I have been asked to review a map based application. The map displays planning applications for a location and the user can filter results. Results are paginated to 10 per page.

The developer said that the information might become very dense and that paginating makes the map simpler: enter image description here

I have many issues with this including:

  1. the filters reduce map complexity, not pagination
  2. pagination hides results from users

My question: Is pagination a good way to simplify the information on the map?


Yes, limiting the number of results on the map will simplify the map, however...

...it creates a bias that could influence your user in either a positive or negative way. There are a lot of factors that go into this though and there are two tracks of people I can see when using this map (Explorers and Beeliners). Explorers are going to go around the map, take their time, see what applications are out there, play with the filters, etc. Beeliners are going to go straight to the application they want with no goofing around, playing with filters, and so on.

With these two types of people in mind, there are a few other questions you need to ask yourself. Are your users going to be exploring or are they going to look up a specific application? What else can they do? Are they allowed to edit the application?

Based on the two groups of people I described above, my suggestion would be to show all of the points, and use a clustering algorithm to show a pod with a large number in them (like in the image below).


Clustering on Google Maps or Leaflet would be a great way to have all of your data available to the customer while not providing bias. It also allows for both scenarios of people (explorers and beeliners) which caters to the largest number of people. Finally, you would still be able to apply multiple filters to the markers and allow your users to see any variation of the data they choose.


Just a tip, your current example lacks two key aspects of design that all Google Maps implementations should heed to.


Remember to use different colours, shapes and styles to represent differing pins on the map. Right now I take it you have granted, refused and not yet decided, but how does one know whether a pin is of one type and not the other? What support do you have for colour-blind users when pins are differentiated simply by colour? Provide a light colour differing scheme and an even lighter shape differing scheme and you solve both these issues simultaenously.

A bad example:

A bad example

A better example:

A better example


Pins should never overlap. There's nothing worse than destroying your model by making some pins unavailable simply because they're too hard to click on or are dominated by those around them. Clustering and grouping options play nice roles but eventually you have to provide an option to see this detail. This is up to you on how to implement, via pagination, etc.

I just wanted to provide my two points (cents).

  • 1
    already on the colours bro' ! i.imgur.com/wVAhjKr.png
    – colmcq
    Aug 19 '15 at 15:46
  • Colours don't do much without shape though remember. ;)
    – insidesin
    Aug 19 '15 at 15:57
  • working that in
    – colmcq
    Aug 20 '15 at 8:52
  • i didnt down vote. no idea why it was downvoted.
    – colmcq
    Aug 21 '15 at 10:49
  • People are silly. shrug
    – insidesin
    Aug 21 '15 at 10:59

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