Thursday, 22 January 2015

How to create a uMap

I have started using uMap to log places to stay and things to do and our yearly travels. For a travel map, you will need to import a KML version from Google's MyMaps. If you are just logging POI's, you can do it directly or set up in MyMaps, your choice. The main advantage of uMap is that you can add many more locations than Google Maps will allow. The main disadvantage is that the maps don't show on the iPad.

Create a uMap

  • Click on uMap and sign up
  • Click 'create a new map' (right hand side)
  • Click on the pencil next to untitled map (left hand side)

Importing a Google MyMap into uMaps

  • Before setting up your new uMap, decide if it might be beneficial to be able to turn on or off different layers. I create layers for Parks, Camping, Attractions and Towns. Even if you have something in the wrong layer, it can be changed to another later.
  • In Google MyMaps, click on the three dots to the right of the 'add layer' and click 'export to KML', you then have a choice of exporting the whole map or single layers. 
  • Create a new map in uMaps
  • Click on the import button on the right (Ctrl i) to import the data from MyMaps.
  • Click on 'choose file' and find the file you exported from MyMaps
  • Choose the KML data format
  • Choose the layer to import it to, if uncertain choose new layer
  • Click 'import'

How to change properties for a whole layer

  • Click on the wheel on the right hand side
  • Click on each heading to see what you want to change. You can change the colour, type of icon. Add a symbol to the icon
  • Under Advanced options is the delete key, this will delete the map
  • Under custom background you can change the way the map looks

Changing the layer a marker is on

  • Click on the pin, and a side window will open, from the drop down list choose which layer it should belong to. 

How to add a POI to your map

  • On the sidebar, click on the magnifying glass for 'jump to location', in it's box type in where you want to go, an address or name.
  • Click on 'draw a marker' from the buttons on your right, and place it on the map. If it goes into the wrong layer, change the layer from the toggle list.
  • Type in a name and any other information into the description box. 
  • If you change your mind, click 'advanced actions' and then 'delete'.
  • Under 'advanced properties', you can change the icon, symbol and colour

How to add road trails to your map without importing Google MyMap

  • This is a bit time consuming but a good alternative if you don't want to use google maps
  • Add in a marker
  • Right click the marker and choose 'directions from here' and you will be redirected to OSRM website, put in the place you want to go next (if it's back to front, click reverse), and enter.
  • Click on the GPX hyperlink and it will download a GPX file to your downloads folder.
  • Follow the instructions for importing a file, but this time choose GPX as the file type, choose a new layer and later rename it 'directions'.
  • Click 'import'.
  • You can only do one leg at a time.

How to change the name of a layer

  • Click on the hide/show layers button on the left
  • Click on the pencil to edit
  • A new window opens on the left, change the information

How to show or hide a layer

  • Click on the hide/show layers button on the left
  • Click on the eye icon to toggle on or off, showing or hiding

How to embed your uMap into your website or blog

  • Underneath the view/hide layer button is a 'more' button, click this. 
  • Four down is 'embed and share this map', click this.
  • Go into the iFrame option and make changes as necessary - you may not want the more or layers options to be available. I increase the size to 400.
  • Copy the 'embed the map' code (CmdA, then CmdC)
  • If you are with Blogger, you will need to click the HTML tab and paste it (Cmd V).
  • To make sure your area is shown you will need to add the coordinates that you will see in the URL bar.
  • Sample text:
  • replace the question mark (red) with the blue text below - which you get from the map's URL (address bar in your browser):
  • Under 'iFrame export options' you can change the height of the map, include a full screen link. Press the + - zoom keys to display your map how you want, you may need to experiment. As you zoom in and out the #6 number and the coordinates will change.
  • In Blogger, the map won't show until you publish it.

Zooming Out

  • I haven't found a way to zoom out quickly, so I bookmark my map on size #5 (this shows in the URL). Then when I want to zoom out after putting in a POI, I just click in the URL bar and pick the address that contains the #5 information.
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