The Social Map tool provides you the ability to create captivating, customisable maps for collecting location-based feedback from your participants.


By using interactive mapping, participants can respond to questions by 'pinning' their feedback on specific locations. A participant’s contribution consists of a qualitative comment and an (optional) image upload.


We are excited to introduce a new enhancement on the Social Map, the integration with the Form tool! With this, you can create forms directly within the Social Map tool and link them to specific marker categories. This empowers you to gather feedback that is tailored and relevant to each marker category, ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of your community's needs and preferences.

🖼️Example

Contributions in the activity are displayed publicly, allowing visitors to explore the map to view what others have shared.

Categories can be utilized to enhance the participants experience and gather more structured feedback. (i.e. issues, ideas, observations, etc.). Categories can then be customised with unique names, colours, icons, and prompting questions. When leaving a contribution, users are required to select which category they are responding to.

Data collected through the Social Map is stored in a spatial-format, facilitating easy mapping for visual representation and analysis. The stored data includes geographic x-y coordinates and a geo-coded 'address' that provides the nearest known address. This dual storage approach ensures that the feedback is not only visually represented on the map but also accessible for further analysis and insights.

⚙️Settings

Basic

  • Activity Status - this allows you to toggle the Social Map between an active (on) or inactive (off) state. When active, participants can engage with the map and contribute.
  • Activity Title - you can assign a distinctive title to the Social Map, which helps identify the activity in the Reporting area
  • Display Title - when selected, the Activity Question/title will be displayed to visitors. It should be noted that the Activity Title will also be used in the confirmation notification sent to any Contributors (if enabled), regardless of whether the ‘Display title’ option is selected.
  • Activity Description - provides a description that can be used to provide further information about the activity, including leaving internal notes to other Users.
  • Display Description - when selected, the description will be displayed to visitors.

Map Posts

Settings
  • Results Display - allows the public display of all Contributions. With this setting enabled, all Contributions made by participants will be viewable to all visitors. If disabled, participants will be able to make Contributions, but they will not be displayed on the map.
  • Map Posts - allows participants to leave a contribution on the map. With this setting turned off, participants cannot leave new posts, but may leave feedback via the voting/rating activity (if enabled).
  • Voting / Rating - allows participants to respond to map posts by casting a vote or rating. You can choose from five (5) voting/rating methods including upvoting, upvoting/downvoting, sentiment, traffic lights and star rating. The voting/rating component appears at the bottom of every post. The call to action prompt (i.e. how do you rate this?) is customisable and appears just above the rating component.
Markers
  • Marker Categories - sets a number of pre-defined categories that participants can choose from to classify their response. With this setting on, participants will be able to select from the list of categories when leaving their contribution. Categories can be assigned a unique name, colour and icon, which will be used as the pin marker colour on the map.


Information Markers

Settings
  • Form - If enabled participants will be able to complete a form if its attached to one category.
  • Voting / Rating - allows participants to cast a vote from the five (5) rating methods, and add a call to action prompt (i.e. "How do you rate this?") that appears above the rating component.
Markers
  • Marker Categories - is a pre-defined category that the user can choose to classify the information markers, this setting cannot be disabled and users can create as many marker categories as needed. A form can also be applied to the categories.
  • Marker Collection - allows the user to insert a marker on the map by clicking the precise location that you'd like the marker to be placed in or using the search field to place the pin at a specific address.

Forms

  • Submission Forms - allows you to create a survey form that is asked directly when a user makes a contribution.
    • Public Answer - when enabled allows the answer to be shown publicly. Users will be informed their answer will be shown publicly.

