1. Location Finding in Google Maps
Google Maps provides a comprehensive tool for quickly going to a location. A text box is located at the center top of the map display. A user can enter a range of geographical-related terms such as the names of cities or towns, zip codes, postal codes etc. It also has a predictive facility which provides a drop-down list of possible locations as the user is typing in.
2. Creating and Editing Areas and Paths
The main method for interacting with Google Maps to create Areas and Paths is by using the left mouse button. Normal clicking of the mouse button causes a point to be entered at the current cursor position. Holding down the left mouse button causes the view to pan when the mouse is moved. As soon as the first point is entered, the Undo button is highlighted indicating that the user can undo the last point entry.
After a series of point entries that define a Path, the End Path button can be selected to create a Path. Successful completion of a Path is indicated by the creation of a label for the Path. This label displays the default name for the Path, it’s length and a cost or weight estimate (which initially will be 0.0).
Display of the label can be suppressed individually by clicking on the ‘x’ in the top right corner of the label. The labels for all Paths can be toggled off or on by the tick boxes above the map display on the left side. The display of the Paths can be similarly toggled off and on. The Path (and label) can be deleted completely by pressing the Delete button on the label.
After a series of point entries that define an Area, the mouse can be placed over the first point in the sequence. The cursor glyph turns to a pointing hand indicating that the first point is about to be picked. If the left button is clicked, then an Area is defined. This is confirmed by the display of a label that indicates the default name for the Area, its area, perimeter length and a cost or weight estimate (which initially will be 0.0).
Similar label display options as for Paths are available for Areas. In Map mode, an Area can be deleted by picking the Delete button on the Area label.
After Paths and Areas have been created, they are available for further editing. Simply place the cursor over a previously entered point and depress the left mouse button. The point can then be dragged to a new location while the left button is held down. On releasing the left mouse button, the Path or Area is then updated. Also updated are the area and length values contained in the labels. Available after a point has been edited, is a small undo button. If picked this returns the Path or Area to its original shape.
A further editing tool available is the ability to insert a point in the outline of a Path or an Area. On closer inspection of the outlines, intermediate points can be seen ghosted in between the points entered. If an intermediate point is moved as described above, then it is inserted into the original sequence of points.
Note that after editing, the area and perimeter values are updated for Areas and the length value for Paths is updated. It is possible that an Area or a Path may have an associated weight or cost value. After editing, this value is also updated reflecting the change in length or area value.
3. Saving a Default View
When a user first registers, a default view is assigned. This can be updated using Map > Save View as Default. It is recommended that a user initially selects a view appropriate for their business so that minimum effort is required to move to specific views for each new project. Once a Path or an Area has been created for a Project, then on recall a best view is calculated based on this data.
4. Full Page Map Mode
An icon located in the top right corner of the map (below the zoom in and out icons) can be used to toggle the map display between normal and full screen mode.
5. Project Classification
Projects can be classified as being either Pending, Active or Completed. When a project is first created, it is assigned a Pending status. By default, when projects are displayed, the display is set to display All three types.
As projects progress, their status may change from Pending to Active and then from Active to Completed. To facilitate this, Projects can be edited by clicking the Edit link on the Projects listing page.
The Edit Project page then provides a means of changing the status of a Project.
When projects are listed, the default setting of All ensures that all projects are displayed. As a user creates more and more Projects, it may become inconvenient to display all projects – some of which may be out-of-date.
By selecting the Settings > Page menu option, it is possible to change what is displayed by default when Projects are listed. For instance, if this is set to Pending then only Projects with this status are initially listed. As projects are considered to be no longer required, then they can have their status changed to Active or Completed. This means that they will not be listed by default but are still available if the user has to refer to them.