1. Basic Diagramming

To use Smoot, click on an icon in the tool palette at the bottom of the page; that will insert the icon at the upper left corner of your diagram canvas.

You can then drag the icon to position it anywhere on the page. You can also resize it by dragging it while holding down shift.

To create a link between two icons, click on one to select it (it will turn blue and take on a dashed background) and then click on another. A line will appear between them.

If you look carefully at the palette, you'll notice a little select labeled Links. If you want "directed" links between elements, select the -> symbol; if you just want a simple, non-directional link, choose the -- symbol.

To insert a text label into the diagram, click on the large A icon. You will see a dialog box prompting you for a line of text. By default, the text will appear in the style I have selected for the tool, but you can type ANY html you like. E.g., <span class="mycss">Here is a label</span>. Just make sure it's valid markup or you might break the page.

2. Saving, Loading, Deleting

When you're done creating your diagram, save it by clicking the Save button. You will be prompted for a name for your diagram; give a name and click OK. When the diagram has been saved, you will see "Save successful" or a similar message in the status field at the bottom of the page.

You will also see it appear in the box of existing diagrams at the very bottom of the page.

To load an existing diagram, click its name in the box of existing diagrams. If you want to show it to a friend, right-click the permalink button (the :/ icon) and copy and paste the link.

To delete a diagram, click the red X in the right-most column of the box. If you delete it, it is really gone, so be careful.

3. GIS Features

To use the GIS features of Smoot, you will need to assign labels and addresses to the elements of your diagram. Right-click on an icon to bring up its properties box; enter a label and an address in the corresponding blanks.

When you save the diagram, you will notice two new icons appear next to it in the existing icons box. The wee map & compass icon will open a new window with your diagram displayed on top of a Google Map. The stylized Google Earth globe icon will prompt you to save your diagram in KML (Google Earth) format. You can then open the file with Google Earth.

4. Palettes, Tools, Icons

If you installed Smoot, you already worked a little with palettes, tools and icons.

In general terms, a tool contains an icon, and a palette can contain multiple tools. (A tool can also belong to multiple palettes.)

The three pages are

http://yoursitehere/palette.phpPalette Editor
http://yoursitehere/tool.phpTool Creator
http://yoursitehere/glpal.phpGoogle Local Palette Importer
  • The Palette Editor allows you to create and edit groups of tools. Use the select at the top of the page to choose an existing palette or create a new one. The left-hand panel contains the available tools and the right-hand panel contains the tools that are currently in the palette.

    To move tools either way, select them by clicking on them and use the >> and << buttons in the middle.

    To reorder icons in a palette, select an icon and use the /\ (up arrow) or \/ (down arrow) button.

    When you're ready, give your palette a name and save it. To use the palette, select it and click the "Use this palette" link.

    At the time of this writing (mid-April 2006), this page is still under heavy development; it has some quirky features (ok, some people would probably call them bugs) not worth documenting here because they will probably change.

  • The Tool Creator allows you to create new tools. It's fairly basic, but self-explanatory. The Default Address and Default Label are optional; if you supply them, then the icon will have those values by default when it is inserted into a diagram.

  • The Google Local Palette Importer allows you to create a palette by performing a Google Local search. The results of the search are then automatically loaded into a palette. The Default Label and Default Address for each tool in the palette will be automatically set to the corresponding values from the search result. You choose the icon from the set of existing icons.