November 18, 2021
Maps aren’t just a helpful way to get from Point A to Point B. They’re rich in information, provide a record of our history, help us make decisions about our world, and, most importantly, they can tell 1000 stories in a single image.
That’s why we created our Visual Collaboration Tool (VCT) - to allow people to share the stories behind maps and images.
Comment, create and collaborate
If you haven’t seen it in action, check out our VCT tutorial
. Basically, VCT is a comment and annotation tool. It allows discussions on maps in the platform between people all over the world. You can also use it to measure distances and draw annotations, like arrows and circles, directly onto maps.
VCT is powerful because it allows anyone to expand on maps, collaborate, and share a story unlike anything before
Be an author in the story of our world
To give you an example, there may be a large map on Soar.Earth, such as the Gaza Strip
, which covers a vast area. A basic commenting system alone wouldn’t allow people to discuss specific parts of the map. VCT allows you to link annotations with comments and connect both with a certain area on a map. Having this unified in Soar.Earth opens up unique opportunities.
Using the Gaza Strip map example, we can easily zoom in on an area we want to focus on, use an annotation tool to highlight our topic, and write a comment to expand the discussion. Once a user clicks the comment, they’ll be taken to the part of the map being discussed and shown all the annotations linked with that comment. If they want, they can continue the topic by drawing more annotations, showing new areas, adding comments and more.
Color image LEFT, Heightmap RIGHT
We’re so excited to see how our users use the new VCT functionalities, but best of all, this is only the start! VCT will continue to expand in the future so be sure to check back often to see new features and possibilities.