You may have noticed some changes to the Digimap interface over the past month. Yes, Digimap has a brand new and shiny new home page. The old home page had been around for a number of years and was starting to look it’s age. In this post we will take a look at the new interface to help you find your way around.
The new design splits the home page into 3 sections:
Maps and Data Collections panel – This panel provides top-level navigation allowing users to switch between different collections and account administration without having to leave the Digimap home page. When you select an option from this list, the information is displayed in the central panel.
Eagle-eyed users may have spotted that the left hand Maps and Data Collection panel has some room for expansion. We hope to add more data in the future and have been pulling together a number of environmental datasets which could form an Environment Collection. Do you have any suggestions for other collections you would like to see in Digimap? If you do, then add them as a comment.
Central Panel – the central panel provides links and information related to the collection selected from the left panel. The information is split into sections which can be expanded or hidden by clicking on the section headings. If you want to make a simple map, click the “view annotate and print” section to see what is available. Services, such as Roam and Data Download are accessed by clicking on the service names. If you want help or further information about a collection, look under the “Help Resources” section.
News panel – On the right hand side of the home page you will find links to the Digimap blog and twitter account. We intend to post interesting Digimap news here as well so it is well worth having a quick glance at this panel as you pass through the home page.
One really good aspect of the new home page is that it allows users to see collections their institution do not currently subscribe to. Why is this good? Well, if a collection looks interesting and of use in teaching and learning you may be able to show colleagues who may then be able to convince institutions to subscribe. Think of it as a shop window!
However, it has not all been plain sailing. The cosmetic changes are just the tip of the iceberg. Significant work has taken place on the connections, authentication and the databases. This work was tricky and threw up some unforeseen issues. If you spot something that isn’t working or just looks wrong, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). It helps if you can tell us which web browser you are using too (and which version!). We would also like to hear what you think of the new interface; just add a comment to this post or send comments to the help desk (email@example.com).