A Better Map designs and develops interactive maps on the web. Got a mapping project that could use some love? ABM will transform it into a modern web-tastic tool as intuitive as it is fun. Or maybe you're starting fresh but have an idea of what you want to map? A Better Map can help with that too. If you already have a map in mind, don't be shy, otherwise keep reading to learn why interactive maps rock.
Characteristics of a Superior Map
The greatest benefit of interactive maps is just that: interaction. Traditional static maps lack the rich experience of an interactive product, so take your maps up a notch by allowing users to change baselayers, toggle features, or create queries.
Although static maps always show a where component, they often leave something to be desired for the what. With interactive maps, users can not only find places to hike, for example, but also quickly determine trail length, view photos, get directions, or plan a route, all within a few seconds.
"Interactive" is the mantra of A Better Map, and the benefits of such applications are fully embraced in the ABM philosophy.
It only takes a Google search to learn how to embed a map on your website. You know, the ones that look like... everyone else's? Such maps are indeed quick and available, but will they allow options like layer toggling, or zooming to regions of interest? Not likely. Will they fit your website like a glove, with an interface that matches your site's design? Strike two.
A Better Map focuses on the details to create maps that match your website. Take a look at the ABM portfolio, for example- the maps are nicely inegrated with each website's color scheme, fonts, and layout.
In 2014, internet usage on mobile devices is predicted to overtake that of desktops, and users now rely on them for a larger variety of tasks than ever. Go to any public place and look around- how many people are glued to their smartphones, completely absorbed by the endless supply of information?
Since mobile devices are no longer the future but also the present, A Better Map takes a "mobile first" approach whenever possible.
Two challenges arise with many maps: choosing a format, and deciding how to share it. Will it be a PDF stashed on Dropbox, a JPG on your website, or (gulp) a paper map sent in the mail? Certain factors must be considered when making map decisions about formats and sharing, but A Better Map offers a single solution to both: the web. ABM designs interactive maps on the internet, for the internet, which makes them instantly available to anyone with a web browser.
Another great feature of interactive maps is their industry agnosticism. There is no specialized code library for the non-profit sector, one for scientific research, and another for cultural projects- the generic nature of map platforms such as OpenLayers allow a wide scope of disciplines to leverage them. Visit ABM's portfolio to see for yourself how interactive maps can benefit multiple industries.
A Better Map is a serious proponent of new technology, and will carefully determine the mapping platform best suited to your goals (and your budget).
How much information can a traditional map effectively show? Given enough data, you must eventually sacrifice some detail, or your static maps will become cluttered at a certain zoom level.
A Better Map creates only web-based interactive maps, which leaves much room for map detail and attribute display. Features can be hidden or resymbolized at certain zoom levels, baselayers can be changed, and photos, graphs, and videos can be added to popup windows. Show more, not less!
Map data comes from many sources- spreadsheets, Garmin units, PDFs, databases, images, a bar napkin, you name it. The sheer variety of spatial data formats presents a daunting task to any GIS novice, and making it web-friendly can be more challenging yet.
Whatever your source, A Better Map will shape it into a workable piece of spatial information, then convert it into an interactive online masterpiece. Let ABM do the heavy lifting!
Now that you know some key benefits of interactive maps, let's talk about your map project: