I need a printed map and a web or mobile app - two birds, one stone?
February 10, 2014 7:58 AM   Subscribe

I need a printed map and a web or mobile app - is there any existing tools/concepts which involve killing two birds with one stone?

I run a non-profit organization. We produce a paper walking map with local points of interest and businesses. I also have a directory of these things which is relatively static and lives on our website.

My biggest problem, other than having two different sources of information to update, is that the paper map is more or less wrong by the time it's printed - a business has moved, a new one has come in, that kind of thing. Plus I'd love to transition away from annually printing a bunch of maps when people's activities are, slowly, moving to apps.

My ideal scenario is a mobile app (or a web app) that includes the freshest information, which can then be printed - by the end user, or on nicer paper stock for us to hand out to people. This way we don't have thousands of printed maps which are missing business X - we can print them as needed.

Do you know of any examples of this working well? Either a tool I can buy or customize or something I can have a developer build for me is fine - but for the latter, I'd love some examples that work well to show them. I probably have around $10,000 for this project.
posted by rutabega to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
have you considered putting the data on OpenStreetMap? there are tools for printing maps, and consuming/display in the data on many mobile platforms.
posted by scruss at 9:02 AM on February 10, 2014

You might want to first see if MapBox could serve a lot of your needs, and if not hire a developer to work with their API.

Once you create your map with MapBox, you can create a static image, which you can then print or host for downloading/printing.
posted by fontophilic at 9:53 AM on February 10, 2014

Oh, and I assumed that you already had website and designer who could integrate mapbox into a responsive website/mobile app for you. If you don't, you'll need to hire someone for this too. MapBox could save you a lot of expensive development work for the price of a monthly subscription.
posted by fontophilic at 10:06 AM on February 10, 2014

I am one of the developers of Gaia GPS. We just built a map printing feature. You can browse road, satellite, and topo maps here, and print maps for a fee.

Send us a note at support@gaiagps.com, and we will give you a free subscription.

We include MapBox, USGS topo maps, and many other special-purpose maps. You can make a link to the appropriate area and map sources you want to show and print.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:14 AM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

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