We all think we make great maps, but we don’t actually know if our maps are actually good. The only way we can answer this question is with data. Today you can use Google Analytics to at least understand if there’s traffic coming to your map. But at Maptiks, we’ve seen that analytics are the baseline of any web oriented design process. So in reality, capturing user activities makes a lot of sense.
It’s more than just building a better map though. Analytics provides geographic intelligence. Consider a travel or real estate company, who sell products through a map. Their business is based on location. Analytics can provide insights into geographic hotspots, showing information like 90% of map visitors in San Francisco are looking at properties in Hawaii.
With the a plethora of compelling mapping platforms to choose from, choosing between them is complex. Beyond platform choice, we are now able to refine every piece of the map experience. But doing it blindly without understanding the user experience is like driving somewhere without directions. A map’s quality isn’t defined by a single opinion, it’s the crowd, the users that matter. Maptiks is a way for developers, product marketers to know more about how their maps perform in the wild.
There are server oriented solutions that will tell you map loads and types of layer interactions based on server requests, but we listen to the client side. We have philosophically chosen to care deeply about the user first. Being 100% client based means we toll our users exactly how their web map is experience in the real world. Where users are looking and how and how they interact using different devices. Network latency is included. 404s and 500s are also included.
What map developers don’t realize, is that their maps are bouncing. People aren’t interacting with your web maps as much as you’d think. You can measure how many times your map is loaded using Google Analytics, but our aggregated analytics suggest that 50% of maps after loading don’t get touched at all. That means that half of the time your carefully crafted web map could just be an image. This is a big waste of development time.