5 Steps to create a map with pins

Visualize multiple locations on a map with beautiful and interactive pins. It’s very simple with Mapifator Map Story! In this article, we tell you how to create maps with attractive markers and multiple locations with ease and no coding only in 5 Steps.

Preconditions

You need to register in Mapifator and create a new map. You may have a question if it’s free or not. So the answer is “Yes! It’s free for small map stories! Even for commercial use!” We have a freemium model, so start creating a map for free and extend when you need it.

Step 1. Prepare places data

Mapifator Map Story allows creating maps and visualizing places on it. Place in Mapifator is not only a location but also interesting and useful information, attached media and even actions. To make a map quick and easy we recommend to prepare some data before you start.

Here is an example of data we prepared for the “Top 10 most popular National Parks in the USA” map story:

NameLocationDescriptionYoutube videosExternal links
Great Smoky MountainsGreat Smoky Mountains National Park, United States of AmericaRecreation Visits in 2018: 11,421,200
As a part of the Appalachian Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains contain more than 850 miles (1,370 km) of hiking trails…
https://youtu.be/
poyWuEA6HT0
https://www.nps.gov/
grsm/index.htm
Grand CanyonGrand Canyon, United States of AmericaRecreation Visits in 2018: 6,380,495
Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River…
https://youtu.be/
dGGWu_noS3w
https://www.nps.gov/
grca/index.htm
Images for the map with pins

If you place to add some pictures to the map, it’s better to prepare them as well. A place in the Mapifator can have a few images attached. We recommend adapting picture sizes to the web and having pictures with the same aspect ratio. We use 450px width pictures for our map stories.

Moreover, Mapifator allows adding some general information and pictures (logos) about the map, prepare it as well. You can prepare this data as well. For example like that:

NameDescriptionLinks
Top 10 most popular National Parks in the USAThere are 61 protected areas in the United States knows as National Parks. More than 85 Million people visited Parks in 2018. You can find 10 the most popular ones in this Map Storyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_national_parks_of_the_United_States

Step 2. Create markers and tags

With Mapifator you can create very beautiful markers for your places. You can use default one or create a set of markers for the places you want to visualize.

Markers and tags for the map
Map Story markers

To add new Markers and Tags go to the “Settings” menu. You can always change the design of your markers and tags later, so all pins on a map will be automatically redrawn.

Mapifator tags help you to provide information about a place in a compact and informative form. For example, you can add tags like “Fishing”, “Walking”, “Swimming” and show their icons when providing the place description. In addition, tags are used as filters on a map. So your customers could have quick access to places with the tag feature.

Tags and tag filters

With Mapifator you can add text and icons to tags and specify a color.

Furthermore, some tags could be added to the map description and appear as the main place filters for your map.

Step 3. Add places and map information to the map

When the main job is done, it takes only a few moments to get a map with pins and integrate it into your website or application.

Add places data in the “Places” menu. You can specify also an order of the places there.

In the Place Editor, you can add prepared data and media, specify tags for each place.

Similarly, add map information and define tag filters.

In addition, you can add information about the map owner and an external link as the main action for the map. This could be, for example, a link to your website or another resource.

If you use some media that requires attribution, in Mapifator you can add all required labels and links to make your map compatible with the license conditions.

Step 4. Define a design for your map

Mapifator allows you to choose between several layouts for your map story.

Define a design for the Map Story by selecting one for the Map Information, List Item and Place view.

Map layouts

In addition, you can choose colors for your map story, that fill the best to your website or application design.

Note! Mapifator maps are already prepared for the mobile view, so the chosen layouts could look different on small devices. With the help of preview buttons, you can check how the map adjusts to different screen sizes.

Step 5. Share or embed your Map Story

Congratulations! Your map is ready for your customers!

Just click the “Share / Embed” button to get the share link or embed code.

Mapifator provides Map Stories as maps and articles. Choose the view you like the most!

Quickstart quide

Raster vs vector: pros and cons of both map tile types

“Raster vs vector”. Are rater maps outdated and old fashioned? Are vector tiles the new trend in the mapping world? In this article, we will try to cover the advantages and disadvantages of both tile types.

A layer containing the map by itself, streets, rivers, parks, and other objects is a map tiles layer. It underlies every map and is the base layer for a digital map. Map tiles specify how the map will look like, its style and its type. They’re calculated and rendered based on the GIS database and distributed from a map provider server. The server gives away to client tiles on demand. So client applications are able to visualize them as a map.

Until recently, all map tiles were in raster form. However, the market for digital maps and component expands and evolves. Nowadays more and more map provides together with raster maps offer vector map tiles.

From now w have a choice. Raster maps vs vector maps. But what to choose? There are pros and cons for both approaches and both of them have some specifics in implementation.

Raster map tiles

Raster map tiles are images by nature of size optimized for the web. Below you can see examples of raster tiles. Map frameworks and SDKs place raster map tiles in the correct order to generate a map as a result.

Raster map tiles

Pros

  • It’s proven by time technology, which works on all types of devices (desktop and mobile) and all browsers
  • Rendered on a server, raster map tiles do not create performance load on client site

Cons

  • There is no way to customize or add new styles on the client site
  • Not possible to change labels, show/hide objects in the client application
  • During some moment you can see empty areas on the screen on map move/zoom. That is to say, it takes some time until the required tiles are loaded.
Rendering delays while raster tiles loading

Vector map tiles

In comparison to raster tiles, vector tiles are not images, but binary files. They contain all the required information to generate a map on the client side.

Pros

  • Map and labels style can be changed in client application on a fly
  • Tiles have a very small size, which makes them ideal for streaming and offline maps
  • The map is moved, zoomed in/out smoothly without rendering delays

Cons

  • Rendering happens on the client side, which could create performance problems on slow devices
  • Not all SDKs for vector maps have a mobile version yet. It happens that visualization is not correct or too slow on some devices
  • There is no standard, not binding you to a map provider SDKs yet

Vector vs raster map tiles: what to use?

So what to use? It depends on the needs of your application. We would recommend you to go to vector tiles direction if the size of map tiles and styling flexibility is important for your application. And stay with raster version of maps if maps should work on any types of devices, including slow one.

Geoapify offers raster and vector tiles with different styles for your map

With Geoapify APIs you can create a custom map from scratch. We offer different styles for maps, so you can choose a “look and feel” for the map. We have affordable prices and tariff plans for a different load. Furthermore, you can start using our APIs for free and upgrade later to a tariff plan which corresponds to your budget and needs.