Tutorial: Working With Shapes

Shapes support many use cases in Geopointe. You can use them to define territory assignments, property boundaries, business franchise lines, and neighborhood canvassing areas, just to name a few. In this document, learn how to create and work with all the different shape types in Geopointe. 



Shape Types

There are two ways you can create shapes:
  • Shape Editing Tools - Create custom shapes with your mouse.
    • Freeform Polygons
    • Rectangles
    • Circles
    • Lines
  • Shape Library - Use predefined boundaries in the Geopointe Shape Library and save them as individual shapes or use them to create larger shapes.

Folders and Retrieving Shapes

Shapes are stored in folders. These folders can store any mixture of saved layers, including shapes, data sets, and demographics layers, or you can keep your shapes in their own folders.

Learn more about Saved Layers Folders and Folder Management

To load a shape on the map, click that layer in the Control Panel. A blue progress bar will show the loading progress. 

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.


Create a Shape

Freeform Polygon Shapes

To make a freeform shape, click the Draw Polygon tool in the shape menu on the right side of the Map page. It looks like a pencil drawing a shape. You are ready to draw when your cursor looks like crosshairs on the map.

Click on the map to create each vertex of the polygon. Note: Do not hold down the mouse and drag. Dragging your mouse will just move the 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, click Actions, then click Save.

In the next dialogue box, provide a name for the shape, select a folder to save it to, then click Save. 

Rectangles, Circles, and Lines

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, click 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 clicking the Draw Line tool in the shape menu on the right side of the Map page. Its icon looks like a pencil drawing a line. 

When your cursor looks like crosshairs on the map, start drawing by clicking to create the vertex for each line segment. 
Note: Do NOT click and drag. Dragging will just move the 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, click Actions, then click Save.



To edit a shape, you either need to have it handy in your list of saved layers or up on the screen.

To 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 loaded to 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 Library

Geopointe offers a library of pre-defined boundary shapes that you can use to create larger shapes and territories, define search areas, analyze regional statistics, and more.

Here is a full list of
Boundaries in the Geopointe Shape Library

To launch the Shape Library, click on the Globe icon in the Shape tools menu on the right side of the Map, or click the + from the Saved Layers tab of the Map control panel, then click Geopointe Shape Library.

To create a shape from Shape Library boundaries, follow these steps:
1. Enter a Layer Name
2. Enter a Description (optional).
3. Click the link next to Folder and select a folder to save the shape in.
4. Choose a shape-building method by selecting the appropriate tab - Map Select, Hierarchy, or From Text

To use the Map Select method:

1. Select a Shape Type from the drop-down. Available shape types will change based on those available for the region visible on the map screen. Make sure to navigate to the area where you will be selecting shapes before you click this drop-down, and review our full list of Geopointe Library Shapes

2. Use the Click Toggle tool or Lasso Add tools to select the boundaries you want to include in the shape. Use the Lasso Remove or the Click Toggle tool to remove those boundaries. 

3. Check the Shape Names box if you want to display the names of the individual shape boundaries you select.

4. Click Save to save the shape to your Saved Layers, or click Apply to add it to the map without saving it.

To use the Hierarchy method:

1. Build a shape by navigating through the tree structure of Geopointe Shape Library shapes and checking the boxes of the shapes that you want to include.

2. 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.

3. Click Save to save the shape to your Saved Layers, or click Apply to add it to the map without saving it.

To use the ​From Text method

1. Enter a list of USPS zip code values in the text box. The text box is forgiving and will recognize lists that are comma delineated, semi-colon delineated, spaces, or separate lines. 

2. If you want to add these zip codes to a new shape or expand an existing shape, choose Add.

3. If you want to erase all existing boundaries in a shape with the new zip codes, choose Overwrite.

4. Click Save to save the shape to your Saved Layers, or click Apply to add it to the map without saving it.

Set Additional Options

  • 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. This method is selected by default and can be edited later.


There are a few ways to edit a shape:
  • Hover over the layer name and clicking Edit Shape in the Layer Options menu. 
  • If you have the shape loaded to the map already, click on the shape, then click Actions | Edit.
  • Click the Pencil Icon from the Mapped Layers tab
To remove a shape, click remove next to it in the Selected Shapes box.

To add additional 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.

When you're done, click Save or Save As


Autoload Shapes

If there is a shape you load every time you come to the map, you can favorite it so that it autoloads when you click on the Map tab.

To favorite a shape, click the star icon next to the shape name in the Saved Layers tab. Favorited shapes and layers have a yellow star. To remove it from favorites, click it again.

Shape Uses

Shape uses vary, dependent on your need. Here are some examples to help you get started, but this is certainly not a complete list.

  • Sales or support territories
  • Define a driving route boundary
  • Franchise or service area boundaries
  • Find records along a route
  • Frequently-used search area
  • Utility lines

Learn More

​Shape Searching
Grant a User Shape Editing Access