Five Things You Need to Know About MapItFast

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Five Things You Need to Know About MapItFast

If you’ve used MapItFast even once, you know that it’s made for easy mapping. There’s nothing quite like mapping points, lines and polygons with a single tap. But that’s only a fraction of what MapItFast can do! If you didn’t know about all the features below, it may be time to rethink how you’re using the software.

Map even faster with a Data Dictionary

The data dictionary feature in MapItFast makes it even easier to map in the field with pre-set icons, lines, and polygon colors with automatic naming of your map objects. Use of data dictionaries is a great way to get the most out of MapItFast search tool (read more below).

Sort through data with ease

When projects accumulate data over the season, it may be necessary to review and organize the data from time to time. AgTerra developed the search tool on the web app to alleviate tedious searching and editing of individual map objects.

Watch the video below to see how the search tool and permission settings can be used on a project in MapItFast.

Share only what you want to share

Account administrators can manage and view all projects in an account. Additional users in the account will be limited to only the projects they are allowed to see. MapItFast’s enterprise-level permission system allows account administrators to share projects and data with individual users and/or user groups.

Go digital with your forms

Replace nearly any paper form with MapItFast’s electronic forms. The data collected can be exported in tabular format through the Strider website, exported in spatial format from MapItFast, or even emailed as a PDF report directly from the app.

Let your map tell the story

With the use of our electronic forms, maps can be updated on-the-fly as users preform tasks in the field. By setting up an Active Map Trigger in the Strider website, a selection in a form can automatically change the color of a point, line, or polygon on the map. With just one glance, users can view the map and see the status change in real time.

MapItFast Search & Select Tools

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MapItFast Search & Select Tools

The MapItFast web map console features Keyword Search, Lasso Select, and Box Select capabilities to search for map data


Keyword Search

 

The Search tool is located on the right-hand toolbar of the MapItFast website. This feature enables users to search for keywords associated with points, lines and polygons within a project. The Search tool will look in the title, description and any attached forms (if selected). The calendar widget may also be used to filter the search according to a defined time frame.


Lasso Select

The Lasso Select tool allows users to draw a freehand “loop” around objects to make a selection. To select objects with the lasso tool, hold down the left mouse button while drawing around the desired objects. When the mouse button is released, MapItFast will finish the drawing and open the Selected Objects popup window.


Box Select

The box select tool works much like the lasso tool. To select objects, hold down on the left mouse button, draw a box around the desired objects, and release the button to finish drawing. The Selected Objects popup window will appear.


Selected Objects Window

The “Selected Objects” window will open after objects have been selected using the Search, Lasso, or Box Select tool. This window contains many useful tools for modifying map data.

Working with Layers and Basemaps

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Working with Layers and Basemaps

Updated – April 2019

With MapItFast, you can integrate Google Earth KMZ files or shapefiles into your projects. In fact you can build your own basemaps that work offline to serve as a reference while you map objects and collect data. Learn more about MapItFast objects, layers and basemaps to determine what works best for your projects and to pick up a few tips and tricks.

MapItFast Objects

MapItFastObjects are the most interactive type of map feature. Objects can be queried, selected, and edited. Users can tap on a point, line, polygon or photo to view a pop-up window with the object’s attributes. Attributes can be modified by changing the object name, description, or by adding a Strider form. If a user has “Edit’ capabilities within a project, he or she may move a point object or adjust vertices on lines and polygon objects. Because MapItFast objects are vector based and can potentially contain a large number of attributes, MapItFast limits users to 1,000 objects per import and 5,000 total objects in a single project. Exceeding this number could result in an unresponsive web browser, mobile application, or both. If you’re working with large shapefiles, it is a good idea to split the data into separate projects or consider creating a layerset or custom basemap with the data instead.

 

Layers

Layers are map overlays that lay on top of any basemap.  Layers may be vector datasets such as shapefiles that associate attributes with map features/objects or raster datasets such as a georectified maps from a third party.  Layers of either type can be stacked on top of each other to serve as a layerset overlaid onto a basemap. Layers are useful when you want to view points, lines and/or polygons as an additional reference layer on a map and set to display differently at different zoom levels.

Basemaps

Basemaps are individual images of a map (called tiles) generated at a particular resolution and stitched together to create a seamless map. Map tiles make it possible for mobile devices to rapidly access and deliver map images. Basemaps in MapItFast can be viewed online (i.e. streamed via a data connection) or offline (i.e. accessed from the device’s SD card). For users who want to go beyond the default basemap options in MapItFast, custom basemaps are a powerful and customizable option. Custom basemaps are excellent for viewing maps with a lot of cartographic content or aerial imagery. They are created as “tile sets” at multiple zoom levels so that the map image is rapidly rendered for the user with optimum clarity. MapItFast accepts two file formats for custom basemaps: MIFzip and MBTiles.

