Online map: What is the best online map solutions?
iMapBuilder is an interactive map software for Windows. You can easily create clickable world maps, country maps for embed into website with features including mouseover tooltip, popup box, zooming, line drawing, adding points, etc. The software is simple to use. No Flash programming or additional mapping program is required.
The software comes with online world map, plus maps of US, Europe, Asia, Africa, and most countries of the world. You can also import your own custom map in jpg images format and convert it to an interactive map easily.
Online map application is growing fast, it is not unusual to see business features an online map to define the location of branch offices, shows the sales figures to company's shareholders and investors on a regular basis, and display the flight and travel routes on airline websites. Online map is equally important for personal users too. As users have already actively engaged in online activities such as sharing ideas in blogs and facebook, displaying a map in their blogs is just a natural extension of their online life. The online map can highlight the places one have been visited, with pop up information box showing the additional details about the nice accomodations, delicious food and beautiful scene on a mouseover. Is it a better way to present your information in a concise and interactive manner?
Many mapping service applications are now available on the market such as Google and Yahoo map. The map services they offer are free-of-charge and such maps provide high resolution statellite images for most countries, and the maps have become a widely used aid to navigation worldwide. While many people utilise these free tools to display their map, the limitations of such kind of maps should not be overlooked and map program providers start developing some easy-to-use software to complement those from Google and Yahoo. Let's discuss the benefits of online map program over Google/Yahoo maps:
Without watermark/logo of the service provider
When you use free mapping functionality, you lose all control over exactly what you are going to present to your user. It is inevitable that Google and Yahoo will leave their company logo on your maps, as well as include advertising in the map images provided. Such kind of advertising and logos are quite annoying, which may distract your visitors from reading the actual content you would like to present.
If your map only needs to portray the location of your head office relative to the nearest major transport connections, then by using free third party mapping functionality you are stuck with their level of detail. Why overload your users with too much information that they don't need? Present just the essential items on your map and make their task of finding you all the easier.
In the online map program, you can just display the information the visitors need. For instance, you can show the office locations with the routes to bus stations, without showing other unneccessary details like other buildings, streets, stores, etc.
Competitors will not exist
Suppose that you are describing the location of a number of your retail outlets. Do you really want a free third party tool to be "helpful" and describe the locations of your nearest competitors? Using online map program assures you that your competitors will not exist on the map.
Matches the style of your site
Let's suppose that you have invested thousand of dollars in your corporate website and have a particular look and feel that is closely tied to your corporate identity. Your website reflects your business and creates the best first impression to prospects. Why would you then want to embed a map on that website that has a completely different look and feel to the rest of your website? Creating your own maps will allow you to deliver optimized location information in a manner that is in creative harmony with the rest of your website. For example, if you are building a map stating the Starbucks outlets, you can use white and green color to highlight the countries, with a Starbuck logo as a layered background.
By creating your own maps using online map program you can allow the user to drill down through different levels to reveal the specific information you want to present. Imagine that you work for a retail empire that spans the whole of the USA. On your website, you want to allow the user to drill down through their state to their county to find your local outlets. Controlling that interactivity is practically impossible using a tool like Google Maps alone, although you could still use such tools to show the street address of the individual branches.
Ease of use
As the basic web mapping services only feature limited functionality as mentioned above, such companies created the API file for developers to integrate the maps with their own data points. However, customizing the map requires professional programming knowledge in which only advanced developers are familar with.
The ease-of-use offered by the online map program enhances the user experience as everyone can customize the map easily, without the need to have prior programming editing experience.
Access to the maps without connection to the Internet
You should always get connected to the Internet in order to access to the maps provided by the those free mapping services. With the use of online map program, you can choose to save your map on your desktop, embed it into your website or burn the map into a CD-ROM for instant distributions to your potential customers.
Considering the advantages of online map program, you should understand that functionality and ease-of-use are the top priorities for choosing the online map service. A trial version is always available for evaluation before making a purchase.