of showing 1000 items on a small, embedded map, with paging you can limit the number of items shown to a smaller quantity, such as 25 or 50. The user can then page through the items much like they would through a book. At the top of the map will be an indicator of the current page. Clicking on the left arrow moves back through pages and the right arrow moves forward through pages. People viewing your map will be able to change this on a per-view basis to whatever they would like, but the default setting is set here.
- Time Frame
- Setting a time frame on the map allows you to only show items that have been added to the map in a specified number of days. The default time limit is infinity, which shows all items ever added to the map. You can refine this setting to 1 year, 1 month, 1 week, or 1 day. Similar to the paging setting, users wishing to view items outside of the given time range will be able to change the time range when they view the map. However, any changes that they make will only apply to their current viewing of the map.
- Full Map Searches
- Enabling Full Searches allows people viewing your map to perform a map-wide search for items matching specific keywords or locations. If Full Map Searches are not enabled, viewers will still be able to perform searches on your map, but will be limited to searching the map area currently visible in their map viewing area.
Mobility settings affect how (or if) your map interacts with our mobile suite of products.
- If the map is set as mobile, you will be able to add content to it using one of our mobile phone applications. Changing this setting will not allow other users to post to your map unless you have elected to allow users to add items to your map in its community settings.
- When point animation is enabled, a flashing box will travel between the points on the map that are currently visible in the order the items are listed on the find items and places tool pane. By default, this is the order the items were added to the map.
- When trail drawing is enabled, paths will be drawn between the points on the map that are currently visible in the order the items are listed on the find items and places tool pane.
- The comments settings determine how or if users will be able to leave comments on your map.
- If comments are shown, people will be able to leave comments and the comments left will be viewable by anyone viewing the map. If comments are not shown, then comments will be disabled for the map.
- This setting controls whether comments are allowed for this map. If comments were previously allowed and are set to be shown, existing comments will be displayed but no more comments will be allowed for the map unless this setting is changed.
- The Report Abuse setting controls what happens to items on your map when they are reported as being offensive, derogatory, spam, etc. This feature is exclusive to business account holders.
To export your map, click the Export this Map link at the bottom of the Map Tools Pane. Clicking 'proceed' will allow you to download the map in KML format (compatible with Google Maps and Google Earth).
Selecting this option permanently deletes this map. Any media that you uploaded to the site that appears on this map will still be available in your Files management area. Once a map has been deleted, it cannot be recovered.
Overlays are essentially an invisible layer that covers the map's surface. Although the concept is simple, overlays actually turn out to be a fairly powerful tool for making maps. Once you have created an overlay, you can attach it to your map(s). Then, instead of adding items directly to your map, you can add the same items to an overlay. Then, when viewing your map, you can choose which overlays to display. Overlays have the added bonus of being able to be shared between your maps, so if you add content to an overlay that is attached to one map, you can attach the same overlay to another one of your maps and view the overlay's content there as well.
Overlays attached to map
- This drop-down menu contains a list of overlays currently attached to this map. Overlays are grouped by category in the list. To remove an overlay from a map, you need to detach it. To detach, simply click the Detach button. Overlays that are not attached to any map remain available for you to attach to any of your maps, or even a map belonging to somebody else if they allow other registered users to attach overlays in the map's Community Settings.
- Setting the title changes the name for the overlay on the current map only. An overlay will retain the name it was originally given if you look in the dropdown menu to attach it to another map. Ie. the name change exists for this map only. If you were to detach this overlay, it would only be available for reattachment under its original given name. Once it has been reattached the overlay can once again be renamed.
- Categories provide a way to organize and group the overlays associated with a map. Categories are associated with a particular map and, unlike overlays, cannot be shared between maps. If you would like to duplicate your overlay categories between maps, simply recreate the categories on the new map by navigating to this menu again, selecting the overlay you would like to put in a category, and then typing in the category name and clicking the Change button.
Overlays not attached
If you have overlays associated with your account that are not attached to this map, they will appear in this drop-down menu.
- To attach them to the current map, select the overlay you would like to attach and select Attach to map.
- To permanently delete this overlay from this map and all other maps, click on Delete Permanently. Note that if you do this, this overlay will be removed from all maps that it is attached to and any content on the overlay will be deleted as well. Files and media appearing on the overlay that have been uploaded to the site will still appear in your file management area.
Create new overlay on map
To create a new overlay and attach it to the current map, enter a title for the overlay and click the Attach button. You can always detach the overlay from the map once it is created. Remember, the name you give the overlay here will remain it's default name every time you attach it to a map. However, you will be able to change its name on a map by map basis.
At the bottom of the overlay management pane you will find a list of your overlays, grouped by category, with a checkbox next to each. Clicking on the checkbox will toggle whether the overlay is shown on the map you are editing.
You can use this tool to quickly locate items or locations on the map you are editing.
