Any business that operates with a physical location can greatly benefit from having something interactive and dynamic on their website, especially contact pages. Maps that are pre-arranged help people find your business without having to spend time looking up your physical location manually. Many different plugins and libraries that you will find on this list are built specifically to make it easy for people to find your business with ease.
Google Maps is definitely sufficient, but it sadly does not provide too many customization options, such as custom marking and adding of extra widgets to make your maps more interactive. Other uses may include creating maps that are meant for contests, exploration, traveling, hiking, and much more — with such tasks you often need a way to create something that makes the end goal clear and easy to understand.
Need a fast and mobile-ready mapping solution? OpenLayers have been in the business for years. And with features like 2D rendering and canvas integration, it has become a favorite amongst those who need to build sophisticated maps without losing time or efficiency. You can also pull tiles from sites like Bing, or MapBox. In conclusion, OpenLayers give you the freedom to build the kind of maps that represent your end goals.
Mapbox is one of the most advanced mapping solutions on the web right now. It is built for developers by experienced developers themselves. You can also customize Mapbox to report live data of different entry points as it is happening. This gives you a chance to integrate Mapbox directly into your apps and provide a seamless user experience. Build an app to find bike stations near you and your destination. Add directions to navigate there and an elevation profile to better understand the route. So much more is possible with Mapbox!
Modest Maps is for those developers and designers who are looking for a free and minimal solution towards their interactive map needs. It’s great to use own personal creative and portfolio projects, and will compliment any design choices.
Polymaps uses advanced browser technology to give developers and designers an opportunity to create stunning interactive maps using SVG. This increases not only the viewing experience, but also the browsing experience because of how fast SVG can be in native mode. Overall, Polymaps is the perfect solution for image-based maps.
Raphael.js library lets you create interactive and dynamic World maps that are super-fast and easy to work with. The thing to remember about creating maps with Raphael is that you will need to have a vector graphic of the map that you’re going to optimize using this library. But don’t fret, as there are plenty of places where such maps can be found.
ZeeMaps comes with features that will greatly benefit businesses and creative individuals. It is one of the few platforms that support the uploading media content. All maps can be crowdsourced for additions. That makes it a very reliable platform to use between groups of people. Other features also include grids, icons, markers, and custom fields.
jHERE is the perfect map building solution for ultra lightweight websites, or sites that need just the basic mapping system with a couple of markers thrown on top of it. At 2kb size zipped, this is the smallest (yet interactive) map-building library out there.