Step 1 – Login to Save your Work

Make sure you sign-in prior to starting your map, otherwise, your progress will not be saved. Use the button with the three lines (A) to open the sign-in menu. If you are new to EQUATOR, use the “Sign Up” button (B) to create an account. If you are already a user, use the “Sign In” button (C) to login.

Picture of Login/Signup Screen


Step 2 – Search for a Location

Search for your location using the search bar in the upper left corner. Once you have typed in a location, hit enter to bring up a list of search results. Select the location you are interested in viewing from the list. Once you do so, your view will zoom into that place.

Picture of Search Bar


Step 3 – Move Around the Map

Zoom into your location of interest using the mouse buttons and scroll wheel. You can zoom in and out using the scroll wheel. If you want to zoom in and out more quickly, hold down the scroll wheel and move the mouse up or down. To rotate the map and view 3D topography, hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse.

How to Move Around the Map


Step 4 – Search for Layers

You can use the search box at the top of the list to search for layers or locations. Here, we are searching for a layer with the key word “roads” in it’s description. As you can see, after hitting enter, a number of locations and layers have appeared with this word in the description. Scroll through the list to find the layer of data you are looking for.

Searching for Layers


Step 5 – Adding Layers to the Map, Downloading Data

Once you click on the layer you are interested in, you will arrive at this screen. All of the information contained in Box A is provided by the data owner. Here we can read a description of the layer, which tells us we are looking at road segments compiled from the Town’s digital record drawings. If we want to return to the search and list of layers, we can click the back arrow in the top left.

Box B shows us information about when the data layer was created, as well as when it was last updated. There are two buttons at the bottom of the panel: “Source” and “Add.” By clicking on “Source”, you will be directed to the page where the layer was sourced from. From there, you have the option to download the data in various formats. If you would like to add this data to the map, simply click on “Add” (you may have to click “Add” twice).

Box C includes a button that allows you to turn the map into HD mode. In HD mode, the data layers will appear more clear and crisp.

The first time you load a layer, it will have a random color assigned to it. Sometimes, the color blends in with the map imagery. You can toggle the imagery (base layer) on and off using the green button shown in Box D. This feature will help you check to see if the layer has loaded. Box D also allows you to change the base layer to different options (e.g. with labels, imagery, no imagery, etc.).

Adding Layers to the Map


Step 6 – The Layer List

Click on the “Layers” button (A) to bring up the layers menu. From this menu, you can change layer formatting (color, line thickness, etc.), add your own markup, and change the order of layers. If you have loaded multiple layers, you can change the order that layers appear on the map by dragging them above or below other layers in the layer list (B).

If you would like to turn layers on and off, use the eye icon on the right side of the layer name to do so (C).

To format a layer, click on the layer name in the layer list (B)

List of Applied Layers


Step 7 – Layer Formatting

From the layer list, click on the layer name (refer to step 6) to open the layer formatting menu. From this menu, you have two main options: (A) change the color (including transparency) and (B) change the line width. For layers of data that include polygons, you will have the option to adjust the fill color and outline color independently. Click on the color menu (A) and then go to step 8.

Example Layer Formatting


Step 8 – Changing Layer Color

You can change the color and transparency of your layer using sliders (A), (B), and (C). If you want to get more precise, you can use specific color codes in HEX, RGB, or HSL (D). Note: if you have added transparency, the option to add a HEX color code will not appear.

Changing Layer Colors


Step 9 – Making a Map, Working with Project Folders

Click on the “Projects” button (A) to bring up the projects menu. This is where, when you are logged in, all of your work is saved in folders. Right now, we are working in a project called “New Project.” If you want to create a new folder, click on the “Add Project” button in Box B.

To create and format a map for export, click on the “Add Report” button in Box B.

Project Folders


Step 10 – Create your Own Template

Once you have clicked on “Add Report,” you will arrive on this screen. Here, you have the option to chose a basic, pre-formatted map template (B), or create your own (A)! You can chose from standard page sizes, or customize the dimensions to meet your needs (C).

Select the Blank template (A), and move on to step 11.

