Introducing custom maps: Share compelling stories when you make customized maps

Data-driven storytelling is one of the most effective forms of communication. Stories built on facts and credibility are more trustworthy than those that aren’t, which is why data visualization is such a powerful asset. Plus, data presented in the form of maps add extra value by bringing geography and adding context to the story.

Prezi Design includes powerful, versatile, and highly customizable mapping features. Map charts are the perfect addition to any sales deck, news article, marketing campaign, and more to enrich incredible stories beyond borders, seas, continents, and cities.

More than 800 maps of various regions, countries, and cities are already stored in your Prezi Design editor to display geographic data in the form of interactive designs.

From now on, you can make custom maps to visualize geographic data on any location.

How to make custom maps

Along with many other powerful features, the Prezi Teams plan allows the whole team to work together and create custom maps for several different projects in a time-efficient manner.

When it comes to creating data visualization projects, the ability to collaborate is essential.

There are three steps to create custom maps in Prezi Design:

  1. Upload a custom map file into the Prezi Design editor (use JSON, GeoJSON, KML, or TopoJSON formats)

  2. Adjust parameters for the map (ID, labels, and groups)

  3. Design and customize the map

After you’ve uploaded a custom map or picked one from a template, it’s time to adjust and design it properly.

Here are three important ideas to think about when creating a custom map.

“What exactly do I want to say?”

Always start your map customization project with a clear goal. It’s useless to plug data into the editor before you’ve clarified the type of data and overall message you want to share.

Use your goal to choose the most suitable map type (area maps to convey distribution in places such as countries, states, cities or icon maps to pinpoint specific locations) and map style (heatmaps, individual, or group area maps).

Heatmap is a type of map that displays data values on a scale from low to high, usually represented by a color gradient in the area. It’s a common type to visualize population density, temperature changes, and much more.

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Individual and group area maps highlight specific regions and trends, and create comparisons (such as election results in the US or language distribution in the EU).

Once you’ve chosen a map type, you can add data to the map from existing files or edit values in our built-in chart.

Customize and design the map

You may not be able to change the cold, hard data, but you can change the way it’s displayed and the impact it has on your story.

Use the Prezi Design editor to customize your map. Adjust colors, fonts, sizes, zoom areas, labels, and cluster settings to design the best approach for your data visualization goal.

But always keep in mind that less is more.

Creating a simple, organized map will help make it easier to read and more impactful on your audience. Your data is essential for the story, but you should find a balance between full context and tidy legends, labels, and images.

Here are some examples of how customizing a map can be counter-productive.

Draw borders around your data instead of your creativity

Your map should be simple, but not dull. Try these four tips to add extra interactivity and engagement to your map while keeping it simple and minimalistic.

  1. Experiment with output formats
    Prezi Design allows you to download an interactive map in various formats and embed it on the web. These formats enable the audience to explore, engage, and go deeper into the data.

  2. Enable a tile layer
    If it fits your goal, add some additional style to your maps with the tile layer option. Choose from eight background styles to highlight the story and relevant details.

  1. Create an infographic
    If a map is not enough, infographics can bring your story to another level. It’s easy to build a visualization project all around the geographic data and supplement the message with charts, links, tooltips, images, videos, and much more.

  2. Collaborate
    If you’re on the Prezi Teams plan, share the designs with your teammates, let them add ideas, and maintain the creativity of synergy. Prezi Design is all about sharing your engaging and interactive content with the world. So start with the team!

Custom maps, together with tons of other valuable features, are only available for Prezi Teams accounts. Sign up for a free trial and deliver compelling data-driven stories together with your team.

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