Talk:Interactive Mapping

From KM4Dev Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

See the original thread of this E-Discussion on D-Groups

Chris Burman, 2010/05/21

Hi to all

I am in the process of mapping / linking all of the Community Engagement projects being undertaken by the University of Limpopo in South Africa. I have found one map that fits my needs precisely:

Can anyone inform a 'techno-idiot' such as myself how I begin the process of doing something similar? Is there software that I can use to design it etc or do I get an I.T. person to do it? Any suggestions gratefully received (p.s. - my I.T. department is slow so I'm keen to do it myself if it is straight forward and simple).

Development Training and Facilitation Institute, University of Limpopo South Africa

Jaap Pels , 2010/05/21

Hi Chris,

Why not ask the webmaster. She/he might tell you more.

To me it seems a plug-in; a sort of programmers-Lego-brick.

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre Netherlands

Atanu Garai, 2010/05/21

Surely, this is an informative tool to share best practices. The website is developed in joomla (, an open source content management system and the map was created using Google earth. Ofcourse, this can be done using any pretty standard CMS. There are number of ways you can embed earth maps in the website and this is a good guide:

The website developed a KML file using the earth. In either case, it will not require any programming


Peter Casier, 2010/05/21


CGIAR developed exactly what you look for: Contact Enrica Porcari at

Antonella Pastore, 2010/05/21

Hi, Peter and all,

we documented the architecture behind Ongoing Research (which is basically the same behind CGMap mentioned by Peter) in two posts:

  • Take a peek in the google engine behind CGMap* and more recently

  • Google Maps, Open Source and Plotting Ongoing Research: Demonstrating Innovation*

The key is the Google Maps API and the Charts API, but the data is stored in databases and the countries are encoded based on standards.

This would be one way to go if a projects database exists or is in the making. Otherwise, it may be overkill. Generating the maps is not the purpose of storing the data in CGMap and Ongoing Research, the real value is in the data collection and the analysis tools provided by both systems.

Chris, what volume of data are we talking about? are they already stored in a database? how is country/location stored if it is captured?


Edgar Tan, 2010/05/21

Hello Chris

To do something similar to what you've shown us:

  1. go to Google Maps
  2. create a new map under "My Maps" (you will need a gmail acct to do this)
  3. zoom in/out of the map until you get your desired perspective (left side of map)
  4. in the search bar enter the location of your points and an icon shaped like a reverse tear drop will appear
  5. click on the pin icon and then "save to" the map that you have just created
  6. if you want to change the icon, click on "Edit" (near "My Maps") and then click on that icon again (a selection of other icons will appear)
  7. when you're done with plotting all your data points and you want to share your map, click on "Link" (near top right of page) and copy the HTML code for embedding into your own website.
  8. and don't forget to save your map!

Hope that this is what you're asking for.

Straits Knowledge Singapore

Allison Hewlitt, 2010/05/21

Hi Chris

Similar to what Edgar proposes, here is a detailed blog entry that outlines the process to create a collaborative google map i.e. from a spreadsheet with data input from a number of users. While this might not be exactly what you are looking for, it provides links to other sites, such as, which might be useful for what you are trying to do.

Peter J. Bury, 2010/05/21

Chris have you considered using Google maps or better Google lawmaker both free and social, ciao Peter

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre Italy

James J. Tarrant, 2010/05/23

Hi Chris,

I regularly use Google Maps for project mapping - primarily as a means of communication and as a simple KM/KS tool. It is very far from being as powerful as a GIS, of course. You can edit a given map you have saved in My Maps and then add "points of interest" (or POI: the little colored icons). When clicked on, these icons open up to a box that can contain editable text, pictures, etc. that you add. The limited set of Google POI icons can be supplemented by copying and saving icons from here: (easy directions are provided). As a KM/KS tool, Google Maps is obviously most effective online, i.e. with Internet available to all recipients since the really valuable stuff is in the POI boxes, which are clickable. Alternatively, I have created a map, populated it with relevant POIs and then taken a screen shot of the map, edited it on Adobe Photoshop or any basic image editor really and then saved it as a JPEG to use in documents when I know a reader won't have an Internet connection to hand or is not interested. I believe the same process can work for Google Earth, though I haven't tried it. Purely as an example, I have attached a recent populated map I did for a Bedouin livelihoods development project I am managing in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

Exhbiit 2 LIFE Sinai Project Map.docx

Richard Sleight, 2010/05/25

Hi Chris

The organisation have a guide on how to use mapping software, and a more recent section in their 10 Tactics Toolkit that combines video footage and a PDF guide to using Mapping software.

I hope this helps

Insight United Kingdom

Leonardo Rocker, 2010/05/26

Thank you Richard. This is an incredible useful site.

Nancy White, 2010/05/28

Here is another mapping resource. I hope someone will summarize this terrific thread on the wiki (hint hint!)

Full Circle Associates United States of America

Chris Burman, 2010/05/22

Thank you to all for the feedback. I'll let you know when we have something.