Adding a responsive map to your responsive website

Many map sites do not offer responsive based maps, but maps with fixed height and widths, or inside an iFrame.

As it is becoming common requirement that website must be designed in a responsive way for viewing on different devices including PC and mobile, it is important that the maps embed on websites should also be responsive.

The latest version of iMapBuilder (v11) provides a responsive map option when you publish, or share your maps online.  Simply check the [Responsive Map] option and then copy and paste the HTML embed code to your website, and your interactive and responsive HTML5 map is ready to use on all devices.

Embed a responsive map to your website

Use the right map software solution: don’t shoot sparrows with a cannon

Business mapping can be a complex task, and could involve advance GIS which uses digital technology to help people work with geographic information.

There are different mapping software solutions which assist people to collect, categorize, analyze, visualize, and represent geographic data, or information related to geographical locations. Mapping software offer solutions which incorporates geography, cartography, spatial analysis, and fields such as geovisualization, geodesy, geocomputation, cognition, and computer science.

If all these mapping terms sound too complicated to you, they probably are. For most individual home users, they just need to use map to find directions, locations, or an address quickly — and Google Map or Open Street map is all they need for such purpose.

Even for most business, maps are often used on website or presentation to present country or state level information quickly. For example, a world map to show the headquarters of a company in different continents. Or a sales map which uses different level of color to show the market share of a product in each of the 50 states in the United States.

A clean world countries map
Clean World Map
For both cases, a clean world countries map or an United States map created using iMapBuilder, showing just the countries or states boundaries, with labels and annotation would be sufficient for the purpose of presenting information clearly and quickly.

A map with too much details might just confuse your website visitors and make it more difficult for them to spot the information right away. For the cases mentioned above, it is really not necessary to show a detail map showing all the roads, streets, cities, towns, mountains, rivers, etc. Though detail is usually helpful, it can be overdone.

There is a right mapping tool for every map project. Don’t shoot sparrows with a cannon.

US map showing all 50 states and counties (on a single map)

We sometimes receive request from customer for an US map showing all the states, and all the counties, on a single map.

A county is a political and geographic subdivision of a state. According to Wikipedia, there are 3,143 counties and county equivalents of the United States of America as of July 1, 2013. The number of counties per state ranges from the three counties of Delaware to the 254 counties of Texas.

an us map showing all the 50 states with all counties To create (generate) and display all that 3000+ counties on a single map is possible, but if you have a slow computer, the display time might take you a while. The thumbnail image on the right shows how the map would look alike — with lots of tiny areas which can hardly been seen.

The original version was created using Adobe Flash, which means it can be viewed in most web browser with flash plug-in and you can zoom into the map without losing its resolutions. Each county is a separate object on the map which can have its own color, link, label, and pop-up text settings.  If you like to see the live version, check out:

http://www.flashimap.com/xml/usa_county_all.html

At this moment a HTML5 version is already in development. If you are a developer and are interested in seeing a beta version, feel free to leave us a message.

Quickly create an interactive US Map with States and their 2 letters Abbreviations

50 States of US with AbbreviationsMany iMapBuilder users need to create an United States maps from time to time for their presentation and data visualization purposes. A common request is to create a map showing the 50 States of US with abbreviations.

By default iMapBuilder’s map template is a blank map which let you add your own map labels, mouse-over effects and tooltip boxes. However if you simply want to display the default abbreviations for the 50 states of US, you can do this with just 1-click.

add state names and abbreviations to map

As show on the left image, you can Show or hide the name or abbreviation of the regions on your selected map template, by toggle to show or hide the region names or abbreviations. This works for the US Map template, World Countries map, European map, and many other map templates in iMapBuilder’s map gallery.

Simply find this option under the Map Features section in Map Properties panel. You may also use the Regions Abbreviation Style button to change the font style and color of the names.

If you prefer to use your own map labels or abbreviations, you can click the Data Grid button to see the list of default map labels, and edit the text in Data Grid Mode.

Create an interactive sales map by import sales data (country / state) from Excel spreadsheet

If you ever need to create a world map showing the sales data of different countries, or different states, you can input data easily by using iMapBuilder’s built-in data grid.

Import map data from Excel spreadsheet

Using the map data table, you can easily add, edit, delete values for different countries and states

If you already have the data in spreadsheet format, such as an Excel file, you can also import map data directly into iMapBuilder without having to input again. See the video below (works with PCs and Macs)

Need to create a heat map? What type of heat map?

We often have users who visited our website, and download iMapBuilder because they found us by searching the term ‘heat map maker’, or ‘heat map software’. However there are many different types of heat maps.

For iMapBuilder, the heap map it creates is for visualization purpose, and are mainly used for geographical presentation of data values by using colors. It is often referred to as ‘Choropleth Map’, for example, a heat map showing United State president election results by states.

The following is a sample heat map to show the sales growth in different markets of Europe.

These type of heat map helps to convert data sets, small or big, into a context that’s easy for viewers to understand in presentation.

However when searching online, the term ‘heat map’ are often commonly refer to a web utility, which can let webmasters visualize where visitors clicks on website, and provides analytic for usability test such as A/B testing. We often have users asked if iMapBuilder can be used for this purpose. Sorry but it is really a different type of heat map, and iMapBuilder is designed for creating interactive geographical maps.