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Get to know MAPCAT – key functions of the world map portal

Are you ready for a CATTING EDGE MAP EXPERIENCE?

 

MAPCAT basic catI’m MAPCAT, proudly presenting you my new world map portal.
Let me take you through its functionality.
(Currently, only the starting kit, but there’s a lot more on the way…)

Watch OSM come to life on the handiest map portal

  • Map database – We believe that YOU (our private and professional users) are the ones having the most accurate local information. That’s why we’ve built our services exclusively on OpenStreetMap, the most detailed and up-to-date community-edited world map. We are committed to provide you the handiest map portal, with easy-to-use tools enabling you to bring your data to life and let it work for you.
  • Map design – At MAPCAT, we are all aware that world-class functionality is a must for a map portal like us, but it won’t work without excellent user experience.
    The visual style helps you with the navigation on the site, the easy identification of the map elements (buildings, hill, roads, etc.), as well as provide a visual experience. We believe you will like the design of our map, especially the terrain mode and the appearance of the road system. In the initial phase, we provide you normal (streets) view in the car routing mode, and terrain view  (including contour lines) in the bike and pedestrian routing. We have added useful gadgets to help your routing such as the color differentiation of the road types on your bicycle route plan and the elevation chart.
  • I18n -on www.mapcat.com, you will find all map text in your local language, and of course, it applies also to your searches.
    We give a recommendation at the beginning, based on your location and computer settings, but you can certainly change the language according to your needs.MAPCAT screenshot, language selector
  • Metric system –  You can also set your preferred metric system, and it is linked to the language. Currently, English (United States) is set for the imperial unit system (i.e. distances in miles). All other languages are set with the international metric system (kilometers).
  • Site navigation – For your convenience, we provide the option to use your mouse instead of the site buttons for many useful functions. For example zoom in/out, right click for location info and easy routing, POI info, dragging and dropping markers. Also, if your screen allows, you can use your fingers for manual navigation 🙂

Multi-profile routing

In the initial phase, there are 3 routing modes: for cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. These will be enhanced in the near future with more use cases. The car routing is set as a default, but you can change view in a click and the settings will remain the same. Any routing mode you choose, you can add up to 5 destinations on your route. You can also rearrange your trip by deleting some destinations or changing the sequence of your viapoints.

  • Car routing – Our routing engine provides you the fastest route to your destination. As a default, we take into account ferries and motorways on the routing as well. In the future, you will be able to modify these. We show you the length of your route as well as the estimated duration of your trip. Should you wish to see each turn, you can open the detailed route window.
  • Bicycle routing – This mode uses the terrain map view in order to give you details about the elevation as well. Currently, the routing engine recommends you the  lightest route to your destination and gives you its length, total elevation and estimated duration as well. On the elevation chart, you can see which parts of the route will be the most difficult. You can also check how the road type is changing during your trip, as they are color-coded according to the legend. Furthermore, we offer you 2 default POI layers. We consider them important for all cyclist: cycle roads (international and national cycle routes) and bicycle rental.
  • MAPCAT bike routing
  • Pedestrian routing – Using terrain view, the pedestrian mode will help you see the hard parts of your walk. We give you the length and estimated duration as well.
  • Route export – Do you need your route plan on your mobile device? No worries, you can export your MAPCAT route plan in gpx or kml format and upload it to your own device.

GPX, KML export

Search & POI management

Our objective is to make it easy to find any place according to your interest, with the least efforts from your side. That’s why we have developed our advanced search engine and focused a lot on the POI categorization and visualization on MAPCAT.

Search for places as you wish:

  • our search engine will list you not only addresses but also places corresponding with the text you have typed in;
  • you do not need to type in the whole address, the system gives you recommendation already after 4 characters;
  • it’s enough to type fragments of each word in the address or name of the place;
  • for cyclists, we have predefined 2 important POI types. You can activate them with a click from the legend (bottom right corner);
  • switch on up to 5 POI types (excluding the 2 default cyclist layers) to see all places visualized on the map. Then select the places based on their availability;
  • visualize the POI name by moving your mouse on its icon. Even if the name was not visible before, the hover effect will highlight it for you;
  • instantly plan your trip to the selected place with a click (on right mouse click, select Direction to);
  • look for interesting places around a selected spot (on right mouse click, select Nearby places).
Visualize 5 POI layers at one time

Advanced POI management

POI info

Do you want to see detailed info about a POI? Simply click on its name or icon with the LEFT mouse button and a new window will appear on the bottom of the screen, showing you the name, address and coordinates of the place, and also informs you if it’s accessible by wheelchair. When available, you will also see the picture of the place to help your navigation. You can easily set this POI as your destination by clicking on the small icons on the right side.
The source of the pictures is Wikipedia.
Do you miss some info at a given POI? Please help the community by adding it yourself. Go to the Edit menu and log in by using your OSM account.

Point of interest (POI) window on MAPCAT

 

Map editing

You have the opportunity to edit the map database via the Id Editor tool of OpenStreetMap, without leaving our site. Log in to the editor with your existing OSM account. All commits will be fed directly and promptly into the OSM database and reflected on the OSM map. We also refresh our map database from OSM periodically, so your changes will be visible also on MAPCAT soon.

Edit the world map with mapcat.com

Id Editor function within www.mapcat.com

Other map functions

  • Measure distances – On www.mapcat.com, you can easily measure the distance between any 2 points. Even add further points to view more complicated routes.
  • Area size – Useful feature for planning events, construction works, etc. You can measure the territory of any polygon on the map.
    Add multiple points and measure distances

    Measure distances on the map

  • Current location icon – whenever you might get lost on the map, simply click on the   icon on the right and we bring you back to your current location.
  • Help for the handycapped – as a unique feature, we let you know whether a place is accessible with wheelchair, whenever the info is available in the database. Simply click on the POI icon with you left mouse button a you will see and info window, containing the accessibility info.

Miscellaneous

  • Newsletter – Do you love maps? Do you like our site and would love to hear more on it? Sign up for our newsletter, and don’t miss any important events or news regarding MAPCAT.
  • Help, FAQ – Do you have difficulties using our site? Check out the Help and FAQ list in the main menu or eventually contact us at info@mapcat.com
  • Blog – We post news, articles or fun stuff on our blog site regularly, so we recommend you to browse among our posts and return later as well.
  • Maps for business use – We are still working on our PRO website, but if you need a map API urgently, we can still help you. Please contact us at info@mapcat.com

Feedback

As we are developing this site to help you bring your location data to life, it is important to know your preferences. So please, check out www.mapcat.com and let us know your opinion. We would really appreciate any feedback, positive or negative, or any comments and recommendation for future development.
The easiest way to leave a feedback is to do it on the site (please find guidelines here). But please also feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page, or via email: info@mapcat.com.

Coming soon

Please note that the beta launch is not covering all planned features of the site. Still, it hopefully gives you a glimpse of the hard work behind the site and the future opportunities. Our PRO site for the business services is coming soon, including a Unity 3d game plugin and various packages. We’re also working on the mobile version and our own editing function.

 

For more info please read our blog posts, sign up to our newsletter or check the Help or FAQ on the site.

 

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