Map

  • Map Extent - defines the settings you want for the map's proper location and adjust how it looks, by adjusting the location's latitude, longitude parameters, bearing, pitch, and default zoom level
    • Bearing - refers to the horizontal orientation
    • Pitch - refers to the vertical orientation
    • Zoom - refers to the level of magnification
    • Draw Extent - allows you to lock the map extent preventing users from scrolling away
  • 3D Perspective - Users also have the ability to set the default orientation of their maps. Users can now adjust the initial ‘pitch’ and ‘bearing’ of the maps to show 3D perspective views when the maps load and are viewed by Contributors. This will assist you in creating striking and impressive maps that show off Web Map’s 3D capabilities.
  • Base Maps - defines the ‘base map’ style that will appear on the map by default. Base maps styles can be selected from predefined services such as Google, or from third party services such as Mapbox, and provide the underlying base, spatial information for the activity. Multiple base maps can be selected, allowing visitors to change views. ‘Default Basemap’ requires you to select a default map to be displayed when the map first loads.
  • Location bookmarks - allows preset geographic locations for participants to choose from. This feature helps participants to navigate around the map to focus on key areas.
    • For each bookmark, the location can be set by adding a specific address to the ‘Location’ field, which will be used as the map’s centrepoint.
    • The bookmark can be positioned more accurately by adding x/y coordinates instead of an address

Layers

  • Add layer - allows spatial data layers to be added to the map to provide additional information and context. The map can display GeoJSON, Shapefile, Image, Custom or Mask layers. These layers can also be custom drawn or in the case of pins, dropped. To do this select Custom. The Mask option allows a spatial data layer to be applied to visually indicate the study area for the activity. The masking layer can also be used to restrict contributions to within the layer boundary.

Display

  • Map Post Marker Clustering - enable multiple map posts markers within the same location to be aggregated into a single marker. This removes visual clutter and and allows you to take a broader view of your map. Marker clustering doesn’t affect the data, its just a way of visually consolidating the markers in one place. This option can be easily enabled/disabled from the block settings any time.
  • Information Marker Clustering - similar to how the 'Map Post' are clustered except they cluster based on their own categories rather than all together.
  • Display Marker Location - determines whether the geocoded location of each map marker location is displayed publicly and whether it is shown as an approximate or precise location.
  • Map Height - sets the default height of the map as it appears to visitors. The height can be set from predefined height values:
    • Small - 300px
    • Medium - 420px
    • Large - 540px
    • Extra-large - 660px
  • Display Category Legend - automatically displays the category legend to visitors.
  • Centre Pin - allows the display of a static ‘pin’ at the address defined in the ‘Location’ field. This is used to provide a reference to visitors.
  • Scalebar - allows the display of a dynamic ‘scalebar’ element on the map that helps participants more accurately understand and measure distances.
  • Information Panel - displays contextual information to the mapping activity to provide users with background and context. You can add a title and content to the information panel
    • Show on initial page load - sets the information panel to be displayed when the page is first loaded.
    • Display category information - displays a list of all the categories used including the Info-Markers.
  • Custom Success Message - enables Users to set custom text for the success message that is displayed to a participant after they make a contribution.
  • Custom Button Text - enables Users to set custom text for the Social Map ‘add’ button. If this setting is turned ‘off’, the text on the button will default to read ‘Add Marker’. If the setting is turned ‘on’, custom text can be added by the user. Custom button text is limited to 30 characters.
  • Submission Counter Text - allows you to display a dynamic submission counter on the Social Map. By using the placeholder {TOTAL}, you can easily include the actual count in the text.

Advanced

  • Registration Required - determines whether visitors must be registered Members in order to participate in the activity. With this turned off, any visitor will be able to respond.
  • Mouse-Wheel Zoom - enables or disables the zooming of the map via a mouse-wheel when a mouse is positioned over the map by a visitor. This is automatically disabled on mobile devices.
  • Voting Results Display - allows the public display the voting/rating results. If disabled, participants will still be able to vote/rate, but they will not see it displayed on the contributions.
  • Instructions - provides standard written instructions on how to use the Social Map. A text editor is provided to customise this message.
  • Activate Anti-Spam - enables our Anti-Spam protection to prevent bots from submitting contributions. Enabling this option will require users to answer a reCAPTCHA before submitting their contribution.
  • Moderation Method - allows the moderation method to be changed between Post-moderation (default) and Pre-moderation. Adjusting the moderation method will override the Moderation Method settings set at the Sitewide level.
  • Self Moderation - By enabling self-moderation, your team will become solely responsible for moderating any public contributions. Social Pinpoint moderators will no longer be notified or able to view the contributions associated with this activity.

