Presentation of Geographical Data Online Using an Interactive Flash Map

A clickable interactive map enables website visitors to get related information about a particular geographical location visually.

Flash interactive maps are replacing conventional image maps due to the fact that they not only offer more information, but also are highly interactive with the user.

Traditional image maps often only use static images and HTML code, are very basic and offer simple point and click function only. With flash interactive maps, users can get instantly relevant information about any part of a map he desires to see, with mouseover tooltip boxes, clickable points, regions, and also zooming functions which enable users to zoom in and out of the map to pinpoint a specific location or get further data on it.

There are various applications for flash interactive maps on the web, such as showing maps of a country, city or particular location, displaying demographic data, census data, branch office interactive maps, street maps, pretty much anything that can be mapped out.

As Flash is getting more and more popular and supported by most browsers on different OS platforms, webmasters have started embracing this technology more often, particularly due to the highly interactive nature and its ease of use.

For webmasters who do not have Adobe Flash programming, there are also interactive map software and creation tools available, for generating and presenting data graphically using interactive maps, with extremely simple learning curve.

Before you start creating an interactive map, you should firstly decide what kind of maps you want to create.

Many map making software come with pre-designed map templates for major countries of the world, as well as states maps (e.g. the 50 states in the US), postcode maps and county maps. If the map you are going to create is very geographically specific (e.g. your local town, suburb, floor plan of a local hospital, or shopping mall), it is unlikely to find a pre-designed template. In such case you could import a standard image file (in jpg/png or gif format) of your custom map, and convert it into your very own customized interactive flash map.

As most websites attract visitors globally and might have geographical specific information for different parts of the world, flash maps are truly a helpful navigation and data presentation tool not to be missed or disregarded.

Having such a flash map on a website is modern and presents a professional image to the visitor. Imagine that a visitor from Europe is landing to your website and is interested in getting additional information about your location in the United States. He will not only be able to see the state you are in, but also the city, within the city he can pinpoint with accuracy your exact location, and if you have created maps of your actual office with hotspots around interesting places, he will have a truly unique online virtual experience that will ensure his return over and over again!