Monthly Archives: October 2013

How to create a Map Key or Map Legend

Dear StepMap User,

Quite often we are asked if and how one can create a Map Key (Map Legend) when using our Map Editor. It’s actually quite easy once you know how it’s done. So here we go.

In Step 3 (where you can add locations, titles, lines and symbols) you start by adding things to the Map, e.g. a city or a symbol or some text. So you would start with a simple Map like this (see below) where you add three locations with three different colour markers (icons).

step3_key1

Then you simply add three more markers (icons) to the Map and move them to one side of the Map (see below). Those you simply name e.g. Capital, Major City, Small Town. Of course, you can replace the cities with anything you want to display on the Map and of course you can use anything you like for the actual Map Key. The basic idea is that you use the same symbols and colours for the same group of elements.

step3_key2

 

Alternatively, you can use the same symbol for all elements on the Map (see below) but use different colours for the actual text.

step3_key3

It’s a little bit more tricky now. You click anywhere in the Map and write a single letter (e.g. “L” in the screenshot below). For that letter you choose “Text only” and the use the same font colour as the background colour. Then you click next to the green square marker and write (e.g. “Major City”). Remember to choose a black font and transparent background then (or anything that makes sense other than same colour for font and background).

step3_key4

One becomes two: Step 1 split up

Dear StepMap User,

We have decided to split up Step 1 into two Steps. When we launched StepMap almost 5 years ago Step 1 didn’t have that many features (you couldn’t even zoom in or out). Over time more options have been added so that now there was simply too much to be crammed into the Step 1 right navigation panel. So from now on Step 1 is split up into 1 and 2. It doesn’t make creating Maps more complicated or more time consuming, it makes it simpler.

The new Step 1 now looks like this:

step1com

So in Step 1 you can: Zoom in and out, change the Map display (flat, topography 1 & 2), change the color of land and water, crop a country, colorize countries and add national parks. You can also upload your very onw Map image.

The new Step 2 looks like this:

step2com

So in Step 2 you can: Add an Overview-Map (with different sizes and zoom levels), add a scale (kilometers or miles), modify additional display options (e.g. borders, lakes, rivers etc.) and add lattitudes and longitudes.

The rest of the Steps remain the same. So in the new Step 3 you will add locations, lines and markers. In Step 4 you can make the Map interactive (adding information to locations) and in Step 5 you simply save the Map.