All websites should start with a good plan. Focussing on the design process first may be common for smaller sites. For larger sites, when user experience is paramount, creating an initial sitemap or user flow map is an effective way of working out how you want visitors to use and navigate around. UX is key to a successful site. And always remember the 5PS of planning a site – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
There are many different methods for creating a sitemap, but we don’t want to get into all of those today as they are typically not the best thing to look at from a design perspective.
So we’re going to take a look at some sitemaps that have taken design into consideration. Not the site design, but the actual design of the sitemap. So no post-its, no Sharpies, no whiteboards, no mind-mapping software, just a beautiful selection of carefully crafted sitemaps.
If you need to embed a map into your project, you could be forgiven for thinking Google Maps is your only choice. It’s used by over 2 million sites and it’s a proven technology, having been launched in 2005.
Maps are handy for a lot of reasons. Not only do they help us navigate through certain areas, they also enable us to learn more about the world and what it has to offer. What if you’re someone who wants to create a map instead?
Sure, there’s Google Map and Google Earth to help you out but there are actually other tools to choose from as well. Here we’ve gathered 10 free amazing tools that you can use to create your own maps. From maps that are conveniently made for sharing to ones that are quite interactive, the selection below has a range of things to satisfy your mapping needs.
If you’re looking to create and view beautifully informative animated maps then this is the tool for you. Animaps basically extends the My Maps feature of Google Maps so that you create maps with markers that move, lines and shapes that change over time and images and texts that pop up on cue. The final result is an animated map.
If you send an Animap to your friends then it will display like a video which they can play, pause, slow and speed up. It’s simple to learn if you go through the basic tutorials. You can easily sign up for a new account on Animap or even sign up via your Facebook account. [Visit site here]
UMapper is a useful map creation tool used by publications like National Geographic, Star Tribune, USA Today and other well-known organizations. UMapper provides an effortless approach in creating Flash maps that are easy to embed and distribute through a website or blog.
You can use any one of the top map providers such as Bing Maps, Google Maps, and Open Street Map to get your map out there. With the help of UMapper, you can also make money by displaying advertisements. If you’re keen on more features, you can have a look at the premium packages. [Visit site here]
3. Scribble Maps
Scribble Maps is a mapping tool that provides a comfortable platform for drawing and sharing maps. Using this tool, you can easily add custom images, place text and markers, draw shapes, calulcate distance, save a map in PDF format and much more.
You can also send maps to your friends or embed them on your website. The basic Scribble service is free while Pro Scribble Maps allows you to import KML files, spreadsheets and SHP files at a certain price. [Visit site here]
Click2Map is an easy to use mapping tool which allows you to create customized maps according to your needs. Click2Map conveniently lets you place built-in markers from their huge library to make your map more informative and interactive.
You can also add lines and polygons on your maps for various purposes such as to indicate a particular geographical area. Once you are done with creating your map, you can download your newly-designed map and publish it on your website/blog at no charge. [Visit site here]
ZeeMaps enables you to design and publish your interactive maps without having to sign up. By using ZeeMaps, you can place customizable markers and highlight countries, states and cities too.
A cool feature is that you can add video, audio or sound clips along with the markers. In addition to that, you can add customizable search fields for your map as well. ZeeMaps is offering free as well as paid versions at different prices which you can check out here. [Visit site here]
MapTiler is a mapping tool with lots of rich features. The features are top-notch as this tool is used by Google, NASA, Apple and other big organizations. With MapTiler, you can effectually render the geodata into map tiles that are highly suitable for Google Maps API mashups, MapQuest, Microsoft Bing and Google Earth amongst many others.
You can use MapTiler on Windows, Linux and Mac making this tool quite versatile. If this sounds interesting to you, there’s a free version that you can try out as well as 4 paid versions with different prices and different bundles of features. [Visit site here]
TargetMap is a handy tool for creating and publishing your maps. The website encourages a sense of community as sharing maps help to enrich and boost the knowledge of the participants. This is because once your map is published, you can compare it with similar maps done by others and this helps you improve.
