In future, we’ll be working on pattern design in the open, so anyone can join in, and anyone can see an ‘as-is’ version as a pattern comes together.
To join in the conversation about creating a maps pattern, add a comment below.
Many NSW Government websites contain maps and map-based data, but there is no single approach to this in terms of visual design, interaction design, or tech. We’d like to create a NSW Maps pattern so that anyone using maps can inherit a tested, brand compliant, and accessible approach.
Maps allow you to show data relative to a physical location.
When to use maps
Use a map when your users need to see the location of things relative to each other - for example locations where they can access a service.
- Make the content available without using the map
- Use an appropriate zoom level by default
- Test with users to make sure a map is the right solution
- Offer a text-based alternative for those unfamiliar with the area geography
- Rely on users being able to use a map
- Use colours to denote meaning without an alternative
Interaction Design & Usability Research
- When placing maps on a mobile view, make sure the user can still scroll the page by keeping the map’s aspect ratio different to the user’s screen
- TBC: Preference for users when placing a location - either drag the pin on static map tiles, or drag map tiles to a static pin
- Leaflet.js is regarded a good step for an accessible, open source map solution. There’s 5 years of active conversation about accessibility on their github (Accessibility improvements · Issue #3210 · Leaflet/Leaflet · GitHub)
- The GeoJSON format seems most fitting, so that geo data is in a platform-agnostic formula (https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7946)
- Mapzen also looks like a good open source option which would allow us flexibility with tiles and overlays, but an existing gov solution would be better.
[TBD - currently backlogged for the Design System team]
- AccessibilityOz and the BOM have done a lot of work on this, and it’s licenced in a way we can also adopt it (and maybe add some specific NSW bits if they come up) - read their findings here - Interactive Map Accessibility Principles - AccessibilityOz
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