Mapping on the web

Mapping on the web

Screen real estate is precious, every pixel counts, but how many pixels do you have to play with?

There are many differing views on who you should design for, should it be for your average (mean) user, or your worst technological visitor, and should you be worried about the slowly increasing hoard of mobile phone users?

Well if you're lucky enough to already be running a website then a quick look through your log files will give you a good picture of the type of technology being used to view your website on and from this you can infer their screen sizes. Current (maybe useless) statistics suggest around 14% are still using 800x600 screens with the rest at least 1024x768.

2007 Higher 1024x768 800x600 640x480 Unknown
January 26% 54% 14% 0% 6%

Source: w3schools Browser Display Statistics

If these were figures for your website, would you want to alienate 14% of your readership with a large out-screened 1000pixel wide map for the greater good?

Once you've decided on screen size now you have to fit all your information onto the map. Realistically there is always more to fit on than is achievable, separating out content on "toggleable"/ "hidable" layers and having multiple levels of zoom is my solution. As you can see on the Tibet Album map.