ALERTS HOW-TO GUIDE

Annotate the Map

What can you do with annotations?
  • Highlight changes found in satellite imagery
  • Measure the area of new development or changes in a habitat’s footprint
  • Add information to a SkyTruth Alerts incident
  • Measure boundary setbacks or the distance between 2 objects
  • Add text to the map in preparation for sharing with others
The  icon is used to annotate your map. Annotations can include text, shapes (circles, rectangles, polygons), lines and markers. You don’t have to open one of your AOIs before adding annotations. However, if you do have an AOI open you’ll be able to include satellite imagery, which may add value when annotating and sharing map views.
After clicking the , but before marking up your map, you should position the map so that it’s optimally centered and includes the full area that’s meaningful for sharing. Think about where you might want to add annotations such as headings and legends. Re-position the map by click-dragging any part of it. Zoom in and out with your mouse’s scroll wheel, by pinching in/expanding out the touch pad or mobile device, or by clicking the + and buttons. When you’re satisfied with the map view, you can lock in the boundaries by checking the Freeze Map Bounds checkbox. This will prevent the map from changing position if your annotations overflow their borders.
Notes:
  • If the Annotation Options pop-up is in the way of where you want to annotate, it can be moved by click-dragging the  icon. Some browsers need a 2nd click to re-position the pop-up.
  • As you select one of the annotation tools () you’ll see mini-instructions inside the Help box for how it’s used.
  • You won’t be able to save or share your map view until you close Annotation Options, which is done with the  icon. Unless you close the AOI or move to another web page, you’re annotations will still be there the next time you open Annotations.
  • If doing a large number of annotations, it’s good practice to frequently close Annotation Options, Save the map view, and then open annotations back up.

Area and Length Calculations

Polygons, rectangles and circles all come with the option of including area calculations (square kilometers), while lines have the option of including the line’s length in meters.
When Include Area or Include Length boxes are checked, Alerts will display the measurement in black text on a white background. You can adjust the look and position of this measurement by first clicking the  icon. This will create a handle () for each calculated area or length.
  • To move the calculation, just click-drag its  handle.
  • To change the look of the calculation, single-click its  handle and you’ll see options for the font and background colors.

 

Adding Text to the Map

Select the  icon and click on the map where you want text to appear. Here are the text options you’ll have.

 

Add a Polygon

After selecting the , click anywhere on map to start a polygon. Each additional click creates a new line. Complete the polygon by double-clicking the last side or clicking the original starting point. Once the polygon is completed, you’ll have these options:
Polygon options include picking line and fill colors, adjusting the opacity, and including an area calculation. Play with these options until you’re comfortable with their use. You can also change the polygon’s shape by grabbing any of its points, and you can re-position the entire polygon with a simple click-drag.

 

Add a Rectangle 

After selecting the , click and hold the mouse on the map where you want one corner to be located. Then drag the pointer until the rectangle covers the area you want, and finish by releasing the mouse. Once the rectangle is completed, you’ll see these options:
Rectangle options include picking line and fill colors, adjusting the opacity, and including an area calculation. Play with these options until you’re comfortable with their use. You can also change the rectangle’s shape by grabbing any of its corners, and you can re-position the entire rectangle with a simple click-drag.

 

Add a Circle

After selecting the , click and hold the mouse on the map where you want the center of the circle to be located. Then drag the pointer until the circle covers the area you want, and finish by releasing the mouse. Once the circle is completed, you’ll see these options:
Circle options include picking line and fill colors, adjusting the opacity, and including an area calculation. Play with these options until you’re comfortable with their use. You can also change the circle’s radius by grabbing any of its points, and you can re-position the entire circle with a simple click-drag.

 

Add a Line 

Lines can be single or multiple segments. After selecting the , click on the map where you want the line to begin. Each additional single-click creates a new line segment. Complete the line by double-clicking. So if you’re looking for a simple straight line, you’d click once where the line should start, move the pointer, and double-click to complete the line. Here are the options for a completed line:
Line options include picking a color, including an arrow and including the line’s length. Play with these options until you’re comfortable with their use. You can also change any segment in the line by grabbing one of its markers. To move the entire line, follow the instructions below titled Moving Annotations.

 

Add a Marker 

The  icon lets you addtype markers to the map. Just click on the map where you want a marker. The marker is created and you’re given colore options. You can add multiple markers at the same time. To change any marker’s color, first click the marker first and then select a color.

 

Moving Annotations

Start with the  icon.

  • Shapes, lines and markers can be moved by click-dragging anywhere on the object.
  • Text can be moved by click-dragging the corresponding  handle.
  • Area/length calculations can be moved by click-dragging the corresponding  handle.

 

Updating Annotations

Start with the  icon. Click on a shape, line, marker, text handle or area/length calculation handle. You’ll be given the same options as when the object was first created.