Interactive Offline Maps

16 January 2014 by Bryan McBride

Offline maps in Fulcrum just got a whole lot more interactive! While the new support for one-to-many relationships has been getting a lot of attention, the latest mobile builds also quietly included a slick enhancement that allows for feature interaction within offline maps.

Fulcrum has always supported offline reference maps via MBTiles, but until this update these maps were simply static raster tile images, similar to the Google basemaps. While raster data, such as aerial imagery, makes a great reference layer, it is often advantageous to be able to view the attributes associated with vector features.

TileMill Tooltip Templates

Fulcrum offline interaction

Using TileMill, a powerful open source map authoring tool developed by Mapbox, you can now transform both vector and raster geodata into beautiful, interactive map packages, which can be loaded into your Fulcrum app and used entirely offline.

TileMill takes advantage of UTFGrid technology to efficiently encode attribute data for use in MBTiles map packages. Simply configure the Tooltip Templates in TileMill to define which attributes to include and how you’d like them displayed.

This enhancement can be extremely useful for referencing your existing GIS data within the context of your data collection project. Say, for example, you have a Code Enforcement Violation app that you are using to map and record regulatory violations in your city. Wouldn’t it be great to have tax parcel boundaries, complete with owner and property class information available during your inspections? This workflow is now possible thanks to the enhanced MBTiles support in our latest release. We’ve put together a detailed guide to help you configure your own interactive offline maps.

Sign up for your free 30-day trial and see what you can accomplish with Fulcrum! Let us know what you think of this new functionality- we’d love to hear how you are using it.

About the author

Bryan is a software engineer with Fulcrum, and works with our web and backend platform.

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