Developing an Interactive Mapping Tool

An interactive mapping tool is an online platform that enables users to view and create maps by selecting from a menu of indicators. This page outlines the key steps in the development of an interactive mapping tool.
Click here for sample interactive mapping tool specifications.
Click here for more information on technical considerations.
  • User needs assessment: Identify the needs and technical expertise of anticipated users and how they will interact with the tool.
  • Platform design: Design the user interface, underlying database, mapping functions, and overall architecture of the platform.
  • Platform development: Adapt an off-the-shelf product to meet your needs (if feasible) or build a customized mapping platform.
  • User testing: Load sample data into the mapping platform and hold testing sessions with anticipated users to identify any necessary modifications to the interface or platform.
  • Decide how to map each indicator: Determine appropriate geographic boundaries and scale, symbologies, color schemes, etc. (See Deciding How the Data Should Be Mapped for more information.)
  • Prepare data: Process, clean, and re-format the data for mapping. (See Preparing the Data to Be Mapped for more information.)
  • Load data: Upload raw data into the mapping tool and test for bugs.
  • Ongoing maintenance and updates: Respond to ongoing maintenance issues and update data over time.