Make a Map

Last updated 6 months ago

Making a map with MapHubs is simple and easy.You don’t need to know fancy GIS software. You can find data layers in the database, choose your own color, add titles, and voila, you have an interactive map! You can then embed your map in a website, download it as an image, or share it across social media.

Follow the steps below and you’ll have a map in minutes!

Opening the map maker

How you access the map maker may be different, depending on how the MapHubs site is configured, some of the options may not be available, or may not be available until you login

All the ways you can access the map maker

  • Click Make a Map at the top of the page

  • Click Explore at the top of the page, then Maps, then click the new map button in the bottom right corner of the page

  • Click your user name in the top right of the page to open the user menu, then click My Maps, then click the new map button in the bottom right corner of the page

  • Click Explore at the top of the page, then Groups, click a group you are member of, then click Make a Map

How to use the map maker

There are two tabs in the map maker, Add a Layer and View Map. You will start in Add a Layer since the map is empty, however you can switch tabs at any time.

Switch between adding a layer and viewing the map

The left column of the map maker lists the layers currently in your map, and allows you to save your map.

Map maker left column with an overlay layer

To get started, add a layer in the Add a Layer tab.

Adding a Layer

Clicking on a layer in the Add Layer tab will add the layer to the map.

You can also search for layers by keyword using the search box. For example, to find 2017 forest cover layers we searched for "2017 forest".

To find layers they must first me added to your MapHubs site. ,

  • Layers from public MapHubs sites like https://mapforenvironment.org can easily be added to your site in a matter of seconds

  • Uploading a data file like a Shapefile, KML, or CSV takes only a few minutes, see Uploading Data

If you add a layer you don't want, it is easy to remove it using the remove layer button.

Viewing the Map

View the map using the View Map tab.

The position, zoom, and base map you choose will be saved when you save the map, so the map will always look exactly like the way you left it.

Moving the map

Move the map using the mouse

Zooming the map

Zoom the map using the scroll feature of your trackpad (or wheel of your mouse), or the zoom-in and zoom-out buttons. On touch device like a phone or a tablet you can use the pinch-zoom gesture.

Map zoom buttons

Changing the base map

Click the map tools button in the top right corner of the map, then select a new base map.

When you save the map it will remember your choice of base map

map tools button
Choose a base map

The available base map options may vary depending on the MapHubs site. If you'd like to customize the base map options contact us

Customizing Layers

After adding layers to the map you can customize them in the column to the left of the map. This includes changing the order of the layers, the color of a layer, enabling map labels, or removing the layer from the map. You can also hide a layer from displaying on the map.

Layer Order

You can drag and drop layers to reorder them.

While most layers in MapHubs are partially transparent by default, it usually helps to put the more important data on the top of the map, or to put point or line data above polygon or raster data. Play with different layer order to find one that looks the best.

Layer Visibility

You can hide a layer with the visibility button. A hidden layer will not show by default on the map after it is saved, but can be enabled from the legend menu.

In most cases, you should remove layers you don't want in your map instead of just hiding them. However it is useful in some cases to collect layers into a map for layer analysis.

It is possible through the advanced map settings, to enable drop down menus above the map to list layers for the user to choose from and enable. Contact us for help with advanced map settings.

Layer Style

Not all layers can be changed. Raster layers and certain layers from external sources cannot be changed since they are styled and rendered externally from MapHubs.

Use the style button (color palette icon) under a layer to open the style panel for that layer.

Access style settings for a layer

When you are finished, use the close button at the bottom of the layer style panel to exit the layer style for the selected layer.

Changing Color

To change the color, click on a color in the color palettes, or use the More Colors tab to pick any color you want.

Color Palettes

You can change the transparency of the color using the slider in the More Colors tab

More Colors - changing the transparency of a color

Setting a Label

Click on the label tab, turn on labels (using the toggle switch) and then pick the field to display from the drop-down.

Setting a Map Marker Icon

Point layers can have a marker icon. From the marker menu click the toggle to enable markers and then choose a style, size, and optionally an icon.

Removing a Layer

Remove a layer using the remove (garbage can) button. You can always add the layer again later, however, any custom style settings (like the layer color) will be reset.

Saving the Map

To save your map you must login or sign up for an account If needed, press the Login button. This will open the login page in a new tab so you don't lose progress on your map. After logging in, click the Retry button. If you are logged in the save section will update to show the map title form and the Save button.

Some MapHubs sites require permission from the site owner to login and save maps.

Enter a short descriptive title for the map, this will show at the top of the map legend. To provide a more detailed description of the map, we recommend embedding the map in a Story/Report.

It is possibly to enter a map title in multiple languages, the correct title will display automatically based on the users language settings in their computer/browser.

Saving a map

If you are a member of one or more groups, you will be offered to save the map to a group. This is the recommended approach for group work since it allows your group members to collaborate and make changes to the map.

Finally click Save Map, it will automatically take to your new map.

To edit the map again, use the Edit Map button in the menu on the map page.

What's Next?

That's it! Now you have a map that you can share.

Be sure to check out our other tutorials to learn how to share your map or embed it in your website.

Need Help?

We'll help you make your first map! Just send us a message at support@maphubs.com