Manual

mapz.com offers professionally designed city, regional and country maps covering the whole world for use in online media and print applications.

You can download our maps immediately for further editing on your computer, or add them to websites and applications using the optional mapz API. They are available in screen and Retina display versions, as well as high resolution for print applications.

Stadtplan Hamburg Download
Overview map of Hamburg, Germany, in the mapz “Shades of Gray” design

File formats

Our service offers the perfect file format for every application: Depending on the type of map, you can choose between editable PDF files, the widely used graphics formats JPG and PNG, or Photoshop files with a separate text layer, in 200 and 400 dpi resolutions. The largest download format is 1,750 square centimeters, or approximately 42 x 42 cm.

We also offer embed codes, an easy way to add interactive maps to your website, and a powerful API for database-supported retrieval.

Select a map

mapz.com lets you choose the ideal map for your project from a variety of types. Our map material is global and, in metropolitan regions, includes detail down to the level of building outlines. Various styles offer variety in terms of both map aesthetics and content density. That lets you easily fulfil a broad range of requirements, for everything from detailed maps to info graphics. The type of map that best meets your needs depends on your goals and, not least, personal taste.

Base maps

Launch the map editor. The “Base maps“ menu gives you access to global map material with two different designs and different content densities. Our “Multicolor” maps have a traditional, four-color design, as used in traditional cartography.

map cologne download

The “Shades of Gray” map design features less color and content, and is ideally suited to infographics and thematic maps. Both map designs are also available in a “blind” version; without any labels. It is easy to add the labels required for your project using our text and drawing tools.

All our base maps use data from the OpenStreetMap project. They are designed by professionals of Kober-Kümmerly+Frey.

Special maps

The “Special maps“ tab gives you access to aerial photographs or official real estate maps (most of them covering germany).

official real estate maps and aerial photographs for real estate brochures
Seamless transition between official real estate maps, aerial photographs and our Shades of Gray vector map.

We currently offer the following official data:

  • Aerial photographs: The german federal states of Berlin, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Thuringia and the whole of Austria
  • Official real estate maps: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • German basic map (Deutsche Grundkarte) DGK 5: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Along with the aerial photographs listed above, a special agreement allows us to offer our flat-rate customers access to aerial photographs of the whole of Germany. And we are happy to integrate other map sources that are (here things get a little technical) available as a WMS in EPSG:3857. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs. ››› Contact us

Registration

You can view all our maps without registering. Samples of all our file formats are available from the Map design and demo files page, which allows you to assess their quality before you register. We only require registration for access to high-resolution downloads and the drawing tools.

The registration process only takes a moment, and is free. The initial registration only involves entering a valid e-mail address and password. After a few seconds, you will receive an e-mail that allows you to activate your account. If you can’t find the e-mail in your inbox, please check your spam folder. We always send our activation links from the address service@mapz.com.

Using the map editor

The map editor gives you access to all the core mapz.com functions. Use Maps to choose the required map section, and Draw to add pictograms from library of markers, along with text, lines and areas. Then Download the map data to your computer.

Good to know: As soon you log in and open the editor, the current map view is saved automatically. That ensures that your settings are not lost when you log out of the system, so that you can continue editing your map at a later time.

The map type currently selected, all the objects inserted using the drawing tools and the selection set in the download menu are saved.

You can choose the name of the saved file using the input field directly below your e-mail address. The default file name is My map with a time stamp.

When you want to access a saved map, select the menu item My maps by clicking your e-mail address.  

Search for streets and places

The mapz.com editor includes a search function, which you can use to locate a street address, in the same way you would use the map portals of the major search engines.

In many metropolitan regions, the search results will show the exact house number. You can identify the type of search result by the color of the marker. A red marker indicates the exact location of a specific house. A blue marker indicates that the house number could not be located. Instead it shows the street or town/city, but not the exact location of the house.

Where required, you can use the drawing tool to move the marker to a different location, use a different marker design or remove the marker altogether.

If your search is unsuccessful: We may not be able to locate an address even though it is marked on the map. That is generally due to an incorrect record for the street or location, or a missing database entry. Our search results are largely dependent on external sources. The search function is based on data from the OpenStreetMap project and uses the Nominiatim search service, which is carried out by external servers. Unfortunately, we have limited influence on the quality of the OSM data, the search logic applied and the speed of searches.

Add objects automatically

The mapz.com search function allows you to add building outlines and borders to a map, and highlight them, automatically.

An example of country highlighting, using a map of Greece

Then you can change the color and form out the outline as required. In this example, we have automatically added and colored Greece and Rhodes.

To add an object: Carry out a search. For example, you can find the contours of continents and countries using the two-digit ISO country code. Then use the draw function in the search result bar to edit the outline as required.

