Need Help? Basemap Now Has Built-in Walkthrough Tips

Basemap now includes helpful walkthroughs and tips for the most frequently-used pages in the application. At the top of the following pages, the main navigation area now includes a "Help" option:

  • My Projects
  • Project Files
  • FileRooms
  • Map
  • Tasks
  • Project Settings (visible to Project Owners)
The Help option is found at the top-right corner of many pages within Basemap.

When you click that "Help" link, Basemap will highlight and explain key features on the current page. These are presented with explanations and tips that you can step forward/backwards through to learn about each page's features.

To navigate through the walkthrough, you can click the "Next" or "Back" buttons — or use the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard.

To close the walkthrough, you can click any non-highlighted area on the page or hit the ESCape key on your keyboard.

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2017-11-23 - Basemap Release

Here's a rundown of the updates we released to Basemap this week:

  • There is now a "Help" link at the top of most pages in the site, including your list of Projects, project Files, FileRooms, Map, Tasks, and Project Settings. When you click that, you'll see a dynamic walkthrough that highlights and explains the key features and options on each page. Let us know what you think, and whether there are additional details you'd like to see in the walkthroughs.
  • When viewing the list of your project's FileRooms, you can now see the date the FileRoom was created and the user who created it. Those columns can also be used to sort the list and to search/filter the FileRooms to find what you're looking for.
  • When adding files to a FileRoom, you can now make changes/selections on multiple files in the list (from the existing files in your project).
  • We've updated the user interface that lets you remove multiple files from a FileRoom (by updating the files to no longer include the FileRoom tags).
  • A few other minor issues were addressed that impact when certain actions are disabled/enabled based on your selected files.

We're continuing to improve Basemap by improving existing features, and adding many new features based on user requests. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or suggestions — basemap.help@geolens.biz

Export your spatial data and create a custom map in Google Earth

With Basemap, users have the ability to export their spatial data in Google Earth's KML/KMZ spatial format and create a map using that application.

First, turn on all layers you want to export to KML in the Layer dropdown in Basemap. Once you have the layers you want, find the export button on the map toolbar and select the KML/KMZ - Google Earth option to automatically download your data.

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With Google Earth open, drag and drop the downloaded file onto the map and double click a layer in the Places section to automatically zoom to that extent.

Click the print icon on the top menu to configure map objects (north arrow, title, scale bar, legend, etc...)

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Once the map objects appear, you can click them to edit and/or click & hold to drag that object around for desired placement - The Title and Legend can be customized and moved whereas the North Arrow and Scale Bar can just be moved. You can also click and drag anywhere in the map to configure the desired extent and placement of your map data in relation to the objects. When you zoom in or out to a further extent, the scale bar adjusts automatically.

Clicking Map Options in the upper left will also give you advanced map configuration options such as adding & removing map objects, altering the background imagery, and saving/loading GE Print files. A GE Print file is a Google Earth map configuration/layout file type - Once a map layout is customized to your liking, you can save the layout as a GE Print file to re-use in the future. If you load that same GE Print file when making your next map with new data, the same layout will be set as the default in an effort to keep your paper maps consistent. (Further Map Object customization is possible with the use of HTML code).

Next to the Map Options menu is the Page Setup... menu where you can alter typical page layout options such as Paper, Orientation, and Margins.

map_options.png

To customize individual data layers, right-click a layer in the Places section on the left and select Properties.... In the resulting menu you can adjust settings like map symbols, colors, size, opacity, etc..See the example below on resizing the Fire Hydrants in the map:

layer_properties.gif

Once changes are made to individual layers, you must 'refresh' the legend for changes to take affect in it - to do so, simply click on the legend and find the Refresh from View option at the bottom of the resulting menu to have your legend reflect any layer changes.

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Once you have made all final tweaks, you can either print directly or save the map as a pdf.

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For more information on custom map configuration in Google Earth click here

Adding Files to a Project FileRoom

FileRooms are a great way to organize and share your projects and with the recent updates to Basemap, adding files to your project FileRooms is easier than ever. There are several ways to start the process of adding files to an existing FileRoom.

1. From the list of FileRooms, click the "+" action icon to the left of your FileRoom's name.

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2. From within a FileRoom, you can use the "+" action icon at the top-left of the page.

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3. Also within a FileRoom, you can drag and drop files from your computer on to the FileRoom's page in the same was as you can on the main Files page.

Regardless of which way you start the process, the interface for adding files to the FileRoom is the same. You'll see that it's divided into two parts — 

The "Project Files" tab lets you add files that are already in your Basemap Project to your FileRoom. As with the Files list for your project, you can click the column headers to sort the files, use the Search box to quickly find matching files, and you can use the checkboxes at the bottom to choose which of your FileRoom's Tags you want to apply to files you're adding. Check the "Select" checkbox to the left of the file(s) you want to add, then click Save to apply those Tags and save your changes.

The "Upload New Files" tab lets you add new files to your Project and Tag them for your FileRoom in one step. This is also the interface you'll see if you drag and drop files from your computer on to the FileRoom page. Or, use the "Select Files" button to select the file(s) from your computer you want to add. Notice that the Tag(s) for your FileRoom have already been selected in the interface.

