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Flex Map & Classic Tours

You can create two kinds of tours with MapsAlive: Flex Map and Classic. Classic tours have been around since MapsAlive was first released in 2006. Back then, there were no mobile devices and no one had ever heard of responsive web pages. Flex Map tours are a newer MapsAlive feature.

A Classic tour is like a mini website that can have layout features such as a banner, title bar, and footer. Today, Classic tours work on mobile devices and are responsive. They are an especially good choice when you want to create a tour that has the look and behavior of a traditional website, and can in fact be used as a standalone website.

Flex Map tours fully embrace responsive design and mobile devices by only supporting features that work really well at any size on any device. They work well standalone and are especially well-suited for embedding into web pages.

The table below compares the two kinds of tours. If you are not sure which to use, start with a Flex Map because a Flex Map tour can always be changed to a Classic tour, but the reverse is not always true (a Classic tour that uses features not supported by a Flex Map tour cannot be changed to a Flex Map unless you first disable those features).

Feature Flex Map Tour Classic Tour
Kinds of pages supported Map Map
Gallery
Data Sheet
Supports multiple pages Yes Yes
Size (width and height) Variable Fixed width and height
Responsive behavior Auto-adjusts to fit browser/device size Scales to maintain the tour's aspect ratio
Works on mobile devices Yes Yes
Can be embedded in a web page Yes Yes
Popups Yes Yes
Slideouts (in mobile mode) Yes Yes
Tiled layout No Yes
Banner No Yes
Title Bar and Footer No Yes

Classic Tour

A Classic tour has a fixed width and height, and thus, a fixed aspect ratio based on those two dimensions. When the tour is displayed in a browser that has smaller dimensions, or embedded in a web page element that has smaller dimensions, the tour's size will scale down to fit while maintaining the tour's aspect ratio. In contrast, a Flex Map tour does not have a fixe aspect ratio which allows its dimensions to automatically adjust to fit the size of its container.

When running in mobile mode, a Classic tour will look and behave the same as a Flex Map tour that is running in mobile mode.

How to create a Classic tour
  • Choose New > Tour from the Tour Builder menu
  • On the Create New Tour screen:
    • Choose either help option
    • Click the Continue button
  • On the New Tour Setup screen:
    • Choose Classic tour as the Tour Type
    • Click the Continue button
How to convert a Classic Tour to a Flex Map tour
  • Choose Tour > Tour Setup from the Tour Builder menu
  • On the Tour Setup screen:
    • If the Flex Map option is enabled:
      • Choose Flex Map as the Tour Type

If the Flex Map option is disabled, you'll see a list of Classic tour features the tour is using which are not supported by Flex Map tours. To convert the tour to a Flex Map, you would need to change the tour to not use any of those features.

Flex Map Tour

A Flex Map tour does not have a fixed width or height, and thus, it does not have a fixed aspect ratio. Its dimensions automatically adjust to use as much screen space as available in the browser or web page element that contain it. The effect is that a Flex Map is always as large as possible. In contrast, a Classic tour always maintains its fixed aspect ratio which may prevent it from utilizing all of the available screen space.

Though a Flex Map's size adjusts to fit its container, its dimensions will never exceed the dimensions of its map image. In other words, its map image will never be upsized (enlarged) beyond its original size.

How to create a Flex Map tour
  • Choose New > Tour from the Tour Builder menu
  • On the Create New Tour screen:
    • Choose either help option
    • Click the Continue button
  • On the New Tour Setup screen:
    • Choose Flex Map as the Tour Type
    • Click the Continue button
How to convert a Flex Map tour to a Classic tour
  • Choose Tour > Tour Setup from the Tour Builder menu
  • On the Tour Setup screen:
    • Choose Classic tour as the Tour Type