Statistics can be a very confusing thing to translate to the average person who just wants facts and don’t want to be drowned in facts and figures and endless graphs and pie charts that are often used to represent them. This can be confusing and can lose people’s interest fast, so the biggest puzzle for people who want to get information to people in an understandable way is quite a puzzle and takes some imagination.

Recently a site has been created called bombsite.org which shows a very original way to reveal the scale of the London Blitz, when bombs rained down on London in an effort to weaken the nation during World War 2. Images have been used to show the sheer horror of the events but it’s arguable that they can’t show the true scale of the bombings, until now.

The Use of Mapping Tools to Show Data
The fact is there is quite a lot of information available to show just how many places were bombed and the impact of this bombing. The problem is of course this would just be pages and pages of addresses and the information about the destruction the bomb created. The puzzle of how to truly show the scale has to some extent been solved by using mapping tools to show just where each recorded bomb hit. Looking at the site it’s quite amazing how the city survived such an attack, and makes for interesting viewing. This mapping tool used for the Blitz site was www.leafletjs.com/ but this is not the only one available to the user, there are for example the more widely used Google Maps and Microsoft’s Bing Maps. Their use of both CSS, Javascript and HTML make them very adaptable tools especially Google Maps where the use of markers allow the developer to mark places of interest on the map for the users of the site. This for example could be on a Property site, showing where houses/apartments are available for rent or purchase.

Another advantage of the mapping tools such as this is very often they are free use, unless you have the need for greater scale than a few maps on the site. This would be in the number of thousands of maps though (to be sure just how many it’s best to always read the terms and conditions of use). Normally though it’s just a case of obtaining an API key for the site you are working on which will allow you to use the code provided by the map provider.

One of the most obvious uses for websites, especially business websites is on Contact Us pages. You will notice that these sites, especial retail and restaurant sites will want to advertise where they are so will provide the functionality to give you a better idea. Maps are useful, especially for the users of the sites because of the way they visually can represent the details you either want to understand or just to get the directions to the nearest store. Whether it’s bombsite.org showing historical information or a supermarket such as tesco.co.uk showing the locations of shops close to you maps can be a very useful tool, maybe even on your own site too.

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