Click "Upload All" to upload the files from your computer to the project and the Tag(s) you've selected will be applied to those files at the same time.

Don't forget that you can also modify your FileRoom to allow outside contributors to upload files, you can generate a unique public URL to allow access to files, and you can share your FileRoom's contents with others via email.

November 2017 Basemap Release

On November 2, Basemap was updated with several noteworthy changes and features:

  • When adding files to FileRooms, you can now choose to add existing files that are already in your Project, or you can upload new files from your computer. Just drag and drop the files on to your FileRoom and they'll automatically get the appropriate Tags added!
  • Improved the handling of Tags in the Project Files sidebar... when you filter files or modify their assigned Tags, the sidebar will reflect new/changed Tags immediately.
  • Improved the feature for copying FileRoom and Sharing URLs to your computer's clipboard so that it's more compatible across all browsers.
  • Added this "Getting Started with Basemap" tutorial blog to the user menu (upper-right) for quick access to support articles and walkthroughs.
  • Improved performance of search and navigation options in Project Files and FileRooms.
  • Simplified the workflow/process for the "Reset Password" option.
  • Many other minor bug fixes and performance improvements.

As always, feel free to reach out to us at basemap.help@geolens.biz with any questions!

Easily Share Project Files with Others

Throughout Basemap, the Share lets you quickly share any file in your project with others — the recipient doesn't even need to have a Basemap account to receive the file(s).

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Clicking on the icon opens file sharing panel, which provides two ways to share a file:

  1. Share Public URL — This method provides a unique URL that you can give to others and, when visited, allows them to download the file you're sharing.
  2. Share via Email — Sharing via email lets you specify the people who should have access to the file you're sharing.

Let's look at each in more detail.

The dialogue opens automatically in the Share via Email tab.

The dialogue opens automatically in the Share via Email tab.

Share Public URL generates a public URL for a file, which you can copy to your system clipboard to share via email, IM messages, in documents, and more. Start by checking the box that reads "Allow access to _______ via Public URL?" to enable the feature, then click the link button to copy the URL to your clipboard. You can set an optional expiration date for your shared file, after which the URL will no longer allow access to the file. Finally, click the blue Save button to make the public URL active for use. 

To share a file via an email message sent from Basemap, provide the recipient's email address (or multiple addresses separated by comma), and optionally include a message, specify an expiration date for access to the file, and send a copy to yourself if desired. For security purposes, and to ensure that large files don't get filtered out by email systems, the email that's sent does not include the file as an attachment. Rather, a link to the file is provided in the email message. If an expiration date was specified, the link will stop working after that date.

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From here you can paste [CTRL+V] the link wherever you like (personal email, slack, etc...). When the receipient clicks on the link, the resulting page looks like this:

Click on the file name to download

Click on the file name to download

Be aware that your internet browser may be setup to open certain file types (usually pdfs, images, etc...) If a recipient clicks on the file name and another window or tab of your browswer displays the file, right click that file and select "Save As..." to download to your local machine

You can always tell if a file has been shared publicly by the 'Shared' icon on the Files page. See below:

shared_icon.png

Finding and Organizing Files with Tag Filtering

On the project Files page, you can filter and find your project's files based on their Tag. Start by toggling the Show Tags option in the upper-right corner to reveal the tags beneath each file. Next, activate the Tag sidebar by clicking the small arrow in the upper left part of the page.

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The resulting page includes a sidebar with all project's Tags listed either alphabetically or by usage, and each file on the page will show any assigned Tag below the filename.

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When you click on a blue Tag in the sidebar, the list of files will be filtered to include only those files that have been assigned that Tag (regardless of whether it also has other Tags). The interface in the sidebar also changes to mimic a traditional folder hierarchy. You'll see the first Tag you clicked at the top (with an "X" to remove it from the filter), and beneath that you'll see additional Tags that can be found on your filtered list of files. If you've diligently tagged your uploaded documents, this arrangement lets you quickly "drill down" to the specific files you need.

Clicking the "X" next to any Tag, in either the sidebar or the "breadcrumbs" navigation above the files list, will remove that Tag from the current filter. 

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In the example above, the "SCREENSHOT" tag was selected first. Once selected, the files list on the right shows the documents with the "SCREENSHOT" tag applied. Notice that the documents also contain other tags in this view. To further narrow the list of files, click on another blue tag.

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In the above image,  the "TAG-FILTERING" Tag is clicked and the files list now shows documents that contain both the "SCREENSHOT" and "TAG-FILTERING" tags. From here, click on the "X" to the right of a tag to go back a step. Unlike with traditional folders, you can filter files with Tags in any order. While "SCREENSHOT" was the first of the two Tag filters in this example, clicking the "X" next to it will remove it from the filter and leave the list filtered to the "TAG-FILTERING" Tag alone.

Pro Tip: At any time that a Tag filter is active, you can create a new project FileRoom by clicking the "Create FileRoom" button next to the breadcrumb navigation Tags (below).
See the 'Create a FileRoom' post to walk-through the rest of the workflow.

