Maptip

Maptip

What Problem Does This Solve?

Helpful content is missing on the map.

Why Use This Pattern?

A Maptip is an informative message that appears when a user hovers a feature, surface, or raster image. Its purpose is to provide helpful content such as additional attributes, data, or images and therefore giving users direct access to field information of that feature.

As an interaction technique, Maptip is useful to show information that can neither be displayed as part of the marker nor as a label but doesn’t yet require an Info Popup that is more disruptive to the experience.

The equivalent UI Pattern to Maptip is Tooltip.

When to Use This Pattern

Because Maptips are initiated by a hover gesture, they are not accessible on touchscreen devices and therefore should only be used to display information that is helpful and not essential to complete a task.

An example for a useful Maptip is a tourist map that shows travellers a short description and a photo for attractions, hotels, and restaurants. On Choropleth Maps the Maptip could show the actual number associated with the geographic boundary or a small chart with a breakdown by attribute.

What’s the Solution?

Provide Maptips that appear upon hovering the mouse on a feature or tabbing through features using the keyboard. The Maptip should be self-sufficient with brief, helpful, clear, consistent and comparable content. Avoid redundant or lengthy text, for numbers add units.

Place the Maptip close to the feature being hovered, usually at the mouse pointers tail or head if possible. To avoid potential confusion, consider adding arrows to indicate the relation of the Maptip with the feature. This is especially important when several nearby or overlapping features could have triggered the Maptip.

The Maptip can show immediately or after a brief delay which depends on the anticipated usage of this information and wagering the value and amount of information with the annoyance of constant interruptions.

Lastly, an important aspect of Maptips is that they are triggered by the user which separates them from similar interactions like onboarding tutorials that show tips automatically.

Special Considerations

For performance reasons it is sometimes recommended to disable Maptips when they are not necessary, at smaller scales, or when they turn out to be more distracting to the user than helpful.

Remember that users cannot interact with the content of a Maptip because moving the mouse will make them disappear. Therefore, do not provide links or buttons inside a Maptip.

Examples

Maptip
Sygic is an online map for travellers that shows Maptips for attractions, hotels, or restaurants.

References

“MapTips”; ArcGIS Pro Documentation; https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/latest/help/mapping/navigation/maptips.htm

“Tooltip Guidelines”; Joyce, A.; January 27, 2019; https://www.nngroup.com/articles/tooltip-guidelines/

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