With over 2,000 maps created by Commons users in our Map Gallery, we know you’ve gotten the hang of making them, but have you taken the time to check out the tools available to you in the map environment? Let’s explore each tool to give you an overview of the possibilities.
To access the tools, simply click the Tools tab at the top of any map or the Tools bar at the bottom of every legend. Each tool has a circle with a question mark next to it’s name. Click the question mark symbol to see a video demonstration for each tool.
We’ll start at the top of the tool list. Select Data is an excellent tool for looking at underlying data in a particular geography and for getting data in a table format. We went into detail about how to use this tool here, so give it a look.
Next on the list is Query Data. This tool is helpful if you want to explore information about your data layers that meet a certain threshold or cutoff point. This tool works with your active layer so you may have to choose from a drop down list.
In this case let’s select Modified Retail Food Environment Index Score as the active layer and choose Retail Food Index Score as the field. We can then choose to see scores less than 20 and click Run Query. The result is a data table that can now be downloaded. Pretty cool, right?! The tool can get even more detailed so watch the video or experiment with it on your own.
The Measure tools offer a range of options for getting exact coordinates, elevation, distances, and areas of locations of interest on your map. With the Geographic Coordinate tool, simply click anywhere on the map to get coordinates, latitude/longitude, and elevation of that point.
The Measure Path tool will allow you to draw a line on the map and get the distance in miles, feet, and kilometers. Click on the map to add points and plot your path. Double click to end your path.
The Measure Area tool will allow you to draw an area on the map and will report back the acres, square miles, and square kilometers of that shape, including perimeter distances.
The Swipe Layer tool is a great one for looking at data layers that cover each other like pancakes. This one you really have to see to appreciate so I suggest taking a look at this short video.
There you have it: so many great ways you can explore data further using your maps. Remember that you can always visit our Support page for more tutorials and helpful guides or if you really get stuck, just contact us.