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Cyclopath Tutorial Part 4: Revisions

In the last post, I talked about how you can edit the map in Cyclopath. Now, how do you see what changes other users have made? And what can you do if another user makes an edit that you know is not correct? This is where revisions come in.

Revisions are used in many applications such as Wikipedia and Google Docs to keep track of changes made to documents. Each revision is a change or save made by a user. Whenever you make changes to the map in Cyclopath and hit Save, you are asked to summarize your changes. These changes are grouped together into a revision, accompanied by your summary. Now, let’s look at how you can view and interact with other users’ revisions.

We will be concentrating on the Recent Changes panel of the interface.

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This panel shows a list of all recent changes (revisions). You can view all revisions or filter them by visible area (only show revisions that affect the area of the map that you are currently looking at) or by watch regions (we’ll talk more about this in the next post). The list of revisions shows for each revision the revision number, the user who made the change (if anonymous, then the IP address is shown), the date and time of the revision and the user’s summary about the revision.

Now, what happens if you click on a revision?

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You’ll notice that a section of the map just got highlighted. This is where the change occurred. Sometimes, this change might not be in the visible area of the map. To move to where the change is, click on “Look at?. The map will then center on the location of the change and zoom in as much as possible.

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Now comes the fun part. Diff mode. This is where you can see the changes that actually occurred during the selected revision(s). There are two types of changes in Cyclopath: geographical edits and non-geographical edits. Let’s take a look at non-geographical edits first. With the revision we selected above still selected, we now click on the “Changes? radio button in the “Map shows:? section. This tells Cyclopath that you want to view changes made in the selected revision (not just where they occurred). Click on “Update? and the map will change to Historic Mode.

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The map now highlights the changes made. The blocks highlighted had some of their information changed. We can click on them to view what changed.

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Same thing can be done with points. Here’s an example.

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By the way, to exit Historic mode and go back to what the map is like currently, just click on the “Exit historic mode? button on the bottom of the map.

Now, let’s take a look at geographical edits. Revision 4941 is a good candidate. When we click on “Update? after selecting “changes? we get the following screen:

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Looks quite different, right? Here, the edits actually moved vertices and points around, added new blocks and removed blocks. We call them geographical edits because they change how the objects look on the map. Take a look at the Comparison Key if you ever get confused about what the colors mean!

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To make looking at geographical edits easier, at the bottom at the map there is a “Before? and an “After? button. With these buttons you can view what the map looked like before and after the change.

Before:

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After:

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To go back to viewing the difference together, just click on the “Both? button at the bottom of the map.

Now, what if you see a revision that you think is incorrect? How do you undo it? In the world of wikis, this is called reverting a revision. Reverting a revision in Cyclopath is simple. Just click on the revision you wish to undo and click on the “Revert Revisions? button above it. Write a short summary of your reason for undoing that revision and you’re done.

Another neat feature about revisions in Cyclopath is writing feedback. If you want to comment to someone about a change they made, just select the revision you want to give feedback about and click on the “Write feedback? button. You will then be given a change to write your feedback, which will be sent to that user and to the Cyclopath mailing list.

You should now know the basics of viewing changes in Cyclopath. Go ahead and give it a try. Have fun!

Comments

Why does one have to click on "Update" after selecting "Changes" in order to view the changes?

Because currently the "changes" radio button doesn't actually change anything. This section of Cyclopath is not necessarily the most user-friendly section right now. We are actually working on a few changes to make it more intuitive and simple.