iMAPS Usage: Voting Precincts vs. Municipal Corporate Boundaries
iMAPS home page has
general information about the tool and a link to detailed Help
documentation. There is also a Help dropdown at the upper right part of
the iMAPS display; click the three-horizontal-bars icon.
The following example shows how to display intersections between
voting precincts and municipal corporate boundaries. This is very
important for municipal elections.
- Open the
- Click the Property Search (magnifying glass) icon in the far right
sidebar. In the "Address, owner, PIN, or REID" field at the top, enter
an address. It could be an address near the area of interest, or you
could just enter your own Wake County address and then drag/zoom the map
(covered below) to get to the area of interest.
- You may be shown a dropdown list as you type the address, showing
items close in spelling to what you have typed so far. Click on one of
these with the mouse left button. Or just keep typing until only one
selection is possible; then click it or press Enter.
- If the address was found, that lot will be highlighted
on the displayed map and much information about the address will be
displayed in a sidebar on the right. Note the sidebar's scrollbar on
the far right.
- You can slide around the map by holding down the left mouse button
and dragging. You can zoom in and out by rotating your mouse's scroll
wheel, or by clicking the "+" and "-" buttons at the upper left side of
- The layer facility of iMAPS lets you overlay the displayed map with
colored regions and borders to highlight areas having selected
characteristics, e.g., municipal corporate areas. Click on the Layers
icon in the far right sidebar; it looks like a stack of three
rectangles. Hovering the mouse over an icon will display an explanatory
- This presents an extensive list of layers you can turn on or off
individually. The list is hierarchical -- clicking a layer to turn it
on may present a subordinate list of layers you can turn on/off.
Multiple layers can be turned on simultaneously.
- For this example, click the Electoral layer group. Click the
triangle icon at the left to display a sublist of layers. In the
sublist, click the Precincts layer. This puts a colored border around
each precinct and displays precinct numbers. You may have to zoom out
to see this.
- Clicking within a precinct does a temporary, light color fill of
that precinct. You can turn off the fill by clicking the X in the popup
or by clicking within another precinct. Clicking on the "Zoom to" in
the popup will center that precinct on the screen, automatically zooming
in or out as needed. The popup obscures the precinct; you can move it
off the precinct by clicking the Dock icon in the popup.
- Note the slider in the sidebar that appeared when you clicked
Precincts. Moving it back and forth controls the transparency of the
precinct border lines (and color fill, if present) from 0% to 100%.
Such a transparency control applies to other layers you can select, as
we will be doing in the next step to color (municipal) corporate
- Now also select the Planning and Development layer and then the
Corporate Limits layer under it. For this example make sure the
Planning Jurisdictions layer is turned off. Note that Corporate Limits
also has a transparency slider; it controls the transparency of the fill
colors for the corporate areas.
- Now by dragging the map, zooming in and out, and adjusting the two
transparency sliders, you can easily see how various municipal corporate
limits intersect with various voting precincts.
- When you are finished, turn off the layers you don't want to see the
next time you use iMAPS because iMAPS saves the last selection(s) in
case you want to repeatedly have the same views.
Here is an
example of what might
be produced by iMAPS after some further processing. I wanted to take
what iMAPS displayed, add some explanatory text, and create a file for
my website which would be easy for anyone to view. After following the
procedure itemized above to display the area of interest, I used
Microsoft Window's Snip & Sketch tool to save to the clipboard the
part of the map display I wanted, then used Windows Paint to turn the
clipboard data into a PNG (picture) file. I then used used Microsoft
PowerPoint to make the PNG image the background for my slide to which I
added a title, the color key sidebar, the arrows, and the text box.
Finally, I had PowerPoint save the slide as a PDF file, suitable for
uploading to my website. Of course, many other tools could be used to
process an iMAPS display.
To get an idea of iMAPS' other abilities, take a look at the various
dropdowns and buttons, e.g., Property Select and Measure. On the
sidebar resulting from an address search (see
item 4 above), you can see such things as
property pictures, deeds, tax data, and government services/contacts.
Using Basemaps you can choose from a number of things to have as a
background for the main display, including aerial images, historical
views, and topographic maps.
Jeff Knauth firstname.lastname@example.org