[Editor's note: The same folks at Axis Maps who brought us Finder! and Maker! from GeoCommons (blog post) announce IndieMapper, a new tool for cartographers by cartographers to make awesome maps. When released (summer 2009?), this online, Flash-based solution will fill a nitch between full bore GIS systems and manual compilation in Illustrator. I hope they'll add an "embed this map" option for people who want to publish their maps straight to the web for their 2.0 release. Screenshots below.]
Note: David Heyman of Axis Maps was at SXSW Interactive 2009 this weekend in the NeoCartography: Mapping Design and Usability Evolved session.
Welcome to indiemapper.com! We’re very excited that you’ve taken the time to learn about our project. Put your email address in the subscription box below so we can tell you about indiemapper developments and most importantly… the launch!
A little about indiemapper:
- It’s big. We’re not satisfied with the current tools available for making maps. They’re too expensive and their cartographic functionality doesn’t always give us everything we need. We’re building indiemapper to replace those tools. It takes in shapefiles and spits out a vector file to Illustrator, just like GIS. It supports multiple projections, just like GIS. Labeling, map layout, data classification, just like GIS. If you need it to make a map, it’s in there.
- It’s focused. The problem with the existing tools for making maps is that they aren’t designed exclusively for making maps. You’re only using about 10% of the software to make your map (but paying for all 100%). We built indiemapper for only one purpose: making maps.
- It’s visual. If I want to reclassify my data, why do I need to go into the map properties dialog box, select the symbology tab, click on the data classification button that opens up a new window, move the tabs around in that new window, click OK in the new window, click OK in the first window I opened and then wait for my map to redraw to see if the classification looks good? With indiemapper, every update is live and every control is easily accessible. No more hunting. No more waiting.
- It’s online. Updates are available as soon as they’re released. No more waiting for service packs or paying for upgrades. And Mac users: Get ready… we are 100% platform independent. Use it on a Mac, use it on Windows, even try out Linux (you might like it!)
I could go on and on, and I will, right here on this blog. Check back here for a discussion on functionality, coding, design, cartography, all things indiemapper. We’ll be releasing some free tools along the way that we’ll want to tell you about too. Most importantly, we want your feedback so let us have it!
- Fast, visual editing.
- Nothing more than 2 clicks away.
- Rolling release with constant updates.
- Choropleth mapping.
- Dot density mapping.
- Proportional symbol mapping.
- Unlimited undos.
- Colors from ColorBrewer.
- Type from TypeBrewer.
- Basemaps from Natural Earth.
- Map layout for print and screen.
- Load data from shapefile and KML formats.
- Export to vector SVG.
- Export to JPG.
- Visual selection process
- Re-project vector data on-the-fly
- Filter by projections that preserve area / shape / direction
- Learn more about projection best practices
- Create custom standard lines / centering
- Manage multiple thematic data layers
- Create new layers on-the-fly from attributes of existing datasets
- Control editability / visibility
- Instantly access style / label options for each data layer
- Create both classed and unclassed choropleth maps
- Select from built-in automatic classification routines or set your own breaks
- Visually set manual class breaks using interactive live-updating histogram
- Automatically select built-in ColorBrewer color ramps
- Create your own custom color ramps
- Every change is updated on the map instantly