Browser-Based Mapping (T1)

Internet browser-based mapping applications offer free, readily accessible, and easy-to-use mapping technologies to everyone with an internet connection.  Using one of these applications a customized map may be made and shared in just a few minutes! 

Generic browser-based mapping applications are available from most of the major Internet companies including Microsoft’s Bing Maps My Places toolset and Google Maps My Maps toolset.  Users create custom maps on top of spatial datasets – roads, place names, imagery, etc. – provided by the company providing the application.

The RJI mapping team uses Google’s My Maps.  Simple, complete instructions on how to create a map using My Maps are available on our Google My Maps page.  However, the functionality at this level is fairly standard; the image below is a screen-capture of the Bing Maps My Places toolset.

Bing toolbar

Available tools include the ability to add a place (pushpin), create simple line (path) and polygon (area) features, and import and export your spatial features.    

This level of mapping technology is an area of rapid growth but currently has its limitations.  The next level up – which the RJI mapping team refers to as Tier 1A – are custom mapping applications also delivered through a browser.  What separates these from the applications described above is their focus on specific datasets for a targeted user community.  We introduce Tier 1A here.

NOTE: If you already have a large dataset of spatial data – for example, zip codes of all your program participants – the applications described above are not the solution you are looking for to map that data.  See our page on Desktop GIS for more.

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