Notifications

  • Contribution Notifications - enables notification emails to be sent to nominated users when a Social Map submission is received.
  • Referral Notifications - sends an email notification to nominated Users when a contribution is referred to by the System Moderator.

🎯Key Actions

Key actions

With the Form integration, you can now seamlessly combine the power of Forms and the Social Map to collect a more comprehensive and relevant feedback from your users!

Here's quick way to add a Form survey to your Social Map:

  1. Access the Forms tab by clicking on the text block icon while editing the Social Map.
  2. Click on "Add Form" to create a form survey.
  3. Give your Form a unique title by clicking on the pencil icon.
  4. Build your survey form by simply dragging and dropping the questions/presets/content elements to the form element section.
  5. After dragging it will open up the element editor and allow you to add descriptions, mark the question required, make them public answers, or even include images. Click "Save Element" when finished
  6. You can continue adding elements to your structure, click here for a more detailed explanation of the elements available in the Form Editor.
  7. To save your Form click "Save Form" and you can continue to edit the Social Map.
Please note as this is an integration of the Form tool, you can use

most of the features available to the Form tool like Logic and

Sections, see here for more details about the Form Logic & Section.

The Marker Category is now a required element for both the Map Posts and Information Markers, it can help categorise the data you are collecting in your engagement. In addition, create a richer mapping experience and facilitate the analysis of feedback.

Categories allows your participants to choose from your pre-defined list (i.e. Issues, Ideas, Opportunities, etc) to classify their contributions as well as cater your form questions to the category they selected. You can link different forms to different Marker Categories.

You can add your own categories to the map (we recommend not using more than five) and give them a unique colour and icon.


Adding Map Post Categories

  1. Navigate to 'Map Post icon' and then to the 'Markers tab'.
  2. Select 'Add Category'
  3. Fill in the details of your category 'Name, Description, and Form you wish to attach'
    💡 User Tip: You must create a Form question in order to create a marker category.
  4. You can style the marker (how it will appear on the map) by changing its icon, colours, or optionally choose an icon from our icon library!
  5. Select the blue ‘Save Category’ button to apply it on Social Map.


Adding Information Markers Categories

Similarly you can do the same in the Information Marker's section and under the Markers tab to create a category. 💡 NOTE: the form isn't required for the Info-markers.


Once you've created the Information Markers Categories you can add a marker by clicking on "Add Marker" button you can click on the map where you would like the marker to be placed, or use the search field to place the pin at a specific address.



Complete the details for your information marker:



Users will then be able to see the information marker on the map and click on it to view the image, description, form and rating information if turned on.

💡 NOTE: Information Markers are square icons and Map Posts added by the community are circular.

You can let your participants react to posts from other participants by enabling the voting and rating features of the Social Map.

Voting lets participants show support (or lack of support) for a particular post, while rating lets you gauge the extent of that support.

You can select from four different voting and rating methods, depending on your use case:

Voting

Voting lets participants give a thumbs up or thumbs down to another participant's post. You can enable upvoting and downvoting to capture positive and negative sentiment, or only allow upvoting to capture agreement, praise or support.

Star Rating

Star rating lets participants react on a scale of 1-5 stars, which is ideal for understanding the degree to which a participant agrees or disagrees with the content.

Sentiment Rating

Like star rating, sentiment rating uses a scale of 1-5, but uses smileys instead of stars. This divergent scale lets you capture participant sentiment at a more nuanced level than just upvoting/downvoting.

Traffic-light Rating

Traffic-light rating lets your users provide one of three reactions: 'Stop', 'Pause', or 'Go'. This is great for gauging participant support for specific proposals.

⚠️ Warning

Changing the voting/rating method during a live engagement will result in any existing data you've collected being removed. This data cannot be recovered.

