Designing maps might seem easy, but it is not, especially when many tools require certain levels of technical knowledge. A good map design can promote your presentation, website, and increase your work exposure.
Data scientists, business analysts, marketeers, advertisers, and many other professions require map design in their daily work. Some may use free tools and web service like Google Maps, and OpenStreetMap and others.
Here, in this article we offer you the best open-source free map design solutions out there.
TileMill is an amazing open-source desktop application that helps you design a highly sophisticated stylish and reactive maps in no time.
You can customize your map using CSS or Geography Class (MMS) file, extend your project with plugins, and add more interactive layers to your map.
Tilemill allows you to export your maps in several formats as PNG, PDF, and more.
Some may consider Leaflet.js as the right open-source Google Maps alternative. It is an open-source mobile-friendly responsive map library that supports touch, tiles, and plugins.
Kepler.gl is a powerful open source geospatial analysis tool for large-scale data sets. It is an ideal solution for created rich and heavy map visualization. Kepler.gl has a dozen of plugins and a strong community of developers who support the project.
7- The Turing Geo-visualisation Engine (TGVE)
DynamoVis is a data visualization software specifically targeted for spatiotemporal movement data. It is developed by Move Lab @ UC Santa Barbara and designed to be accessible and easily usable for scientists without extensive prior experience with programming, GIS software, or custom data visualization tools.
folium builds on the data wrangling strengths of the Python ecosystem and the mapping strengths of the
leaflet.js library. Manipulate your data in Python, then visualize it in on a Leaflet map via
folium makes it easy to visualize data that’s been manipulated in Python on an interactive leaflet map. It enables both the binding of data to a map for
choropleth visualizations and passing rich vector/raster/HTML visualizations as markers on the map.
OSMnx is a Python package that lets you download geospatial data from OpenStreetMap and model, project, visualize, and analyze real-world street networks and any other geospatial geometries.
You can download and model walkable, drivable, or bikeable urban networks with a single line of Python code then easily analyze and visualize them. You can just as easily download and work with other infrastructure types, amenities/points of interest, building footprints, elevation data, street bearings/orientations, and speed/travel time.
The library is fully customizable allowing you to set almost all the styles of the map. You can customize the map style, the objects on the map and the animations by setting custom values into the Worldmap object. You can also choose which data you want to display by selecting specific columns or attributes in the table panel.
13- jQuery Mapael
Geocomplete is an advanced jQuery plugin that wraps the Google Maps API's Geocoding and Places Autocomplete services. You simply provide an input that lets you search for locations with a nice autocomplete dropdown. Optionally add a container to show an interactive map and a form that will be populated with the address details.
D3.js has a rich community of developers that support it by adding code samples, open-source libraries and more.
Datamaps is intended to provide some data visualizations based on geographical data. It's SVG-based, can scale to any screen size, and includes everything inside 1 script file. It heavily relies on the amazing D3.js library.
Maplace.js helps you to embed Google Maps into your website, quickly create markers and controls menu for the locations on map.
It requires jQuery and Google Maps API v3, so you need to have both in your page.
Stately is a symbol font that makes is easy to create a map of the United States using only HTML and CSS. Each state can be styled independently with CSS for making simple visualizations. And since it's a font, it scales bigger and smaller while staying sharp as a tack.
Marble is a free open source globe and virtual atlas for Linux, Windows, , macOS and, mobile (Android, and iOS).
Marble allows you to explore cities, countries, historical maps, plants, and more. It also comes with a rich search options that searches for everything, and works in offline mode for desktop installations.
21- React Simple Maps
React Simple Maps is an SVG maps library for React, that uses d3-geo library and
topojson. It comes with a developer-friendly documentation, a dozen of examples, and a flexible API.
If you know of any other open-source free map visualization tool that we did not mention here, let us know.