logo Calflora Shape Editor Help
With the Shape Editor application, you can view and edit any of the lines and polygons you may have added. You can also enter a new line or polygon. You can also upload a polygon shapefile, so that the polygons in the file become available for search in Observation Hotline and What Grows Here?.

As a Calflora contributor, you have your own portfolio of lines and polygons. Each time you enter an observation record with a line or polygon, the line or polygon goes into this portfolio. Each time you make a search polygon from Observation Hotline or What Grows Here?, and save it by name, it goes into this portfolio.

If you are a member of a group, then any lines or polygons owned by the group will also be available to you through this application. You can also share your polygons with a group.

A line or polygon stored by this application has only the following attributes:
  • ID
  • Geometry
  • Purpose (search, assessment, treatment, REGION, or TRAIL)
  • Name (optional)
  • Group (optional)
The reason to give a polygon a name is so that you can find it and use it over and over again -- for instance, to search for observations inside of the polygon from the Observation Hotline application.

If you upload a shapefile of lines or polygons with this application you will be able to choose a single attribute from the shapefile to become the name of the line or polygon as it resides on Calflora. Other attributes will be ignored.

If you have a shapefile with plant observation data in it, and you want to load the observations into your Calflora account, this is not the right application to use. If will be much easier to upload a shapefile of observations into your Calflora account if you use the Observation Upload application instead.

Please contact Calflora support with any questions about using this application.
Open Search, enter some parameters, and press .

The results appear in a table below. When you click on the purple dot next to a record, the line or polygon appears on the map, and a panel opens up showing the details of the record.

Saerch Criteria

  • Name: The name of the shape.

  • Group: If a group is selected, only shapes associated with that group will be returned.

  • Purpose: See below.

  • only named shapes: When this is checked, only shape recrods that have names will be returned.

  • ID: If you know the ID of the shape record you want, enter it here.

  • Type: Type of geometry. One of
    • polygon
    • polygon with holes
    • line
    • multipolygon
    • complex
Editing a Shape
Once you are seeing some search results, click on the purple dot next to a record. In the detail panel, press to edit the record. Press to change the line or polygon.

Open References to view all of the other records that refer to this shape. Other records may include observations, checklists, or Great Places. This feature is useful for finding (and possibly deleting!) shapes which are no longer used.

Each shape record can have one of five possible purposes:
  • assessment: Part of an observation record that does not include treatment information. This line or polygon indicates the extent of a population of plants.

  • treatment: Part of an observation record that does include treatment information. This line or polygon indicates where the treatment occurred.

  • search: An area of interest for searching in Observation Hotline or What Grows Here?.

  • REGION: A variation of search. Certain Weed Manager organizations have defined the areas (or regions) that they are responsible for as polygons. If a particular group has a set of regions defined in Calflora, then when new observations come in associated with that group, the coordinates of the observation will be matched against region boundaries, and if possible, the Region field of the observation record will be assigned accordingly.

  • TRAIL: A line indicating a trail.
Edit Actions
Open Edit Actions to do any of the following operations on the currently selected shape:
    smooth Make the current shape smoother. The higher the value of Buffer, the more smoothing will occur.
    copy Make a copy of the current shape.
    show as background The current shape will be shown in a different color as a background. It will stay visible until you press the clear background(s) button. Several shapes can be shown in the background at the same time.
    generate a polygon Generate a polygon from a line. This function uses the value of Buffer (meters) to determine how close the polygon perimeter will be to the original line. With a low value such as 5, it will be very close. With a high value such as 20, it will be farther away.

    This function can generate a polygon with holes under certain circumstances, such as if line crosses itself. It is more likely to generate a polygon with holes with a low value of Buffer. If you do not want holes, try a higher value of Buffer.

    Note that this action is destructive of the original line; if you save the generated polygon, it will replace the original line in the database. If you are going to need the original line as well as the polygon, you should copy the original line first.

    Here are some examples of polygons generated from lines.
    Note the holes in 2C. below, when the value of Buffer is 6.

    1A. Original line

    1B. Generated polygon, Buffer = 5

    2A. Original line

    2B. Generated polygon, Buffer = 10

    2C. Generated polygon, Buffer = 6

    3A. Generated polygon, Buffer = 1

    3C. Generated polygon, Buffer = 2

    3C. Generated polygon, Buffer = 3

Note that if you have a shapefile containing plant observations, this is not the right application; if will be much easier if you use Observation Upload instead. Please contact Calflora support with any questions.

To upload a shapefile from your local computer, open Upload.

In Step 1, browse to find the four component files of a shapefile. (Note that the .prj file is necessary, and that .prj files are sometimes hidden on Windows systems.)

When you press , the shapefile is uploaded to the server and stored in a temporary database table.

When the upload is successful you will see this message:
In Step 2, you assign values to the new polygon records. You will see a few lines from the shapefile showing the available attributes. Choose which attribute should become the name of the polygon in your Calflora portfolio. You can also choose to associate all of these polygons with one of your groups. You can also assign a purpose for each polygon.

In the example on the right, the available attributes from the shapefile are LAYER, COUNT, CNPS, CHPTBNDA_, and CHPTBNDA_J. In this case, the user chose the attribute CNPS to become the name of the polygon -- by looking at the records in the table, you can see that this attribute has values like Dorothy King Young and Sanhedrin.

In this case, the user chose "search" as the value of Purpose, so that these polygons will be available for searching from applications such as Observation Hotline.

If you are planning to use the uploaded polygons in observation records, then set Purpose to "assessment", and they will be available from the Plant Observation Entry application.

Once you have assigned values, press .

When the records have been added, you will see this message:

To find the records you just added, use the search function of this application.

After you have searched for some shape records, you can download them to your computer, and then use them in desktop GIS. At the moment the only supported format is GeoJSON. If you need the shapes in a shapefile, download them as GeoJSON and then use QGIS to convert them to a shapefile.
• January, 2018:   In v. 1.00, the generate a polygon function has been improved, and is now available with buffer values from 1 meter to 20 meters. Note that it can take a long time to run, more so with a large original line and/or a small buffer value.

• September, 2017:   As of v. 0.98, you can search by geometry type (eg. line polygon etc).

• June, 2017:   As of v. 0.95, this application can display multipolygons and polygons with holes. However, it is still possible to edit only simple polygons and lines.

• July, 2016:   As of v. 0.86, the editor panel opens under the selected record, instead of at the top of the page. Also, the vertice count of the selected shape is displayed.

• December, 2015:   As of v. 0.70, the shapefile uploader takes up more room on the page, so that it is easier to see the attributes.

• August, 2014:   As of v. 0.60, this application has the ability to upload a shapefile. The polygons in the shapefile can become part of your personal portfolio of shapes, or part of your group's portfolio of shapes.

REGION is a new possible value for purpose.

• August, 2014:   v. 0.59 (beta) released.