Friday, April 26, 2013

Freehand Drawing

Update: Based on user feedback I've swapped click-hold and shift-click-hold to better mimic the standard behavior.  Freehand drawing is now enabled through shift-click-hold; click-hold will drag the map as usual.

CalTopo now supports freehand drawing, allowing you to place lines by moving your mouse rather than individually dropping each point.  This required booting Google's drawing manager for my own, which always runs the risk of browser compatibility issues - so part of the reason for this post is simply to solicit bug reports of something seems amiss.

When drawing lines or polygons, you have the following options available:

  • click to add new points
  • click and hold to draw freehand segments
  • shift-click and hold to drag the map, since click and hold is now overridden
  • escape to undo drawing actions.  This will undo individual points one at a time or freehand sections in 50 point blocks.
It's now easier to draw wandering routes like this one


  1. Awesome. Can't wait to try this new feature out. Thanks!

  2. Freehand drawing is not working in the latest Google Chrome.

    1. Can you give me some more details - Chrome version, OS, etc? It's still working for me.

      Equally as likely is that Google switched something up with their Maps code, and often it seems like maps updates are incrementally rolled out to different users at slightly different times, which makes debugging fun.