Screenshot of my with tabs: Owned

Editing a Non-Visual Digital Map from the Map Library

How can I edit a map that I did not create?

You found a map in the new Map Library on Paths to Technology – but what if you want to make some changes to the map? The university maps are detailed; a couple have 500+ points! Maybe your student needs to start with a map with fewer points that shows only the main roads, his/her dorm, dining hall, buildings where he will have classes, and a few POIs around campus. Do you have to start from scratch to create this basic map? No! You can modify the original map available in the Map Library!

Owned vs. Not Owned

When you open a map from the Map Library, it will appear under your “Not Owned” tab in You do not own the map and you cannot edit the map.

Maps that YOU create appear under the “Owned” tab in You own the map and can edit the map.

What does this mean?

When you select a map from the Map Library, you do NOT have permission to edit that map. Only the original author “owns” the map and has permission to edit. When sharing the map, the original author can choose to give permission to others to collaborate and edit the map. However, any edits will also change the original map! For this reason, the maps in the Map Library do not give permission for others to edit the original maps. You cannot accidently make changes to the original maps in the Map Library.

Don’t worry! You can make a COPY of the original map from the map library; you will then “own” that copy and can make any changes that you want!

Copy Map

Select the desired map in the Map Library. If you do not have SAS Graphics Accelerator installed, it will take you to a page with instructions and a link on how to install this free Google Chrome Extension. (Remember, you must open the map in the Google Chrome web browser.) Once the SAS Graphics Accelerator is installed, when you select the desired map in the Map Library, the link will open the visual map in

The video below demonstrates how to open a map from the Map Library and how to copy this map.

Why Would You Want to Edit a Map?

In previous posts, we have discussed the goal of the map and how that goal should drive the points listed in the map. (See John’s O&M Lesson posts.) Another reason might be that the student/client is just learning the non-visual digital map software or digital map concepts. Maybe your student/client’s O&M skills requires a part-to-whole method of instruction, meaning he/she needs to learn a small area well, then build our from there.

An O&M requested help on how to create a map of Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. As I created the map in, I had several questions, including what type of buildings (dorm or academic?) and the common name of a main road that the map showed with multiple names. I debated about including all the names of that street (Main Street, Daniel Webster Highway, Highway 25, etc.) and thought it was just too much information. Which name should be used on the map? So I created the map, made a list of my questions, and shared the map O&M who is familiar with the campus. This O&M can now customize the map for her client’s specific needs by making a copy of the map to make any desired changes. The local O&M may make multiple versions of this map for her current client or for future clients without having to recreate the map from scratch.

Note: With the Plymouth State University Map, a number of the campus buildings were not labeled in A more detailed visual map of campus was available on line. When creating this map, I used information available from and information from the separate campus map.

Plymouth University Map

Remember, maps are embedded into general education curriculum. Any of these maps can be edited by first making a copy of the map!

By Diane Brauner