Developing Customizable Interactive Maps for Local Businesses 


Table of contents 

  • Determine the goals of the map
  • Identify the data source
  • Assess the benefits of mapping software
  • Choose a mapping library and markers to match your brand
  • Implement and customize
  • FAQ

Determine the goals of the map

Determine the main goals of the map. It could be for showcasing multiple business locations, highlighting service areas, or providing directions to locations, etc.

Examples of features include markers, pop-ups, filters, layers, search functionality, and custom styling.

Identify the data source

Identify where the data will come from. This might include business addresses, contact information, images, etc.

Collect all necessary data, such as business locations (latitude and longitude), business names, contact details, operating hours, and any other relevant information.

Ensure the data is in a usable format, such as CSV, JSON, or a database.

Assess the benefits of mapping software

According to 82% of marketers, having high-quality data on their target audience is important to their success. However, over 50% of them say they’re missing key information. Mapping software for businesses helps process and analyze data, which becomes the basis for crucial decision-making.

Mapping software can help businesses research their competitors beforehand. They can see competing locations and compare them. It reveals the best routes for logistic shipments or locating the warehouses closest by.

Just 42% of 1,200 marketers know their customers’ basic demographic information, such as their name, gender, and location, a recent survey revealed. Some mapping software is equipped with demographic data providing information such as income, age, and education level. Companies can use this data to optimize their marketing initiatives.

Choose a mapping library and markers to match your brand

Popular options include Leaflet and Google Maps. Leaflet.js is lightweight, easy to use, and highly customizable. Google Maps offers extensive features and reliable service but comes with usage costs.

Use a database to store business information if it’s dynamic, and create wireframes and mockups for the map interface, focusing on usability and accessibility. Design custom markers and map styles to match the branding of the local businesses.

Implement and customize

Initialize the map using your chosen library, plot the business locations on the map, and implement features like pop-ups, tooltips, filters, and search functionality.

Use custom icons for different types of businesses. Display business information in pop-ups or info windows when markers are clicked.

Add layers for different categories of businesses and filters for user preferences. Customize the map’s appearance to align with business branding.


What is the most important part of creating an interactive custom map?

The most critical step is choosing the right map software. Then, gather and plot the data, add interactive elements, and customize and publish the map.

How do you add an interactive map to your website?

If you use Google Maps, go to the map or street view of your location and open the menu in the top left. Click on “Embed” or “Share.” Click the down arrow to choose your size. Copy and paste the HTML code displayed into your web app.

Why does a small business need an interactive map?

16% of small businesses have up to 19 employees, which exceeds 5.4 million businesses in 2024. In fact, small businesses comprise 99.9% of all US companies. Interactive maps can make a business stand apart from the competition by improving its local search visibility through location-specific details and relevant keywords. This can drive more foot traffic to its physical location.

Maps incorporate interactive menus or store locators, letting users find the information they need to visit the business and buy something.

Finally, interactive maps can display events, attractions, and promotions in the area. This will help attract more foot traffic to the business.