Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adding Hyperlinks to Your Map Points

What are we talking about here?
The ability to visualize a list of addresses on a map is definitely useful - and it's what we're all about here at MapAList.  Leveraging hyperlinks within maps makes them even more interactive for you and your users.  

In this first post about hyperlinks, the goal is to show you how to associate a link to a website with a pin on your map.  This will allow whomever is viewing your map to click on a pin and see hyperlinks in the bubble that pops up. Furthermore, it will enable the viewer to click on the hyperlinks to navigate to a URL directly from the map. 

Sound cool?  It is.  Sound hard?  Don't worry, we'll walk you through it...

What does it look like from a spreadsheet perspective?
There are 2 approaches to making this work, one certainly more efficient if you are dealing with multiple address records.

In the sample spreadsheet below, you can see a column called Site which is used to associate the address with a website (URL).  You can see that in the Site column the MapAList URL has been inserted (http://www.mapalist.com).  The next column is called Site Link (you'll have to scroll to the right on the IFrame below to see it).  Here's where those 2 different approaches come in...

1. You can simply enter the HTML in the cell.  In other words,  you can type in the following:

<a target='_new' href='http://mapalist.com'>MapAList HQ</a>

2. In order to avoid typing the HTML out for every record, you can use the CONCATENATE function and reference the cell in the Site column that contains the URL.  Instead of entering the HTML in cell D2 (column 4 row 2), you would enter the following:

=CONCATENATE("<a target='_new' href="', C2,'">", A2,"</a>")





So what the heck do those HTML tags mean?
This isn't a HTML tutorial, but we can still break it down for you briefly...

<a target='_new' href='http://mapalist.com'>MapAList HQ</a>

target='_new' - the target attribute tells your browser to open the link in a new window

href='http://mapalist.com' - the link URL tells your browser what URL to open in that new window

MapAList HQ - the link text defines what will be displayed (and clickable)

Okay, you've got the link in the spreadsheet - now what?

This is the easy part.  All you have to do is referance the column in the spreadsheet that contains your link in Step 2b where you assign your fields to your map.  Simply select column that contains the links as either the Title or Additional Info values so that they will show up in the bubble when you click on the map pin.  That's all you have to do.

Click on the image above to take a closer look

What does it look like from a map perspective?

So give it a try - click on the green pin on the map below and you'll see MapAList HQ in the pop up bubble.  Click on MapAList HQ in the pop up bubble and a new browser window will open up to http://www.mapalist.com.





What are other users doing with this feature?
The use of hyperlinks within maps is quickly becoming a very popular feature.  The most common uses to date are: 

•Mapping companies and linking to their homepages

and

•Mapping friends and linking to their Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or Blog pages

So get creative and give it a try!

Hope this was helpful...more to come.

--The Map Commissioner (E-mail)

4 comments:

  1. Nice works folks. This is pretty awesome. Thank you very much for the resources!

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