Author Topic: Help for Users of M4OPS  (Read 3068 times)


  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 483
  • Passionate about my one-place study
    • View Profile
    • Holywell-cum-Needingworth History
Help for Users of M4OPS
« on: 8 May 2016, 05:51:56 »
This document gives some guidance for using M4OPS. Please remember that M4OPS is just a prototype so there are lots of rough edges, and you may find that it is slow or goes wrong.  Please do provide feedback to Peter via the Feedback button on M4OPS, or  via this forum.

You can do the same things with the M4OPS maps as with most mapping systems (pan, zoom, rotate), and you can also display several layers on top of each other, and use sliders to change how how transparent they are.

If you want to see examples of most of the functionality of M4OPS switch the OPS (top left drop-down) to "HcN) Holywell-cum-Needingworth" (or click here), as this is Peter's own OPS and has had the most development. You can explore every button, drop-down and slider, as there is nothing you can break - but you might come across some bits that are password protected. You can also see a list of prepared examples of using M4OPS.

You can also do a self-driven demo if you want to, by clicking on the Demo button. Once you have started the demo, click on the highlighted ↑ button when you are ready to go on.

If you are a person responsible for an OPS and looking for help in setting up your OPS and its maps on M4OPS then also see the section on M4OPS - for those responsible for an OPS.

Lastly, Peter is very happy to help and you can contact him from this forum, or by clicking Feedback on M4OPS.

Things to bear in mind when using M4OPS:
  • you can choose the OPS you want to see by selecting from the OPS drop-down at the top left
  • you can see basic information about the current OPS by clicking on the "Maps for ..." title
  • the buttons at the top right enable you to:
    • get the maps back to their Home position for the OPS
    • move the maps so they Go To to a location given by coordinates you specify
    • Contact the person responsible for the OPS
    • Feedback about M4OPS itself
    • get basic Help
  • there are two main types of map layer
    • raster layers - essentially coloured pixels, and usually the result of a photograph or scan of a printed map, or from a satellite
    • feature (or vector) layers - essentially a list of coordinates describing points, lines or polygons, together with other properties (name, colour etc)
  • you can specify various map layers:
    • the base layer (raster) - over which all the other layers are displayed
    • an overlay layer (raster)
    • a right-hand layer (raster) - only shown when you click on the toggle to see the side by side view
    • one or more feature layers
  • for each of these layers, there is:
    • a category drop-down where you select the category of layer you want (only visible if more than one category is available)
    • a layer drop-down where you select the layer you want from the specified category
  • the layers come from
    • the standard list - these are international and available to all OPS
    • an Area list - the layers on this list are defined for each Area (eg England) and are applicable and available to all OPS in that Area
    • the OPS list - these are applicable and available to only one OPS
  • as an example the categories for the HcN) Holywell-cum-Needingworth OPS include:
    • Basic – OSM, Bing aerial etc
    • GB OS 10 mile – large scale Great Britain planning maps from the 1940s/50s
    • Local – specific to my OPS
    • Lidar – laser height images
    • Test – temporary layers used when testing things
  • you can toggle the display between
    • overlay - where the opacity of the overlay can be changed by the slider
    • side by side    - where the normal overlay display appears in the left half of the window, and a correlated "right hand layer" appears in the right half of the window
    • spyglass - where the overlay appears as a small "spyglass" over the base layer (the size of the spyglass can be changed either by the up and down arrows or the slider)
  • there are opacity sliders for both the overlay layer and the feature layers so the different layers can be easily compared
  • each layer has buttons beside it to (if possible):
    • change the view to include the whole of the layer (Go)
    • see a description of the layer (?)
    • see a key to the layer (image of a key)
  • there is a button for you to swap the base and overlay layers
  • if you need more space for the maps you can hide the sidebar using the button at top left
  • you can download a printed (PNG) version of the map
  • you can get the coordinates of any point by selecting a format from the drop-down under the OPS drop-down (initially 'No lat/lon click'), and clicking on the map (Ctl-C copies them)
    • projections and coordinates are a complicated part of mapping, and there is a note about them elsewhere on the forum
    • you can also open a GeoHack window showing many mapping, aerial, wiki, photo and other resources for any point by selecting 'GeoHack links' from the same drop-down
    • another option is 'Feature id' which enables you to copy the feature id(s) of any feature(s) that you click on
  • feature layers (such as the pubs layer in HcN) Holywell-cum-Needingworth) are defined for each OPS; you will see the details of each feature, and associated events, as you hover your mouse over it (eg in HcN try hovering over the pubs - some have images)
  • point features (as distinct from lines and polygons) are red circles by default; they can have different colours, sizes, pins and icons, but these only show when the icons checkbox is ticked
  • if you click on a feature the display of information about it is frozen, and you can copy text, enlarge images, follow links etc - a blue button appears which you need to click when you are ready to unfreeze the information and start interacting again
  • as well as hover and click on features, you can do the same by listing the features and then hover and click on the list
  • some feature layers include information about people linked to features, and for those you can list the people - then hover and click on a person shows all the features and events associated with that person (eg for the Census entries feature layer in HcN try listing the People and click on Alfred Sandifer, for whom there is a picture and a hyperlink)
  • there are two timesliders, each of which has a lower and upper range, and a minimum and a maximum slider:
    • the upper timeslider has a lower range defined by the OPS(eg 700 AD), and the upper range is fixed at the current year
    • the two sliders on the upper timeslider determine the range of the lower timeslider - the values are shown around the lower timeslider
    • the two sliders on the lower timeslider then determine which features and events are displayed - the values are shown both after the text "Selected Years", and in the heading above the maps
    • you can quickly set the range of both timesliders to their widest by clicking on the 'x' next to "Selected years"
  • Modifiable Feature Layers (MFLs) are not permanent parts of the OPS on M4OPS, but work-in-progress, and one at a time can be displayed on top of the other layers
    • a MFL can include points (and their properties), lines and polygons
    • anyone can create, save, load and delete a MFL without any controls
    • anyone can modify the positions of features in a MFL, by clicking on the "Modify" button then clicking and dragging on points and lines
    • anyone can alter the properties of features in a MFL, by clicking on the "Alter" button then clicking on features and entering their properties (eg Name, colour)
    • a MFL can be converted into a permanent feature layer of the OPS (currently by downloading the MFL in CSV format then asking Peter to convert it)
  • note that the ability to upload files for feature layers, and compile them are restricted by password (for more technical details see the section on M4OPS - for those responsible for an OPS)
Some tips for using M4OPS
  • if a small scale map does not appear at first then the solution is to zoom out until it does appear, and then zoom in again
  • for some large scale maps you might need to do the opposite - zoom in until it does appear, and then zoom out again
  • another way to get a map to display itself properly is to move the map slightly, or to click on Go
  • if you cannot see the layer you want in the list, you may need to select the appropriate category from the category drop-down first
(Note that if you use the Chrome browser and often get an error message 'Rats! WebGL hit a snag', then one solution is to go into Chrome Settings, click on 'Show advanced settings', and set 'Use hardware accelaration when available' to NO. WebGL can help the rendering of interactive 3D and 2D graphics, but is not essential.)
« Last Edit: 22 January 2017, 18:03:47 by PeterC »