MapCustomizer.com Launches

I have been meaning to overhaul my site that allows you to plot multiple points on Google maps for a long time now, and I am happy to announce that MapCustomizer.com is the result!

2014-05-25 at 2.23 PM 2x

There are a number of new features that people have been asking for, including:

  • It should continue to work, even if the site is busy. In the old site, when things got busy, it would exceed the quota for geocoding addresses with the Google Maps API. In the new site, the geocoding is restructured so this shouldn’t happen. It is still possible for things to slow down if you are creating a large map (and pasting in lots of addresses), but it won’t slow things down for other users.
  • Edit/delete your own maps You can optionally create an account with the new site, and manage maps that you create. You can edit them after creating them, or delete them. Even if you don’t create an account, you can still edit maps that you create, as long as you are still using the same computer and web browser that you used to create them.

    2014-05-25 at 2.44 PM 2x

  • Numbered location markers A lot of people were asking for this. The list of locations shows numbered markers that correspond to the numbered markers on the map. You can print the map out, and still see which location is which.
    2014-05-25 at 2.30 PM 2x
  • General UI improvements I never put too much effort into making the old site look nice, and it showed :). The new site is a lot nicer, in my humble opinion. This leads into…
  • Full-screen map Once the map is created, it takes up almost the full browser window, leaving a little bit of space for the location list.

If you go to the old homepage, you will be automatically redirected to the new site, or you can just go directly here:

MapCustomizer.com

If you are curious about the technology behind the new site, it is written in Scala using the Play Framework. MongoDB provides the persistence layer, and I am using WebJars with RequireJS, and the relevant sbt-web plugins to build everything. It was a great experience to play with WebJars and sbt-web (I am already proficient in Scala, Play, and MongoDB).

As with the old site, it is supported by ads and Paypal contributions. It operates on a value-for-value model: If you find that the site provides you with a value, please consider paying for that value.

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65 Comments

  1. Posted June 8, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Hi Brandon

    The reason I stopped the numbers at 99 is that scaling the font down is a little bit tricky (it was a corner that I cut in the hopes of getting the feature done sooner, but it seems more people than I expected want to map more than 100 locations).

    I will try to find some time to work on improving this.

  2. bb
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Patrick,

    Great tool, using it for a political campaign to plot routes for delivery of yard signs to fulfill requests. But one question: I paste in multiple addresses, which before pasting were sorted by zip code, so I wish it would plot them (and assign pointer numbers) in that order so that zips stay clustered. But it rearranges the addresses into some unfathomable order. I figured it had to do with how I was pasting the text into the bulk window, but I have tried pasting from Word, from Excel, and from plain .txt, yet it seems to always change the order. (The order stays in the bulk intry window, but the points on the map aren’t assigned in that order.) Is there some simple fix I’m not seeing? Many thanks! -bb

  3. John
    Posted July 13, 2015 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Hello!

    Created several maps, but when i try to view them nothing shows up?
    Any ideas why?

  4. cheryl
    Posted July 15, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Still happily using your site.. Thank you. A suggestion for a minor fix.. Can you change the colors of one of the yellow bubbles? They’re so close together in color one of them is useless. Even if you just darken the darker one abit more.

    Also.. when you update things does our maps update automaticly or do we have to do something?

  5. Posted July 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi Cheryl

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will revisit the colors sometime soon. The change will affect all maps, so you won’t need to do anything to get the new color.

  6. skenny
    Posted July 29, 2015 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    How do I print a map off???

  7. Henry
    Posted August 2, 2015 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I know that you mentioned that you added numbers to the location markers, which is great, and what I was looking for so I can easily pair up the location with the information in the table, but when I run a map it doesn’t have location numbers. Is there a trick to changing them to numbers? Did you go back to just plain color markers? Thanks!

  8. Melissa
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Patrick I was hoping you can explain to me how to edit a point on and existing map. I click on my maps and then edit and I am not able to change anything but the color of the marker icon.

  9. Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi Melissa

    Currently, you can’t edit a point (except by deleting and re-adding it). I have most of the work done to add this missing functionality, and I hope to finish it soon.

    Thanks!

  10. Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Henry

    You need to save the map, and then the markers will turn from dots into numbers.

    Hope that helps!

  11. Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Skenny

    To print a map, you can use your browser’s built-in print functionality. You may need to adjust the zoom level and/or move the map a bit to ensure all of the locations are visible (because printer paper and computer screens are generally a different shape). You can use the print preview feature to help with this, so you don’t have to waste paper. You can also use the print-to-PDF functionality if you want a PDF copy of it.

    Hope that helps!

  12. Posted August 19, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Hello Patrick,

    I think mapcustomizer.com is a great site!

    I would want to know though, if there is a way to disable the scroll zoom on the map.

    Best,
    Martha

  13. Alicia
    Posted August 19, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Patrick,
    How can I embed my map into a blog post or in a mail chimp campaign? Hope you can direct me!
    Thanks!

  14. Posted August 19, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Martha

    It isn’t currently possible to disable the scroll zoom on the map. That is a feature that comes with the Google Maps product that I am using, so I would have to investigate to see if it can be disabled.

  15. Posted August 19, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Alicia

    Embedding maps from my site directly on your blog or mailings isn’t supported, but you are welcome to create a map and link to it from your site or mailing.

    Hope that helps!

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