Map View and working with geolocation fields

Map View is designed for displaying locations of objects, people and more on a map. Plottable locations include storage locations for objects, places where objects were discovered or where they were produced, the places where individuals recorded in Persons and institutions (creators, authors, artists, etc.) were born and died, and so on. Map View opens by default in the main Collections window, but it can be detached and viewed in a separate window:

Map View

Map View is a licensed add-on to Collections and is not available out-of-the-box (contact Support for details). If it is available in your system, the Map View button will display in the top Toolbar when you are working in a data sourceClosed The management of a collection can involve a vast amount of information about objects / items / books, people and organizations, events, administration and more. This information is stored as records in data sources. Each data source stores a specific type of information: details about collection items, people, events, loans, and so on. that stores location information in fields designed to hold geolocation data. In the example above, and are geolocation fields and these two locations can be shown on a map.

Geolocation fields

There are two types of geolocation field in Collections:

  • A Geographical Information System (GIS) field, which has a GeoJSON data type.


  • A field with a Geolocation data type.

Both types of field store a location that can be displayed on a map, and both allow a location to be selected on a map and saved to the field, but they do so differently. GIS functionality is a more recent addition to Collections and has superseded the earlier Geolocation approach to location mapping.

Map View functionality

Any locations saved to either type of geolocation field described above will display on a map in Map View. It is possible to view the location of the current recordClosed The record currently displayed in Record details View or highlighted (with a solid grey background) in Result set View or Gallery View for instance. or to view the location of multiple records by markingClosed Marking a record means selecting it by adding a tick to the record's checkbox in Result set View or Gallery View, and in Record Details View from Collections 1.15 onwards. One or more records can be marked and then actioned in some way (e.g. printed). them in Result set View and opening Map View by clicking its button in the top Toolbar.

The following functionality is available in Map View:

The Map menu

When viewing one or more records (rather than adding or editing a record), the Map menu includes options to change the scale and base map in Map View, to select an overlay (if available), display a location by entering its longitude and latitude; and to search for a location by its name (if a Geocoding Web Service is enabled in your system):

If GIS functionality is available in your system, it is possible to add / edit a location directly from a map when editing the current recordClosed The record currently displayed in Record details View or highlighted (with a solid grey background) in Result set View or Gallery View for instance. in the Geographical thesaurus. When editing a record, the Map menu includes additional options.

Note: If GIS functionality is not available, you update a location in the Find data for the field box. Details here.

How to add / edit a location

In the Geographical thesaurus:

  1. Add a new record or edit the current recordClosed The record currently displayed in Record details View or highlighted (with a solid grey background) in Result set View or Gallery View for instance..
  2. In Record details View, locate the geolocation field (typically labelled something like Geolocation or Map). The field is easily identified by the GIS icon, which will be one of the following:

    No location saved to this field yet

    No location has been saved to the field.

    Location saved to this field

    A location has already been saved to the field.

    In this example the field is called Geolocation:

    Edit location

  3. Click the icon to open an Edit Map location window.

    This is similar to Map View but includes additional options in the Map menu:

    Map menu

  4. To select one or more locations on the map, start by selecting a Drawing Type tool.

    All available options for working in the Edit Map location are described here:



    Drawing type

    Drop list with tools for specifying one or more locations on the map. It is possible to select a single point and/or a line; it is also possible to define an area by drawing a circle or polygon on the map.

    Tip: While it is possible to mark multiple spots and/or areas on a map and save them all to a single geolocation field, typically you will define a single point or area for each geolocation field.

    Map scale

    The current scale is shown at the bottom of the map. By default it is metric. The following scales are available from the drop list:

    • Metric
    • Degrees
    • Imperial
    • Nautical
    • US

    Base Map

    The default base map is the Open Street Map. If other base maps are available, they can be selected from this drop list.


    One or more overlays for the base map may be available from this drop list, perhaps showing municipality borders, vegetation types or historical landmarks for example.

    Show Area

    When using the Circle or Polygon drawing tool, the area of the enclosed space will display if this checkbox is ticked:

    Show Distances

    When using the LineString drawing tool, the length (distance) will be shown if this checkbox is ticked:

    Show location in UTM

    When you click anywhere on the map, the location coordinates display in a pop-up as latitude and longitude by default:

    When this checkbox is ticked, location coordinates display in UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system):


    If you know the latitude and longitude of a location, enter these values and click Locate to zoom in to the location.

  5. When you have marked locations on the map, you have three options:




    Saves points and/or areas marked on the map, along with details about the currently selected base map and layer, to the GIS field, closing the Edit Map location window.


    Close the Edit Map location window without saving any changes you have made to the map.


    Remove all marks on the map.