Tutorial

Below are some examples of the available features.

Have a look at Showcase to get an idea of what you can do with MapChart.

Check out the Blog for more tutorials on map creation, as well as all the latest updates!

Creating a map

The most basic steps for creating a map and downloading it:

  1. Paint the counties you want with the selected color by clicking on them.
  2. Choose another color from the palette and repeat the process.
  3. Fill out the legend by choosing a description for each color group.
  4. When ready, select Preview Map.
  5. Select Download Map to download your map as an image.
Please check the About section on how you can reference MapChart when using your map.

Additional features

Customize your map as you need

  • Right-click on a country/state to:
    • Remove its color.
    • Color it with a pattern (dots, stripes, etc.).
    • Show or hide it.
  • Use Edit and Clear All to review or reset your map.
  • Remove or change the color of the borders.
  • Rearrange the Legend's rows using drag and drop.
  • Change the color for all countries in a group by clicking on its color square in the legend (does not work on groups colored with patterns).
  • Change the legend's background, font, font color, and size.
  • Hide the legend or only show its title.

Advanced Settings and Shortcuts

  • Hold Ctrl and move your mouse over the map to quickly color several countries. Holding Ctrl + Shift has the opposite result.
  • Use Undo and Redo (Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y) to go back and forth in your edit history.
  • Holding Shift and clicking on a country removes its color. You can change this behavior.
  • Change the border width for all countries on the map.
  • Change the default gray color for uncolored countries.

Save your progress and continue from where you left off.

At any point while you are editing your map, you can save your current map's settings:

  • Click on the blue Save/Upload map configuration button.
  • Select Save Map Configuration to download on your device a small text (.txt) file with the settings of your map.

If you already have saved your progress and downloaded the mapchartSave.txt configuration file, you can resume your map by following these steps:

  • Go to the page of the map you were working on (World, USA, Canada, etc.)
  • Click on the blue Save/Upload map configuration button.
  • In the dialog that appears, you can upload your text file or paste its contents and hit Upload Map Configuration.
  • You will then be able to resume working on your map.

Autosave:

Autosave happens at specific points during the map-making process, like when adding a color, clearing the map, downloading it, etc. There is one autosave kept for each page on the website, stored locally in your browser's cache.

You can restore the currently available autosave for the page you are on by using the Save/Upload Map Configuration feature.

Move your maps from the website into the app or the opposite:

There is also the ability to move your map settings from the website to the mobile app and vice versa. Find the relevant short tutorial here.

Zoom in/out of the map

The larger maps provide a Zoom Mode at the left-hand side that lets you zoom in/out of your map and focus on the countries/states you need.

  • Click on the Zoom Tool to enable zooming and panning on the map.
  • Use Exit Zoom to stop the process and fix the map in its place.
  • With Reset Zoom you can revert the map to its original zoom state.

Using patterns

Right-click on any country/state to color it with a pattern (stripes, dots, etc.).

  • Use the Add/Modify Pattern option to change the color of a country/state to the pattern of your choice (stripes, dots, crosshatch, checkers, etc.).
  • Useful for depicting an element that belongs simultaneously in two color groups or for black-and-white only maps.
  • The Remove Pattern option reverts the element to its Background color, while Copy Existing Pattern provides you with a selection of the existing patterns on the map.
  • The Remove Color option lets you remove the color of the selected element.
  • Hide an element with the Hide option. Hidden elements will not appear on the final generated map.

Scaling and nonscaling patterns

  • When you color a country with a pattern, by default the pattern gets scaled (resized) to fit its size.
  • You can change this to use nonscaling patterns that look the same on all countries (right-click on a country and check the Do not scale patterns checkbox).
  • Learn more about this difference on the map page (right-click on a country and click the What's the difference button) or in this blog post.
  • You can switch this setting on/off as many times as you need to see the difference live on your map.

Use Excel to speed up the map creation process for the largest maps

Take advantage of the Excel MapChart Configuration Export tool to create a map config file that you can use to quickly color the subdivisions of specific maps.