Did you know that you can use the Map Tool to import a satellite image of your property into the Home Outside app? If you don’t have a drawn site map of your house and property, the Map Tool can be very helpful in creating a base plan for your landscape design. The Map Tool imports your outlined area with a corresponding scale (in feet or meters) and universal north arrow.
Here’s how to import your property map into the app’s landscape design screen:
1. Start a new design and tap the sprocket icon in the upper-right corner to open the Settings menu.
2. Here you can change the design name, background color, etc. Tap the Map Tool icon to begin using the Map Tool.
3. Enter your full address in the address field at the top, then tap >, OK, or Done. (Make sure to type the full address; the app can’t “smart-search” partial addresses.) You’ll see a view of your neighborhood with a blue dot in the center at your address. Double-tap the screen to zoom in as needed.
4. Adjust the light-blue pins to go around the outline of your property. You can add or delete pins as needed with the buttons on the bottom toolbar. (If you accidentally mis-place a pin, the app will alert you with magenta lines showing where the error is. To untangle the snarl, just drag the pins until the magenta lines disappear.) Tap and drag the pins to adjust the property outline until it looks accurate. At lower right, tap “Fit Screen” to optimize, then “Apply” to import the outlined image into your design area.
5. The Map image will appear in the center of your design area oriented with North at the top.
6. Tap to select the map image, then rotate and resize it to fit your design area. (If you intend to design over the entire map image, we recommend fitting the map image within the green background, which is the design area. Anything in the blue area is essentially off the page. Though the map image can be sized larger than the design area, the elements, sketch tool, and notes do not work beyond the design area’s edge.)
7. Once your map image is where you want it, tap the Layers icon at top right. The map is automatically imported as its own layer, Site Map.
8. Toggle the lock icon to lock the Site Map layer. This will prevent inadvertently moving it while designing over it. Before leaving Layers, tap the layer in which you’d like to begin designing (the layer will turn blue when tapped). When you return to the design view, you will be working in that layer. As you design, you can return to the Layers screen to add new layers as a way to organize your design elements. Tap and drag the “grip” icon at the right We suggest adding hardscape in its own layer near the bottom, with layers for trees and furniture near the top.
9. Once you exit the Layers view and return to your design view, you can tap the “Add” button at lower-left to begin adding elements to your design using the map image as a guide. If you like, you can outline the property edge with the Sketch tool (included in the Premium Tools bundle), then turn off the Site Map layer (in the Layers menu, toggle the Site Map layer’s sun icon to make invisible or visible). Your rulers will remain scaled to the map. Use the Notes Tool to add labels or information to your design.
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