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Finding the Right Tools for Mapping

Given the wide array of mapping tools available, it could be hard to know which ones will best suit the needs of a given project. This post will review and compare six of the most popular mapping tools available so you can find the right tool for you. If you don’t currently have a mapping project in mind, this guide could be a helpful resource to get a sense of the possibilities.

Here are some basic questions to start off with that will help you narrow down your options.

  • Do you want your final map to be static (an image) or interactive (a web-based application)?
  • Would you be willing to pay for a service?
  • What is your time commitment? Do you have the time to learn higher level mapping skills, which is better for doing a spatial analysis, or do you want a tool that can allow you to make a map quickly because you just want to visualize spatial data?
  • Will you be working in a team? Might you need a shared platform for creating your map?

For the ease of comparing each mapping tool, I have created a standard rubric based on these questions. Additionally, I have grouped the tools into two main categories—tools for creating static maps and tools for creating interactive maps. Let’s review each one!

Continue Reading Finding the Right Tools for Mapping on Tagging the Tower, a blog by the GC Digital Fellows, of the GC Digital Initiatives at The Graduate Center, CUNY.