Last modified by Maptitude Support - 1 month ago
3 min read

What is the difference between editing a layer and adding my own freehand drawings?

Maptitude lets you edit maps in two ways:

  • Using freehand items to embellish your maps by adding text, symbols, lines, circles, rectangles, and other graphics
  • Using layer editing tools to add, delete, or change the features in a geographic file
Freehand items are useful for making a map more informative, effective, and attractive. Maptitude displays freehand items each time the map is drawn, after all layers, themes, and labels have been displayed. The freehand items embellish the map, adding an overlay without changing the geographic files, although they are saved as part of the workspace file.
The Freehand Drawing toolbar is covered in detail here.
Layer editing tools allow you to make changes to the map that do change the geographic file and become part of the same layer and same database as other features in the layer.
Maptitude uses a geographic file to store the locations and shapes of features in a map layer. A geographic file is really a collection of several files stored inside the compressed workspace file. These files contain all the information needed to display features on a map, and tabular data that describe each map feature. For example, tabular data on a city would include information on its longitude and latitude, the state and county in which it is located, the population, and other information.
The tabular data on a feature are joined to that feature by means of ID numbers that are unique to each feature.
Whenever you create a new feature using the layer editing tools, either by adding one or splitting an existing one into parts, Maptitude assigns each new feature a unique ID number. When you join features together, Maptitude keeps the ID of the first feature you picked.
If you want to add features to a map created by Maptitude, you must use the layer editing tools. When you add a feature using freehand tools, you do nothing to the database that includes information on the locations and shapes of features in a map layer. Instead, you essentially create a bitmap "doodle" that is managed separately from the database. Since the freehand object is not part of the same layer and same database as the other features, it is not attached firmly to the rest of the geography, and it can move around when you move around in the map.
When you add a feature using the layer editing tools instead of the freehand tools, the feature becomes part of the same layer and same database. It therefore doesn't move in relationship to the other features in the map. You must, however, update the tabular database when you make changes.
Most geographic files include tabular data that describe each map feature. When you edit a geographic file, the tabular data are also affected. When you delete a feature, any data for that feature are deleted. When you add a feature, the tabular data will be missing until you add some.
When you split or join area features, Maptitude creates new features without any tabular data. The data from the features that were joined or split are deleted. You can use the optional Data Update feature to preserve data when features are joined or split.
How to make/edit your own Layer file
To solve your problem, we will cover the following areas:
  • Creating a new geographic file and adding it to a map
  • Editing features
To create a new geographic file and add it to a map
  1. Choose Tools>Editing>New Layer to display the New Layer dialog box.
  2. Choose whether to create a point, line, or area layer.
  3. Enter a name for the layer.
  4. Click OK to create the empty file.
  5. Optionally, add any fields you would like your layer to have such as Name. Click OK.
Maptitude creates an empty geographic file for the map layer, adds it to the active map and sets the new layer as the working layer. Maptitude also opens the Layer Editing toolbar that you can use to add, remove, and modify features from the layer.
  1. Use the layer editing tools to update the map.