Mapping geoareas
December 22, 2008 2:41 PM   Subscribe

What's the best (quickest, most functional, most maintainable) way to put a collection of geoareas into an interactive map without the assistance of a programmer?

Come January, I'm leading the construction of a website covering growth and development issues in a small-ish city (pop. 100k). I need a way to display proposed/pending/completed development projects on interactive maps (Google maps, ideally).

I'm a programming dilettante, but I don't think I have enough time or skill to get up to speed on the Google Maps API (especially for rendering polygons). I'd love to do this properly, with code and a database, but given the time frame and the fact that the maps are only one component of the site, I don't think I can.

My hunch at the moment is to draw the maps by hand with Google's My Maps or Google Earth. There are a few drawbacks with this approach; for example, infobubbles on maps embedded from My Maps can be wider than the iframe, which is annoying. Mostly, I want to make sure I'm not overlooking better solutions as I embark on this.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
posted by grrarrgh00 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would Googles combo of docs spreadsheet and maps provide enough functionality for you?
posted by Ookseer at 3:20 PM on December 22, 2008

Do you know if there are any versions of that combo that allow polygons in addition to points?
posted by grrarrgh00 at 4:34 PM on December 22, 2008

It's probably a bit heavy for you, but your project sounds like the thing for which GeoDjango was made. You would, of course, have to use Django, but that's only a plus in my book.

One example of GeoDjango in use:'s Represent, showing elected representatives and districts by address.
posted by The Michael The at 5:39 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

You can draw on Google Maps with Quik Maps.
posted by desjardins at 5:42 PM on December 22, 2008

While I agree with The Michael The about how awesome Django is, it would definitely require a programmer to get it running.
posted by signal at 5:42 PM on December 22, 2008

oooo, i vote maker! i seem to remember that you could add your own shapefiles... course then you'd have to make them. (you could use QGIS to do that.) good luck!
posted by bellbellbell at 6:58 AM on December 23, 2008

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