Achieving Collaborative Team Map Editing with Map Lock

Map Business Online Team Edition is all about enabling shared map editing. Team subscriptions start at quantities of five licenses and provide the team administrator with tools to share subscription access and create groups of users with preset privileges: View only, map editor, data editor, or both map and data editing privileges.

Sharing maps for collaborative editing in Map Business Online is called Private Sharing. Public sharing means generating interactive URL’s that are not editable. Read more here. Private sharing is for users who desire to share business maps with each other for collaborative editing.

Any two full-year subscribers to Map Business Online can share maps with each other for editing. To be clear, Map Business Online Team Editions provide the ability to set up groups of users and to share a subscription based on volume purchases.

Opening a Shared Map

When Map Business Online Team Edition subscribers share maps for collaborative editing, map editing collaborators follow the below noted steps to access and edit maps. Those team members, or individual users, will retrieve that shared map in their “Maps Shared with Me” folder; an option within the Open Map & Manage Save Maps dialogue.

To access and edit a Map Shared with You:

1.       Go to Map Business Online. Make sure you’ve logged in

2.       Click the ‘Open map’ icon on the master toolbar. Map Business Online will prompt you to save your current map if necessary.

3.       The ‘Open map’ dialog will pop up with a list of your maps that exist on the Map Business Online server. In the maps folder, follow the drop down to and select the ‘Maps shared with me’ folder.  Select the map you want to edit. A dialogue will open on the left side of the selection panel. If the creator of the shared map has turned on Map Lock for editing protection, then a corresponding checkbox will appear below the selection panel indicating the map is locked. You can choose to maintain Map Lock or release it by clicking the Map Lock button in the upper right corner on or off.

Map Lock is initiated to allow one person at a time to edit shared maps. Click the Map Lock button in the upper right corner to set the map for view only or to protect the map while you conduct editing.

Finally, click ‘Open’ to open to edit or view the shared map.

Map Lock – Locking the Map for Editing

Map lock is a gatekeeping tool to control map editing and prevent data overrides. Think of it as an off and on switch controllable by any of the map contributors. When Map Lock is turned on, all your edits are protected from being overwritten by other map collaborators while you work.

When the original Map Creator saves their business map, they decide whether or not to include Map Lock in their shared map process.  Once they include it, the Maps Shared with You will include it as an option for editing protection. 

After a collaborator selects the targeted map in the Maps Shared with Me list, he or she may choose to leave Map Lock on or to turn it off.  If you are doing some serious editing and you want to make sure your edits are saved from override by others – leave Map Lock on.

If you are one of a team of map editors, we recommend you leave Map Lock on. If you tend to walk away from your desk for long periods of time, neglecting the workloads of others and are still included on an editing team – the Map Business online team administrator will be able to unlock your map for other users to access.

If your map is not available for editing or if someone else is editing the map, the shared map will show a Red “View Only” indicator next to the map title at the top of the screen.

Editing Shared Maps

Access your map from the Maps Shared with Me folder. Make sure you are not in View Only mode (check map title area.)  A View Only status could be the result of an incorrect privilege setting by the map originator or it could be a failure to adjust Map Lock in the Open Map Dialogue.

With Map Lock properly adjusted, begin you map edits. A map and data editor will be able to add map objects, adjust territories, import data, and color code symbols and map layer fills.

Save Your Map Edits!

Once you’ve completed your map edits make sure to save your map and immediately exit the shared map. The Save Map dialogue will present an option to release the shared map from Map Lock, so others may edit the map.  Uncheck Map Lock at the bottom of the shared map dialogue.

Collaboration means others will be editing your map.  You’ll want to get in the habit of exiting a shared map as soon as your edits are complete.  Map hogs don’t get Christmas cards. Don’t be a map hog.

Seriously, shared map editing means you share the responsibility for everyone’s map work. By saving and exiting promptly you allow others to conduct edits, and you allow the map originator unfettered access to your adjustments for review.

Map Business Online users use collaborative map editing to:

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson


About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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