Voting and rating can be enabled independently of map posts, which lets you stage these feedback activities at different times.

For example, you can collect ideas from participants on the map in stage 1, close off participants ability to leave new ideas after a set time, and then allow participants to rate the ideas collected in stage 2.

The results of all voting and rating data are provided in the summary reports and an average score for all voting and rating activities is presented in the data table to facilitate further analysis.

The average score of any voting/rating activity is also displayed when a post is viewed from the map, appearing in the top-right of each post.

10 different base map styles can be used in the Social Map. Each base map style presents a different visual style or level of detail that can be selected to meet the specific needs of your engagement.

In some cases, using a more indicative, illustrative map such as the ‘Open Street Map’ or ‘Google Road Map’ may be appropriate, while in others, a more detailed aerial/satellite image may be preferable. Minimal base map styles can be used to create visually attractive styles.

The available base maps include:

General Purpose

A simple and versatile street-based map from Mapbox.

Standard Street

A map that highlights road and street information from Mapbox.

Community Sourced

A very detailed map providing a high level of context crowd-sourced from the commercial-free Open Street Maps.

Standard Satellite

Vibrant and colorful satellite photography from Mapbox.

Detailed Satellite

High resolution satellite photography from Google Maps.

Standard Hybrid

Vibrant and colorful satellite photography overlaid with key names and transport routes from Mapbox.

Detailed Hybrid

High resolution satellite photography overlaid with key names and transport routes from from Google Maps.

Light

A stylised, minimalistic map with light tones from Mapbox.

Dark

A stylised, minimalistic map with dark tones from Mapbox.

High Contrast

A very minimal, stylised map with black and white features from Stamen.


Multiple base maps can also be defined for each Social Map, with the participant having the ability to select which basemap they want to use. If more than one base map is selected, the map that is first loaded can be set by choosing the desired base map from the ‘default base map’ dropdown.

To select the base map(s) to be used in the activity:

  1. Navigate to the ‘Map’ tab and select the desired base map(s) to be included from the ‘Base Map’ options.
  2. If selecting multiple basemaps, configure the default base map by selecting it from the dropdown.
  3. It will apply it immediately unless you selected multiple base maps.

If only one base map is selected, the user will not be able to switch between base map styles.

In addition to the standard base map styles, custom base maps can be brought in from third party services including MapBox or a custom Web Mapping Service (WMS).

To add a custom base map:

  1. Navigate to the ‘Map’ tab and select either the Mapbox Custom or Web Mapping Service option.
  2. Provide the details as required for the service (for Mapbox, a Username, Style ID and Access Token is required. For a WMS, a WMS URL is required).
  3. Select the blue ‘Save Social’ button to save changes on Social Map

💡NOTE: Mapbox has recently introduced a new 'standard' style which isn't supported - you would need to use the 'classic' Mapbox styles available, see here: https://docs.mapbox.com/api/maps/styles/

As a Site User you can control the pitch and bearing of the initial map so that it can load the map with a 3D perspective for the contributor.

  • Configuration is located under the 'Zoom Level' field.
  • The first configuration is for 'Bearing'.
  • The initial bearing (rotation) of the map, measured in degrees counter-clockwise from north. For example north is 0, east is 90, south is 180 and west is 270. This can be set for your preferred orientation.
  • The second configuration is for 'Pitch'.
  • 'The initial pitch (tilt) of the map, measured in degrees away from the plane of the screen (0-60). This can be set for your preferred orientation.

You can restrict the location of where users are allowed to add map markers using the masking layer. This will mean that your participants will only be able to make contributions within a defined geo-graphical area such as a ‘study area’.

To do this, check the ‘Restrict markers to mask’ checkbox under the Mask setting.

Bookmarks can be added to display pre-defined geographic locations within the study area that help visitors navigate the map to focus on key areas.

Bookmarks are displayed at the top, centre of the map as a dropdown menu. Selecting the bookmark will automatically zoom and pan the map to the nominated location.

