Map Type Tool – Change Map Style

You can now change the Map Type Style in ZeeMaps. A map’s style defines the colors used for showing different features on the map. For example, we are all used to seeing forests shown in green, and land masses shown in some variant of light yellow or white. In addition, the style defines what labels to show on the map for cities, roads and highways. The labels, fonts and spacing are critical for giving a pleasing look to maps.

Defining a map style that is consistent and easy on the eye is a very difficult job. The British Cartographic Society defines cartography as ‘the art, science and technology of mapmaking. Cartographers over the centuries have developed rules to create beautiful maps. With the transition from paper to digital maps, the discipline has an even wider scope. So as new technology evolves, the discipline of cartography evolves alongside it.

Most users of Google Maps are familiar with the standard map style type shown below. With this new addition to ZeeMaps, the possibilities are limitless! Follow the steps below to change the look and feel of your map by changing its style to one of our offered options, or create your own unique style.

Standard Map Style in ZeeMaps

Select a New Map Style

To change your map style, use the menu item ‘Map’ and then the option ‘Style.’

Menu item to change the Map Style in ZeeMaps

The resulting styling dialog offers seven choices of styles that you can pick. The first of these is the Standard Google Maps style type. The next five are pre-defined styles by Google’s cartographers that provide consistent look and feel with different color schemes, label fonts, spacing, etc. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Silver provides a minimalistic white and grey style that has no additional colors. Use this style as a background to make your map points and highlighted areas more prominent.
  • Retro is a mix of muted earth tones. Moreover, map colors such as orange, red, and bright yellow would look especially well with this style. As the name retro signifies, this style was quite popular with paper maps.
  • Dark uses a mix of dark grey and black. Additionally, any bright color map point or highlight will pop against this background.
  • Night is a mix of blues and greens, with a beige font. Therefore, any bright greens, oranges or yellows will look great on this base map.
  • Aubergine is a beautiful shade of eggplant purple with a light blue font. Moreover, bright greens, yellows, oranges or pinks are a fantastic choice for map markers and highlights.

In case none of these work for your requirements, you can design your own using the ‘Custom’ option. Read on to find out how.

Create a Custom Map Type Style

Use the following steps to create your own map style using Google Styles.

First, click the ‘Custom’ selection from ‘Style your map.’ Then, text will appear as shown below. Second, click the Style Editor link.

Create a Custom map style

The Style Editor link will take you to the following page. Here is the direct link:

Then, make sure that you click on the link that says: ‘No thanks, take me to the old style wizard.’

From there you can choose from fewer to more roads, landmarks and labels. Additionally, you can select between the different map type styles, and then start customizing the option.

Additionally, you can choose the ‘More Options’ link at the bottom to choose from more customizations, as shown below.

Custom Map Type
Choose colors, fonts for labels, etc. for your custom map style

A range of options will appear and you can select from a variety of custom features. Once you have customized your map style type, you will need to click the ‘Finish’ button.

Then, a dialog will ask you to either copy the JSON style file, or use a link for a static map. Make sure you click on the ‘Copy JSON’ link. This will copy the style to your computer’s clipboard.

Copy the custom style in your clipboard to paste in ZeeMaps

Then, you will go back to your map, and paste the copied text into the prompt text box, shown in the custom dialog above.

Congratulations, you have now created your own map type style! We would love to see what you come up with. Please share your maps on social media and tag us using the hashtag #ZeeMaps – we can’t wait to see your creations!

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