Maps are handy for a lot of reasons. Not only do they help us navigate through certain areas, but they also enable us to learn more about the world and what it has to offer. What if you’re someone who wants to create a map instead?
Sure, there’s Google Map and Google Earth to help you out but there are actually other tools to choose from as well. Here we’ve gathered ten free amazing tools that you can use to create your own maps. From maps that are conveniently made for sharing to ones that are quite interactive, the selection below has a range of things to satisfy your mapping needs.
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Map Chart is a tool that allows you to create professional-looking custom maps for your school or work project or presentation. You can choose a single country, a region, a continent, or the entire world to create a map from.
Creating a map through this tool is pretty easy. Just click any country or region on the map and change its color, then add the title and description for it, and finally preview the map that you created and download if it’s final. You can also use patterns, hide any country or region and zoom into any specific area.
A repository of different styles for Google Maps, SnazzyMaps is a map creating tool specially designed for web designers and developers. There are different styles to choose from, including default (Google Map-style), dar, light or monochrome, etc.
The process of creating a map through SnazzyMaps is pretty straightforward. You go to their Map builder page, enter the required information (style, size, markers, and language) in their respective fields, and that’s it. You can save and use these maps for any personal or commercial project, for free.
A tool that allows you to make interactive maps, Mapme is simple and easy to use. To use this tool you don’t need to be a programmer or GIS expert, Just use the feature-filled editor to create or customize an interactive map.
The thing I like the most about Mapme is that the maps you create with this tool are optimized for mobile by default. Also, you can embed these interactive maps in your website and even get its print-friendly version.
Maptive tool gives you the simplest and fastest way to create detailed maps on the basis of your spreadsheet data. It has a simple interface that anyone can use and is powered by Google’s enterprise-level mapping technology that offers global coverage.
In the Maptive editor, just upload your location-based data and the software does the rest of the work. The maps created can be embedded in your website, used in any mobile app, and can also be printed for use.
Animaps is no longer in service.
If you’re looking to create and view beautifully informative animated maps then this is the tool for you. Animaps basically extends the My Maps feature of Google Maps so that you create maps with markers that move, lines and shapes that change over time, and images and texts that pop up on cue. The final result is an animated map.
If you send an Animap to your friends, then it will display like a video which they can play, pause, slow and speed up. It’s simple to learn if you go through the basic tutorials. You can easily sign up for a new account on Animap or even sign up via your Facebook account.
Scribble Maps is a mapping tool that provides a comfortable platform for drawing and sharing maps. Using this tool, you can easily add custom images, place text and markers, draw shapes, calculate distance, save a map in PDF format and much more.
You can also send maps to your friends or embed them on your website. The basic Scribble service is free while Pro Scribble Maps allows you to import KML files, spreadsheets, and SHP files at a certain price.
Click2Map is no longer in service.
Click2Map is an easy-to-use mapping tool which allows you to create customized maps according to your needs. Click2Map conveniently lets you place built-in markers from their huge library to make your map more informative and interactive.
You can also add lines and polygons on your maps for various purposes such as to indicate a particular geographical area. Once you are done with creating your map, you can download your newly-designed map and publish it on your website/blog at no charge.
ZeeMaps enables you to design and publish your interactive maps without having to sign up. By using ZeeMaps, you can place customizable markers and highlight countries, states and cities too.
A cool feature is that you can add video, audio or sound clips along with the markers. In addition to that, you can add customizable search fields for your map as well. ZeeMaps is offering free as well as paid versions at different prices which you can check out here.
MapTiler is a mapping tool with lots of rich features. The features are top-notch as this tool is used by Google, NASA, Apple, and other big organizations. With MapTiler, you can effectively render the geodata into map tiles that are highly suitable for Google Maps API mashups, MapQuest, Microsoft Bing, and Google Earth amongst many others.
You can use MapTiler on Windows, Linux, and Mac making this tool quite versatile. If this sounds interesting to you, there’s a free version that you can try out as well as 4 paid versions with different prices and different bundles of features.
HeatmapTool is a nice and easy tool for making attractive heat maps from a CVS file. You can scale the heat map as you like and conveniently update it in real-time. You can also cool down the heat map by dimming it accordingly and sharpen or soften the edges of the heated area as well.
Another handy feature is that you can create an overlay for the Google Maps API. Like the other tools, this one is free but if you’d like more advanced features, you can check the pricing here.
GmapGIS is a simple tool which is used for mapping purposes. You can easily draw lines, shapes, add labels, add markers and measure the distance on maps without using a Google account.
Once you are done drawing and labeling a map, a link is automatically generated for your map which you can share with others. With GmapGIS, you can choose to save the map in a KML format or view it in Google Earth.