To add bookmarks:

  1. Navigate to the ‘Map’ tab and scroll to the ‘Location Bookmarks’ setting.
  2. Select the ‘Add Bookmark’ button to create the bookmark and configure the following attributes:
    a. Title - Sets a title for the Bookmark that will be displayed
    b. Location - Sets the centre point of the map area using either an address or latitude/longitude coordinates
    c. Zoom Level - Sets how zoomed in or out the map will display.
  3. Select the blue ‘Save Bookmark’ button and repeat until all Bookmarks have been added.
  4. Select the blue ‘Save Social Map' to apply changes to Social Map.

In some cases where there are hundreds or even thousands of contributions appearing on the map, it may be desirable to cluster the map markers so that the map appears clearer.

Enabling the ‘Marker Clustering’ setting will allow individual map markers that are in close proximity to one another to be displayed as a single aggregated marker. The Marker Cluster then displays the number of contributions within it, and when clicked by a user will zoom the map in and disaggregate the individual map markers.

It is worth noting that marker clustering doesn’t affect the data. It's just a way of visually consolidating the markers. It can be easily enabled/disabled from the block settings any time.

Once you have Marker Clustering enabled you can edit the following properties

  • Cluster Max Zoom - allows you to control the zoom level at which the marker clustering takes place. When the map is zoomed out beyond the specified 'Cluster Max Zoom' level, the individual map markers will be replaced by the aggregated cluster markers.
  • Cluster Minimum Points - sets the minimum number of contributions required within a certain proximity to trigger marker clustering. For example, if you set the 'Cluster Minimum Points' to 5, then a cluster will be formed when there are at least 5 contributions in close proximity to each other. If there are fewer than the specified minimum points, the map markers will be displayed individually.
  • Cluster Radius - determines the distance within which map markers are considered to be in close proximity to each other for clustering. A smaller cluster radius will result in tighter clustering, while a larger radius will allow markers that are further apart to be included in the same cluster.

The Social Map uses the Google Places API to take the precise location of each map marker and display them as an address through a process called geo-coding. This makes it easier to interpret the results of the Social Map if you don’t have access to mapping software or skills, by making the location more human readable (as opposed to x/y coordinates).

The geo-coded address can be displayed on the front-end of a participant’s contribution to provide more context. This can be people for non-sighted users who can’t see maps or for people who have difficulties interpreting them.

To enable this feature, navigate to the ‘Display’ tab and find the ‘Display Marker Location’ which is set to not display by default. From the dropdown select either ‘Display approximate location’ or ‘display precise location’. The ‘approximate location’ setting will provide the street name only and will remove any specific street numbers. The ‘precise location’ setting will include the exact street number and name.

Warning

Using the ‘precise location’ option will display exact address information which may have privacy implications. You should thoroughly assess the potential risks prior to enabling this setting.

Please note that the geocoder may not be completely accurate, especially if a marker is dropped in a public space or in developing areas. The geo-coder will try and find the nearest address to where the pin is dropped. If address location is critical to your analysis we suggest collecting this information in another way.

Practice tips

  • The map can be positioned more accurately by adding x/y (latitude and longitude) coordinates instead of an address.
  • The default zoom level is set in the Social Pinpoint Settings page under ‘Geographic Regions’, and is generally set to a value of 10.

⛔️Social Map Limitations

To ensure optimal performance, there are some limits to the number of Categories (both Map Post and Info Markers), Info Marker pins, Layers, and Legends you can use in the Social Map. An example of a balanced map setup:

Social Map Elements Variable Limitation
Categories (Map Post and Info Markers) 30
Info Markers 100
Layers 20
Legends 10


The limitations of the Social Map are based on a total variable limit, this setup serves as a good reference and can be adjusted as needed. For example, if you use only 5 info markers instead of 100, you free up variables that can be allocated to other elements like layers.


Recommendations

  • Categories: Keep it under 150 for flexibility with other elements.
  • Info Markers: Limit to around 150 if you have fewer categories.
  • Layers: Typically, 30-40 layers are sufficient for most maps.
  • Legends: Use sparingly, aiming for less than 100.