Managing Georegions

Georegions are particular places within a Location that are of interest for some reason. They show up as “overlays” in the Google map of the Location, plus they are objects in the Remnant Prairies system about which various kinds of information can be kept. Georegions are managed mostly with some tools built into Google Maps, so manipulating them is somewhat more complicated that other aspects of our system.

Here are details about how this all works. This may seem inordinately lengthy and burdensome, but actually doing this stuff is far easier than it looks. The following discussion is just exhaustively detailed.

Types of Georegions

There are three types of Georegions: Markers, Lines, and Regions. These correspond, not surprisingly, to points, lines, and 2D areas in space (well, on the ground). The have different purposes and can “hold” different kinds of information.

Type Geometry Information Example Use
Marker Single lat/long point Title, Description Specific plants or spots
Line Series of lat/long points Title, Description Boundaries
Region Enclosed 2D space Title, Description, FQAs FQA study plots, fields

Probably the best way to understand these different types is to take a look at them at our demo location. Although we set this demo at the Konza Prairie, none of the Georegions or FQA data there are real. This is just a demo Location where our tools can be played with.

Viewing Georegions in the Map

Have a look at the Demo Location’s Georegions (or the screenshots to the right in this page — click them to get larger versions). Notice in particular:

  • The various overlays show in the map — Markers in blue; Lines in red; Regions in dark blue with red outline.
  • The list of Georegions to the right of the map are all links to their respective detail pages.
  • When you place a cursor over any Georegion in the map, it is automatically highlighted in the list so you can match the map objects to the list objects.
  • When you modify any Georegion in the map (by dragging it, adding points, etc) then it is automatically flagged in the list so you know that you have unsaved changes (more about that below).
  • When you click in or on a Georegion, a dialog appears where you can edit its name and, more importantly, save it (again, more below).

Viewing Georegions’ Detail Pages

Each Georegion has its own detail page where it is displayed by itself in a map, along with whatever other information it might have:

  • All Georegions have a title and description.
  • Regions may have associated FQAs.

Explore the demo location and click on its various Georegions, or take a look at these screenshots of a Marker, a Line, and a Region.

Creating Georegions

The tools for creating Georegions are buttons prominently displayed at the top of any Location’s map to which you can add Georegions; if those buttons aren’t there, then that particular Location is “read-only” and cannot be manipulated by you.

Markers

Start creating a Marker by clicking this icon in the map:

Then simply click where you want the Marker to be. This will open a dialog right above your point where you provide a title for your Marker. Once you click the “OK” button, your new Marker will appear in the list to the right of the map as well as in the map.

Lines

Start creating a Line by clicking this icon in the map:

Then click where you want the Line to go — one click per segment — and conclude with a double-click to stop the process. This will open a dialog where you provide a title. Once you click the “OK” button, your new Line will appear in the list to the right of the map.

Regions

Start creating a Region by clicking this icon in the map:

You then “digitize” your Region by clicking points around the area of interest. You double-click the final point to “finish” the region. This will automatically open up a dialog where you name your new Region. Type in a title and click the “OK” button. This will save your new Region to the web site’s database, and your new Region will show up in the list just to the right of the map.

You can zoom the map in to see precisely where you put your vertices, and you can drag them around. Additional vertices are automatically created for you next to any one you select, so with a bit of effort, you can easily shape your region exactly as you like.

Editing Georegions

Editing Georegions is done two places and two ways, depending on what you need to edit:

  • Changes to the geography of a Georegion is done directly in the map.
  • Changes to other details (title, description, etc) is done on the Georegion’s main page.

Here are more details.

Markers

Geography: You can move the marker around simply by dragging it in the map. Once you do so, the system will flag the marker’s name in the list in red. You’ll need to save any such changes by clicking on the marker to bring up the map dialog box and clicking the “OK” button or else your changes will be lost! This will clear the red highlight. NOTE: some browsers don’t instantly clear the red highlight (Firefox and the latest Safari on OSX do; IE does not — who knows why, other than that IE is basically broken? Browsers are weird). You may need to move your cursor over the marker and then back off in order to see that the red flag has cleared.

Other Details: Managing the name and description of the Marker is done on the Marker’s main page. Click on the name of the marker in the list to the right of the map to get to the marker’s main page. There you’ll see the Marker’s title and description. Just beneath the description, you will also see a link to “Edit title and description” (if you have the necessary superpowers, that is — which you will in your own group but you won’t in the public demo location’s regions). Then click the “edit” link you’ll see there to reach the edit form. Make whatever changes you want and save them. If you have appropriate superpowers, you’ll also see a “Delete” link on the edit page.

Lines

Geography: You can move around a Line, add vertices for bends, etc through the map. Any changes you make via the map will flag the line’s name in red in the list to the right of the map. You’ll need to save any such changes by clicking on the line to bring up the map dialog box and clicking the “OK” button or else your changes will be lost! This will clear the red highlight. NOTE: some browsers don’t instantly clear the red highlight (Firefox on OSX does; Safari on OSX and IE do not — who knows why? Browsers are weird). You may need to move your cursor over the line and then back off in order to see that the red flag has cleared.

Other Details: Managing the title and description of a Line is done on the Line’s detail page. Click on the name of the Line in the list to the right of the map to get to that page. There you’ll see the Line’s title and description — as well as its length. Just beneath the description, you will also see a link to “Edit title and description” (if you have the necessary superpowers, that is — which you will in your own group but you won’t in the public demo location’s regions). Then click the “Edit title and description” link you’ll see there to reach the edit form. Make whatever changes you want and save them. If you have appropriate superpowers, you’ll also see a “Delete” link on the edit page.

Regions

Geography: Any time you alter a Region by dragging a vertex in the map to resize the region, the Region’s name will highlight in red in the list to the right of the map. You MUST click in or on the georegion to bring up its dialog box and then click the “OK” button in order to save these changes back to our database — or else they will be lost! After you save your changes this way, the red highlight will clear. NOTE: some browsers don’t instantly clear the red highlight (Firefox and the latest Safari on OSX do; IE does not — who knows why? IE is lame). You may need to move your cursor over the region and then back off in order to see that the red flag has cleared.

Other Details: To edit the name and description of a Region, click on its name in the list to the right of the location’s map to reach the Region’s detail page. There you’ll see the Region’s title and description — including the area of the region. Just beneath the description, you will also see a link to “Edit title and description” (if you have the necessary superpowers, that is — which you will in your own group but you won’t in the public demo location’s regions).

If you click this “edit” link, you’ll reach a form where you can edit the title and the description. If you have the necessary superpowers, you will also see a “Delete” link in the form. If you delete a region, you will also delete any FQAs collected for that region, but you of course will not delete the location where the region is located.

Managing FQAs belonging to a Region is its own topic, explained here.

Created: February 02, 2010 14:14
Last updated: February 03, 2010 12:35


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