Pin Master Tutorial

Introduction

Pin Master is a location bookmarking app that allows you to save your favorite places on the map and share them with your friends. You create your collection of favorite places by dropping pins on the map and entering additional information.

  1. The Map
  2. How to create your pins
  3. What you can do with your pins

The Map

The map is the main screen of the application. You add pins with a tap & hold gesture on the map.

The map toolbar:

  1. Compass. Tapping the compass moves the map to your current location. If you are on the move,walking, driving etc, the map will follow your movement after you tap the compass icon. This is useful for navigating to a place you have pinned on the map. To drop a pin to your current location, go to the map settings screen and tap “Drop Pin Here”.
  2. Filter. Tap the filter icon to show the filter screen where you can limit the pins displayed on the map.
  3. Export. Tap this icon to export your pins and send them to other users, or your desktop PC.
  4. Settings. Tap this to view the Settings screen and some additional options.
The map displays your pins with a different colour for each category. Optionally, the map can show icons for your favorite categories for easy filtering. The icons appear stacked in a column on the left of the map. Tap on a category icon to quickly filter on that category. To edit the favorites or change the colour of each category, go to the Edit Categories Screen.

Filter Screen

The filter screen allows you to limit the displayed pins by selecting a category and optionally a rating. Tap the on/off switch to enter a value for the rating filter. If the category you select has custom fields, you can also specify filters for one or more of these fields. Tap the semi-transparent custom field to enable it and enter a value. To return to the previous state, tap the selected category again.

Tap the green “check” icon to apply the filter. Note that when you apply a filter, this also affects the  Pin List screen.

To remove the active filter and see all pins again, tap the icon with the X that is on the top center of the screen.

Settings Screen

The settings screen has the following options:

  • Edit Categories. Tap to go to the Edit Categories screen where you can change the name, icon and colour of categories.
  • Favourites on map (on/off). If you turn it off, the favourite categories will not be displayed as tappable icons on the map, for quick filtering.
  • Help Tips (on/off). Turn it off to stop help tips from being displayed.
  • Re-enable hidden tips. Tap this in order to see again the tips that you previously dismissed with “don’t show this again”
  • Facebook / Twitter . Tap these two buttons to log on to facebook and twitter so you can share your pins through these options.
  • Export to EXCEL. This is a very useful option that exports your entire pin library in spreadsheet format. The spreadsheet contains one sheet per category of your pin collection. Each sheet has columns for all default fields plus  any custom fields you have added in the category. The excel is attached to an outgoing email message that you can receive from your desktop computer.

Map Settings Screen

The map settings screen is displayed when you tap the “flip page” icon on the bottom right of the map. It has the following options:

  • “Address Search”. Quickly navigate on the map by entering a country, city, suburb or address. It works exactly like the search in google maps.
  • “Drop pin here”. Drop a pin on your current location.
  • “Drop pin”. Drop a pin on the center of the map.
  • Map view : BASIC / SATTELITE / HYBRID / LIST. Select a map view by tapping one of these options. The most interesting option is the list: It displays your pins in a searchable list.

To return to the map, tap on the top left corner.

Pin List Screen

The pin list screen opens when you tap “List” on the map settings screen. It displays your pins in a list instead of on the map.

Here you can do the following:

  • Type a search term on the text field to filter the pins displayed. This searches the titles, notes and custom text fields. This filtering works in addition to any active filter on the map.
  • Tap the icon on a pin to show the pin actions menu.
  • Tap the blue arrow to view or edit the pin details in the edit pin screen.
  • Swipe on a pin to delete it.
Note that if there are active filters on the map, they are used for the pin list as well. To see all your pins in the pin list, you must first remove any filters you have on the map.

Edit Categories Screen

This screen is displayed when you select a category for your pin, or by tapping “Edit Categories” in the settings.

  • Tap “New Category” to create a new category
  • Tap on an existing category to edit
  • Swipe on a category to delete
When creating/editing a category you are presented with a new screen that has the following options:
  • Name of the category
  • Icon
  • Colour for the pins of this category on the map
  • Favourite (on/off) . Favourite categories are displayed as tappable icons on the map, for easy filtering. Also, their pins are displayed before others, on the Pin List screen.
Tap the green “check” icon to save your changes  or tap the cancel icon to discard the changes.

How to create your pins

To create a new pin you can tap & hold anywhere on the map or go to the Map Settings screen to drop a pin. To edit an existing pin you tap on it and a tooltip appears. Tap the blue arrow on the tooltip to view and edit the pin details. Your pins are organized in categories. You can create categories as you go, or first create all your categories from the Edit Categories screen and then create your pins.

