Adding Properties

This article covers:

Whether you're setting up your account for the first time, expanding your portfolio with new properties, or creating a brand new portfolio, it’s easy for Admin or Member users to add areas of interest directly in Lens. There are three ways you can add new properties to Lens: by uploading a geospatial file, by drawing the property in our uploader tool, or by selecting US tax parcels. Selecting US tax parcels is available for customers on Standard and Enterprise plans.

If you’re new to Lens, you’ll be prompted to add your properties from the landing page after logging in. These properties will be added to a new portfolio, and you’ll be able to name your portfolio as part of the upload process (and can always rename it later by clicking the three dots on the portfolio from the landing page). 

To add properties to an existing portfolio, you can click the three dots in the top right of a portfolio from the landing page and select “Add Properties”, or get there from the Property Overview page once you’ve clicked into that portfolio. All these options will get you to the same place, where you can upload your file or start drawing. Whether drawing properties or adding from a file, they can't be less than 1 acre or more than 500k acres.

Uploading new properties from a file

For new property additions via file upload, we currently support the following file formats: shapefile (.zip file containing .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files), .kmz, .kml, and .geojson. If uploading a large batch of new properties, we recommend that you add one file including all properties if possible. Before you begin, double check that your file meets the following requirements:

  • File has a valid projection (WGS 84 projection preferred)
  • Feature boundaries have valid geometries (no self-intersections)
  • File has an attribute for each feature you can use for the Property Name
  • File includes polygon vector data (points and lines data will not be accepted for new properties)

For more details about file requirements and formats for Lens, see our article here about preparing geospatial data for Lens.

You also have the option to select new layers that can be added to a portfolio, as shown below. To learn more about the layers that you can display overtop your new properties, see our article here

Drawing new properties

If you don’t have geospatial files on hand or don’t even know where to begin with GIS, you’re not alone! We have two drawing options that allow you to add new places of interest directly in Lens. You can draw properties from scratch, or select US tax parcels to create properties from ownership maps (Standard & Enterprise Plans). 
Drawing properties from scratch
Select the "Draw on the map" option to get started. To navigate to a certain area you can enter an address in the search box or manually pan around the map to find the right area. There’s an icon on the map for changing the basemap too, in case satellite imagery is helpful as you outline your property polygon.
Next, click the blue Draw button to begin creating a polygon shape of the property. When you're done, double click to finish the shape. This will create a property row in the table on the left where you can edit the name, see the acreage, and edit the vertices of the property by clicking the polygon button if you need to make any adjustments. Once the property is named and finalized, you can add more by clicking Draw again, or choose the green Confirm button to upload the property or properties to your portfolio.

Drawing properties from US tax parcels

Available with Lens Standard and Enterprise Plans

In addition to drawing properties from scratch, you can select US tax parcels to create your properties from parcel data. Click the "Select US tax parcels" option in the uploader, and then search or navigate to the area you'd like to add. You can then click on the tax parcel you'd like to add as a property. Hold down shift to combine multiple parcels into a property.

Reviewing and finalizing properties for upload

Once you’ve uploaded your file or drawn your property, you’ll be prompted to choose a name attribute and review your features on the uploader preview map. If there are features you’d like to exclude from the upload, uncheck the relevant rows in the table. In this way, you can easily add your whole shapefile and select only the new properties to add from here, or select only the ones you’d like in a certain portfolio. You can also revise the Property Name as you're previewing features from here. Simply hover over the Property Name field in each row and click to begin editing the text.

In the upper right hand corner of the preview map you can change the basemap to double check that your properties are appearing as expected and in the right locations.

If your portfolio is still being processed, you can still add files from the landing page. Click on the three dots in the right corner of the portfolio and select "Add Properties."

Updating boundaries for existing Lens properties

 This article is focused on adding new properties to Lens.  If you'd like to make any updates to a property you’ve already uploaded into Lens, check out our guidance in this doc and reach out to us at 

Managing multi-location properties

The features in your uploaded file will become Properties in Lens. If you have features with an identical name attribute, these will be flagged for you and you’ll be asked to choose another field to differentiate them. At this point, you’ll have the option to either separate them into distinct properties or group these features as a multi-location property. This decision largely hinges on your reporting preferences. If you’d like separate reports for each feature, making them separate properties is a good choice. However, if you plan to create one combined report for these locations, grouping them as a multi-location property is best. Note: multi-location properties are best uploaded via file, not drawn.

Below is an example of a multi-location property, where the first two features in this shapefile have the same “Name” attribute and are grouped together as a multi-location property in Lens, each with their own Location Name based on another attribute in the uploaded file.

If you prefer to merge features into a single, non-multi-location property in Lens, please update your original file by dissolving the desired features and re-upload, or reach out to us and we’re happy to help. If you’re hoping to update boundaries for existing properties in Lens, check out our Updating Properties support doc here.

Adding assignees and tags

If you want to automatically populate the "Assignee" column in Lens from your shapefile, add an "assigneeEmail '' attribute with the property assignee's email address. After you’ve uploaded your properties, send an email to requesting the assignees added to your account. Once each team member creates a Lens account with that email address, the property will be automatically assigned to them. We are also able to help you add tags in bulk if you’d like to use an attribute from your file.