Learn how to use icons and background images to enhance the usability of your maps.



Customize your maps with icons and background images. Here's how.

Here's an example of an Intermapper map of a network. Now here's the same map, but with different icons. Let's take a look at how you assign icons to devices. With the map editable, select a device icon you want to assign a new icon to. You can select multiple icons, even all icons, if you wish. From the Format menu, choose Icon. Hundreds of icons ship with Intermapper. They are grouped into different categories.

Let's take a look at the Cisco icons. I'll select one and click OK. Now you can see the icon has been assigned to the devices selected. Let's take a look at some of the other icons. These icons are from the original Intermapper. Some of these, such as this small circle, can be quite useful in busy maps. You can import your own icons. These are some icons supplied by a wireless device manufacturer and were user-uploaded.

Now, let's take a look at background images. There are several approaches people have used to represent networks, each with its own advantages. For many applications, a physical view of the network is all that's needed. If you know a particular device is connected to a specific port, you can click and drag that link to the port. In this way, you can build up an accurate physical view of the network.

Here are a few examples of physical views of networks. Sometimes, you may find it useful to use a more graphical approach. Here's a map of a lab at a university. Think of the number of buildings on the average university campus and the number of floors, and you can start to imagine how big a university network could be. Now imagine you're the person responsible for maintaining the printers on this network. Let's say you're going on vacation. You hand your pager to your relief operator. The pager goes off saying the printer in the journalism Mac lab has run out of toner. Using this map, you can see exactly where the printer is located and can quickly go to the lab and replace the toner cartridge.

Wireless ISPs might prefer to place their network on a topographical map so they can see all the customer premises, access points, and towers. If an access point goes down, it causes the subscriber units to start flashing red, and it's very easy to see where the problem is and dispatch someone to resolve it.

Let's upload an image and use it in a map. Here's a map of a small network. I'm going to use an image of a floor plan for my background. Now I'll use Map Settings from the Edit menu. I'll click the Background in the appearance section and click Use background image. Click Choose. This is the background image selection window. To upload an image, click Import. There's my image. Now I'll select it and click "OK" and "OK" again to leave the map settings window. And here's my image. Now I can place devices on the map wherever I like.

That's icons and background images in a nutshell. Find more information in the user guide, available from Intermapper's help menu.

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