Nesting Maps or Folders

Zach's Avatar


16 Sep, 2019 10:13 PM

Hello! A friend and I were both talking about how we needed to reorganize our caltopos today and I had an idea. An idea that y'all might have had before but I thought I would share just in case you hadn't thought of it yet.

My friend is a bit of a caltopo nut, and has entirely too many lines saved in his maps. He was talking to me about how he needs to separate traverses and ridge scrambles from backpacking trips, as well as separating his winter ski tours into high and low avalanche danger. He has so many lines that it actually makes sense to do things like this, otherwise he ends up with overlapping lines and so many lines in a close area that it makes the map hard to read/use.

I use folders regularly and have already mentioned once that the ability to nest folders would be a game-changer. But today I realized you could go a step further. You could nest everything, entire maps.

In this system, one would have a `base map` which would be a composition of all of their other maps.
The user, if they don't have that many lines saved, could choose to draw all their lines on the `base map`, and it would work just as any other map does.
OR they could create sub-maps. These could be divided however the user wants, seasonally, geographically, by sport, short vs long term objectives, day trips vs expeditions, etc. For example. You could create a submap that is North America. Within North America you could split it up regionally, then by state. Within the state you could split it up into winter and summer. and so on and so forth, all the way down to something ultra granular like 'Colorado Winter Skiing Low Avy Danger`. The real key to this is that each individual level of this hierarchy can be viewed as it's own map. If I want see all of the objectives I have mapped out in Colorado I can go to the `Colorado` map and see everything, skiing, trail runs, ridge scrambles, etc. Or I could view a map of all the Colorado skiing objectives I have mapped out, or just `Colorado Winter Skiing Low Avy Danger`. It would be allow incredible granularity for those who want it, and shouldn't provide any confusion for those who don't need it.

I know that this would likely amount to a rework of your entire system, which obviously isn't good. But I had a similar idea that I think would allow the same functionality with significantly less work - 1. Allow nesting of folders. 2. Allow folders to be viewed as a map.
This way you wouldn't have to drastically change the UI to allow nesting of entire maps, but you still achieve the same result. You only have to implement nesting of folders, and then add a button to each folder that allows you to view that as a map. Clicking this button would construct a new map, doesn't even need to be editable, with all of the contents of the folder displayed. You could have all of the editing, adding objects and such be done from the permanent, parent map, and clicking the 'view folder as map' button would just spawn off a temporary, read only map (or a full on editable map, if that's easier to implement).

Just wanted to share a cool thought I had, I work in software so I totally understand that this is probably a ton of work and really only appeals to power users.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ben Lantow on 16 Sep, 2019 11:21 PM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    This is actually on our radar, though not this exact implementation. We are looking at giving users the ability to copy elements/maps into new maps that they can then build off of. You could use it to do what you describe above where you create a base map and then copy it and add to it and resave it as something else, but you would also be able to copy another user's map and add to it or change it without modifying the original. We are also looking at increasing the ability to share and discover other maps with some exciting implementations coming hopefully.

    Nested folders is also on the development pathway but will likely be more than 3 months before it is fully implemented.

    For now you can export maps in geoJSON format and then reimport that as a base map and then build off it in other maps. Or export several geoJSONs and combine them into singular maps.

  2. Ben Lantow closed this discussion on 16 Sep, 2019 11:21 PM.

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