Create Your First Layers and Start Drawing
Create your first layer and start drawing.
This video assumes you've already created your first map, and now you're ready to start drawing some things like water lines, sewer lines valves, or manholes. Now, if you already have some data that was collected by GPS or drawn in another GIS system, then there's another video that shows you how to import that data. In this video, we're going to talk about how to start from scratch and draw your own assets on the map. Let's get started. All of your map content is organized into layers, and that's illustrated under the Layers button. The top section of the layer screen lists the Google content that's already on your map, the roads, and the aerial photography. What we're going to start adding are map layers that will be listed down here below. To start, let's click Add to add our first layer. When you add a layer, you got to first select what type of a layer you're creating. This doesn't have all types of layers, but it has a few that are most common in the utilities that we work with. In our case, we're going to create one that's not here, so we're going to choose this basic layer template. This is a good catch-all for anything that you don't see in the list. What I'm going to do first is, I'm going to choose Basic Layer, and we're going to create a layer for our lift stations. We're going to kind of draw a sanitary sewer network here, so I want to call this layer Lift Stations and click Create. It says "layer was created successfully," and now you can see I have one layer listed in my map layers down here. To start drawing lift stations, I'm going to close this list of layers. I'm going to zoom in on the map where I know one of my lift stations are, right here, and I'm going to come up here and click on the draw tool. It's very important that you select the layer that you want to draw on. In my case, I only have one layer right now. With any layer, you can draw points, or lines, or areas. Our list stations are just going to be points, so I'm going to click the Point button. I'm going to bring my cursor down here, and put it on the lift station, and click. Now it's asking me for the information that describes this list station. Of this particular layer that I just created, I can remember I created this from the basic layer template. This just has a description field, and some attachments, and notes. It doesn't have a lot of detail like elevations or depth or diameter, but those are all fields that you can add in here. That's in another video. For right now, I'm just going to call this the Sycamore Lift Station and click Add. Now there's a lift station on the map. I'm going to go back to my home view here and pan down here to where I know there's another lift station I'm going to. I'm still here on the Draw screen. I still have my lift stations layer selected. I'm going to click Point to draw another one. I'm going to click on that lift station. I'm going to call this the Brixton lift station and click Add. Now I have two. Let me zoom out. Here you can see I have these two lift stations on the map. If you want to change the color of a layer, you can come back here to Layers. click on the name of the layer under Browse. Here is a list of all the features we've created. So far on this layer, we've created two. I can come to Settings, and this is where we have all the colors for this layer. I want to change the symbol, so I click on the symbol. I'm going to scroll down here, and I've got a symbol here that some customers have used for lift stations. Now, you can see that that's the symbol that it uses for lift stations. I'll come back here to Layers. I want to click save so that it will remember these settings. One other thing I want to show you is if I go to the lift stations layer and go under Browse, I can pick any of these, like this sycamore lift station. I just click here, and it zooms me to that location. Let's create another layer for some sanitary manholes. We're going to come down here to where we just put in this lift station. Let's go so here we're under our list of layers. I'm going to click Add to add a new layer. This time, we're going to do manholes, so this template down here is a good match for sanitary sewer manuals. I'm going to choose that this is where you'd give the layer a name. It's filling in a default name for us, and that looks like a good layer name, so I'm going to say Create. Now you can see we have a second layer in the list, so let's draw some manholes. I'm going to go here to Draw and make sure to choose the right layer. I'm going to choose Point. Now on the map here I'm using my mouse wheel to scroll in. Let's say that we have a manhole right here on the street. Sometimes you can see an aerial photography. Maybe that's it right there. I want to put it right there, and this is where you could type in whatever information you know about this feature and about this manhole. Maybe this is a 40 inch manhole and it's precast concrete. You can fill in as much or as little information there as you want. I click Add, and there's a manhole now. Let's put another one up here. A good question at this point would be: how do you know where these go? Well, this is where you would be working off of some paper maps. Maybe you're working off the knowledge in someone's head, maybe you're doing this from your iPad, out there in the field. You see the manhole; however, you know where these are. You just have to plot them onto the map visually. We've got our layer selected. I'm going to click Point. I'm looking at my map here, and I know that there's one just off of this driveway a little bit on the east side of the road. I'm going to put it right there, and again, I can put in whatever information I want here. Let's put one more up here. I'm going to put it right here, and actually, I don't even have to type any information here. I can come back and fill this in later, which I'm going to do here for sake of time. Now we have three manholes on this layer. Of course, you have more than three to plot, and it takes a long time, but you can see it's a pretty simple process. Let's draw some sewer lines in. I'm going to come over here to my list of layers. Again, I'm going to click Add. Let's see if we have a template for sewer lines, and we do right here: Sanitary Sewer Lines. If you don't see a template here that matches the type of layer you're wanting to create, just choose basic layer. I want to choose Sanitary Sewer Lines, and I'm going to just call this Sewer Lines. You can name this layer whatever you want. Click Create, and now I have a third layer in my list. Again, I'm going to go to draw. I'm going to choose the layer I want to draw on sanitary sewer lines. I'm going to zoom in down here. This time, I'm not going to draw points. I'm going to draw lines, so I click Draw A Line. I come up here where I want to start, I click, and then I come down here where i want to end.You can put shape into this. It doesn't just have to be a straight line. I can draw it around like this, if that's what it does. When I'm done drawing, I come up here and say Done. Now it's created this section of pipe, and it's saying ,"How do you want to identify this?" I'm going to say, "Well this is 8 inch PVC," or whatever else you want to add here. I click Add. Now there's a section of pipe. Let's come down here and draw another one line. Start, finish, done. Now what do you want to call the second one? It's the same thing. Add, and let's draw one more to take it all the way to the lift station. I'm gonna say draw a line: start here, go here, done. This is the same stuff. As I zoom out, you can see there's a good start to our sanitary sewer network. If you want to change any of this information, all you have to do is click on something. Let's say we want to delete this manhole right here, or this middle one down here. Let's delete this middle manhole. I just click on it, and get up here. I click on the manhole. I can come down here, and say "Delete Feature." This says "Confirm This." I click Confirm, and now that manhole is gone. I can see that my pipes are still there. Here's a section of pipe from here to here. The other thing I want to show you is how you can move something you've already drawn. Let's say this this section of pipe here is not exactly where I have it drawn, so I can choose Action Adjust Points. You can see it highlights all these vertices, and I can come over here and drag these. Say it doesn't really follow the curve of the road; it's a straight shot. You can see I dragged those to straighten it out. I say, "Done," and now I adjusted the pipe. That's how you draw your first layers.