How to draw features on the map

In Digimap for Schools you can draw your own features on the map using the Annotation Tools. You can add markers, lines, areas and text to any of the maps. Any features you draw will appear on the screen and can also be printed.

In this help page, you can find out about:


Drawing features on your map

To draw features on your map, click the Annotations Tools icon Annotations icon. This will open the Annotations Toolbar. Annotations toolbar

Tip! The Annotations toolbar layout can be reformatted to be vertical by clicking on the reformat toolbar layout icon Reformat layout icon. Clicking it again will switch back to the horizontal layout.

The top row of tools in the Annotations Toolbar allow you to draw and modify features. The tools on the bottom row allow you to select colours and styles for text, lines and areas. Each of the buttons on the toolbar and their function are described below.

Show/Hide/Clear tools

Check box on Show/Hide annotations. Click to switch between annotations being visible or not visible. The icon will change to Check box off when annotations are off. You can still draw when annotations are off, they will not be visible until you turn them back on.

Clear all Click this button to clear all annotations from your map.



Draw & Create tools

Add text Add text. Click the arrow to open the text menu, choose to add a label or text box to your map.
Label tool To add a label, click on the map where you want to place the text. Enter your text in the pop box and click add. The font, size and colour of the text can be changed by using the Text Options.
Text box toolTo add a text box, select the tool and click on the map. Click in the text box and add your text. Drag the bottom right corner to resize the text box. The font style cannot be changed in the text box.


add marker Add marker. Click the green arrow and select one of the marker symbols, then click on the map to add the symbol. You can edit the colour of the markers using the Fill Options, select the marker first using the select tool and then change the colour.


Draw line Draw a line. Click the green arrow to select the type of line to draw.
Draw straight edged lineSelect the draw irregular line tool and click once on the map to start drawing. Move your mouse pointer along to draw a line, clicking once on the map will place another point. Double click to finish drawing your line.
Draw wavy lineSelect the draw freehand line to draw a wavy line. Click on the map and hold the mouse button down. Drag the mouse to draw a wavy line.
The style and colour of the line can be set using the Outline Options.
Tip! If you make a mistake while drawing a line, hit ctrl&z on your keyboard to undo the last point clicked. Use crtl&y to redo if you've undone too many points. (NB this feature is not available on iPads)


Draw areaDraw an area. Click the green arrow to select to draw an area with straight edgesIrregular polgyon by a placing a sequence of points, or to draw an area with curves using the free-form shape tool Freeform area. Click on the map and drag to draw a free-form area.

The outline colour and style of areas can be set using the Outline Options and the area colour can be set using the Fill Options. You need to set the colour and styles before drawing your area. It is not possible to change the colour after an area is drawn.
Tip! If you make a mistake while drawing a line, hit ctrl&z on your keyboard to undo the last point clicked. Use crtl&y to redo if you've undone too many points. (NB this feature is not available on iPads)


Draw fixed shapeDraw a fixed shaped area. Click the green arrow to select the shape you want to draw. Choose from a triangle, square, rectangle, pentagon, circle or ellipse. Select the shape you want to draw, then click on the map and drag the mouse to draw the shape. Drag outwards to make the shape bigger or inwards to make it smaller.

The outline colour and style of areas can be set using the Outline Options and the area colour can be set using the Fill Options. You need to set the colour and styles before drawing your area. It is not possible to change the colour after an area is drawn.


point buffer toolBuffer Tool. This allows you to create areas of a fixed size enclosing a point or a line. With the point option you can draw a circle of a certain size. Use it to find and show what is within a certain distance from a point on the map (e.g. creating a Sphere of Influence map) With the line option, you can digitise a new feature (e.g a proposed road) or an existing feature (e.g. a river) to create a long polygon showing areas at a specified distance along the length of the line. Use it to find areas that would effected by a new road development or predict which areas would be effected by a river flooding.
Click to open the buffer options. In the pop up, select to buffer a point or a line. Next select the size using the drop down menu or enter your own value. For a point, this will be the radius. For a line, this will be the distance from points along the line's length. You can select kilometres or miles for the distance. Then click on the map to place the point or digitise a line. Double click to complete a line. The buffered area will appear on your map. You may need to zoom out to view the whole area. The buffered area styling can be change using the Fill Options.


add photo iconAdd a photo. This tool enables you to add a photo to your map. Detailed help can be found on the 'How to add a photo to your map' help page.


