BlomWEB Workshop #2 – Vector support

Following on from our first workshop for BlomWEB, we decided to follow it up with another one, this time explaining the vector support found in BlomWEB Viewer. Jason will talk us through it…

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While most seasoned GIS professionals might be more than familiar with overlaying vectors on to imagery, it might not be a feature than more casual users would be aware of. One of the powerful additions to BlomWEB is its ability to handle and display vector files, all using nothing more than a standard web browser.

Let’s take a look at how we can upload a simple shape file into BlomWEB…

Uploading the vectors

To begin with we need to make sure that what we’re trying to upload can be handled by BlomWEB. We can upload ESRI Shape Files (.SHP), Google Earth KML/KMZ or a .ZIP file containing multiple files. It’s advisable to use a .ZIP file when uploading an ESRI .shp, this is so that BlomWEB can read the shape file, as well as the accompanying DBF (if one exists) and projection files. You can always set the projection manually yourself if uploading just the .shp on its own.

For our little example we’ll use a small area of building footprints from Bristol. So here we have our shape files as you would expect to see them, as well as the .ZIP file ready to be uploaded.

shape files

Now in the BlomWEB Viewer window, select ‘additional tools‘ then the ‘upload vector file‘ option:

Vector upload tool

Once you select this, it will then ask what file you would like to upload. You can either drag the file into the prompt box, or simply just press ‘upload file‘ and then browse to your required files.

Vector upload options

Once the files have been uploaded, you will see confirmation and if you hover the mouse over the file name, a ‘go to’ button will appear. Select this and it will position the viewer on the area of where the files are geographically located.

Vectors uploaded

Interacting with the vectors

Now our vector files have been loaded and correctly positioned, when you hover the mouse over the polygons they will change to red when highlighted. Clicking on each one will reveal the metadata held in the original files DBF (if data exists).

Viewable metadata

Change appearance of the vectors

If required you can change the colour of the vectors as well as the opacity. To do this simply go to the ‘additional tools‘, then select the ‘view and save layers and workspace‘ option:

View and save workspaces

The file you uploaded will appear in the workspace layers list. Hover the mouse over to reveal the options available. Once you’ve made your changes you can save this into your workspace so that it is available next time you log in. By default BlomWEB won’t save any vectors unless you tell it to. So this is something to be aware of.
Let’s change the vector colours to blue:

Vector appearance options

So now we have nice blue vectors – easy eh?
One of the other features available is the exportation of vectors to shape files. Not only can do you this with shape files, but any annotations or shapes you have drawn can be easily and quickly exported. This is an extremely useful feature which can remove the need for expensive GIS packages.

Changed vector colours
Vectors on top of BlomOBLIQUE

That should hopefully give you a good idea of how the vector support works in BlomWEB. If you have any questions about any of the features and functionality of BlomWEB Viewer, or if you’d like a demo, then please get in touch. You can also check out some BlomWEB videos on our YouTube page.


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