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10 Minute Viewshare Tutorial

This page is a quick 20 minute crash course in using Viewshare. Keep this open in one browser window, or if your screen is big enough, keep two window's side by side and follow these step-by-step instructions and you will have a fully functional Viewshare view in less than twenty minutes. Before you can do this you first need to register for an account

Once you have worked through these steps you will have created your own version of the view of a set of postcards from Fairfax County VA. It will look just like the image below.

Step 1: Get the Data

First you need to download this spreadsheet. Save it on your desktop. Once you have it you should be able to open it with Excel or OpenOffice's program Calculator. It will look like the image below. 

Once you open up the file you can see that it has item information in rows and each metadata field is a column. Feel free to tinker with this data and to use this as a template for creating your own data sets. 

Step 2: Upload Your Data 

Once you've logged into your Viewshare account, click on the "Create View" button. Click on the link under "Simple Spreadsheets" to upload the data spreadsheet from your computer.

Once you have uploaded your data you will see that Viewshare has pulled out the column headers as field names and is now displaying your uploaded data in individual records in the List View.


It is probably a good idea to save your data set now! Just hit the save button and fill in a title and description. You can set it to public for now, or make it private if you prefer to restrict with whom to share your views.

Step 3: Augment the Data Fields

One of the best parts of Viewshare is that it can actually enhance your data through a process we call augmentation. For us to make the views, we need to augment some of the data fields.

  • First, click on Build and Edit to modify the data fields.
  • Fields with geographical data, such as City and State or Country, should be switched from "text" to "location" in the dropdown menu.

You will need to modify the field types of some fields.

  • In addition, make Image URL an Image field.
  • Make Related Date a Date field.
  • Make Zipcode a Location field.

You will then create an augmented field for location in order to plot collection data on a map. To create the augmentation, do the following:
  • Click on Add Property.
  • Select the Map tab.
  • Check the boxes next to location-related fields (City and State, Country, and Zip Code)

  • Name the new property (auglocation) and hit create property. Wait for Viewshare to complete the augmentation.
  • You will see the newly-augmented field "auglocation" appear at the top of the list of fields. Viewshare has generated latitude and longitude coordinates based upon the location information:

Step 4: Build a View

We're going to create a map view based on the auglocation field:
  • Click on Build.
  • Click on Add a View.
  • Select Map.
  • Select auglocation as the field for Lat/Long.
  • Set the Color Key to the field that you want to appear in the map legend. Here, it has been set to Name.
  • The fields selected under lens setting determine what details the viewer sees when he/she clicks on a pin on the map. Here, the lens setting points to Name and Image URL.
  • Display Properties show the fields that will be displayed in the expanded view of each object on the map. If you wish to hide one or more fields, just uncheck the box next to it.
  • Click on Save to save your view.

Step 5:  Share and or Embed Your View

Once you are happy with the view, assuming you've made it public, you can just give people the link to it. To view and copy the link, click on the red bookmark in the upper right hand corner.

Aside from that, you can click on Embed at the top of the view to get a snippet of code you can copy and paste into a web page.

There are many more things that Viewshare can do for you, so be sure to read the full instructions on how to Import Collections, Generate Views, and Embed and Share Views.

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