With over five hundred million active websites online, your shiny new web map is fighting for attention in a huge ocean of content. Never before has it been so important to work hard on improving the accessibility of your web application. As mapmakers, it’s all too easy to spend too much time focusing on cartography and tools and forget that both are useless if our target audience can’t find or access our map in the first place.
Being the founder of Mango, I think it’s fair to say that I spend more time looking at web maps than is probably healthy. In the course of a day I see the whole spectrum, from beautiful maps with interesting data and a clear message, right through to “Test Map” showing a few random points and everything in between. One of biggest areas for improvement for most maps is the legend. Here’s my list of the three most common mistakes. 1. Not Changing the Labels in the Legend Thanks to Shapefiles only allowing column names to be ten characters long, […]
** Rant warning ** Every week I try to find a few new interesting spatial datasets to use for Mango testing. Needless to say I spend more time than most doing battle with the various “Open Data” portals that the governments of this world—in their infinite wisdom—have gifted upon us. They generally fall somewhere between rubbish and unusable in terms of the overall experience, and most don’t seem to understand what the word open in open data even means. They all stink of something that has been designed by committee and crippled by bureaucracy. Is it really too much to ask to have […]