Free or Low Cost Mapping Options for Nonprofits

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Information about Free or Low Cost Mapping Options for Nonprofits
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Published on February 20, 2014

Author: vtrural



Maps are a great way for nonprofits to represent data. The following presentation provides and overview of Google Maps Engine, Batch Geo and several Wordpress Themes that are simple to use, free or cheap, and great options for any nonprofit wanting to use maps on their website.


THINGS TO CONSIDER • Integration with your current website (built with Joomla I believe) – do you want an extension or to embed code from another site? • Price – There are both free and rather expensive options. Monthly charges vs one-time charge vs free. • Ease of use – Some systems will allow you to create your map in a matter of minutes as long as you have the address. Others require the actual longitude and latitude coordinates. • Can you set what area the maps defaults to? In other words, you don’t want to have a map where you are forced to view the entire world and then zoom in before you see your markers. • Do you want to integrate Google Streetview of locations? • Do you want the ability for people to post reviews? • Do you want to also have an iphone app?

PRODUCTS EVALUATED • STANDALONE OPTIONS • Google Maps Engine Pro • Batch Geo • WORDPRESS OPTIONS • WP Local Plus Plugin • Vantage Wordpress Theme • PREMIUM OPTION • Wordpress Geotheme and Iphone App

GOOGLE MAPS ENGINE LITE/MAPS ENGINE PRO Google Maps Engine Lite is Free, but you only have 3 layers. A layer is a category of map locations. You also have less flexibility with icons and colors Maps Engine Pro costs $5 per user, per month — or $50 per user, per year. You can cancel, but won’t be able to edit maps • Easily create, share and embed maps in any website • Automatically zooms to an area constrained by your data points • Select locations on the map or upload as a CSV file spreadsheet • Links with existing Google data about locations • Easily add websites, descriptions, hours, etc

GOOGLE MAPS ENGINE LITE/MAPS ENGINE PRO Used to create a map similar to what you are requesting by Wilmington Works -!wilmington-vt-map/c1vop They used the free version. Functional, but only 3 categories of businesses and all the same color.

GOOGLE MAPS ENGINE LITE/MAPS ENGINE PRO Add locations via searching or clicking a point on the map Click a layer on or off Choose an icon

GOOGLE MAPS ENGINE LITE/MAPS ENGINE PRO Embed the Map in any website You can also import from Excel – Save as CSV Change the basemap type (topo, satellite, political, etc)



OTHER OPTIONS: WORDPRESS WP Local Plus is a completely automated, turnkey WordPress plugin that will allow you automatically create content packed, dynamic local business directories complete with dynamic business reviews, business listings, coupon offers and Google Maps integration right from within your WordPress blog. $39 - $69 base cost

OTHER OPTIONS: WORDPRESS VANTAGE WORDPRESS THEME - Vantage is the most popular business directory theme for WordPress. It’s powerful, robust, and easy to use. That’s not all — Vantage is fully responsive which means it scales perfectly on mobile devices. Cost $99 – in addition to any wordpress hosting and development costs

OTHER OPTIONS: WORDPRESS $39 - $69 base cost e Robust – Lots of Features and the ability to charge for listings etc.

WORDPRESS GEOTHEME AND IPHONE APP •Note: Requires Apple iOS developer account (99$ Year)

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