fMaps presents information in the form of a map together with a number of different ways to view, filter and analyse the data.

fMaps uses Microsoft’s Bing Maps services to draw maps and find locations. Important information about licensing is available here.

There are four different types of map available:

  • Points Map – shows pin points for all locations. When clicked, they are shown as selected with no other action. Double clicking a point actions a link such as opening an fPanels presentation related to the point.
  • Areas Map – shows areas, coloured on a gradient based on values in selected columns in the locations data provided.
  • Menu Map – shows pin points for all locations which when clicked, action a link, similar to those in fPanels.
  • Heat Map – The purpose of a heat map is to show the density of points on a map. By default all locations in the map data are grouped into a single heat layer. You can separate out specific layers as not being in the heat layer in which case these location are shown as pin points overlaid on the heat map.

fMaps Designer provides all of the tools required to set up and maintain fMaps.

Data for fMaps can be gathered using an fData DSD and/or from preset files of locations. This is because often map data is not dynamic and so need not be gathered from a database. For example, a map of all local authority areas, or schools in an area will not change frequently and so may be held as a static file and changed occasionally. fMaps Designer includes tools to create and manage such files.

An fMaps page consists of a map and any number of optional boxes or panels which help the user understand or interrogate the data that has formed the details on the map.

The map may consist of points, areas or heat/density regions.

The boxes associated with the map on the page may be any of the following options:

  • Layers – list of location layers showing their pin icon with optional checkbox to show/hide pins in each layer
  • Overlays – a list of available sets of areas to show as overlays on the map with optional checkbox to show/hide pins in each area
  • Points – a full list of all pins (not heat points) in the map, with a text filter; clicking has same effect as clicking a map pin point
  • Filters – a set of filter options to hide/show pins based on data in their associated records
  • Ranges – a set of range selectors to hide/show pins based on value ranges in their associated records
  • Factors – a list of columns that can be chosen to apply colour gradients to an “Areas” map or Factors layer
  • Key – shows a key to the colours in the currently selected factor in an “Areas” map
  • Details – displays the values of specified columns in the locations data for the currently selected or highlighted point or area
  • Counters – a list of columns that are evaluated (e.g. sum, average, min or max) from locations that are visible and selected
  • Instructions – a text box (with optional HTML tags) with user instructions

Note that some boxes are associated with specific types of map. The fMaps Designer will guide you in selecting only those boxes that are appropriate.

An fMaps page may contain any appropriate boxes and is laid out in columns in a 12 x 12 grid.