THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: YOU NEED TO BE LOGGED IN TO SEE THE MAP CENTER PAGE. It has a host of nifty tools that you can use,,,,
1. Custom Places are your personally-created waypoints and, if you choose, you can suggest them to the RTA Map administrators to be included into the RTA Library of RoadTrip Attractions. When you go to save a Custom Place, you’ll see the link to promote them (“suggest”) for consideration as an official RTA RoadTrip Attraction. (RA)
2. There are two ways to make Custom Places. You can either use the zoom in feature on your map and click on the map (see method 1 instructions here)
3. Or you can use the address field (City names are often enough, but full street addresses are best) (see method 2 instructions here)
4. If you want to build a custom map for a custom route of your choosing:
...a. There are two ways to use the Calculated Routes.
.......i. You can either create a route using the Calculated Routes program and add Custom Places and RTA Library RA’s to your Route.
.......ii. You can use the Waypoint program, where you manually add Custom Places and then click on “Select Marker” before you click on each Custom Place. You’ll see that list being created under “My Current Waypoints” . (Note, at present the eventual route created will follow the order you create this list). But when you get all of the “Waypoints” loaded, put in the starting address and the ending address and click “Find Route from Addresses”
>Create a route (either calculated or hand-drawn) – Save Route
--- You’ll see your named route in the search results boxes on the left-hand side of the page. (either in “My Calculated Routes” or “My Drawn Routes”)
>> Manually Drawn Routes – see the instructions
>>Add Waypoints, (either RTA Library or by clicking on the Custom Places)
>> You can click on each of the Library RA’s or your own Custom Places and remove them from your Custom Route (click “Remove”)
>> You can continue to add Custom Places to Your Route (Map) and you save this by clicking on “Save Map”.
>> Use the zoom tool on the left side of the map (or you can use the scrolling mouse function to zoom in and out on the map.
>> If you want to use the “Ground Level” viewer – Put your cursor on that little golden man icon and drop “him” on the spot you want to view. To close that view, look at the x at the top right corner of the display
--- Your custom map will appear in the upper-most search box called “My Maps”
>> Note on the “Edit link” found in the Information boxes on Custom Places, Routes and Maps. The edit function allows a member to change any of the text in the box, the title, the keyword, etc. the actual location of the Route or Map doesn’t change. ***But the edit function on the Custom Places does allow the member to move the location of the Custom Place if preferred.
5. We are eager to have you submit your custom places to be considered as RTA Library RA’s. We have very little from Mexico, but we are adding new ones. (***Update, for the time being the capability for "submitting your custom places to RTA" for consideration as RTA Library RA's is being limited to the senior members of this Forum, and the article Contributors. We had this open to the general membership, but the Custom Places that were being submitted didn't really fit the parameters, so we're going to hold this back while in the beta phase).
......a. If you want to see whether or not a RTA Library RA currently exists, go the “Add Routes & Places from RTA’s Library” put the name of the place in the “Enter Keyword” box, select “Places” and click “Keyword Search” If that place is in the RTA Library, it will be displayed on the map and in the “RoadTrip Attractions” box on the left of the page.
......b. If your Custom Place is chosen, “promoted” to a RTA Library RA, we will provide a byline to your RTA membership account.
......c. Also you can put your name as a keyword search and see all of the RA’s that have been attributed to your contributions.
......d. When you create your Custom Places, the default category is Personal and the orange paddle marker is used on all of your Custom Maps. At the time you create the Custom Place, you can select what kind of RA it might become, (if you decide to “suggest” this Custom Place to RTA) and if RTA makes it a RA, the flag will change automatically.
6. Photos on the Custom Place’s: You can add links and photos to your custom places. Photos need to be hosted on the Web someplace to display in your Custom Places. (the program needs a URL to work). You can use any photo sharing program – RTA offers our own RTA PhotoShare for this purpose. Click here for tips on using PhotoShare.
a. To look nice on the page, we recommend that you size your photo RA’s to no more than 300 pixels tall in a vertical format and no more than 200 pixels wide on a horizontal format – but you can use any size on your custom maps. The photo loading tool has a photo resizing function –so you don’t need to do this anywhere else first. We recommend that you put in only one of those variables either 200 wide or 300 high and let the program resize it proportionally.
7. If you're using PhotoShare to upload photos to your Custom Places on the RTA Map Center
.........a. Click on any of the images you've uploaded to the PhotoShare
.........b. At the bottom of the page you'll see a "Photo Details" section, where an URL for the photo has been created for a variety of uses.
.........c. You can (and should) ignore the four top link choices (linked thumbnail, Linked Medium, Medium Image & html code)
.........d. Copy the link listed under "Direct Link" (put your cursor there and copy)
.........e. Open the Custom Place Information Box
.........f. Click on the picture frame icon (looks like a tree)
.........g. Paste the PhotoShare link into the Image URL box
.........h. type in a image description (this is the alt-text)
.........i. Leave Alignment alone
.........J. Enter one of the following variables into Dimensions
---- 200 x (leave blank) horizontal orientation
---- (leave blank) x 300 vertical orientation
.........k. Click insert ! -- You're done.
8. RA’s (the little flags) will always stay on the map even if you load different routes, in case you want to incorporate them eventually. If you want to remove them from view, just reload the page.
9. Deletion Options: At the present time, you can delete your personal routes, and custom places. Within the next 60 days you’ll be able to delete your Custom Maps.
......a. To Delete a Custom Route, click on the name of the route in one of the search result boxes on the left-hand side of the page. When the route is displayed on the page, click on the blue box with the route number, an Info Box will open giving you the option to delete your Custom Route.
......b. Same procedure to delete a Custom Place,
10. How to Share Maps: Maps need to be saved, so you need to register, (if you’re not already a member). Make sure that the map you want to Share has been Saved! Click the button “View and Share Saved Map”, this opens a new page with your saved map and the private URL that you can use to send by e-mail or by any of the social media tools. We’ve put the most popular ones at the top of the page, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google Buzz and an e-mail link. There is also a “Share with Friends,” icon (the green one) that enables another 50+ social media networks. If you find any issues with this, please post a bug report here.
11. Using RTA Library Maps and RTA Library Routes for own trip planning maps: At the present time, (December 14th), there aren’t many RTA Library Routes or RTA Library Maps. And we’ve not enabled way for you to “suggest” have your own Custom Routes & Custom Maps promoted to the RTA Library. (You can always share your map with one of the administrators in the interim – send to email@example.com) But within a couple of weeks, there will be at least one Library Route and Map in every state in the USA and Province in Canada, which you can use by using the keyword search. For the time being, the Search capability for finding the RTA Library of Routes and Maps has been disabled. We'll add a notice here when that capability is re-enabled. We'll make that available to you when we have at least one Route and Map for each state.