Online mapping resources

“Thank you. I made it myself”. Photo by Patti on Flickr. These colourful pieces of textile could easily be GIS layers, don’t you think?

Thanks to current htlml5 functionalities, there are loads of easy-to-use mapping applications around. Here is a short list that will grow with time, according to my experimentations.

Note: this may not be the most exciting blog post for you to read.


Geojson is an intuitive online platform that allows you to make sleek maps on-the-fly without any coding knowledge. If you know coding, than it seems like you could type in just about whatever you like, which should be easy enough if you copy and paste from well-stocked (though not exhaustive) javascript libraries like Leaflet.

Here is a crude test map where I put two markers. Basically, I have only shared a map, where you can click on the features I have made to access their properties. Next step is to make the viewing of feature properties more relevant to the viewer, and to enable real interactivity.

When you save the save button, it apparently automatically saves to GitHub Gist. So I should be able to find my map there if I want to resume editing…

When you make a map, it is a good idea to save to GitHub, for example GitHub Gist. Maps can easily be shared via URL (as I did above), or be saved as KML or Shapefiles.


Leaflet is an extensive though not exhaustive javascript library that enables to easily produce bespoke maps for all your beloved users/ clients/ fans/ followers/ students/ relatives/ friends.

With Leaflet, fingers crossed, I should be able to make a simple online interactive map on which anyone could come and draw or put comments. Users should be able to put tags, draw lines and polygons. Commenting and discussion tools seem absent, but maybe other javascript libraries would help?


Mapbox allows you to make maps. A lot of online PPGIS use Mapbox (e.g. CommonPlace, Maptionnaire). Mapbox allows to visualise whichever map databases you like (often it’s OpenStreetMap).

Other map makers

Other map makers include MapFish, OpenLayers, and MapServer.


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