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Infographics come in many different shapes and sizes. You can choose from myriad infographic styles so that the finished product communicates your message effectively. If you’re hoping to illustrate geographic data, an infographic map might be the best vehicle.
Image via Flickr by leiris202
Human beings have used maps for more than 13,000 years. A map gives directions, illustrates topography, identifies specific landmarks, and accomplishes many other goals. Maps are essential all over the world for one specific reason. They’re highly useful.
That’s why maps translate well as infographics. They offer a familiar illustration with which your target audience can identify. Whether you’re sharing information on a global, national, or regional scale, maps allow you to convey data in an interesting and visual way.
Essentially, an infographic map is one that includes data or visual information about particular areas. Just as Google Maps can show you points between an origin and a destination, infographic maps help your readers better understand the information you want to convey.
A static infographic map simply illustrates your point. Each element remains fixed on the page. In an interactive infographic map, however, users can click on different parts of the map to get more information. These types of maps work particularly well for university campus tours and similar applications.
Image via MTV.com
A map infographic doesn’t work for every occasion. It’s ideal for projects that involve specific geographic regions. Additionally, you don’t want to use a familiar map. Instead, you want to create one that’s entirely new but still recognizable as a map.
For instance, you might use unexpected colors to draw your map. Differentiate between regions by using separate colors, or use different line widths and intensities to help designate areas. Additionally, your map doesn’t have to take up the entire infographic. Use white space around the map to add extra information or to create a key.
For instance, CopyPress and MTV joined forces to create a map of the characters’ journeys in season four of “Game of Thrones.” While the map itself creates a dynamic representation of those journeys, designer Kelly Quigley also included the “Game of Thrones” logo as well as icons for the different characters. The map takes up less than half of the entire infographic.
Your map infographic resonates more with your readers if you keep aesthetics in mind. In the “Game of Thrones” example above, the designer used an antiquated look to reference the show’s fantastical and historical setting. If you’re writing for a modern audience, design a map infographic with more contemporary design elements.
Before you start the design process, look for other infographic maps that display the same or similar information. What colors do they use? How do they convey information? What text do they include? Try to make an infographic that stands apart from your competitors’ maps.
Content marketing has become far more nuanced over the last few years. To create great content, you need an intriguing angle, agile language, and visual elements. Infographic maps satisfy all three.
This is especially true if you use a map infographic for information that isn’t usually associated with geography. For instance, you could use a world map to illustrate the most innovative companies. The map would show where the greatest concentration of innovators resides.
There are many other benefits of using a map for your infographic, including the following:
Additionally, a map helps people form spatial relationships between different ideas, people, places, or things. You could say that 75 percent of the world’s vegetarians live in a specific country, but a map infographic makes the information more digestible.
You need at least two people to create a map infographic, a writer and a designer. The writer prepares the text that appears on the infographic, from data and statistics to explanations and fast facts. Writers sometimes also offer visual inspiration for the designer. The writer might suggest a specific type of icon, for instance, or a way to connect different aspects of the map and the infographic’s other assets.
After the writer finishes the text, the designer takes over. He or she uses the information to design a map that communicates the data visually. A designer also creates other visual assets, such as icons, arrows, lines, charts, graphs, and titles or logos.
The completed map infographic must now go out into the world. Like any other piece of content, you want to promote it on your blog, social media accounts, and other online channels. Encourage your followers and readers to share the infographic and offer a snippet of information that convinces people to click through. If you promote your infographic well, it might even go viral.
To fuel your inspiration, look at infographic maps that attract attention on the internet. You might find new ways to use maps creatively. For instance, this infographic map from the Asia Society uses a barely visible map. The designer chose to put the data front-and-center, but you can still see the map silhouette in the background.
This health-related infographic, however, makes the map the focal point of the infographic. Viewers can instantly understand the swine flu concentrations in various displayed areas.
If you’re looking for a new way to engage your audience, creating an infographic map might offer the best choice. Consider working with a content agency like CopyPress to make sure that your infographic is professionally written and designed.