You can also embed your maps into your website or blog. To use TargetMap as a free tool, you have to share your maps with others but if you want to keep your maps private then you can opt for the ‘Not to Share’ option. The free version of this option comes with limited features as opposed to the premium version, so what you decide on really depends on your needs and capabilities. [Visit site here]
HeatmapTool is a nice and easy tool for making attractive heat maps from a CVS file. You can scale the heat map as you like and conveniently update it in real-time. You can also cool down the heat map by dimming it accordingly and sharpen or soften the edges of the heated area as well.
Another handy feature is that you can create an overlay for the Google Maps API. Like the other tools, this one is free but if you’d like more advanced features, you can check the pricing here. [Visit site here]
GmapGIS is a simple tool which is used for mapping purposes. You can easily draw lines, shapes, add labels, add markers and measure the distance on maps without using a Google account.
Once you are done drawing and labeling a map, a link is automatically generated for your map which you can share with others. With GmapGIS, you can choose to save the map in a KML format or view it in Google Earth. [Visit site here]
GeoCommons allows us to create, use and share rich interactive maps regardless of your experience with mapping tools. It lets you map real-time social data and over 50,000 available open source data sets. This is a great tool to view a large amount of data and to animate a map in just a few seconds.
You can also filter the data and maps in the GeoCommons database using any number, string or date attribute of database. If you’re interested in sharing your map, you can embed it within your website or blog and share it via social media. You can sign up for free and start using its services right away. [Visit site here]
1. Google Desert View While a robot-operated car is Google’s vehicle of choice for mapping streets, a 10-year-old camel named Raffia is doing the job of mapping the Liwa Desert in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Equipped with…
If you are wondering where to get free WordPress Google Maps Plugins from, then stop looking any further. As, here in this compilation we are listing down top 15 and most amazing WordPress Google Maps Plugins that are free to use. We all know how much useful and handy service Google Maps is. It needs really no introduction. Many organizations always incorporate Google Maps in their corporate website so as to let their customers or clients find them. Google Maps gives your customers a detailed and easy to understand map view and tell them where they can find you.
In this collection, we are listing top 15 free plugins for incorporating Google Maps to your website. Do have a look at this collection and feel free to download them and use them in your website or blog. We hope that you will like this collection. Enjoy!
This plugin allows you to easily insert Google Map or Google Earth Plugin Maps into your blog. You just have to add a link to your self defined Map from My Google Maps, Picasa Webalbum Picture Map, any geoRSS Feed (like Flickr), your uploaded Google Earth file (kmz, kml) or any other dynamic or static Google Earth file (umapper.com, flickr.com, etc.).
There are now plenty of geolocation-basedWordPress themes available. They provide customized maps so that the users can easily find specific places like restaurants, event venues, hotels and more. I noticed that some of web developers have been including their themes with map support and often use it within the contact page.
Try this brand new Google Map Builder, a tool to easily customize your own Google Map. It has a pretty nice and friendly user interface. You can build the map with just a couple of selections from the select box and you don’t even have to code.
There are many options for you to control the look of the map. You may also insert your custom marker icon and places. And the best part is it has 75+ readymade map themes from Snazzy Maps.
At the top, you can provide the map with the API key which is useful for monitoring the application’s Maps API usage. The size and coordinates of the map center can also be defined easily.
The options on the left are used to customize the look of the map: zooming, map control, dragging, map type and map theme. All the changes will be automatically previewed in the map.
Adding Custom Marker
This tool lets you easily add your custom marker to map places. To do this, firstly you need to provide your marker icon URL and also the address of the place you want to mark.
To start off, as the icon is about a hospital, then I will enter the hospital’s name to the Add Marker(s) text field. You may also give some addresses (one per line) here. When you add an address, the map will automatically locate it, so make sure the address and the map are as accurate as possible.
Then put the icon url in the Marker Icon URL field.
And here’s the result.
Get The Code
Now that you have customized the map, the next step is to put it on the Web. To get the code, scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see the Get Code button.
There are lots of options provided in the Google Map Builder, but most of them are only for map control. To customize the map’s look, you can only depend on themes from Snazzy Map, but if they are not to your liking, you can customize the map manually (this tutorial may help) or work with other tools such as Google Maps Colorizr or Google Styled Map Wizard.
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Image maps have a very long history on the web, gaining immediate popularity after they were featured in early versions of HTML. The use of this particular kind of visual navigation has declined in recent years due, in part, to the fact that the ‘hotspot’ interface areas of image maps were defined in pixels.