Widely used objects and your search terms

Here is an overview of search terms for objects that can be added to maps automatically, if they are available for the respective target area in our database:

  • Continents:  FF for Africa, AB for Asia, EE for Europe, NN for North America, SR for South America, UU for Oceania
  • Countries:  DE for Germany or FR for France. A complete list is available here.
  • Federal states:  NRW   Arizona   Saxony   Bavaria
  • Municipalities:  Cologne   San Francisco   Berlin   Hamburg
  • Boroughs/neighborhoods  Manhattan   Altona   Bockenheim   Prenzlauer Berg
  • Postal codes:   50677  for Cologne or   EC2A 4RQ   for London
  • Exhibition centers:  Messe Berlin   or   Olympia, London
  • Buildings:  Willy-Brandt-Straße 1, 10557 Berlin
  • Popular sights:  Cologne Cathedral   or  United States Capitol
  • Public squares:  Pariser Platz   or  Viktualienmarkt
  • Leisure facilities:  Zoo Berlin   Phantasialand   Englischer Garten

It is not possible to locate and mark every object using the search function. However, our database is growing constantly, so it always worth experimenting.

How to edit PDF files

In our PDF files, all vector elements of a certain type have an individual color value, which can be used to make selections. This method (selection by color) allows content elements of a specific type to be selected and assigned to separate layers using software such as Adobe Illustrator. That lets you amend the colors of motorway networks, built up areas or pictograms, and remove groups of superfluous items from the map.

Use the following steps to make a selection in Adobe Illustrator:

  • Mark the required element with the direct selection tool (white arrow).
  • Select the menu item via Select → Same → Fill and Stroke
  • This marks all elements of a specific type so that you can change their color or move them to a new layer.

Fonts in PDF files

Horizontal elements retain as line text elements, so they are fully editable. Written elements that are aligned with pathways behave differently: for technical reasons, they are presented as a number of fragments, so they take longer to edit.

We use the free Fira Sans family. You can download the font at: fonts.google.com

Add your own data to a map

The mapz function Draw → Upload elements allows you to include and interactively display external data sets in a map image. If you have the geographical coordinates of locations, line elements or areas in a standard format – such as those generated by GIS systems, or from a publicly available source – they can be imported in just a few minutes.

mapz supports import and export of GeoJSON and adapted CSV text files. For detailed instructions, see Interactive maps and data integration.   

How can I change the map view?

Good to know: Double clicking zooms in on the selected area. You can also use the plus and minus buttons to zoom in and out. To change the selection, click and hold the mouse button and drag the map. To enlarge an exact area, selected using your mouse, hold down the shift button as you drag.

The linear scale at the bottom left of the main window always displays the current scale and zoom level of the map section shown.

Download a map

When you switch to the Download tab, a selection frame with edges corresponding to the defined paper format is shown over the map. A DIN A4 format is shown by default, but individual paper formats and, therefore, different frame proportions can be selected. The map made available for download at a later time therefore fits the pre-determined paper format and not the (possibly scaled) selection frame.

The selection frame can be moved over the map content with the mouse until the selected map section meets your needs. The drag points at the corners can also be used to enlarge or reduce the size of the section, which makes selection easier when working with large formats.

Determine the appropriate zoom level

Our “Multicolor” and “Shades of Gray” map designs are dynamically created and labelled when the user clicks “download map”. However, the zoom level shown in the selection frame gives you an impression of the level of detail that will be included when the map is generated – because of the additional space, the same selection from a city map will include far more detail and labelling in A3 format that in a more compact A5 format.

If the required selection allows it, we recommend that the zoom level in the selection frame is matched to the zoom level shown at the bottom left in the editor to give an approximate impression of the resulting map on screen.

You will also be shown a preview of “your” map when you click “download map”, giving you the opportunity make further adjustments or cancel the download.

mapz Labs

The Labs menu includes professional and experimental functions that require a certain level of expertise. We chose the name Labs because we are constantly developing these functions, and they may change at any time without notice.

The Geocoding function is in the beta phase. Use at your own risk ;-)

Compare maps (split screen)

The Labs/Compare maps function allows direct visual comparisons of different types of maps.

As soon as you activate this function, the map screen will be divided, with the map you are currently editing shown on the left. Choosing another map from the map menu will display it on the right.

Assuming that the maps are of the same area, changes to the selected map section are applied simultaneously, so that both maps show the same area. If the maps show different areas, for example because you want to compare a map of Cologne with a map of Berlin, then each map can be moved individually; the movements are not synchronized.

To hide the second map, simply click Labs/Compare maps a second time.

Geocoding of addresses

Our geocoding tool allows you to assign geographical coordinates to a list of 20 addresses. Once the geocoding process is complete, you will receive a mapz CSV file, which you can open using the drawing tools on our server to display the locations on a map. The mapz CSV file can also be edited easily using a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice.

In order to assign more than 20 addresses you will need an API-key. Please feel free to ››› contact us.

The Embed function

The Embed function is mature and works without limitation. However, the embed codes provided may change slightly from time to time, without affecting the functioning of existing codes.

Our embedding function allows you to add interactive maps to your website. The embedded maps can be zoomed to different levels and show all the objects you have added to the map. For detailed instructions, please see our embedding tutorial.