Advantages and Disadvantages

What type of spatial map data you use with MapItFast is driven by your particular needs.  To help you determine what is best, below are the advantages and disadvantages with each data type:

MapItFast Objects

   Advantages:

  • Objects contain detailed attributes
  • May be edited, queried, and deleted
  • Available online or offline

   Disadvantages:

  • Large datasets will bog down the device
  • Unique symbology must be applied using data dictionaries
  • Difficult to use for displaying rich cartographic content

The following file types can be uploaded as MapItFast objects: Shapefile, KMZ, or GPX.

Online Layers

Advantages:

  • Useful for overlaying different data types on top of any basemap
  • Can be activated in any MapItFast project
  • May be controlled through user permissions
  • Can be used with larger datasets
  • Can be stacked to form layersets
  • Can be uniquely colored and labeled on an attribute
  • Available online or offline

   Disadvantages:

  • Displayed layers cannot be queried
  • Attribute identification is limited to labeling on one attribute and coloring on another
  • Labels may appear jumbled or get cut off due to the rasterization and tiling of the layersets. This is most predominant in line and polygon layers. If label placement is important, consider building a custom offline layerset.
  • Online layers must be cached in advance if needed during offline use

Online layersets require a file in shapefile format.

Custom Basemaps and Offline Layers

Advantages:

  • Useful for displaying detailed mapping data over large geographic areas
  • Label placement can be customized
  • Fast and responsive
  • Offline-ready

   Disadvantages:

  • Can be very large in size (i.e. several GB); may require using an external SD card on your device
  • Building offline layersets and basemaps requires third party software
  • Processing time for the tile package can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days.

Offline basemaps must be processed into a MIFzip or the commonly available MBTiles format. 

Vector layers are accepted in KMZ or shapefile format.  Note that shapefiles are imported by combining the *.shp, *.shx, *.dbf, and (optionally) *.prj files into a *.zip file.  Also note that data must be in GCS WGS84 or UTM projection.  Raster layers are accepted as MIFzip or the commonly available MBTiles format.

Tips and Tricks

Get started quickly using objects, layers and basemaps.  Below are some tips and tricks:

MapItFast Objects

Use the device or a Bluetooth GPS to map points, lines and polygons or to place a geophoto.  Simply use a quick tap on the appropriate icon on your device.  You can also draw a point, line or polygon object by using a long press on the appropriate icon on your device or by clicking on the icon on the MapItFast web client.

The following file types can be uploaded as MapItFast objects: Shapefile, KMZ, or GPX.

Online and Offline Layers

Raster Layers:

The most convenient way to upload raster layers are as MBTiles image format.  Many third party software programs are available for this including MapBox and CalTopo.  Google MBTiles to learn more.  These are brought into MapItFast the same way as vector layers described above.  Raster layers are not supported in online mode.

Online and Offline Layers

Vector Layers:

For shapefiles, make sure that your data is in GCS WGS84 or UTM projection format.  Zip the shp, shx and dbf files together.  Include the prj file if it is available.  KMZ files may be brought in directly.  When using the a mobile device, save these files to your storage (preferably to your SD if available), select “Basemaps and Overlays” under the settings menu and follow instructions.  When using the web mapping client, select the layers icon at the top and follow instructions.  Vector layers are supported in online and offline mode.  Access to individual online layers may also be controlled under user permissions.

Online and Offline Basemaps

MBTiles are an excellent way to build your own custom basemaps that can be use in online or offline mode.  Many third party programs including MapBox and CalTopo are available for doing this.  Simply Google MBTiles to learn more.  MBTiles may be brought in directly in the same manner as layers described above.  Like raster layers, basemaps are not supported in online mode but are available in offline mode once uploaded to a device’s storage (preferably a SD card).

Any map built in Esri’s ArcGIS may be converted to MBTiles format to use in MapItFast.  This includes GeoPDF files that are uploaded into ArcGIS and converted to MBTiles.  If you are interested in doing this, contact AgTerra for a converter tool.

Lean How MapItFast is the Best and Easiest to Use Mobile Mapping and Reporting Solution

Call AgTerra TODAY to get started at (307) 673-1050.


For well over a decade AgTerra has enabled natural resource professionals to simplify data collection and reporting while delivering greater value to their customers.  How can we help you?  Contact us today for a FREE demo and let us help you learn how easy and affordable our technology can be for your workforce and operations.

MapItFast in use

MapItFast FAQs

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MapItFast FAQs

AgTerra is committed to making a product that’s functional and easy to use. Sometimes, however, customers come to us with a question that they just can’t figure out on their own. Below are some common questions about MapItFast for mobile and desktop.

Adding a user to MapItFast is easy, and an account administrators can do it all from his or her own computer. To enable a user, simply log into the MapItFast website, access the Manage Users page, and click “Create User.” Enter the user’s information and choose a monthly or yearly subscription. It’s that simple!

