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Have a map that shows reviews of parks. Currently one marker is associated with each review. Clicking the marker opens a pop-up with review text.

Some members have multiple reviews at one park, so there are 2 or more icons stacked on top of one another.

My initial thought is to try and offset the markers by a slight distance, so readers would see the multiple reviews. There would typically only be 2-3 per park, but possibly a dozen or more.

Am I going down the right path here, or should I consider redesigning the UI to show only one marker per park, and then handle the multiple reviews on the pop-up? Either method could get "cluttery". Not sure the best approach.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

A common solution is to "cluster" adjacent markers into one large marker that breaks apart at lower zoom levels.

https://developers.google.com/maps/articles/toomanymarkers

http://google-maps-utility-library-v3.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/markerclusterer/docs/reference.html

http://code.google.com/p/clustermap/

enter image description here

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I saw this technique here: a32.me/2012/09/… -- the remaining problem is when there are 12 reviews on one pinpoint. –  a coder Jan 30 '13 at 2:23
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Ah, I understand... yeah, I think using one marker per park makes the most sense :) This Dribbble shot might be useful inspiration: dribbble.com/shots/687936-Map-Data-Visualisation –  Sam Pierce Lolla Jan 30 '13 at 2:29
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I like a cluster map. I saw a cluster in a iPhone and a Facebook map displaying locations of photos, so they may be good examples for you. –  Lookchin Jan 30 '13 at 5:36

Would love to know what you ended up doing, and whether you tested the final solution.

Though it's a bit late to contribute, some inspiration for future reference: www.airbnb.com They streamline the results, and once you zoom in, it shows more. The newly added results have a small 'bounce' type of animation that helps you quickly understand what's happened.

They've also show more results as you move around on the map, and have a checkbox that is checked by default to 'search when i move the map' and then once unticked, you can go to a spot and the new option reads 'redo search here'.

It's really quite well thought out, though I remember as a user of it myself a while back, wondering what the parameters were for showing certain listings over others, because it didn't seem to be proximity based (I could be really wrong about that though) - and was frustrated that I'd "missed out" on seeing certain results.

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