Map index usability

Our partners had a wonderful idea for the start page of an online atlas we are working on together. Obviously it’s inspired by iTunes’ Cover Flow, but as we think works well on map indexes too.

It basically works similar to album art, where visual impressions are associated with audio. On the map flow, the visual impression, the color scheme and map type identified on the map thumbnail, can be associated with a certain topic, theme or map in particular – greenish is likely environmental, blue/red tones demographic, etc.

By using AJAX, the map flow is very efficient in terms of occupied space on the page. Instead of long lists and tables, the map flow only needs the size of one paragraph on the page, where users can browse the entire atlas by flipping map thumbnails around (which is fun too btw).

I can’t demo it here, you’ll have to head over to our application to see it in action. A rudimentary English version is available.

ÖROK Atlas Map Flow

There is still much work ahead of us. For the next upcoming release we reduced the amount of newly planned features and try to focus on usability improvements instead. After all, we want an easy to use thematic mapping tool.

It’s still too early to talk in numbers, but I expect the map flow to reduce the bounce rate and make our maps more accessible.

  • Alper


    Is there a possibility to get the source or get it from page and use it in our application?



  • Christian

    The source is available at the Image Flow website. It’s just adopted for use with map thumbnails.

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