6 Online Map Makers That Will Simplify Your Life
Map making is a blend of data and art. Data is the information we want to convey and art is the way in which we convey it. The right combination of both creates the perfect map.
You might think that creating custom maps requires advanced cartography know-how or a complex geographic information system (GIS).
Once, that was true. However, with the rising popularity of online map makers, anyone can create their own custom maps with a just a few clicks.
The six simple online mapping platforms below, help users create maps quickly and easily - without technical training or mapping expertise. We will cover general specs, price, and our favorite features.
Each platform is unique in terms of features and price, so there’s definitely something for everyone. Click any of the names below to jump there directly.
My Maps by Google
- Simple maps
- Android only
- Brand familiarity
- Ease of use
With a simple, clean design, My Maps mirrors the Google brand. Anyone with a Google account can use this free map creator, and the brand fidelity makes using My Maps very straightforward - even to a first-time map maker.
Create custom maps by:
- Drawing points or shapes
- Saving locations directly to the map
- Building your map from a spreadsheet
Share maps easily and collaborate with others, just as you would in other Google suite products (such as Sheets, Slides, or Docs). Integrate your map with image search or location services, and store everything on Google drive. Though simple and familiar, My Maps does have limitations. My Maps is only meant to be used online and the maps are difficult to download as images.
That said, with a simple user experience, familiar interface, and potential for creative use cases - My Maps is a great choice for casual cartographers or a first time map maker.
- Data visualization
- Robust help documentation
- Overall value
- Free for up to five maps with limited features
- Standard: $15/month
- Business: $29/month
- Enterprise: Custom
Tapping into the concept of visual learning, Visme helps users create conceptual maps that combine graphics and numerical data.
Visme focuses on simple, clean presentation-style graphics: offering the map maker an easy way to present multiple data point in a visually appealing format. This simplicity is an upside for many, but does limit the user’s ability to fully customize their map.
Maps are a relatively new feature for this platform. That said, Visme does offer several resources to help users navigate the online map making function.
- Creating multimedia content
- Quality map design
- Crowdsource capabilities
- Easily embed on all online platforms
- Free for up to five maps with limited features. Requires an account.
- Pro: $24-$99/month
Mapme is a custom map creator. It offers a fairly basic online service that allows individuals to create simple interactive maps.
One key feature is the ability to embed the maps on external sites. For example, a company can use Mapme to create a map showing all their office locations. Mapme will then provide a link that displays the map on the company’s own website.
Used across a wide variety of industries, Mapme works particularly well for real estate, government, and travel. For real-estate, you can quickly share property information with clients - enabling effective sales. For travel, create interactive guides and itineraries, or share post trip round-ups.
With a variety of pricing structures, Mapme allows users to choose different options and functionality depending on their needs.
- Large datasets
- No account necessary
- Quickly create interactive maps from large datasets
- Basic: Free for up to five maps with limited features and ZeeMaps branding
- Pro: $19.95-$99.95/month
ZeeMaps is a no-frills, online service for creating custom maps. Though the overall designs are someone limited, ZeeMaps offers more technical features than most online map makers - setting them apart.
Let’s say you download a spreadsheet in xls format, listing all UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. ZeeMaps will upload this spreadsheet and create a map of all the sites within minutes.
Zeemaps also features a crowdsourcing function. For example, someone could create a map of Los Angeles and ask the ZeeMap community to help locate all the In and Out Burgers in the area. Cool, right?
These unique features make ZeeMaps one of the more powerful options on this list.
- Software developers and programmers
- API available
- Help/FAQ tools
- High-resolution imagery
- Basic: Free for up to five maps with limited features.
- Pro: $14-$90/month
Scribble Maps allows users to create a map, publish online, embed in a document, or print as a hard copy. High-resolution imagery is unique to this service and allows for high-quality prints and posters.
Scribble Maps also has an application programming interface (API), which allows software developers and computer programmers to use Scribble Maps’ tools on outside websites.
While Scribble Maps does offer more technical tools for software professionals, it’s definitely simple enough for novice map makers. There is also a good amount of help documentation that walks users through creating more technical custom maps.
This is a great service for anyone looking to wade in the shallow end of learning GIS.
OnePlace Field by Unearth
- Simple map making, multimedia quick capture, and field data sharing
- Yes, iOS and Android
- Intuitive mapping tools, basic forms, and real-time communication
- Multi-layered maps: satellite imagery, geo-located media, drone surveys, and more
- Unlimited cloud storage (with offline mode)
- Free trial with full functionality
- After trial, $49 user / month
We're a bit biased, of course, but OnePlace Field is a simple, yet powerful option for anyone looking to make maps in a professional setting or take their hobby to the next level.
With straightforward forms and an intuitive user interface, anyone can make a map in just minutes - no experience required. Plus, Unearth is cloud-based, allowing anyone to collect and share data quickly. Users can start with satellite imagery and then overlay shapes, drawings, measurements, asset information, and field data.
Designed for simple map making, data management, and collaborative work between teams in the field, Unearth was created with built world industries and critical infrastructure in mind. That said, Unearth built OnePlace Field as a flexible solution for anyone needing to organize assets, data, and teams on a dynamic map.
Unearth is mobile-friendly, available on both iOS and Android, which enables users to easily capture data in the field. Simple and secure, Unearth is a great way to dip your toe into the wide world of GIS, without diving into the deep end.
Maps are powerful, and making them can be complex.
But custom map making shouldn't require a professional degree or certification.
Interested in learning more about the power of maps?
Check out our blogs on the history of maps, modern cartography, or the fundamentals of mapmaking.