Draw New Features
Use the Draw button to add new features to a layer. A feature is a named object on your map that is represented by either a point, polyline, or area. A fire hydrant is an example of a point feature.
Points, Lines, Areas
There is an option in Layer Settings that dictates what types of geometry are allowed on each layer. Therefore, some of the buttons described below may not appear on your draw toolbar depending on which layer you have selected to draw on.
The list of layers shown on the Draw New Features toolbar only lists those layers that you have permission to edit. Layer editing permissions are setup on the layer Settings screen and can only by set by a map manager. To create a new layer to draw on go to Layers and then click Add. It is a common problem that people will start drawing things without paying any attention to what layer they have selected. Don't be one of those people.
To draw a point feature
First select the layer you want to draw on. Then click the button. Next click on the map where your new point feature is to be located. A blank feature form will appear for you to fill in. Enter as much or as little information as you want to record at this time and then click the "Add" button to finish.
To draw a polyline feature
First select the layer you want to draw on. Then click the button. Next click on the starting point of the line. Then click one or more additional points tracing the path of the line. After clicking the final point of your polyline click the button. A blank feature form will appear for you to fill in. Enter as much or as little information as you want to record at this time and then click the "Add" button to finish. When drawing lines that have a direction associated with them, such a gravity fed sewers, try to always draw your lines in the direction of the flow. Doing so will make it meanful to use the arrow line style if you should ever choose to do so.
To draw an area feature
First select the layer you want to draw on. Then click the button. Next click on some point along the permitter of your new area. Then trace the complete permitter of your area by clicking additional points along that path. After clicking your last point click the button. The area will automatically close from the last point clicked back to the starting point. A blank feature form will appear for you to fill in. Enter as much or as little information as you want to record at this time and then click the "Add" button to finish.
To draw a point feature using GPS
If you have GPS enabled on your phone or tablet then there is a more automated way to mark a point feature on the map. When you click the button a new point feature will be created at your current GPS location and a blank feature form will appear for you to fill out. It is strongly advised that you only plot points this way when you are using a GPS device with an uncertainty better than 1 meter. The GPS built into phones and tablets is very inprecise and not recommended for plotting points. If you don't have a sub meter GPS then we recommend marking your points manually using your GPS location only as a reference on the map. You can usually "eye-ball" a location on the background photography with more precision than that reported by your phone's on-board GPS.
Special GPS fields
Add the following field names to your layer and these fields will be automatically filled in for you whenever you mark a point using the GPS button described above.
- "Elevation" (the elevation of the point as determined by the GPS/GNSS device)
- "GPS Time" (the local date and time that the point was recorded)
- "GPS Accuracy" (the accuracy, aka uncertainty, of the GPS/GNSS device at the time the point was recorded)
To draw a circle
First select the layer you want to draw on. Then click the button. Next click on a point on the map that marks the center of the circle. Next a screen will appear prompting you to enter the circle's radius and geometry type. The types of geometry allowed are limited by the types of geometry your layer allows. See 'Points, Lines, Areas' paragraph at top of this page.
To add a geometry-less feature
If your advanced layer settings specify that neither points, lines, or areas are allowed on a layer then a special button will be included on the draw menu letting you add a features that have no geometry. This allows you to create a feature by filling in all the field values but you will not be prompted to mark a location on the map. Applications for records like this might include listing employees, vehicles, or other assets that are not tied to any location.
Make sure you zoomed in close enough to precisely locate your feature before drawing. If you are new to drawing on the map we recommend that you zoom the map to the location of your new feature before starting any of the drawing steps described above. It is possible, and sometimes necessary, to zoom and pan while in the middle of a drawing task but its easier to do so before you start drawing.
While drawing, when you move the mouse near a feature already drawn on the map you will see a small square or diamond appear. These are drawing aids called "snaps". The appearance of a snap is the map's way of saying, "I assume you want this new point to exactly align with this existing geometry". A diamond indicates that you are touching a line and a square indicates that you are touching a point or vertex. Snaps are your friend - use them!
Newly drawn features are instantly stored on the cloud server and will appear in the feature table on the browse screen. The new feature will also be synced to other users displays in about 60 seconds.
If your drawing doesn't look as clean as you had hoped don't delete the feature and draw it again. Instead see the adjust points topic for instructions on how to move individual points after the feature is drawn. You can also break a previously drawn polyline in two by clicking on the line and then selecting "Break Polyline" from the action menu.
See also the Import tools for bringing in layers that other people have already drawn.
See the Add/Remove Fields screen to change which text fields are collected each time you add a new feature.
If drawing feature in the field on your tablet make sure GPS tracking is turned on so that you can more quickly determine your current location on the map.