There are a couple ways you can interact with the mapping features on your MindMixer site.
1. You can submit your idea based on what is displayed within the map itself via the "Add an Idea in this Topic."
Once you click the "Add an Idea to this Topic" button, you'll be provided with a form to complete with your idea and descriptions. At this point, you can choose to drop a pin on the corresponding location by single clicking on the location. See screenshot below of how to add your mapping idea and pin a location to a topic.
Please note: Single-clicking the place on the map will actually drop the pin in that specific location: double clicking will zoom in. Additionally, if the place you're wanting to drop a pin does not have any mapped roads nearby, your pin will be dropped to the nearest mapped location.
2. Enhance your map using KML layering.
KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language, which is a type of data used to store and display drawing on a digital map. Adding maps to your topics are a great way to enrich your content and gather feedback. You can add your own customized content to the maps. Examples of this might include various points of interest in a neighborhood, the location of a new park or a proposed transit route. There are several methods you can use to create KML layers.
- Get your GIS department to create the KML layers. Think about what you want to show on the map and how you want it to look, then pass it along to your GIS staff. It's often a good idea to sketch out what you want on a simple map than pass that on the GIS staff.
- Use ArcGIS for Desktop to convert your existing GIS data into KML. ArcGIS for Desktop is a popular GIS software, if you have access you can use it to convert your existing GIS layers and maps into KML files. You'll want to use the 'Map to KML' and 'Layer to KML.'
- Use Google Earth to create KML layers. This is the best option if you're starting from scratch and do not have a GIS department or GIS software to turn to. You can download Google Earth for free. You can symbolize the place marks, paths and areas with styles and icons that are familiar to people. To get started using Google Earth, download it from https://www.google.com/earth/. Then review the following tutorials
- <http://www.google.com/earth/outreach/tutorials/index.html> this is an introduction to Google Earth and annotating maps with place marks, paths and polygons.
- <http://www.google.com/earth/outreach/tutorials/kmz.html> this is an overview of KML and KMZ, and how to save and work with them.
- <http://www.google.com/earth/outreach/tutorials/annotate.html> this is a tutorial on how to create, save and share KML and KMZ layers.