Designing your own, free map
Posted 08 July 2010 - 06:08 AM
1) http://www.stepmap.de (German version)
2) http://www.stepmap.com (English version)
Here's an exmaple map form the English version: http://www.stepmap.c...usa-trip-110232
...and here's one from the German version: http://www.stepmap.d...ht-texas-119712
It's split up into 3 steps. First, you pick a region (e.g. Spain), second you edit/modify the design, third you add locations, lines, icons and descriptions. You can then also decide whether the map is public or private.
I hope this was helpful.
Posted 08 July 2010 - 08:43 AM
Posted 08 July 2010 - 08:54 AM
Thanks for making the case for one of the reasons why the world will always need cartographers. That was brutal!
I agree! No ability to project, zoom in to a user defined area or add or delete layers. The detail on Canada is appalling - no provincial boundaries or cities. I'll spend a little more time and make my own maps - thanks very much.
Posted 08 July 2010 - 09:13 AM
Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:48 AM
Thanks for the feedback. We will work on the improvemnets. It's only a start, of course it's far from perfect. It's designed for people who need a simple, easy to modify, free map. Of course it doesn'r replace professional cartographers. That would be a very foolish goal.
Posted 08 July 2010 - 12:41 PM
Google, Microsoft, Bing all have that goal.
That would be a very foolish goal.
Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:04 PM
Good luck with revisions,
Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:47 PM
I like the idea, I think potentially its offering a little more customisation and the ability to output a better looking map than Google or Bing. However I think that is let down by the process flow in creating the map from start to finish and the fact that the data isn't as good as Google or Bing.
I think with some positive feedback from here and a little process refinement you could well be onto a useful product. I don't think it was "Brutal" as i seen earlier in the thread but poor process flow and issues like not being able to find a zoom tool will annoy users. As much as we hate to admit it, when we are surfing the net we don't always think for ourselves we need the web page to guide us to the content because we are lazy (well I am) A good web page or web app will do that!!
Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:12 AM
But please, please, please get some better data. I looked at Switzerland and find cities in the wrong place, major rivers missing while bits of smaller rivers are drawn, and in the south there's an absolute novelty: a small river flows over a mountain pass! Wow!
I also think the colour coding of elevation should be smoother, there are too many sharp steps like between the dark green and the light beige. maybe reverse light and dark green so that dark green is at the lowest elevations, then light green, then beige. It's even worse in the grey elevation colouring (I'm shying away from calling it a relief, because it isn't, why not use a hillshade instead of these grey colour blocks that look just confusing?)
I found the zoom tool but then I got a map where I wasn't able show or hide major cities and waterbodies or show relief/elevation.
The supposed links at the bottom of the screen aren't working...
In short: You need to put a lot more work into this before it's really useable.
Posted 09 July 2010 - 05:32 AM
At the moment we are working on the relief style for the zoom-maps. The old, static maps are based on EPS graphics that we converted into web-usable PNGs. In some locations the rivers and cities are not 100% correct, which is, of course, a major flaw.
The main decision was "when do we launch?" and of course you can drag that date out until you have the "perfect" product. We decided to launch with a simple (and in some cases faulty) version in order to get feedback and develop using that feedback.
I am in touch with Hans and Mark now, who offered additional feedback and help.
Even though it's not perfect yet, I still think the usecases are there:
http://www.stepmap.d...ock-tour-119843 (Tour map)
http://www.stepmap.d...pakistan-119898 (News Map)
http://www.stepmap.d...intensiv-119908 (Tourism Map)
Thanks again for everyone who helps us make StepMap better.
Posted 09 July 2010 - 12:23 PM
Congratulations on the project. You definitely have a good starting point and it looks like you've put a ton of work into it.
I think the key to any interactive mapping system - or online application for that matter- is simplicity and quality results. You can't replicate the cartographic process online. You can only provide brief snap-shots of the process and an end-result. Too many options provide too many opportunities for things to get ugly and I think that's where your application needs some refinement. IMO a quality online application is one that does one thing extremely well. I would focus on getting some quality base-map data and then on symbolizing the layers effectively. Once you have a solid base-map I would look at simplifying the overall process. Keep us posted. Nice work.
Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:48 AM
Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:05 AM
Again, thanks for all the feedback that I have received from you guys, also via email.
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