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I'm looking for software recommendations for custom mapping for a nonprofit organization that works with many other loosely affiliated organizations to register and display info for ecology-related points-of-interest.

The way it works very roughly is that a city that wants to be involved will apply and submit their info along with points-of-interest. Then when approved, the main organization will add a web page for this city on their website and will add their points to their big dataset. Their points will now appear on the big map with all points from all cities. This Google Map takes 20+ seconds to load for me whether it shows the wide map of the country or whether it starts out zoomed to just one city's area.

Points can be added, and new cities added. But this is not a daily occurrence and it would be manageable for one volunteer to update things on a daily basis.

Google My Maps Limitations

Google My Maps has the following limitations:

  • max of 10 datasets in one map
  • max of 2,000 rows in each dataset

I don't know how many points there are currently, but I would say it's not impossible for it to grow past 20,000 someday.

Additional Functionality I'm Looking For

Google Maps has good embedding functionality, and I'd like to retain that ability so there is flexibility for the different organizations to display their own individual maps.

But I'm hoping to find something that also allows for:

  • separate datasets for each city (lots more than 10)
  • mapping of all points in one map
  • mapping of only one dataset's points
  • adding a new point in only one place will effectively update both that city's map and the big map of all cities (periodic manual map updating is fine as long as it's easy and the same process each time)

There might be different ways to maintain the datasets. It could be based on one Excel spreadsheet for each dataset, and all are added for the big map. It could be a single table in a database that has one column denoting which city the point belongs to, and it would allow SELECTing only points from one city (for a map), or points from all.

But this will be done by someone who may be tech-savvy but is not a programmer or database admin. And we'd like to keep this person's workload minimized.

Bonus:

  • It would be interesting if work to add/update points for a particular city's database could be done by a delegated responsible party from that city so that those updates would appear in that city's map, and would also either immediately be reflected in the big map or would be reflected after a manual update to pull in current points over all datasets.
  • It would be great if a tiny bit of text info could be displayed about each point of interest, and perhaps a photo, like Google My Maps allows.

I've done some searching around but haven't found much yet. And I'm not sure what I'm looking for because it's not straightforward to search for these features. I figured asking the question here may be more productive.

Costs

Regarding costs... I am sure some costs would be accepted for much improved functionality and to meet the needs. However Google My Maps is free, and all this is done by nonprofits and volunteers. Any budget comes from donors or public sources. So cost is definitely a huge point.

I appreciate any input! And hey it's great to see there is a StackExchange site that actually accepts questions about software recommendations as that seems to be shut down everywhere else.

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  • Do you want points to be added/removed edited through the web site or do you want to use some other mechanism.
    – nmtoken
    Jan 26 at 12:59
  • @nmtoken I'm open to different methods for adding/removing points, as long as it can be done by a non-programmer. Points could be added by clicking on a map. Or points could be typed into a spreadsheet or similar, and then that spreadsheet uploaded to update the web map. They currently use multiple Excel spreadsheets and import to Google My Maps. They find lat/long some other way, perhaps Google Maps.
    – Michael K
    Jan 26 at 16:00

1 Answer 1

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I have used uMap before and would recommended.

Some features:

  • not sure about the max amount of points you can place on the map but it's quite a mature software so I'd expect it to be capable of 20k points
  • "Add POIs: markers, lines, polygons", i.e. markers would be you points
  • "Embed and share your map"
  • "Choose the license for your data"
  • "Batch import geostructured data (geojson, gpx, kml, osm...)"
  • "Manage map options: display a minimap, locate user on load…"
  • "And it's open source!", i.e. you don't have to worry about costs but can decide later if you're happy with the solution to donate to the project

About your remarks:

  • "separate datasets for each city" -> I think you could solve it with layers, e.g. one layer in the map for each city, if I understand your request correctly.
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  • Thank you! I tried it and added 9 markers within 2 different layers. Then I tried the share menu to get the embed iframe code. When I tried the URL, the embedded map does not show any markers. I also did not see a way to access an embedded map for only one layer. This may be tricky with no satellite imagery. Viewing the map is fine, but marking locations may be difficult with rural areas where address is imprecise. I also noticed my edits disappeared sometimes. Also, there are two buttons, Save/Cancel, at the top always now. Hitting Save results in an error message "Action not allowed :("
    – Michael K
    Jan 18 at 22:18
  • I was able to import and export. But there is one oddity with importing - if I checked the box to "Replace layer content" to overwrite a layer, and I imported the umap file, it added duplicate layers. I realize the umap data had all of the map's data including all layers... and I am required to choose a layer to import into. So those functions don't quite align. It may be tricky for some workflows. I don't see a way to export/download data for just one layer.
    – Michael K
    Jan 18 at 22:21
  • I was able to re-import a previous data download, clean up the duplicate layers, and then save it successfully this time. Now my markers still show when I try the URL in the embed function. But I think there are too many problems for me to use this. Here's my map - umap.openstreetmap.de/en/map/…
    – Michael K
    Jan 23 at 16:30

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