Adding and changing information
You can change pretty well all the information in the CanalPlanAC database, from noting how good a place is to moor, minor adjustments like the exact coordinates of a place or correcting a misspelling in some text, via adding new places and changing the order right up to adding an new waterway.
Let's take these in order of increasing difficulty.
You need to be logged on for almost all significant changes: if you have an account just click on Login / Create an account at the top of the left-hand menu bar, if not click there anyway and instead of entering your name and password click on "Create one" and take it from there. The email address needed to create an account is not used for any purpose other than to confirm you are who you say if you contact me about your account. Features for which you don't need to be logged on are marked with a yellow star in the text below. Note that in many cases editing options (such as menus) aren't even displayed if you are not logged on.
When logged in, you will find that various areas of the display change when you move the mouse over them: they take on a pale yellow background with a dotted line round them, and the text "click to edit" may be shown.
Many areas of text can be edited. For example the place name, user comments, mooring comments. Each of these is listed below, but editing them is the same in all cases. Just click on the field when it is highlighted, and an editing box will be displayed. Change the text in there (anything from correcting a misspelling to writing a new and detailed comment about the place) and press Save to make your changes. Cancel discards your changes and returns to the normal display. It's helpful to add a short "reason for edit", which is shown when changes are listed. This doesn't need to be anything more than "correcting typo", "information updated", "missing information added" or similar. See Editing for more information.
Changes to a particular place
To change the information for a place you should be displaying the place in the gazetteer. This is the standard CanalPlanAC place display with the pale blue background and the place name at the top of the page.
Each part of a standard gazetteer page that can be edited will now be discussed. If you've changed the order in your preferences then things won't be in quite as helpful an order!
Changing the name of a place
Changing the name of a place will immediately change how that place is named throughout the program. It won't break any links though, as places are linked by their 4 character CanalPlan IDs (shown immediately above "sunrise" in the information panel at the top of the menu bar).
All places should have a distinct name. If you attempt to change a place name to one that already exists the change will be rejected.
Adding or changing your comments about a place
- put big stuff in Extra Information
For existing photos, click on the photo if it is displayed as a thumbnail until you see the photo with the caption and photographer credit. Then click again and a menu should appear. The first option, view photo, takes you into the photo viewing features of CanalPlanAC, but the others are all about editing. See Photos for more information.
Changing a place's size and importance
See Edit place, Size of place in the Editing section for more information.
Correcting a place's location on the maps
If a place is not shown in the right location on the maps, you can change it by dragging the "pin" on the Google map to the right position. When you let got of the pin, two buttons will appear. Move will send the change to the database (and after a couple of seconds a confirmation will be displayed), Clear will cancel the change without anything happening. Changing a place's coordinates alters where it is on both gazetteer and route maps, the latitude and longitude shown and the relative distance to nearby places in data tables. It does not alter the relative order of places (so if a route table shows bridge 3 before bridge 2, changing the coordinates won't alter that - see Editing for how to fix this).
Using old maps to help add details
This handy utility puts a modern day Bing map/satellite view alongside an old map with the two locked together.
This is very handy for abandoned canals as the maps contain lot of detail and you use the bing photos to work out where to add the location in Canalplan.
As we now use tiles based on open street map then using the OSM option for the side by side works well
Using this utility I put a lot of detail onto the Grantham Canal in one evening