11 Great Tools For Building Interactive Maps

Interactive Maps can be a great communications tool, and a powerful site feature, or they can be confusing, messy, and downright frustrating. With all of the different kinds of tools for creating interactive maps at your fingertips, we’ve pulled together some resources to help you navigate your way.

leafletjs

Leaflet is a modern open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps. It is developed by Vladimir Agafonkin with a team of dedicated contributors. Weighing just about 31 KB of JS, it has all the features most developers ever need for online maps.

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mapbox

MapBox is a full-service cloud-based map platform for sharing fast, beautiful, interactive web maps. Overlay your data on hundreds of publicly available maps or design your own using TileMill. Share your maps on the web, socially, and on mobile devices. Get actionable feedback about how your maps are being used. That’s MapBox.

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polymaps

Polymaps is a JavaScript library for generating “slippy” maps in the style of Google Maps, Modest Maps, CloudMade and OpenLayers. Most mapping libraries focus on 256×256-pixel image tiles, with only limited support for dynamic overlays such as county boundaries and point clouds. These libraries assume that data needed to produce the desired overlay can be loaded into memory all-at-once, making it difficult to visualize large datasets.

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maptales

Maptales is a location based social broadcasting platform with emphasis on real life experiences in sport, travel & sight seeing. Mobile apps from Maptales help you to capture, edit and share your life whenever you are out and about using geo tagged pictures, GPS tracks, posts or suggested waypoints. Maptales is a great way to explore user generated experiences around you or from all over the world using either a 2D map or 3D augmented reality player on your smartphone or simply by browsing through experiences on the website.

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modestmaps

Modest Maps is a small, extensible, and free library for designers and developers who want to use interactive maps in their own projects. It provides a core set of features in a tight, clean package with plenty of hooks for additional functionality.

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Interactive World Maps

This is a WordPress plugin to create as many maps as you want, with interactive and colored markers, continents, countries or regions.

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jQuery Interactive SVG Map Plugin

If you ever want to create a cool rollover map based on a vector file check out this great plugin. It allows you to do all sorts of fun stuff with SVG maps using CSS, JQuery and HTML.

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Point Of Interest (POI) Auto Map

Poi Auto Map combines the power of Google’s Maps and Places APIs to give you a simple way to add highly interactive Point of Interest maps to your website. All you need to do is define a starting address and a list of point of interest categories and POI Auto Map does the rest. Move the map and watch the points update. You can also define a database connection from which to source your POI points. This is the largest update yet in both features and performance.

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ZeeMaps

ZeeMaps is a fast and simple way to create and share interactive world maps. With ZeeMaps, you can construct dynamic visualizations of geographic information, producing intuitive and graphical maps that allow you to easily view and analyze the locations of any group of people or places.

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maps.stamen.com

Stamen’s toner, terrain and watercolor map styles are lovingly crafted and free for the taking.

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kartograph

Kartograph is a simple and lightweight framework for building interactive map applications without Google Maps or any other mapping service. It was created with the needs of designers and data journalists in mind.

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