Selecting Vacation Location, Yellowstone - Map Mavin



In this Map Mavin case study, we learn how easy it is to plan a vacation despite being geographically distant from the other travelers.


To some, nothing is more important than family. Thus, the planning of a family reunion turns out to be quite a big deal, and particularly so when the size of the family is enormous. Therefore, a great option for the final destination is a large national park, where everyone can go to unplug from their busy lives and remember to appreciate the little things. The family does a little research, and they stumble upon Yellowstone, one of the largest national parks in the United States; and it’s not too far from their home state of Colorado. With other family members sprinkled through Montana and the Midwest, it is the perfect option, but none of them have ever been, nor do they know anything about it. With Map Mavin, one of the family members tackles the obstacle head-on, by creating a feature-filled web map to educate the rest of the members with. Christy, a mother of three, has a whopping zero hours of experience with any GIS or map-making software, yet she demands the perfect reunion. She decides to look into web mapping services, stumbles upon Map Mavin, and the rest is history…

“Thanks to Map Mavin, this year’s reunion planning was the least stressful and most rewarding experience yet.”


After downloading a bunch of layers from the open data websites for the National Park Service, Christy uses the bulk upload option which allows her to upload files such as KMZs, KMLs, shapefiles, GeoTIFFs, and GeoJSONs. She goes through each layer to make sure the title and description are accurate, as well as symbolizes them to make the information clearer and easier to see. She displays the campsites as tent icons, the visitor’s centers and backcountry cabins change to small houses, and X’s mark the closure spots. Prioritizing the highway and geologic features near the top of her table of contents, she hopes to make it obvious for her other family members why she has chosen the spots she did. To make things even easier, she adds mark-ups in the Map View for each of the primary regions and junctions within Yellowstone National Park.

After a few finishing touches, she’s ready to share her interactive web map with her family, hoping to avoid the regular 48-hour debate that usually follows discussions of family events. She sends the link out and tells everyone to make an account– its free, you don’t even need to put in your credit card. Since she is already familiar with the map, she efficiently goes through vacations options with everyone following her attentively and occasionally offering up feedback. This is going smoother than usual, she thinks to herself.

Following a brief discussion, the family concludes that her suggestions of where to camp and where to play during the day are acceptable. The reunion planning was a success!



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Map Mavin allows users to make effective maps quickly online and without the need for a desktop program. These maps can be shared live with other users across the globe, bringing a new degree of collaboration to online mapping and opening a whole new realm of potential opportunities to work with spatial data in real time.


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