FieldDoc System Update: October 2022

FieldDoc’s latest release consists of significant improvements to the practice map editor view. Users can now import or draw a practice footprint using a full-screen mapping modal that provides a more intuitive interface for viewing practices associated with a FieldDoc project, programmatic base layers, and additional means for editing a practice footprint.
October 17, 2022
FieldDoc System Update: October 2022

Newly launched mapping modal

Based on user feedback and our partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, we introduced new ways to make editing accessing the geographic elements of practice significantly easier. Previously, users would step through a simple workflow to set up new practices. First, they would name their practice and then add a practice type to it. Then, the system would bring them to a new page where they would import a shapefile or draw on the map the practice footprint. This view was constricting. What’s more, the old version didn’t allow for a means to import or draw practices in the context of other programmatic base layers or view any additional practice footprints across the project. Taking the advice from our user base, our team revamped FieldDoc’s map editor to bring all necessary draw and reference layers into a single view.  

This new map editor view can be accessed through our traditional workflow. When users create their new practice or through the map pin on the practice card, they will arrive at the expanded map editor modal.  Moving the map editor into a modal for easy access means our user base can quickly address updates to practice geometries as they need to without having to click into a practice summary view, locate the edit geography button, and route to a small mapping window.  Further by including other practices associated with the project on the same map, we are able to avoid geometry collisions that occur when users draw practices that are close to one another spatially.

Expanded base layer options

The expanded suite of base layers is intended to give users more options for determining how to delineate their practice and using the geographic information displayed to help deliver other relevant information such as topographic information or address orientations. 

Users can now choose between a variety of base layers including topography, street map, and satellite.

Additional mapping layers

For some programs, the ability to turn on or off program-specific spatial layers will help users and program managers orient their individual work to broader efforts. For example, the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Trust Fund, which helped fund and guide the implementation of these updates, now offers grantees three critical planning layers: 

  • Maryland Parcel Boundaries
  • Maryland 6-inch imagery
  • Maryland NHD Flowlines

These layer integrations can apply to any program administered in FieldDoc so if you currently manage your grant slate or BMP tracking initiative in the system and have reference layers you’d like to include, please reach out and we can provide the necessary steps to get your constituency georeferencing their practice footprints in context of your priority base layers.

Integrations between the FieldDoc and Mapbox APIs were instrumental in making these additional data layers available to general users through the mapping pop-up.  What’s more, we have established a very reliable framework for tiling large spatial base layers using Mapbox’s tiling service and ensuring these base layers are rendered in our map edit modal in a fast and performant way.

Collect geometry details

Each geometry type has a significant amount of geospatial data tied to it. Previously users could view the estimated practice area below the map. Users can now click [VIEW MEASUREMENTS] to collect information on the bounding box and estimated practice area. 

A screenshot of the "Measurements" pop-up within the mapping modal. Shows the bounding box coordinate and estimated practice area.
"Measurements" provide the user with the estimated practice area and bounding box details within the mapping modal.

Our team has also worked to integrate more seamlessly with the widely adopted .geoJSON format.  As users upload a .shp file or .geoJSON file of their practice footprint, we provide a means for users to view, copy, and edit the raw .geoJSON data in a newly implemented, View Source, button.  Further, if users have raw .geoJSON or OGC Well-known Text they’d like to add to the map, it’s as simple as copying and pasting.

Screenshot display an example of GeoJSON details for copy.
Image displays the data provided through the new "view source" option.

Navigate between practices

While on the map, the user can click on a different practice polygon to open up its practice summary page. This new update provides users with a new efficient way to navigate their suite of project practices without returning to the project summary dashboard.

Practice search updates

In addition to the Map Editor updates, this release also included expanded functionality in our practice type search. The enhanced filters available to users appear at the stage where users will search for the practice type to assign to their practice. Users are able to search by BMP categories including by name, group, description, and models. 

These filter enhancements will enable users to more efficiently and effectively identify the relevant practice type and collect critical information during the setup process, such as the models tied to the practice.

Any questions about the latest suite of features and system updates can be directed to