How to make custom templates


Step 11 – Format your Map Template

You can rename your map by double clicking on the name in the upper left corner (A). Change “Blank” to “Hiking Map.” To add your map view to the page, click on “Map View” (B) and click and drag a rectangle across the entire extents of the page. You can add data attribution to the map using the attribution box (C). Similar to the map view, you can click and drag a rectangle across the screen in the location you would like the attribution to appear.

Formatting Map Templates


Step 12 – “Paper” Space versus “Map” Space

There are two main spaces to learn about when creating and formatting maps.

Working in paper space allows you to interact with the actual page. When you are working in paper space, you will be able to zoom in an out on the page, change formatting of map elements (north arrow, scale bar, legend, etc.) and work with all of the elements shown in the menu on the right. You can think of paper space as a window layered on top of the map.

When you are working in map space, will be able to interact with the actual map. Once you double click inside the map view, you will have the ability to zoom in and out, rotate, and pan within the map.

About the report feature


Step 13 – Map Window Menu

When you are working in paper space (see step 12), you can open the Map Window Menu by single clicking on the map view (A).  In this menu, you can change things like:

(B) map style: background, outline and border)

(C) position: order and size of the map view)

(D) general options: export DPI, north arrow and scale style, and legend)

(E): layer formatting.

Map window mode


Step 14 – Map Background

The options in (A) allow you to change the baselayer.  Use the gear icon to change to baselayer imagery to other providers.  Use the eye icon to turn the baselayer on and off.  In this example, we are going to turn the baselayer off.  

Map background


Step 15 – Map Background

Once the baselayer is turned off (see step 14), click on the background color to open the color pallet (A).  In this example, the intent is to match the background color to the yellow on the EQUATOR website.  We used a color picker extension in Google Chrome to figure out the HEX code for the yellow on the website: #F6B805.   That value can be pasted right into the HEX box (B).  

Map background


Step 16 – Layer Formatting

The color and style of the layers can be changed right in the paper space.  In the map menu (A), click on the gear icon.  You can change the color of the roads to grey using the HEX code #B0B0B0.  You can also change the line thickness to 1.5 so that they are easier to see.  Here you also have the option of turning layers on and off using the eye icon (which we are not going to use right now).  

Layer formatting


Step 17 – Other Formatting Options

To change map elements, like the north arrow and scale bar, click on the element to bring up additional menus.  Here, we have clicked on the north arrow (A) and changed the icon style (B).  We have also move the location of the north arrow by clicking and dragging it.  The style and location of the scale bar (C) can be changed in the same way.  

We have also changed the orientation of the map in the view.  Double click inside the map view window, and then use the mouse controls from step 3 to readjust the view (D).  When you are finished readjusting the view, double click in the grey area to move back into the paper work space (step 12).

More formatting options


Step 18 – Find and Add Layers to the Map

Click on the search icon (A) to bring you back to the layer list.  Use the search bar to type in “trail,” then hit enter (B).  Scroll through the list of layers that include the term “trail” until you find the data set called “Canmore Trails” (C). 

Find and Add layers to the map


Step 19 – Add Other Layers to the Map

Click on “Add” (A) to add the trails layer to the map.  Then, click on the project folder icon (B).

Add more layers to the map


Step 20 – Return to the Report View

Once in the Project Menu, click on the map that was previously started called “Hiking Map” (A).  

Return to the report view


Step 21 – Updating the Layers Shown in the Map View

By default, your previous map view state will be retained.  This means that if you have added new layers to the map, you will need to turn them on using the eye icon (A).  Once you have turned on the “Canmore Trails” layer, click on the gear icon (B) to change the color of the trail layer to #E7E7E7 and the line thickness to 2.5.

Updating layers


Step 22 – Adding a Border to the Map View

Change the border size (A) to 12.  This shrinks the size of the area inside of the map view (B).

Add border to map view


Step 23 – Adding a White Border

Click once in the grey area (A) to bring up the menu on the right.  Click on “Rectangle” (B) and then click and drag to create a border around the map.

Adding white border


Step 24 – Changing the Border Style

Chance the outline color to white (A), and make sure that the transparency slider is moved all the way to the right.  Change the outline width to 2.

Changing Border Styles


Step 25 – Add Text

Click once in the grey area and the click on “Text” (A).  When text is selected, you can use the text menu to change font, text size, alignment, and placement.

Add text

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RJ does Software Development and Marketing at Equator Studios