Digital Geography

7. June 2014

Map Compare – a direct comparison of basemaps and cartogrphic styles

Driven of the high usability of webmaps for companies and projects, many background-styles are available online. The existing styles can be easily implemented in your own project-map. Depending on the thematic map approach it’s appropriate to use a topographic, minimal-graphic or thematic reduced map-style to get the best basemap as groundlayer for your overlaid vector-data. The webapp “Map Compare” made by Wolfram Schneider makes it easy to compare available basemaps and cartographic styles and is one of my favorite “smart tools” for digital mapping projects.

Map Compare, currently in version 2.9, shows up to 99! map windows with different basemaps in the same map extend. Of course you can scroll and zoom as normal (Picture 1 – 8 windows).

Pic 1: Screenshot of Map Compare: example with 8 map windows

An overlay function allows to show some styles overlaid on the activated basemaps (Pic 2).

Pic 2: Screenshot of Map Compare: example with overlay

From a menu you can choose the offered basemap-styles and add them to the map windows. Also there are some special overlays like ASTER GDEM height model or some foreign labelsets which can be shown upon your current basemap-selection.
The webapp shows coordinates and zoom-level which makes navigation easy.

Which basemaps you can compare?

(excerpt from Map Compare help)

BBBike BBBike data rendered with Mapnik for Berlin from
BBBike Smoothness BBBike data for Berlin rendered overlay for street quality
OSM Mapnik OpenStreetMap data rendered with Mapnik from official tile server, or in German style
OSM Mapnik (b/w) OpenStreetMap data rendered with Mapnik black/white style from official tile server
OSM Hike&Bike OpenStreetMap data rendered with Hike&Bike style
OSM CycleMap Cycle map based on OpenStreetMap data, by
OSM Landscape OpenStreetMap data rendered with Landscape style, by
OSM Transport OpenStreetMap data rendered with transport style, by
OSM Public Transport OpenStreetMap data rendered with public transport style, by ö
Hillshading SRTM3 V2 SRTM3 data rendered, by
Land Shading OpenStreetMap data rendered with Land Shading style, by
OSM labels OSM labels Russian, Japanese etc., by
Toner Toner, Watercolor, based on OSM data, by
Mapbox (OSM) OpenStreetMap data rendered with MapBox style, by
Google street map, satellite and aerial photos, and physical map,
by Google
Yahoo street map, satellite and aerial photos, by Yahoo
Bing street map, aerial and hybrid map, by Microsoft
MapQuest Map street map, satellite, by MapQuest
HERE HERE Map, Terrain, Satellite, Hybrid, Public Transit, Traffic, by HERE / Nokia
Esri street map, topological map, by Esri
Apple Apple iPhoto maps, based on OSM data
MapBox MapBox maps, based on OSM data
Skobbler Skobbler maps, based on OSM data
Wanderreitkarte Wanderreitkarte Ride & Hike, based on OSM data
Soviet Military Soviet Military topografic map from ca. 1985, hosted by Atlogis
Maptookit Topo Maptookit topografic map, based on OSM and SRTM data, by
OpenTopoMap OpenTopoMap topografic map, based on OSM and SRTM data, by
Cloudmade Cloudmade map, based on OSM data, by
Waze Waze map, by
overlays OSM based overlays: ADFC Radwegenetz, Velo-Layer, MaxSpeed, Parking, Power Map, Bicycle Network
OSM2World OSM2World 3D map, by
map1eu map1eu print map, by
Falk Falk OSM map, by
Lyrk Lyrk OSM map, by
Komoot Komoot OSM map, by
OpenMapSurfer OSM Administrative Boundaries, ASTER GDEM by
OSM FR OSM France by
Waymarkedtrails OSM Waymarkedtrails for hiking, cycling, MTB and skating, by

Here you are: Map Compare

Follow this link to get to Map Compare:

You need an individual basemap

In some cases the common basemaps don’t fit to special interests and project goals. Thats’s why we create individual style for your needs. Please contact us, if you are interested.