A template-driven approach to microsites

3 years after

Map Site templates from MapBox are a way to jumpstart building a map-based web feature. The map-site templates bundles common HTML and CSS formatting with integration to the MapBox Javascript API.

To build a project based on this template, fork this repository, edit the HTML content and CSS, and alter the configuration script.

Using this template

Edit the content by adjusting, removing, or adding to index.html. This is the main markup document with the content and layout for the map-site.

Adjust the design by editing the style.css file and adding any additional supporting structure to index.html.

Set the map features by writing a configuration script at the bottom of index.html.

HTML layout

The html markup for the template is in index.html. It's a simple HTML5 page layout. Generally, there are three things to change in this document:

  1. Content elements like the title, h1, and div#about elements
  2. Add new container elements for features like maps, layer switchers, and geocoders
  3. Layout structure, as controlled by the class attribute on the body element

There are three layout classes that can be applied to the body element:

  • right A full screen map with a header and right content sidebar (default)
  • left A similar full screen map with a centered header and left content sidebar
  • hero An inline map hero with a header and full-width, scrollable content section

CSS styles

Most of the hard work on a microsite build is template design implemented through CSS. This template by default is simple and clean, and it's based on the full map view. This design and be completely overridden by applying new CSS styles. style.css contains all the layout and typographic styles as well as some overridden styles for map controls, as well as a reset stylesheet. Implement your design by editing this file.

Javascript interaction

The map is configured in script.js and takes advantage of many MapBox Javascript API features - so the documentation for the MapBox Javascript API applies to every part of this site.

Additional integration is added with mapbox.jquery.js, which automatically binds links that control the map - see the navigation links for examples.

All the following controls require that the id of the element containing the map be specified using the data-control attribute. In this case it is data-control="map". This attribute may be placed in any of the controls' parent elements.

Address search

To search for an address, we need a geocoding service that converts a plain-text address query into a geographic location. This template uses MapQuest Open search, which is free to use for noncommercial and commercial applications alike. If you'd like to use another service, edit the geocode function in script.js.

To add an address search to your page, build a simple html form to gather user input:

<div data-control="geocode" id="search">
    <form class="geocode">
        <input placeholder="Search for an address" type="text">
        <input type="submit" />
        <div id="geocode-error"></div>

By specifying data-control="gecode" on the div containing your form, mapbox.jquery.geocoder.js will bind a function that handles address searches and repositions the map accordingly. If the geocoder has a successful response to a search, it will center the map and zoom it to show the bounding box extent of that response. If the bounding box is small enough to zoom the map to its maximum zoom, the geocoder will also place a pin with a star over the response's exact location.

Easing links

To link to a geographic location add at least one of the following data attributes:

  • data-lat: The latitude of the location.
  • data-lon: The longitude of the location.
  • data-zoom: The zoom level.
<a data-lat="39" data-lon"77" data-zoom="10" href="#">

If you specify any of these, the link will be automatically bound to the map.

Layer Switcher

Use data-control="switcher" to bind all links in child elements to the layer switcher function. Specify the layer by setting the href attribute of anchors to the layer's name. There are two optional layer attributes:

  • data-group: Specifies the group, defaulting to 0. Only one layer per group can be enabled at any time.
  • data-toggle="true": Allow a layer to be toggled off.
<div data-control="switcher">
    <a data-group="0" href="#streets">Streets</a>
    <a data-group="1" href="#construction">Construction projects</a>
    <a data-group="1" href="#building">Building permits</a>

Easing links can be used together with the layer switcher.

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