Now with this latest version of the map tools, you can DRAW ANY SHAPE and identify what’s there! Here are the simple steps:
- Click the “Drawing Tools…” button on the left side of the map
- Select the shape you want to draw (line, custom polygon or rectangle) in the upper left corner
- Draw any shape on the map and double-click the map when you’re done
Here’s an example in which I drew a polygon to report on ZIP Codes around Sioux City, Iowa:
See that “Results” box that pops up over the map window? It reports ALL of the features that the shape you drew touches. So in this example, we have all of the ZIP Codes that my drawn polygon touches.
These new drawing tools work on all of the map tools to select the appropriate main topic of the tool: counties, ZIP Codes, cities, Section Township and Range, historical U.S. counties, Time Zones, and Area Codes.
Copy the Results into another program
If you have some sort of a database, spreadsheet or document, you can easily paste the list of ZIP Codes into that other program. Just follow these easy steps:
- Click inside the Results box that lists the ZIP Codes
- Type Ctrl+A to select all of the ZIP Codes
- Type Ctrl+C to copy them to your clipboard
- Open your other program and either type Ctrl+V or choose Paste from the appropriate menu
When you’re done, just click the “EXIT DRAWING” button on the left side of the map.
Create a pdf of your map, including the shape you drew!
Now that you know how to draw a shape on the map, you might want to create a pdf or screenshot of your completed masterpiece. Let’s say you’re drawing a parcel of land based on a Section, Township and Range land description. Follow these steps:
- Draw the shape on the map using the Drawing Tools as described above (TIP: If you need to adjust the shape after you draw it, click the Hand button highlightedin the upper left of the map)
- In a few moments, the Results window will appear over the map listing each unique Section Township Range your shape touched. Click the “CLOSE” button on the Results box so you can see the map.
- To create a pdf file of your map, right-click in the light-blue title bar at the top of the map (highlightedbelow), and choose “Print…” as shown below.
In the resulting Print preview window that appears, change the “Print Destination” to “Save as pdf”. (If the map doesn’t appear quite right, you can try changing from Portrait to Landscape or go back and make your map window smaller and Print again).
Another option for getting a map into another program is just to click the PrtScr(PrintScreen) key on your keyboard, and then open your other program (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, your blog) and Paste. That’s how I get all these maps in to these blog posts!
Have fun with these powerful new drawing and reporting tools!