DjangoCon 2011 – Making interactive maps for the web

For the last regular talk of DjangoCon US 2011 we’ll be hearing from Zain Memon on “Making interactive maps for the web”.

When tasked with displaying geo-data, most developers decide to put some big red markers on an embeddable Google Map and call it a day. If you’re interested in creating maps that are more beautiful, more interactive, and more usable, this talk is for you.

Updates Below:


The talk is over now. I’ll update the notes with the slides if they become available.


@zainy just finished up. Great talk, question time…


“When you’re doing this, you’re basically telling your users to fuck off” = Use less datapoints, don’t flood information to your users.


Good maps are…

  • Attractive (Nice looking things do better. People like it more)
  • Readable (Need to make the data pop more than the maps.  Pale Dawn or Midnight Commander)
  • Interactive (Hover states. Polygons on more information. Selecting + Filtering)
  • Fast (Tile your map, don’t use a lot of polygons)


The Stack:

  • DB: PostgreSQL + PostGIS
  • ORM: GeoDjango
  • Front-end: TileStache
  • Slippy Map: PolyMaps (GoogleMaps, leaflet)


Map Tiles

  • 256px by 256px images
  • 21 different zoom levels
  • Standard URL scheme (zoom)/(x)/(y).png
  • A collection of map tiles makes up a map layer


Geographical Information Systems (GIS) the middle ground between DB Technology, Cartology and Statistics Systems


“Cartography = chartis (map) + graphein (write)”


“How to make sexy maps”


Lets get this talk started.


Zain taking the stage, we’ll be starting in 3-4 minutes.

  • Dairon

    Hi, where are the sslides to download, im interested on this talk. Reggards from Cuba


    Google Map is most interactive for Web developers persons. On the other hand, it create to need more experience where it should be makes highlight so fantastic like as images, zoom levels, stander URL Scheme and so on. Thanks for sharing.