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Permission-Based Routing

January 23, 2019

Davis Johnson

Blog, Resources

In this article we’re going to discuss permission-based routing with Cartogram. What is permission-based routing? It’s Cartogram’s ability to give different people in your building different content, routes, and landmarks based on their permission level. The janitors can have routes for taking large bins around the building, the patients can avoid the maintenance- and staff-only areas, and staff can easily find the fastest way to their destination.

We’ll cover these topics:

  • The 4 permission levels
  • Your building’s routes
  • Your building’s content

The 4 Permission Levels

A permission level tells the system who can see what information. Cartogram comes with four permission levels:

  1. Owner – This level can see everything in Cartogram. This is usually the person or team who has responsibility over the maps.
  2. Leader – Typically facilities leadership or management
  3. Member – Typically for staff
  4. Patient – Everyone can see all patient-level content, so typically this is public-facing (lobbies, artworks, departments like radiology, etc.). Map content is set to this level by default.

You can see by this list that the Patient-level permission set is the default. Everyone can see map items by default, which is helpful when setting up the map initially.

Your building’s routes

Cartogram builds routes in a grid-editing mode that looks like a Lite Brite full of red dots. This is the grid. Here’s a picture of what the grid editor looks like:

Grid editing

In this screenshot, the clear, or white areas of the map indicate where paths along the routes will be traced. The red dots are blocked out – no one using this route will be navigated there. Want to learn more about Cartogram’s grid editing system? Read this blog post.

There can be more than one route for each permission level. How does that work?

Perhaps your building has janitors and maintenance workers, and both need to see the same content within a building, but the janitors are going to be wheeling around large trash bins.
You’ll want the janitors only using predetermined paths in your building to wheel those large carts around, right? They want to only use doorways, hallways, and elevators that are large enough for their carts, and want to avoid places like the cafeteria. The maintenance workers on the other hand will want to get around the building as fast as possible in order to deal with maintenance emergencies.
Since every building is unique, you can set up your permission levels for the different roles and needs within your organization, however it makes the most sense.
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Your building’s Content

Content on your Cartogram map comes in two forms: images and text. What is map content? It can be any number of things depending on your unique building. Here are some typical uses of image-type content:

  • Bathroom icons
  • Pictures of physical wayfinding landmarks like murals
  • Elevator entrances
  • Building entrances
  • Photos of people, like doctors, or specialty clinic logos

Typical text-type content can also come in many forms:

  1. Room numbers
  2. Department names
  3. Hours of business
  4. Menus
  5. Special directions
  6. Artwork descriptions
Each piece of content, both text and type, are assigned on of the four permission levels (patient-level permissions are still the default). Each piece on content on your map lives in that one spot on the map no matter who is looking at the map, or what route they are using.
For our example of the janitor from the previous section, they would see all the content that patients see, AND the would see content specific to their permission level, which might include map items like dumpsters and utility closets.
When the janitor selects the Janitor route, they will see all those additional content items and will only be directed to use the routes that have been cleared on that route. That way, they won’t accidentally push their large cart or bin through the cafeteria or get stuck halfway down a too-small hallway.


The four levels of permissions within Cartogram are:

  1. Owner – sees everything
  2. Leader – sees everything at Leader, Member, and Patient levels
  3. Member – sees everything at Member and Patient levels
  4. Patient – see the least, is default

These levels are assigned to map content and map routes.

Content lives on the map and doesn’t move or change. It is either visible or invisible to the viewer depending on its permission level and the viewer’s permission level (the viewer sees content at their level and below).
Routes give unique access to the building depending on the viewer’s permission level and use case.
For example, a patient can use the public-facing Patient Route, and see only patient-level content. They will not be guided into restricted areas. A janitor will see additional content like utility closets, and will use a member-level Janitor route to avoid obstacles and public-facing areas when needed. Facilities or operations will see all content on the map, and be able to choose any route on the map.