Ever since FM:Interact 8.3 was released a few months ago, we have received countless excited inquiries about the dynamic mapping feature, which does not surprise me since I, too, have been excited about it—so excited about it, in fact, that I included it in my list of fab five features in FM:Interact 8.3 back in February. In my previous blog post, I only dedicated a few lines to explaining why I love this feature, which grossly understated the appeal and functionality of it. To make up for my lack of detail and to provide answers to some FAQs, I am dedicating this entire blog post to explaining the ins and outs of the mapping feature.
The dynamic mapping feature is an interactive map that visually depicts an organization’s real estate portfolio. By allowing users to access building information simply by clicking the building on the map, this feature provides another point of entry into critical facilities information. Moreover, the tooltip text that displays for each building on the map is configurable, meaning that I can potentially access all necessary information simply by hovering over the building icon. For those of us who are visual learners and get tripped up trying to navigate through the hierarchy of the navigation tree, this map is the answer to some of our long-standing desires. The same goes for those of us who are forced to perform tasks, ascertain answers to questions, and provide critical information more quickly than ever before—we can now meet these speed demands with more ease.
Requirements for Use
Setting up the dynamic map is simple and short, but it does require that some basic conditions have been met. In the current iteration, this feature requires Microsoft® Silverlight™. In addition, an internet connection is required in order for the map to render. For buildings to display on the map, latitude and longitude values must exist in the building record. If you do not track latitude and longitude values of addresses and are cringing at the thought of manually looking them up and entering them into FM:Interact, we have yet another solution to make your life easier: a batch population tool in the FM:Interact Support Tool that converts building addresses to latitude and longitude coordinates and automatically adds them to your building records. You must store valid building addresses for this to work, and you must be okay with FM:Interact submitting your address data to OpenStreetMap to do the conversion and adhere to the OpenStreetMap copyright agreement.
Setting up and Configuring the Map
I mentioned before that the setup is a breeze, which it is, but I would like to add a caveat: most of the setup is completed in the FM:Interact Support Tool. That being said, the mapping feature has an out-of-box setup, so if you don’t want to make any configurations, you can just add it as a home page and go on your merry way.