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Maps & Geospatial: Web-Mapping Tools

For individuals seeking resources to explore and use to display spatial data using online mapping applications for research, projects, and teaching exercises applicable across disciplines


About Carto

Description: Web-based platform for visualizations

Pros: Supports multiple formats; supports custom modification of symbology; geocoding; Joining attributes; sharing capabilities.

Cons: Advanced features may be in paid account, such as connections to other web-based products, such as Twitter; custom projections in advanced features; Requires knowledge of data format structures and data preparation; References to SQL and CartoCSS has a learning curve

Account: Free/paid

ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online

Includes multiple examples of ArcGIS Online across industries and disciplines

Description: Online mapping platform for creation of web maps, and web map applications

Pros: User friendly interface, linkages to media, inclusion of own features, markers, and map elements, search-ability of ESRI and user-created/organizational created layers to include in map products, shareability, description and summary information for details/context of map purpose, contact, and use limitations, multiple file formats supported

Cons: For the inclusion of own spatial data requires preparation, Analysis features are available in subscription, geocoding available with subscription, support for map images as tile layers in subscription

Accounts: Free/Subscription


Description: Web-mapping platform for developers

Pros: Primarily supports vector data, Mapbox studio is used for additional customization, custom basemaps and basemap styles are possible (such as changing the color and width of basemap street lines)

Cons: Limited file formats supported, analysis and manipulation of data files is not a primary purpose of Mapbox