Once you’ve customized your map you will need to save it in a format suitable for digital media, such as PDF, JPEG, PNG or GIF.
If you want a zoomable map that will show lots of detail at high zoom levels (e.g. place names, roads), try saving it as a PDF.
If you want a fast-loading static image and your map has large areas of flat colour you may get best results saving as GIF or PNG whilst keeping file size to a minimum.
The JPEG or PNG format is popular for websites. Experiment with JPEG quality to ensure the detail is still sharp. Maps on the Maproom website are a range of GIF, PNG and JPEGs at 60% to 80% quality. (In other words, they could all be sharper but at the expense of page load time.)
If you are using Illustrator, we recommend you use a ‘Type Optimized’ setting for output to the web, even if your map does not contain any text. We have found that coastlines and roads look best on a ‘Type Optimized’ setting.
A note about PDFs online
You can upload a PDF to a website if the PDF can have a web page to itself. Different browsers handle PDFs differently – some will display a PDF as well as allowing it to be downloaded, while others will only handle a PDF as a download.
PDFs do not render fine lines very evenly when viewed on screen. This means that coastlines and road casings can look broken up at one level of viewing then too thick and crude at another zoom level, then they might come into sharp focus but not at the zoom level you want overall! For this reason we avoid using the PDF format for maps on websites unless the PDF format is required for download and deep zooming.
A note about the SVG format
Although SVG is one of the file formats we supply, and SVG files can be read by the latest web browsers, please do not upload your Maproom SVG file directly onto a website.
There are several reasons why we say this:
– The sheer level of detail in even our simplest maps is far too much for even the best browsers and internet connections to cope with. Your web page will probably load very slowly or crash.
– SVG is not supported by older browsers whereas you will get full cross-browser and platform support by saving as JPEG, GIF or PNG.
– The artwork renders better as a high quality JPEG, GIF or PNG rather than raw SVG on the internet.
– And last but certainly not least from our point of view, SVG files can be downloaded from the Internet anonymously, which violates the royalty-free license terms of Maproom maps.