Tutorial: Working With Shapes
Shape Types | Folders and Retrieving Shapes | Create a Shape | Shape Library | From Text | Edit a Shape | Autoload Shape | Shape Uses
Custom PolygonsThe polygons are broken up into four different sub-types, each drawn in a slightly different way.
Freeform Polygon: A polygon allows you to define as many vertices to draw a shape that meets your needs. Frequent use cases for polygons are searching in a particular neighborhood, searching along a route, or defining an area with odd boundaries.
Rectangle: A rectangle allows you to search in a "viewable area" type fashion, but with more precision.
Circle: The circle shape works similarly to a nearby search, but allows you determine the radius without knowing the exact mileage.
Line: A line allows you to define a linear area on the map, such as a construction project along a roadway, an irrigation canal, or a section of electrical lines.
Shape LibraryOur shape library contains a wide variety of geographic boundaries for you to use to build out your shapes. At the highest level, we have shapes that follow country boundaries. For many countries, we also have states, postal codes, and counties. These can be used on their own or combined into larger shapes.
Your folders are found on the Saved Layers tab of the map's control panel (the first tab with the folder icon). New folders are created by clicking the + button next to the filter box. When the dialogue box shows up to choose your new layer type, select Folder. The next box will allow you to name it and designate if it should be visible to all users.
Folder Settings can be adjusted after they've been created by clicking on the Menu (three dots) button to the right of a folder when it's hovered over.
Admins can customize the sharing access to the folder and its contents, as well as rename it, move its contents, or delete it. All users with folder visibility can add the entire folder contents to the map at once.
To load a shape on the map, locate its folder and click the folder name to display the folder contents. Click on the desired Shape and a blue progress bar will appear until your shape appears on the map.
Alternatively, if this is a shape you load often, it may be found in your Recent layers. You can switch to Recent view and click on your Shape from that list.
Freeform Polygon Shapes
A freeform shape is drawn from using the Freeform Polygon tool in the shape menu on the right side of the Map page. Its icon looks like a pencil drawing a shape. Click it to get started. You are ready to draw when your cursor looks like crosshairs on the map.
To start drawing, click on the map. Note: Do NOT click and drag. Click to drop a shape corner and move your mouse to draw a line. Click to drop the next point, move your mouse to create the next line. Remember a click and drag will not draw, but instead move your map.
When you're done with your shape, click on the origin point or double click to close it. Closing it shades in the shape. To save it, click inside the shaded area, choose Actions, and click Save.
A dialogue box will ask you to name it and select a folder. Do so, save it, and you're done.
Rectangle and Circle Shapes
To draw a rectangular shape on the map, click the Rectangle button found in the Shape Tools on far right side of your map. To draw, click on your starting position corner and drag it diagonally to the ending corner. Click to complete your shape.
To save it, click in the shaded area, choose Actions, and click Save. A dialogue box will ask you to name it and select a folder. Do so, save it, and you're done.
Adding a circle has very similar steps. Click on the Circle button in the Shape tools. Rather than starting in a corner, start in the center of the circle. Click and drag it out to expand the circle to the desired size. When you release the mouse the circle will appear. Save/interact with it the same way as other drawn shapes.
A line shape is drawn by using the Polyline tool in the shape menu on the right side of the Map page. Its icon looks like a pencil drawing a line. Click it to get started. You are ready to draw when your cursor looks like crosshairs on the map.
To start drawing, click on the map. Note: Do NOT click and drag. Click to drop a starting point and move your mouse to draw a line. Click to drop the next point, move your mouse to create the next line segment. Remember a click and drag will not draw, but instead move your map.
When you're done with your line, click on the origin point or double click to end it. To save it, click on the shaded line, choose Actions, and click Save.
Geopointe offers a library of pre-defined boundary shapes that you can use to define territories, build search areas, analyze data by regions, and more. The shape library includes Congressional districts, Counties, States, Countries, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA's), Neighborhoods (based on Zillow.com data), School Districts (including elementary, secondary, and unified), Timezones, and USPS Zip Codes.