- Places are any location you can think of on the planet. The key to a successful location search is to provide enough information to uniquely identify a place. You might search for things such as
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DCor even something as simple as
LA. If you decide to do a search with little information (such as the search for
LA, which takes you to Louisiana and not Los Angeles) be aware that the result you get may not be what you had in mind. For best results, be specific! Note: searching for places will take you directly to the most likely result on the map, no results will be listed.
- Searching for items searches the map and all layers attached to the map. Note that substrings are not matched. For instance, if you have an item on your map titled
Monsters!, it will match a search for
- By default, results matching any item on the map or a layer attached to the map will be returned. However, you are able to customize the search results.
The first way you are able to customize your search result listing is to run your search results through a filter. There are three different filters you can run your search through to try to narrow down the results.
- Visible Items
- Filtering by visible items will return only those items appearing in the viewing area of the map. If an item is within the viewing area, but is on a layer that is not currently visible, that item will be omitted from the list of results.
- All items
- The second filter isn't really a filter at all, but enables the listing of all results regardless of visibility on the map or reported status.
- Selecting the reported filter will show only items that have been reported for being offensive, derogatory, erroneous, etc. All other results will be omitted from the search.
- Selecting the removed filter will show only items that have been reported for being offensive, derogatory, erroneous, etc and have consequently been removed from the map. All other results will be omitted from the search.
- Selecting the archived filter will show only items that have been archived. Archived items will only be visible if this filter is selected (i.e. Archived items will not show up when the All items filter is used). All other results will be omitted from the search.
Below the search dialog you will find a drop-down list that allows you to change the order in which your search results are listed. Changing the order of results does not affect the results themselves, but only the ordering of the results.
- best match
- Sorts results with items matching more keywords near the top of the list and items matching fewer keywords near the bottom.
- created (newest)
- Items created most recently will appear at the top of the list.
- created (oldest)
- Items created the longest ago appear at the top of the list.
- modified (newest)
- Items modified most recently appear at the top of the list.
- modified (oldest)
- Items not modified recently will appear first, with older items preceding newer ones.
- title (A-Z)
- Sort items in alphabetical order.
- title (Z-A)
- Sort items in reverse-alphabetical order.
- user (oldest)
- Items sorted based on the account creation date of their owner. Items from users with accounts created longer ago listed first.
- user (newest)
- Items added by users with most recently created accounts will be listed first.
- layer (newest)
- Items placed on the most recently created layer will be listed first.
- layer (oldest)
- Items on the oldest layer (layer created longest time ago) will be listed first.
- latitude (northmost)
- Items will be sorted in decreasing order as latitudes decrease from 90 to -90.
- latitude (southmost)
- Items will be sorted in increasing order as latitudes increase from -90 to 90.
- longitude (westmost)
- Items will be sorted in increasing order as longitudes increase from -180 to 180.
- longitude (eastmost)
- Items will be sorted in decreasing order as longitudes decrease from 180 to -180.
The Upload and Manage Your Files section is your one-stop place for managing the files that you have uploaded to MapWith.Us. From this section, you can upload new files, remove files that you no longer need, and organize the files you have already uploaded.
You can create a folder either by clicking on the Create icon, or by placing your mouse cursor in the file list where you would like to create a new folder, right-clicking, and selecting New Folder. By default, all new folders are titled New Folder. Because of the way we store and reference your files beneath the hood, it is perfectly fine for your folders to have duplicate names.
Once you have created a new folder, you can drag it with your mouse to where you would like it to be in your file menu. Moving files around or renaming them should not break any of your maps, even if they are using the file in question. Deleting files, on the other hand, will remove that file from any map it appears on.
Selecting the Sort Ascending option simply lists the files by name in alphabetical order. Folders will be listed first.
Selecting the Sort Descending option lists the files by name in reverse alphabetical order. Folders will be listed last.
The upload area is the place to go if you want to upload content for your maps. Clicking the Upload icon will open an Upload Files dialog allowing you to select the files you would like to upload. Simply click the Browse button to open up a file selection window. From the window, locate a file you would like to upload on your computer, click on it to select it, and then click the Open button to add the file to your list of files to upload. Continue this process until you have selected all the files you want to upload and then click the Upload Now button. Alternatively, you can cancel the process at any time by clicking the Cancel button. Note that users of our free Standard Account are limited to uploading files that are 5 megabytes or less in size. If you would like to upload larger files, or need more storage space to store your files, consider looking into our Professional or Business account solutions for an account option that better meets your needs.
- Additionally, you can perform the following operations on your files by right-clicking on the files in the file management area:
- Because of the way files are managed behind the scenes, you can rename them to virtually any name you would like. We recommend using unique names and keeping the file extension intact to make life easier on yourself. If two files have the same name and one is used while the other is not, it is nearly impossible to tell which is which without doing some trial and error experimentation.
If the file you uploaded is an image, the edit option allows you to perform the following manipulations on the file (most of which can be applied numerous times):
Selecting the delete option will remove the selected file from your account. The file will no longer appear on any maps it is associated with and will no longer be listed in your file management area.