general

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dear StepMap User,

We thank your for another exciting year… and while it’s not over yet it slowly comes to an end. From the 24th of December to the 2nd of January we will “close our doors” – meaning that you won’t be able to reach us by phone. We do check emails over the holidays occasionally but unless it is an emergency or urgent matter you will not hear from us until 2nd January 2017. Once again we would like to say thank you to all our users. 2016 has been a pretty interesting year, with many ups and downs. We have some big news for you in 2017 but at this point we don’t want to spoil the surprise. Rest assured that we are working hard to make StepMap even better for you in the new year – all your feedback and suggestions and questions were welcome and actually go into our plans for new features of StepMap. Our overall goal and philosophy will always remain to provide a tool that’s easy to use and doesn’t require technical or graphical expert skills. Sometimes that’s challenging because we (and you) obviously also want to have more features and functionality. So while we do strive to hit that perfect balance between “new stuff” and “keep it simple” we understand that we can’t make it perfect for all. However, we hope that you enjoyed StepMap so far. Join us on our journey into our 9th year for 2017. And please, keep the feedback coming, we actually do read all (!) emails.

If you feel like creating one more Map before the holidays – here you go: www.stepmap.com

Or, if you always wanted to create a world Map with your visited countries etc., try this option: www.map-my-world.com

Merry Christmas (or as we say in Germany “Frohe Weihnachten” – now you try saying that…) and a Happy New Year 2017!

Sincerely
Ben, Veit and Ole

santa-claus-1843970_640

How to create a template for all your Maps

Creating a template has two advantages:

  • You save time when creating new Maps
  • You will have a uniform looking design for all your Maps

To create a template you simply need to create a Map like any other Map – only difference being that you don’t use specific locations, regions or titles but generic placeholders and a general design. To create a template the easiest way would be to adjust all the design and graphic options to your liking (Step 1 and 2 of the tool) and also to add some city name placeholders (Step 3 of the tool). You then save that Map. Afterwards, you copy and paste the link of that Map into “My Profile -> My Templates“. Basically, that’s it. When you create a new Map you will find an option in Step 1 of the tool to load your template and then create a new Map based on that template.

So here’s an example of a Map (that I have created like any other Map) where certain settings are active:

template1

The settings for this Map are:

  • Step 1: Topography 1 is active, colour for land and water are active (light green and light blue)
  • Step 2: Border lines are set to black and thing size 1)
  • Step 3: Four placeholders added for city (big and small), ocean name and country name (each with thier own formatting in terms of color and size)

Now I have copied and pasted the link of that Map to “My Profile -> My Templates” which looks like this:

template2

Now, within the “My Templates” menu you copy and paste the link of your previously made Map as follows:

template3

When creating a new Map you can now choose that template in Step 1 of the Map editor – it looks as follow:

template4

You can then simply create a specific Map (specific itinerary or any other content/date that you want to visualize) based on the chosen template e.g. something like the following Map. As you can see the basic settings for the colours and the placeholders are those from the chosen template (compare to first screenshot above) which have been replaced with sepcific names and places.

template5

Of course, it’s up to you what you decide to put into your template and what the overall design looks like. It can be a lot of sepcific settings, colours and placeholders – or just a simple adjustment. Either way, it will save you a lot of time in the long run if you plan to create many Maps with certain specific design characteristics.

 

Your new Profile Page for all your Map needs

Dear StepMap User,

As of today your new StepMap profile page will have all your Mapping needs in one place, starting – of course – with creating your own Map but also creating templates, uploading your own icons, checking out the latest features, searching your Map archive and many more options. When you login to your account your new profile screen looks like this:

myprofile1

The most important options are: Create a new Map (well, pretty obvious…), My Maps (your archive of all previously created Maps), My Templates (if you want to setup a permanent base design) and My Symbols & Icons (to upload allyour own images and add them to your Map. We also highly recommend the Video Tutorial. It will give you a good understanding of the most important features of the Map tool.

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.

Latitudes and Longitudes and additional Circles of Latitude

We are happy to offer you a new feature: Latitudes and Longitudes and additional Circles of Latitude can now be added and customized in Step 1 of the Map Editor. So when you create a new Map you can now show each of those layers individually or as a group. Each layer can then be customized in regard to size and color. Here’s a screenshot showing the new option (it’s in Step 1 in the right navigation panel all the way to the bottom):

latitude1

And here’s a sample Map of Africa where some of the Circles of Latitude layers are activated. As you can see they have different colors, opacity and sizes, too. You can adjust them individually by using the color and size options. (Click to enlarge).

latitude2

Enjoy the new feature! 😉