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Ideas For Using Interactive Maps

Chances are when you think of an interactive map you envision a clickable geographic map, a locator map with points of interest, or maybe a Google map. These kinds of maps let you click or mouse over a hotspot to display a photo or text related to the location on the map. Examples might be a United States map with clickable states or a regional map that shows where all your stores are located.

But, there are dozens of ways to use interactive maps on your web site that you may not have even thought of. When people visit a web page they want to quickly find the information they need without waiting for content to load. They don't want to have to click to see every new topic and then have to use the back button to navigate back to where they were. Interactive maps let you display a lot of information on one page and let the viewer choose what they want to see.

Let's talk about some other ways you can use interactive maps.

Using Interactive Maps for Real Estate

Two of the more common ways that interactive maps are used for real estate are location maps that show where a property is located, and interactive floor plans. But, you could also use an interactive map to show available lots on a subdivision map and display the price, size or other features about each lot.

Another idea is to use an aerial photograph of a neighborhood or region. You could add hotspots to show amenities or vacation properties using the photograph as the map to give viewers a unique perspective of the area.

Travel & Tourism Maps

When people are planning a trip they need good maps to help them find where to stay and what to do when they get there. You could use a stylized interactive map of a city or tourist area to show lodging, restaurants and attractions. You might create maps for cruise or tour routes that show photos and descriptions of each stop along the way. Or, how about creating an interactive view of the cruise ship itself so people can discover all the on-board amenities and understand the layout of the ship?

You could show people what the terrain is like on a hiking or biking trail map so people know what to expect ahead of time. You could create interactive maps for theme parks, campgrounds, or resorts to entice people to visit in person.

Interactive Facilities, Museum and Campus Maps

Many facilities are complex and consist of multiple buildings and levels. Finding a specific store, room or exhibit can sometimes be quite a challenge. Why not help people navigate with interactive maps of shopping malls, hospitals, museums, health clubs or resorts? These maps can help people learn about the facility and know where to go when they get there.

  • An interactive map for an exhibitions or trade shows in a large convention center could be used to sell booths to vendors and to show visitors where to find the companies or exhibitors they are interested in.
  • A golf course is a great candidate for an interactive map. Show photographs of each hole and include the yardage and other relevant information.
  • Campus maps are vital to helping people learn about a school and finding the building they are looking for.

Interactive Diagrams and Charts

There are thousands of uses for interactive diagrams. Adding interactive parts diagrams to your web site could help people identify replacement parts and add them to their shopping cart right from the map.

Educational diagrams could show everything from the parts of a flower to an internal combustion engine - moving your mouse over hotspots on the diagram could display details about each part. These kinds of maps are ideal for students or for explaining complex products or services.

Help people understand the structure of your company or find employees by creating an interactive org chart. You could display a photo and description for each person and include contact information.

Some unusual examples

Here are some other ideas to get you thinking about ways to add interactivity to your web site:

  • Promote your music with an interactive CD cover that lets you move your mouse over the tracks to hear audio clips.
  • Add an interactive restaurant menu to your web site with pictures of your menu items to tempt people to come to your restaurant.
  • Create an interactive gallery to show off your photographs or artwork.
  • Make an interactive timeline showing historical events, the progress on a construction project or your travels across Europe.
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