Modify feature tools

Add labelAdd feature label. To add a text label to a feature you have drawn on the map, select the add feature label tool and then click on the feature you want to label. Enter your text in the pop up box and then click save. The label will be attached to the feature, if you delete the feature, the label will be also be deleted.
The colour of the text can be changed by using the Text Colour options, you need to set the colour of the text before adding it to the map.


measurement labelAdd measurement label. This tool allows you to add a label of the length to a line feature or the area to an area feature. Select the add measurement label tool and click on the feature you want to label. If you are labelling a line, you will be asked if you want the distance measurement in Kilometres or Miles, click to select which units you want to use. The measurement does not update if you change the length or size of the feature. Measurement labels are not attached to the feature so will not be deleted if the feature is deleted.
The colour of the text can be changed by using the Text Colour options, you need to set the colour of the text before adding it to the map.


Delete featureDelete feature. To delete any feature you have drawn on the map, select the delete feature tool and click on the feature you want to delete. You can delete features one by one. The delete feature tool remains active until you select another tool. Be careful when deleting features as currently there is no way to undo a deletion!


Move featureMove feature. To move any features you have drawn on the map to a new position, select the move feature tool and click and drag the feature you want to move.


Scale featureScale feature. You can make any line or area that you have drawn on the map bigger or smaller using the Scale Feature tool. Select the Scale Feature tool and click on the line or area you want to change the size of. The feature will be highlighted in yellow and a dark grey circle will appear beneath it. Click and drag the grey circle to change the size of the feature.



Colour and style options

Text options
Text Options. Click the arrow next to the coloured square to show the available colours, select which colour you would like text to appear as. Use the drop down menus to select text font type and size. The Text Options settings apply to any of the text annotation tools (place text, feature label and measurement label).


Fill options
Fill Options. To select the colour for areas you draw, click the green arrow next to the coloured square and choose which colour you would like. You can also change how 'see through' an area drawn is by changing the Transparency. Areas can be 0% transparent (solid), 50% transparent (partially see through) or 100% transparent (hollow). Click the green arrow on the transparency icon and choose a transparency option.


Outline options
Outline Options. The Outline Options apply to both lines and the outlines of areas. To select a different colour for lines and outlines, click the green arrow to show the available colours and select which colour you would like to use.

The outline Style options allow you to choose between a solid, dotted or dashed line of three different widths. Click the green arrow to show the available options and select which style you would like to use.


Fade Map

Fade MapFade Map. You can make the background map slightly faded by clicking the Fade Map icon, this will help your annotations stand out. This is particularly useful if you are annotating a map of a dense urban area. If the map is faded when you print it, the printed map will also be faded.


Editing features you have drawn

You can edit features you have drawn on your map with the Annotation Tools to change colour, line style, correct spelling and change labels.

To edit a feature you must select it first. On the Annotation Toolbar, click to choose one of the Select tools.

Single select Single feature select. Select the tool then click on the feature (e.g. line) that you want to edit.

Multi feature select Select multiple features. Select the tool then click and drag a box over the features you want to edit (e.g. a group of markers) to highlight them.

Once the feature is selected, use the options (e.g. colour, line style) in the Annotation Tools to edit that feature.

If you select a text feature the box to enter your text will appear. Type to edit the text and click save.

After you have made your changes, deselect the feature by clicking on a area of the map. If you have multiple features selected, click and drag a small box in a blank area to deselect the highlighted features.


Saving features you have drawn

You can save features you have drawn on the map by saving your map. Please see the 'How to save a map' help page for details.


Printing

To print your annotations, check the annotations are visible (the on/off button should say on) then print as usual by selecting the page size/layout and clicking the Make Printable Map button. Some of the features may look slightly different when printed than they do on screen.