Interactive Maps: Inspiration

I’m in the middle of collecting inspiration pieces for an interactive map design project. This is the sort of thing that is perfect to share in a post, so here is our collection as it stands right now. Please feel free to link to webmaps that you are particularly fond of in the comments as well.


Wall Street Journal, Tracking Nation’s Bank Failures The map itself is straightforward. Likes: the reset map button, the historical slider bar, the way the raw data are integrated and sortable underneath the map.

Guardian Bookstore and Library Map Likes: instead of individual dots for each location, the bookstores are grouped together with the number denoting the number of bookstores; also, the green and tan pick list at left looks pretty good.

Casino Map via Las Vegas Sun Likes: Interesting use of oblique view; north arrow looks decent, gray and dark gray background is nice, simplified buildings with only most identifying details displayed.

Common Ground Country Fair by Maps For Good Likes: nice use of simplified surroundings with strong focal point; there’s a nice pop up window in lower right (not shown here) that gives a bit of information about each location once zoomed in, via hover-over.

Oakland Crime Spotting by Stamen Design Likes: the Open Street Map background looks good; another use of localized grouping of points with number in center of points; simplified, logical color key.

Burning Map by Stamen Design Likes: Uses WebGL to animate with 3d effects, new concept.

  1. #2 by Gretchen on August 27, 2012 - 12:17 pm

    Derek – Of your list, I like the ones you’ve done the best. Less cluttered and easier to work with. Donald Norman’s idea that people prefer a medium-level of complexity is a hard idea to apply. I mean, we know when something is extremely complex ( or extremely simple ( but it’s that gray area in-between that most often gets designers flumoxed. At any rate, even though instamap and enterain-me are quite simple, I really like those the best. Instamap was a bit cryptic at first, but in a fun way.

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