Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Web Wednesday: DIY Map

DIY Map is best described as “a clickable, zooming map written in Flash and colored by data from an external text file.” Creator, John Emerson, established this online system to enable any individual to create interactive maps for their personal use. Emerson provides detailed instructions on how to complete each and every step of the map production process.

Simply download the desired map and unzip the archive (you have the choice of using a map of the entire world, U.S., U.S. and Canada, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Sweden, or U.K. and Ireland). From here you have a number of choices from adding additional city coordinates (the site provides a number of helpful links) to using the "preview a demo" link to give examples of the different uses for DIY maps.  Alternatively, you can simply jump right in to editing the XML code of the data file to your personal preferences. To understand the language used in the XML data file and for information on how to accurately edit each and every line of the code visit the Configure page. Finally, after you are completely done editing the data file, you can embed your newly created map file into your personal webpage using the Embed the Flash file help link.

Below are some still images and links to the original clickable DIY maps that the site uses as preview demos, displaying the uses for some of the standard data files that the site has to offer.

For more information on this presidential election map, including the source and fully coded data file, visit the U.S. examples page and scroll down to the fourth map.

For more information on this global unemployment map visit the World examples page and scrolls down to the third map.

Visit the DIY home page to click around this map of recent visitors to the DIY Maps website.