See the 'Create a FileRoom' post to walk-through the rest of the workflow.

To reset the project Files page so that it displays all files, you can click the "X" in each filtered Tag, or click the "Clear" link at the top of the sidebar.

When a Tag filter is active, you can also drag and drop files from your computer on to the filtered page to add those files to your project, with filtered Tags automatically assigned to the new files. In the example below, I have dropped three new files into the filtered Tag page for upload. These new files have the "SCREENSHOT" and "TAG-FILTERING" Tags applied already in the Upload interface. At this point, before adding the files, I can add additional Tags that apply to the new files before completing the process. See below:

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How to Upload and Tag Files

To upload a new file to Basemap, you can either drag and drop the file directly onto the project Files page, or click the Upload File icon in the upper right corner of the page to open the Upload Files panel.

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In the Upload Files panel, any files you dragged and dropped to upload are already listed. You can also choose and add more files by clicking the blue Select Files button to choose files from your computer, or drag and drop files directly onto the Upload Files panel. If you click the Select Files button, you can hold down CTRL (CMD on macOS) when clicking files to select more than one, while dragging and dropping multiple files at once from your computer is also supported.

Once your files are selected, you can also apply Tags to the files as part of the upload process. Type the Tag names into the Tags input, press TAB to select Tags from the suggestions, and the Tag is confirmed by turning into a blue rectangle. You can add as many tags as you like in this step, but remember that any tags you add here are applied to all files being uploaded. You can always add and remove tags from files later.

Once any desired Tags are selected, you can upload all files in the list at once or upload them individually. Using the Upload 1 File button lets you upload a file, change your selected Tags, and then upload additional files. Clicking the Upload All button uploads all selected files at once, applying the selected Tags. Remove files from the upload list with the yellow Clear All button or remove individual files using the blue Remove button next to each. 

After uploading your files, the panel will close and return you to the page you were previously on, with all uploaded files now visible in your project.

How to Create a FileRoom in Basemap

A FileRoom is a collection of documents that share the same Tags, making it easy to share sets of files with anyone via the FileRoom's public URL. There are two different ways to create a FileRoom in Basemap:

  1. On, the FileRooms page, click the "Create FileRoom" icon at the upper-left corner.
  2. On the project's Files page, when you've filtered the files using a Tag, the Create FileRoom icon appears next to the filtered Tag names.
Option 1 — Click the Create FileRoom icon on the FileRooms page.

Option 1 — Click the Create FileRoom icon on the FileRooms page.

Option 2 — Click the Create FileRoom icon next to the names of your filtered Tags.

Option 2 — Click the Create FileRoom icon next to the names of your filtered Tags.

With either option, the Create FileRoom page appears and, in the case of Option 2 above, the Tags field will be populated with your filtered Tag names. This ensures that files you add to your project are tagged in the same was as the files you're currently viewing. See below:

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In either case, you can add, remove, or change the Tags that are used to create your FileRoom. As you type, the names of existing Tag that match what you've entered will appear as suggestions. Hit [TAB] to select the suggested Tag and use it with the FileRoom. See below:

In this page, I hit {TAB] to choose "SCREENSHOT" Tag and turn it blue and then typed "shar" so that the "SHARE-A-FILE" tag has appeared. Hitting [TAB] once again would similarly choose that Tag.

In this page, I hit {TAB] to choose "SCREENSHOT" Tag and turn it blue and then typed "shar" so that the "SHARE-A-FILE" tag has appeared. Hitting [TAB] once again would similarly choose that Tag.

The following fields can be used when creating a new FileRoom:

  • Name - Give your FileRoom a name to identify it within the Project.
  • Description - Give your FileRoom an optional description.
  • Public URL Expiration - Give your FileRoom an optional expiration date. Your FileRoom's public URL will be inaccessible after this date.
  • Contributors - Optionally manage FileRoom Contributors, who outside of your Project but being given special permission to add files to this FileRoom.
  • Hide Contributor uploads - Check this box to hide Contributor uploads from other Contributors who visit the FileRoom at its public URL
  • Tags - One or more project Tags that specify which files appear in the FileRoom. 

Click the blue Save button after entering the FileRoom details.

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The Project's FileRooms page displays a list of all the FileRooms in the Project. To later edit a FileRoom from this page, you can click the pencil icon to the left of its name.

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Another option for editing a FileRoom is to click its name, which takes you into the FileRoom and displays its files, and then select the Edit Fileroom option in the upper right of the page:

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Create a New Project

To create a new project in Basemap, find the Add Project icon in the upper left corner of your My Projects page.

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When creating a new project in Basemap, you have two options:

  1. Create a new, empty project, or;
  2. Use an existing project as a template for your new project
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To create a new, empty project — simply name your project and click the Create Project button to the left of your new project's name.

To use an existing project as a template, name your project, choose which existing project will be your template, and then select which items in that template to copy to your new project. When the configuration is set, click the lower-right Create Project button.

After clicking either Create Project button, the Project Settings page will appear. From there, you can alter the project name, upload an overview photo or project logo, manage users, manage tags, and update the project's geographic location.