Google Maps alternative (using standard KML import) that's ad-free?
March 13, 2013 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I need a non-Google Maps alternative, due to limitations in how Google displays My Maps. is very flexible, but it has two issues: its display doesn't seem to work for mobile users, and it displays small ads (and has suspended its former policy of letting a map creator pay to remove ads). Other options?

This is a map I don't need (or want) viewers to be able to modify. There are about 210 markers now and it will grow on the order of 5 markers a month.

I made it using Google My Maps, so it's available as standard KML export. To display it on the web, I want a non-Google service that has more flexibility than My Maps (such as the ability for a viewer to choose to see only one of its six categories at a time, using a dropdown or similar), fewer limitations, and ideally a super-minimal interface with no top bar / wasted space.

Here is the mapchannels display of it (to show the data and the beautifully minimal interface they offer on the desktop at least [as opposed to the brokenness if you view it on a phone] - this is a self-link): map. The mapchannels ad is small, but I'm looking for entirely ad-free.
posted by kalapierson to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you checked the has handy-dandy step-by-step how to switch.
posted by straw at 2:16 PM on March 13, 2013

MapBox has a bunch of plans and tools, and they contribute a lot of work back to the community (eg, leaflet.js).
posted by heliostatic at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm really looking for a service that will import KML, because I have way more data than I'd want to recreate from scratch at least for the moment.

Mapchannel is an example of such a service; OSM isn't (they suggest you "trace" all markers - i.e. recreate manually) and mapbox says KML works very poorly. (I'm really happy OSM exists, but it's not my solution currently.)
posted by kalapierson at 2:38 PM on March 13, 2013

For full control over layout you can use Google Maps API instead of My Maps, and then create your own dropdown. It requires some JavaScript programming though.
posted by teki at 3:20 PM on March 13, 2013

So I just use OpenLayers to drop a KML file over a user-selectable set of tiles from either Google or OpenStreetMap.

Here's an example. Feel free to "view source" and copy-and-paste. If you've got a high volume site, you'll need to look at licensing, and note that I'm caching the OSM tiles on my server so I don't choke theirs (should there ever be three or four people looking at pages on that site...).
posted by straw at 3:37 PM on March 13, 2013

Response by poster: FYI, Mapchannels will still let you donate in order to remove ads if you just email directly.
posted by kalapierson at 4:44 AM on June 14, 2013

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