The VGS interface for organizing and locating sites/locations is very similar to Windows File Explorer in a Microsoft Windows operating system with all sites placed within a hierarchical structure of folders. The main difference is that when you copy and paste sites to various folders in VGS, you are duplicating references to the same site or piece of ground rather than physically duplicating the site as you would a file in Windows Explorer. Like a physical site or location in the real world, a site in VGS can occur only once. However, it may be referenced in any number of ways. Think of a site like a single book in a library. There is only one book, but you can locate the book by author, title, or subject references. Likewise, you may reference a site by land ownership, soil type, vegetation type, or any other classification scheme desired.
The application interface consists of three main panels: Folders, Contents, and Information.
The "Folders" panel on the left side of the screen displays the folder structure for the classification systems created to reference sites. The structure is usually hierarchical, but this is not required. In the example above, sites are categorized by management responsibility, but the sites can be categorized any way desired, such as by vegetation classification schemes, soil types, climate, etc. The number and type of categories or classifications is not limited. Folders can be expanded to view sub-folders by clicking the "+" symbol next to a folder name or by using the toolbar as described below. The “Contents” panel at the top-right displays the contents of the currently selected folder in the folders panel. This may include child folders and/or locations. Double-clicking a folder in this panel will open the folder and display its contents. Contents displayed depend on the current view mode.
There are two view modes:
Normal View - The first level of contents of the currently selected item in the folders panel which may include child folders and/or locations; and
Drill Down View - All locations and descendant locations of the currently selected item in the folders panel. Use the toolbar button as described below to toggle between view modes.
The Information panel at the bottom-right displays a brief summary description of the currently selected item (either folder or location) in the contents panel. The relative size of the three panels may be adjusted by clicking and dragging the dividers between panels.