User passwords are reset by sending a temporary password to the email address associated with a username. When you click the “Forgot Username or Password?” link on the MapItFast website login page, a temporary password will be emailed to the address that was assigned to that particular username. If you don’t receive an email with a temporary password, try checking your spam/junk folder first. The email will be from donotreply@agterra.com.

If a user is still unable to retrieve his or her password, account administrators can log into MapItFast and change the associated email address if needed. If an account administrator is unable to log in or retrieve their password, they may contact AgTerra at 307-673-1050 and we will be happy to help.

When the yellow location triangle stops moving on the map, it can mean one of several things:

  • Your GPS signal is getting blocked – If you’re using the MapItFast app in a building, try stepping outside to see if the GPS “locks on” to your location. Heavy tree cover can also impede GPS signals.
  • Your GPS needs to be reset – Pull down the notification shade on your Android and toggle off the GPS/Location button. Wait at least five seconds, then toggle it back on.
  • Your cache is full or contains a corrupt file – Problems with cached map files can sometimes cause your GPS to behave abnormally. To clear cached files, go to the application manager within your device settings and select the “Clear Cache” button. Do this for both MapItFast and the Google Maps app.
  • You need an external GPS – In some cases, a device’s onboard GPS is simply not accurate enough for your mapping needs. If this is the case, consider purchasing an external Bluetooth GPS like the Garmin GLO.

Mobile App – MapItFast updates can occur as often as a couple times a week or as little as once a month. Each update includes bug fixes and/or enhancements designed to improve the overall usability of the app.

In most cases, MapItFast will be set to ‘Auto-Update’ in your Google Play Store, or the app will notify you that an update is available. If you’re running into a problem with the app and you haven’t seen a notification to update MapItFast recently, it would be a good idea to check that you have the latest version. To do this, go to the Google Play Store and search for “MapItFast.” If you see a green ‘Open’ button, your app is up-to-date. If you see a green ‘Update’ button, you don’t have the latest version. Tap on the button to update your app.

Website –  The MapItFast website will automatically get updates, so there is no need to check for new versions on your computer.

When you look in your device’s file system or photo gallery, you may notice that an ‘AgTerra’ folder has been created and that photos and icons have been added to your photo gallery. Any time you download a MapItFast project from the website, all associated files must be downloaded to your device. Without these files, you would not be able to view and/or edit MapItFast objects or Strider forms while offline.

Your device will only synchronize the current project you are on and only when MapItFast is running. Below are some additional details about where data is saved on your device:

  • Project Data – All projects that already have data on your device will be under the “List Projects on Device” section of the app. You can delete saved data for these projects by hitting the red X next to any of these projects. Deleting these off of the device does not delete them off of the server, however any synchronized data you may have saved on your device will be lost.
  • Forms and Logs – These are saved in a folder called “AgTerra” on your internal storage. Deleting this folder will cause performance issues with the MapItFast and Strider apps.
  • Pictures – All geotagged photos and pictures from Strider forms are saved in a folder called “MapItFast” on your internal storage. If you delete this folder or the photos in it, the pictures will no longer be viewable in the app and any unsent pictures will be lost.
  • Cached Basemap Tiles – All basemap and layerset tiles are saved in a folder called “osmdroid” on your internal storage. This folder can be cleared through the MapItFast app by tapping “Clear Basemap Tiles” in the settings menu.

To completely clear MapItFast and Strider data from a device, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure all data is sent in from all projects (and Strider forms if you are using the Strider app by itself)
  2. Uninstall MapItFast
  3. Delete the AgTerra and MapItFast Folders
  4. Re-install the MapItFast and Strider apps

Administrators have the ability to see all projects and forms. Users, on the other hand, are not allowed to view or edit anything until they are given permission to do so by an administrator. Project permissions are applied in the MapItFast website while form permissions are applied in the Strider website.

For help setting up project permissions, you can watch a video and read AgTerra’s support documentation here.

For help setting up form permissions, visit AgTerra’s Strider help video and documentation here.

Remember! You will need to use the user resources password provided by AgTerra to access the help pages.

Administrators have the ability to see all projects and forms. Users, on the other hand, are not allowed to view or edit anything until they are given permission to do so by an administrator. Project permissions are applied in the MapItFast website while form permissions are applied in the Strider website.

For help setting up project permissions, you can watch a video and read AgTerra’s support documentation here.

For help setting up form permissions, visit AgTerra’s Strider help video and documentation here.

Remember! You will need to use the user resources password provided by AgTerra to access the help pages.

Sometimes after a new install of MapItFast or after data has been cleared from the app, the startup page will return an error message about a “screen overlay detected.” The message may suggest turning off the overlays in device settings, however following the steps in the message may not help.

To fix the overlay error, go to your device settings ⇒ Application Manager ⇒ MapItFast ⇒ Permissions. In the permissions page, make sure Camera, Location, and Storage are turned ON (Phone can be OFF). Close out of the settings window and try opening MapItFast. The error should be gone.