Working with Map Features on iOS Devices
What are Map Features?
Avenza maps allows you to customize your map with placemarks, lines and tracks. Collectively, these are called Map Features. You can add your own Map Features or import them from other sources. You can toggle between visible and invisible, export them to the cloud or share them through email. You can also attach photos, write descriptions, change the icon color, and group them in folders. They’re easy to work with and allow you to customize your map in endless ways.
Placemarks are points on your mobile map that you want to highlight or remember.
Lines are features that you lay out using the “Measure Distance or Area” tool. I often use lines to lay out a route in advance of riding.
Tracks The “Record GPS Tracks” tool tracks your ride. Saved tracks show your distance, time, average speed, top speed and elevation. Avenza Maps also graphs your ride so you can see how the elevation changed.
The instructions below will help you get started with Map features.
Add a Placemark
- Add a placemark by tapping the placemark symbol (circled in red).
- A pin will be placed in the center of the bullseye (underlined in blue).
- The bullseye marks the center of the screen. You can change its location by moving the map around on your screen.
- The default title for the icon is “Placemark (xx)”. You can edit the title, add a description, attach a photo and more by tapping on the title bar (highlighted in yellow).
This is the dialog box that opens when you tap on the title bar.
- Tap the icon bar to change the color of the pin
- Tap the Title bar to change the name of the map feature
- Tap the Description box to change it.
- Tap the Photos box to add or change photos.
- Tap the “Edit” link in the Attribute box to add an extra field or “Attribute” to identify the placemark in more detail
- Tap the “Move” link to move the placemark to a different folder.
This is what you see if you tap the “Photos” box. In this case, one photo has already been added.
- To add a photo tap the “+” sign. You will have the option to add a photo using your camera or by choosing a photo from your photo library. The photo will automatically be geo-referenced to the placemark on your map.
Add a Line
You can plot a route on the map by using the “Measure Distance or Area” tool.
Start by tapping the wrench tool (red circle).
- Set the bullseye at the point where you want to start the line.
- This is a little counter intuitive because the bullseye stays in the center of the screen. You have to move the map to center your starting point under the bullseye.
- Tap the pus icon (red circle) to set the first anchor point on the line.
- Move the map to draw the line.
- Again, this is counter intuitive. You have to move the map to the south in order for the line to draw to the north. It takes a little getting used to.
- Tap the plus icon when you are ready to change the direction of the line. Move the map again. Repeat until the route is complete.
- The Total Length of the route is shown at the top of the screen.
- Tap the “Save” button when you are finished.
Record a GPS Track
The “Record GPS Tracks” tool tracks your ride. Saved tracks show your distance, time, average speed, top speed and elevation. Avenza Maps also graphs your ride so you can see how the elevation changed.
The maps are loaded on your phone, so Record GPS Tracks works even when you are not in cell tower range.
Note: This feature uses as much battery power as Google Maps because it pings satellites several times per second. If tracking your route isn’t essential, but you want to see where you are on the map, tap the locator icon (blue circle). The app only pings the satellites once to find you, then goes quiet.
- Start by tapping the wrench tool.
- Tap “Record GPS Tracks.”
The map will center on your current location.
- Tap the “Start” button in the lower left corner of the screen, then start moving. Avenza Maps will record your route.
- You can pause the recording at any point. When you are finished, tap “Done.”
- Your route will be saved with a generic title. Tap the title to edit the track or view stats.
- The dialogue box is similar to other dialogue boxes.
Working with Map Features
Earlier I discussed how to Add a Placemark, Add a Line and Record GPS Tracks. In this section we will use the map features tool to see all of your features, toggle visibility, edit or search for individual features and create folders for grouping.
Tap the Map Features Tool (red circle).
This is the dialog box that you will see. The default box only has one folder for each category of features (placemarks, lines, and tracks). Folders can be added or deleted to help organize placemarks. In this case, a folder called public art was added.
- Toggle a folder to be visible or invisible by tapping the icon to the left of the folder name.
- This is a handy feature because it allows you to keep your map uncluttered by toggling unneeded map features to invisible.
- Tap Edit to make additional changes to the folder
- Tap the down arrow to import map features from another source
- Tap the up arrow to export map features to email, drop box, iTunes, or AirDrop
Import Map Features from Bikeverywhere
Explore More by Bikeverywhere has dozens of Map Features for mobile Bikeverywhere maps. Download the free files then start exploring. For complete information about what you can do with the downloaded files, go to Working with Map Features
Import the files to your phone:
- This link will take you to the files on the Bikeverywhere Dropbox account. Choose the files(s) you want to download.
- Tap the download button. Safari cannot open the file if you tap “Open in App.”
- Tap Direct Download, unless you want to create a new Dropbox account or use an existing one.
- Choose Avenza Maps. Make sure the map is open.
- The features will open in the map.