Software we Use | Articles

Since we're in the business of software, I thought it might be appropriate to share the software that we rely on to build and support our maps. We've also included some other map-related software you may find useful.

  1. Text Editor - Notepad++
    This free text editor includes features like auto complete, search using regular expressions, syntax highlighting, multiple views and more! I use a customized theme with a dark background, and soft colors to give my eyes a much needed break.

  2. SVG JavaScript Library - Raphael.js
    The JavaScript library for manipulating SVG elements that our maps are built upon.

  3. GIS Manipulation and Conversion - MapShaper
    A browser-based and command line tool that makes it easy to manipulate GIS files (Shapefile/GeoJSON) and convert them to SVG files. We've written a guide on how to use MapShaper.

  4. Manual GIS Edits - QGIS
    An open source desktop application that allows you to manipulate GIS files using a graphical interface. Great for making manual edits to Shapefiles and GeoJSON files.

  5. Cross-Browser Testing - BrowserStack
    This SAAS fires up a virtual server with the operating system and browser of your choice. This makes it easy to quickly test our maps on a number of different platforms. It has been an invaluable tool to isolate browser and OS specific bugs in our maps.

  6. SVG Editing - Inkscape
    We use this open source tool to edit the SVG vector maps that are eventually turned into our interactive JavaScript maps.

  7. Screencasts - Screencast-O-Matic
    There are a lot of tools in this space, but I use the downloaded version of this commercial software for my tutorials and screencasts. It is intuitive and makes it easy to upload the videos quickly to YouTube, Vimeo, or other sites.

  8. Online Spreadsheet - Handsontable
    This open source Excel-like data grid powers our online customization tools. It has great documentation and I am very thankful for it!

Other Software to Consider

Event Map Software - EventMapStudio
This software is built by another company in our building. It's SAAS that lets you visualize the layout of an event over a street-level map. It's a useful tool for festivals, tradeshows and others to organize internally and share with attendees.

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