Most Requested Capability Now Available: Draw & measure on the map

Based on the survey last month completed by over 100 users, the most requested capability was to be able to draw on the map and save those drawings to your account. Well, now you can!

In fact, you can draw points, lines and shapes on the map, save the drawings, and add multiple drawings onto the same map. And, as a bonus, length and area is automatically measured and displayed as you draw!

It’s probably easiest to see it in action, so here’s a short video (no sound) showing the drawing and measuring capability, in this case using the Section Township Range map tool:

Draw and measure example
Draw and measure example

Once you add drawings to your map, plus any other map layers you want to show, you can save the finished map to your account, and share the link to your map so others can interact with it! Here’s a fictitious Study Area in blue, with Phase 1 highlighted in yellow, and the area in acres of Phase 1 shown in the lower right (click the map to go to the interactive version):

Cool feature: length and area automatically update when you edit the shape by moving the little white vertices around, as shown on the map above.

Now let’s take a more complex example using three different mapBuilder* modules: Create custom areas from counties, Add custom points exported from Google Earth/Google My Maps, and in pink created with the Draw & measure on the map module, several hand-drawn points, lines and shapes showing fictitious “Expansion Areas” (click the map to go to the interactive version):

Draw on the map example with custom areas and custom points

*mapBuilder is the custom mapping tool that can be found just below all of the map tools on this website

Note, the ability to save maps and drawings to your account requires having an account, meaning you need to be a Monthly Contributor. This is because creating and saving drawings and maps takes up precious database and website resources, so it is not feasible to enable this capability for free website users. However, you’ll be happy to know that drawings and maps that Monthly Contributors create can be viewed and interacted with by people without an account!

Good news for the over 20% of users of this website from outside of the United States: Drawing and measuring on the map and saving drawings and maps to your account, works anywhere in the world, not just on US maps. Soon, you’ll also be able to set a measurement units preference in your account to be able to see all of your measurements using the metric system, for example.

To get started, click the “Draw & Measure” button on the left side of any map window, or use the “Draw & Measure on the map” module in mapBuilder found just below all of the map tools. When you’re done adding drawings, save your finished map by clicking the “Share/Save Map” button on the left side of the map window, or by using the purple “Save Map” button at the bottom of mapBuilder.

To learn more about drawing and saving, be sure and read the FAQs here. Those that really want to dive into the details will find the FAQ entitled “What is a Saved Drawing vs a Saved Map?” (hopefully) illuminating.

I hope you find these powerful new drawing and measuring capabilities useful!

Happy mapping!

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