Cartifact “Raises the Bar” on Online Map Interfaces

The last we wrote about Cartifact was when the company made headlines as the cartographers for Yahoo’s in-house version of Yahoo Maps.

Now, Cartifact Labs (the R&D arm of the company) lead Bruce Daniel points out a map space (his term; I’d call it a beta demo built on Google Maps) that among other things raises the bar on Internet map’s look and feel. He notes these highlights:

1) custom cartographic platform leveraging power of online APIs
2) new implementation of tools– database search and display, detail bubble, lens, information display tray
3) raising the bar for online mapping design standards
4) extremely flexible architecture for various online map/data presentations
5) addressing the need to present geodata in an appealing and interactive exploratory way rather than a “dump” of unadorned data onto a map

My thoughts after a quick tour:

- This seems far more intuitive than some of the Flex apps I’ve seen lately (this demo does not use it; further the demo is optimized for Safari on the Mac and Firefox on the PC)
- The implementation of the lens (what we at Cadcorp called the Roamer in the desktop package) is terrific. I think the folks from Telemorphic had such a tool, but it’s rarely found on the Web
- The “drawer-like” tools seemed far less jumpy than other implementations I’ve used. I tend to have them pop up and hide unexpectedly.
- If you are feeling like all Web maps look the same, this implementation will put a smile on your face.

Video below, if you are lazy, but I suggest you just go play with it!

Published Friday, March 27th, 2009

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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