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Create custom maps: mapchart.net

Recently I was looking into map graphics for a network monitoring project I was working on. What I needed was a simple, minimalistic map of Wisconsin counties that SCLS serves. Combing through maps online, I found a fair amount but they were of low image quality and proved difficult to work with.  During my search I found a useful website that was exactly what I was looking for. That website is mapchart.net.

When you go to mapchart.net you are met with a plethora of different options for creating your own custom map. The top banner of the page shows a number of dropdown menus for various map templates to begin with. These include world, continents, and others. The United States menu allows you to choose state, county, or congressional district maps. Choosing one of these options will bring you to the map where it is broken down by whichever criteria was chosen. Here is where you can begin to customize the map and you have a number of different options available.

One of the more useful features is color coding. Users can color code portions of the map depending on the kind of map that was chosen. For instance, I chose the county US map and we can see all counties and fill selected counties from a palette of 135 colors. This would be great for visualizing statistics, etc. You can also isolate a state, multiple states, change border options, customize a legend, and recolor the background.

Once you have customized the map you can generate a preview. From here you are able to download the map as a high-resolution PNG image. With all of these features, what is the best aspect of mapchart.net? It is completely free. You are able to use and embed the maps created royalty free.

I highly recommend using mapchart.net if you need a map for your next project.

(The image used is the SCLS network ‘weathermap’ that I created for monitoring purposes.)



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