Authoring Data in FetchGIS
Did you know that the Fetch Platform supports data authoring workflows? While many of our clients use FetchGIS Services to improve access to map layers and information, there is another side to the Fetch Platform that enables users to map features, edit features and perform data collection tasks, including support for offline workflows
The data authoring configuration on the Fetch Platform includes tools to map features using a bearing/distance, draw parallel and perpendicular lines, square and finish polygons, snapping and editing options for reshaping, rotating, moving or deleting features. These mapping tools are useful on their own, but create even more value when automation is used to simplify complex or multi-step data authoring workflows. Ultimately, it is the automation that streamlines an involved task so that non-GIS users can apply technology to serve their needs without a significant learning curve.
Supporting Data Authoring Tasks
FetchEH is just one example where the data and data authoring tools in the service are designed for a specific workflow – onsite wastewater systems. The data and mapping tools are also supported with automation that streamlines complex mapping and data collection tasks for common onsite wastewater workflows. Automation in FetchEH includes streamlining mapping tasks, automating attribute collection, report generation and enabling custom visualizations and insights.
For example, when a new well is mapped an isolation ring is automatically mapped at a specified distance from the well, and the parcel number, owner name, address, user name and date are automatically populated in the attributes for the well. Automation routines like this make it easier for users to learn how to author data, but also introduce operational efficiencies and improve data quality.
Data authoring tools are not just for complex workflows either. They can also be used to support less involved mapping or data collection tasks that use one or two map layers to serve a need. For example, mapping temporary road closures, adding information about the closure and removing the closure from the map when the road reopens. In this example the data authoring task may not include any automation, yet it still serve an specific need by making data and information more accessible.
Data authoring tools and automation are effective options for enabling personnel to quickly develop and edit data for a specific need, or simply provide targeted access to data and information. Often data authoring workflows can be managed as light-weight FetchGIS services or added to existing FetchGIS Services where appropriate. The key is serving data authoring needs by letting the software work for the user, rather than having your users tasked with making the software work for them.
For many users the preset zoom levels inherent with web mapping are not always practical for representing a feature, like a parcel, on a piece of paper. This is a problem when users want to print or save a map as a PDF and the feature of interest is cutoff or appears too small on the paper. To help solve this problem, we have integrated recently is a ‘Fine Zoom Adjustment' tool. The ‘Fine Zoom Adjustment' tool provides additional control over the zoom level of the map, giving the user more control over how a feature is displayed on paper.
The new tool is located on the Print side pane and is controlled using a slider. At this time, the ‘Fine Zoom Adjustment’ tool is only available on standard map output and not for the parcel reports.
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