Create/Edit Pin Screen

From top to bottom, you can have the following options:

  • Category. Tap this to select a category for your pin. When creating your first pin, you will automatically be asked to create the first category.
  • Title.  Notice that you can’t have the same title for pins of the same category.
  • Notes. A text field to enter long text.
  • Rating. Rate your pin from 0-5 by tapping on the stars.
  • “Add custom Field”. This option gives you great flexibility in describing additional attributes of the place that the pin represents. Tap this to go to the Custom Field Screen.
There are also some additional things you can do while editing your pin:
  • Delete a pin by tapping “Remove Pin”.
  • Attach up to three photos to your pin by tapping on the camera icons. You can take a new photo with your camera or select one from your photo library.
  • Edit a custom field with tap & hold on the field’s name. Then you can change the name or the field type.
  • Delete a custom field by swiping on it.

Custom Fields

The custom fields feature is one of the things that makes Pin Master a unique offering in the location bookmarking genre. This feature allows you to describe your places of interest with great flexibility.

When you tap “add custom field” you are asked to type a name and select a field type. There are currently three types of custom fields you can add to your pin (more to come in future versions):

  • Text entry. This is used to store simple text by typing.
  • ON/OFF . This field can store a yes/no value and is represented by the standard iOS “switch”
  • Gauge (meter). This graphical field allows you to store a value from 1 to 3 for any measurable quantity.
The fields ON/OFF and Gauge can be used as additional criteria when you tap a category on the Filter Screen.
Tap the green “check” icon to confirm the new custom field. You will return to the Edit Pin Screen and your new field will be added to the bottom. The custom field is now a part of this pin category.  The next time you create or edit a pin for that category, the custom field will be available for you to enter a value.

What you can do with your pins

We have covered creating your pins. But what can you do with your pins, except from viewing on the map?

Pin Actions Menu

The actions menu is displayed when you tap the category icon on a pin. This can be done on the map or the pin list screen. The actions menu has the following options:

  • “Drive me there” : View the route for this place on Google maps.
  • View the place on Google Street View,  if available.
  • Send it to other pin master. This feature allows you to send the pin by email to a friend that also has Pin Master. Ask them to download Pin Master if they don’t have it already! When they tap the link inside your email, the pin will be added on their map. If they already have this pin, it will be updated. This feature allows you and your friends to have a common pin collection and collectively improve with time.
  • Share a pin on Facebook, Twitter, Email message or text message.

Export

Pin master gives you a variety of export options that add tons of value to your pin collection. These features are accessible by tapping the Export icon  on the map toolbar. The two email attachments described below are both inside the same outgoing email message.

  • Sync with other pin master users. This feature allows you to export entire pin categories in an email attachment that you can send to a friend that also has Pin Master. Ask them to download Pin Master if they don’t have it already! When they tap the attachment (*.PinZip) the pins will be added in their map. If they already have some of the pins, they will be updated.  This feature allows you and your friends to have a common pin collection and collectively improve it with time. You can also use this email message as a backup, in order to restore your collection at a later time.
  • Send to desktop/mobile devices for viewing in Google Earth/Maps. You can view your pins and the related information on any computer or mobile device that has Google Earth or Google Maps. This includes all of apple’s devices : iPhone, iPod, iPad and every other tablet/smartphone. Pin Master accomplishes this by exporting a *.KML (Keyhole Markup Language) and attaching it to an outgoing email. Open this email from onother device and tap the *.KML attachment to view the pins on Google Earth/Google Maps!
Pins exported to Google Earth

Pins exported to Google Earth

A third export option is the spreadsheet export that can be found in the Settings Screen. Pin Master has so many options for describing places that you will soon find your self with tons of  data on your map. A spreadsheet is the ideal workspace for improving on this data and doing more advanced things with it.

If you enjoy Pin master, please tell your friends about it or tap here to rate it on the app store.
 

4 thoughts on “Pin Master Tutorial

  1. Love your app, but how do you edit the address? I stood in front of a business, dropped a pin, but it gave me an address slightly off the actual one. I appreciate your help.

    • Hmm..well the address is returned by Google with what is called “reverse geocoding” . And it’s not supposed to be off … sorry about that, I bet google maps will show you the same wrong address for that spot. It’s not editable in Pin Master though.

  2. I’d like to export pin Master to my Excel but I’m not sure how this is accomplished. In an attempt a pop-up says this file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an Association in the folder options Control Panel. So I go to the folder options the Control Panel and that’s why I’m lost. If you could advise me of what to do that be great.

    • After you send the export from your iphone to your PC, you should be able to open in in MS Excel my double clicking on it. You must already have Excel installed in your Windows PC.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: