If you need to create a quick map for your blog, give UMapper a try.
This freemium app allows you to create customizable Flash maps and embed them in your website or on social networks.
UMapper, founded in 2007, uses maps from sources including Bing Maps, Google, OpenStreetMap and Yahoo, among others. The markers are customizable and you can also add audio clips and your own photos to your map.
Thanks to predefined templates, you can create quick weather maps or display Twitter searches geographically. (Watch the YouTube tutorial before trying this feature. Because you can only see Twitter data in the map editor when you save and preview the map, it can be confusing.)
With a free UMapper account, you can create an unlimited number of public and private maps for personal use and access usage statistics. An upgrade is required for custom maps or commercial use.
UMapper, currently in beta, is a Flash-based application but that may change. Rachel Greenberg, a UMapper project manager, said via email that as Flash becomes more and more unsupported in the mapping space, the company is "looking at numerous alternatives including HTML5."
A number of news organizations use it, here are a few examples of their work:
- National Geographic’s Expedition Blue Planet Map
- the Sacramento Bee’s map of children on welfare
- MTV’s Lil Wayne Breaking News ‘Tracker’