MapHubs Terminology


MapHubs datasets (Layers) are organized into groups. Members of a group can upload new layers into the group or modify existing layers.

Anyone can create a new group and add other users to the group. Adding a user as an administrator allows them to also add/remove other users.


A MapHubs layer is a single dataset intended to be overlaid on a map. The data that comprises a layer is often determined by the imported dataset (e.g. GIS Shapefile) that was used to create the layer. However, the way map features are divided is up to the user. For example, a global dataset could be divided into one dataset per country prior to loading into MapHubs. You can also create empty layers in MapHubs and then trace data on top of satellite imagery.

More formally, a layer is a collection of one or more spatial map features (points, lines, or polygons). MapHubs requires a layer to contain either points, lines, or polygons.

When working with layers you may also encounter the following terms:

  • Feature - a single point, line or polygon inside the feature

  • Field / Attribute - Attributes are the data fields (or data properties) associated with a map feature. They are often used to provide a name, or a landuse classification type.

  • Source - The orginal data source of the layer, e.g. author or organization to which the data is attributed

  • Description - a short description of the layer's contents or purpose

  • License - The license (if known and provided) of the data. For open data licenses, this describes how you are allowed to use the data, if you are required to release modifications, and if you are allowed to use it for commercial purposes.

  • Labels - Text labels that display over the data on the map.

  • Legend - The map legend is used to identify the data being displayed on the map. Each layer has a legend entry that includes the symbology used to show the layer, the name of the layer, and the layer's group and source information.


One of the primary goals of MapHubs is to make maps that tell a particular story. A map in MapHubs is any combination of one or more Layers saved along with a location and a choice of base map. You can share this map, embed it in a story or your website, or export it as a PNG image.

Anyone can create map in MapHubs, you just need to register for an account in order save your map.


You can think of a MapHubs story as a news article or a blog post. You can write your story, format the text, and embed maps and images.


A MapHubs hub is a mini website, intended to help you present all of your content for a topic or project. A hub has a map, stories, and a resources section that can be used for notes or links to external resources.

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