June 13, 2022

A big boost for properties

Placemark’s support for properties just got a really big improvement

We've always supported all the kinds of properties that geospatial data can have - arbitrary names and values, plus values can have types like string, true/false, JSON values, and more. And because a property like a "description" field might contain paragraphs of an article, you could pop up a larger property text editor. But there's always more to improve about properties - especially when people are writing reviews, research, and guides using the property editor. So this week brings some big improvements.

Rich text properties

Now you can edit a property and switch between different kinds of values - Text, Rich text, JSON, and Color. The rich text editor can do everything you'd expect from a rich text interface, like adding links, bold, headings. Plus, you can even add images! Building your index of the best restaurants or map of bird sightings? Rich text lets you do it all in one tool.

Rich text plays nice with importing & exporting! When you export features with rich text as GeoJSON, the rich text becomes a descriptive object containing HTML. Importing KML files with HTML in their <description> tags - like you can author in Google Earth - will yield rich text in Placemark, and vice-versa for exporting KML.

Editing colors

The improved color picker detects valid colors and lets you edit colors using direct hex-code input or with a selector UI.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts have been improved - you can navigate the whole properties panel, and the feature panel, using arrow keys.

True and false values

True and false values get a new UI, too - you can toggle them with a checkbox. And if you need to change the type of a property, it's easy to just convert it to something different.

Converting between types

Need to change a property's type? You can do that too - convert your plain text to rich text, clean up data that has numbers stored a strings, you can do it all.

Open source improvements

The code that adds this support for HTML values in KML is open source, part of Placemark's supported toGeoJSON and toKML modules. You can use it in your applications today, and all of the users of those JavaScript modules can upgrade for the new support.