To launch the Shape Library, click on the Globe icon in the Shape tools, or click the + from the Saved Layers tab of the Map control panel.
Shape Library shapes have many options for personalizing the shape to your needs.
Here is a quick run down of the different options for building your shape.
1. Layer Name (Required): This field designates what your shape will be called in the Saved Layers folders.
2. Description: Give more information about your shape, if necessary.
3. Folder (Required): Select the folder your shape will be saved into.
4. Selection Methods and Options
Map Select: Build a shape with the Click Toggle tool or Lasso tools.
Hierarchy: Build a shape by navigating through the tree structure of Geopointe Shape Library shapes.
From Text: Build a shape based on zip code values that you enter yourself.
Options: Allows you to alter the color, turn labels on or off, and merge the shape.
- Color: The color and opacity determine how the shape appears on the map.
- Show Labels: Display the name of your whole shape or all individual shapes inside your shape.
- Merge: Choosing this option allows you to combine all selected shapes into one shape
6. Shape Names: Check to display the names of shape boundaries on the map, or uncheck to hide them.
7. Selection Type: Use these tools to select boundaries with the Map Select method: Click Toggle, Lasso Add, and Lasso Remove.
8. Selected Shapes: Shapes that you have selected to build a larger shape on the map.
9. Cancel: Takes you back to the map without updating the shape.
Apply: Displays the new shape
Save & New: Saves the current shape and lets you immediately start creating a new one.
Save: Saves the shape.
Shape-Building MethodsWhen building a shape from the library, you will use one of three available methods. Learn details about each method below.
Build a shape directly on the map by clicking or lassoing areas on the map with the visual shape editor. To use this method, select the shape category from the dropdown. This will overlay the available shapes of that type onto the map. Add or remove shapes by clicking on the map (Click Toggle icon) or lassoing (Lasso Add or Lasso Remove icon.)
Build a shape by navigating through a hierarchical tree structure of Geopointe Shape Library shapes. Add a shape by selecting the check box next to the shape name and using the blue arrows to drill down to areas and granularities. Selecting a box at the top of a list will select all or all filtered boxes in that list. Any category with a blue arrow can be drilled down further. Selected shapes appear on the left.
There is an alternative method of building shapes using the Geopointe Shape Library, currently specific to zip codes. If you have a list of US zip codes, you can enter the list on the map and have create a shape from the list.
Enter your list into the provided text box. The Selected Shapes will populate on the left. The text box is forgiving and will recognize lists that are comma delineated, semi-colon delineated, spaces, or separate lines. If you want to add these zip codes to a new shape or expand an existing shape, choose Add. If you want to erase all existing boundaries in a shape with the new zip codes, choose Overwrite. When you save the shape, the zip codes associated with the provided text become that new shape.
To edit a shape, you either need to have it handy in your list of saved layers or up on the screen.
Freeform, Rectangle, Circle and Line Polygon ShapesTo edit the shape, you can hover over it in the Saved Layers list and click the Menu button on the right, and then choose Edit Shape. Alternatively, with the shape up on the map, left-click on it, then click Actions | Edit. The transform points will become visible on the shape. Adjust the shape as needed, click inside the shape again, and choose Actions | Save.
Geopointe Shape LibraryTo edit the shape, you can hover over it in the Saved Layers list and click the Menu button on the right, and then choose Edit Shape. Alternatively, with the shape up on the map, left-click on it, then click Actions | Edit or click the Pencil Icon from the Mapped Layers tab. Remove boundaries by clicking Remove on the left. To add the additional desired boundaries to the shape, select the Click Toggle or Lasso Add icons or select the Hierarchy tab and then search or navigate through the arrows as done on your initial save. Click Save or Save As.
To favorite a shape, click the star to the right of the shape in the Saved Layers tab. When the star is visible and yellow, that is a favorite shape. To stop it from autoloading, click the yellow star off again.
Shape uses vary, dependent on your need. Here are some examples to help you get started, but this is certainly not a complete list.
- Draw out a sales or support territory
- Define a driving route boundary
- Define franchise or service area boundaries
- Find records along a route
- Define a frequently-used search area
- Define utility lines