There are plenty of interactive map sites available online - including Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Bing Maps, MapQuest, and probably more. They are mainly used as directions tools, for road navigation and route planner. Type in an address or zip code and you will be able to find its exact location, including nearby buildings, parks, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and information about how to get there.
But there are many other possible applications that website owners can make use of interactive maps for their particular industries and markets. There are many interactive mapping software which can help you to take advantage of geographic-related data, and to effectively visualize territory and business information by creating your own custom interactive maps.
Interactive map making software usually supports custom definable regions, areas and location points. Users can select ready-made map templates, and easily change color settings of regions, and pinpoint locations on the map by using pushpin buttons or icons. A tooltip box can be displayed on mouseover with your own text, images, with links to another web page, PDF documents, or sites on the World Wide Web.
As the main purpose of these maps are for navigation or data representation purpose, geographical details such as highways, buildings, rivers are not always necessary, which makes the map cleaner and easier to navigate by visitors. With few click-through on the national, state or county map, visitors can quickly find information or be redirected to specific page about a particular location on the map image.
Some possible applications using interactive maps on websites including:
- Retail Shops / Branches Locator: A web-based interactive map can allow your customers to find the nearest retail shop or branch location in few mouse clicks. For example, you can use an interactive map of United States on your website, with pushpin buttons to pinpoint all your retail shops, hotels or any other type of facilities. Your visitors can make selection simply by clicking on a pushpin button, and then he can see the list of options available including address and contact details.
- Interactive Real Estate Map: A real estate website can use interactive maps to display available properties on national, state or county maps. Push pins of different colors and shapes can be used to pinpoint residential properties, commercial properties, resorts, apartments, corporate offices, and more. Mouseover effects can be included which can provide additional pop-up information about a particular property.
- Marketing and Sales Heat Map: You can create maps using your own marketing and sales data, and use the heat map function of interactive mapping software to generate a graphical representation of regional sales data base on sales volume, so to visualize easily how your sales are distributed among different geography regions, and decide how to spend your marketing budget in order to generate the maximum sales revenue.
- Energy Industry: Can use an interactive map on website to display the oil and gas fields in a specific region, with enlarged view of the oil and gas fields showning upon mouseover, and display further information for each oil or gas field in an information box.
- Airlines, Travel Agencies and Tourism Boards: A flight map is a good navigational tool for potential travellers to see what airline services are provided, and whether the cities are covered in their travel plans. Travel agencies can use the interactive mapping software to create itineraries for travel packages. For example, you can use the Caribbean map template to create a cruise tour map by showing the route of the cruise ship and sightseeing points. Tourism Boards can make use of interactive maps to denote the points of interests on tourist maps. It is by far more convenient to conventional paper maps and allow most up-to-date information can be provided.
Interactive maps have become a popular instrument in visualize geospatial business data, and as a navigation tool to help visitors find locations related information quickly. Take advantage of this instrument today, and use interactive map software to help you to create the maps you are looking for quickly.