Written by Nathan Cloud on Thursday, 28 Jan 2010.
If you care anything about maps, GPS data, GPS's, and doing stuff with maps, GPS's and data, then read on. Otherwise, don't, but I really think you should.
Data Locker, what's this?
Think back to the old sites "homegrown" mapper. There was this "Roll Your Own" feature on the map that let you select a bunch of data for a trail, lets say a GPS track or two and some waypoints. Then you could click a button and it would generate a nice single GPX or KML file containing all of them for you to download.
Well, this is that. Only better. Because it does more.
In as Few Words as Possible
[Definition] Data Locker: Your own place to store, keep tabs on, and generate custom GPS file downloads of mapped data records in the Crankfire database.
Ok. See that little fella the left? This is the "add to your locker" icon. It shows up whenever a record is accurately mapped. You will see it in lists, on the map in infowindows, and on data detail records. Yes, I know, it is more of a box than a locker, it was the best I could do.
Now go ahead. Click it. An "Add to Your Data Locker" dialog will pop up. Within, apart from a brief explanation as to what is going on, you will see a "Group" dropdown box, along with a few links and a "Save To Locker" button down bottom. This "Group" dropdown quite simply allows you to neatly "group" whatever data you are adding to your locker. So create a new group, choose an existing one, or don't pick one (commando style) and click that "Save To Locker" button.
Do it more. Do it as many times as you want. Good times right?
Wait, jump back. Why are you doing this? Fair enough. Let me give you an example: maybe you want to plan a nice bike ride at The Holyoke Range. You pop open the map, pick a GPS track you want to follow, then you throw in some waypoints along the way - including where you plan to park. Lastly, since bikes break, you toss in a nearby bike shop. So now you have all this in your locker neatly bundled in a group you named "Holyoke Ride". The payoff? You then download it in just about any data format you could want, pop it into your GPS, then go for your nicely planned ride.
Hopefully right now you are thinking that this could be handy.
Where is this at?
You can access your data locker a couple different ways:
- Through your user dashboard: your user dashboard is a place to help manage, understand and administrate your presence on Crankfire. Once logged in, access it by the "dashboard" link on the upper right hand side of the page, or right from the homepage in the big welcome back block.
- You can also access it right from the "Add to Your Data Locker" dialog box.
In fact, it looks a lot like this:
Hopefully the above explanation makes sense. We tried to take this new Crankfire to a new level of maps, sharing and community - and this is just one of what makes it so special.
What else can you do with this? Well, you can simply use your data locker to keep tabs on your favorite map records on Crankfire. Or as a means find important records faster - think of it like "bookmarks".
Finally - and possibly the most difficult to explain - you can also share it by publishing any of your created groups to our Map Feeds Directory. We will get into these Map Feeds later, but just know that they provide another means to add data to our maps, and to share our maps to other peoples maps. Check out the Holyoke Ride Map Feed record we walked you through here, and fire its map up right here.
Play around with it. Let me know if you like it. Let me know if something is broken, and let me know what I can do to improve it!