Guide to Maps

Written by TJ Trewin

Maps 2.0 has landed! This guide will go through every maps feature and show you how they all work. Use the navigation on the right hand side to find what you're looking for!

Interactive example

 

How to upload a map

Select the world you want to work on and then click the map icon on the left panel, or from "Go to world..." > Maps. This will take you to the maps list of your world! You will be able to edit your maps here, not in the images section.   https://www.worldanvil.com/world/map/list   To add a map, click the Create Map button. You will need to upload an image of your map and fill in some basic information like a title.   Can't upload? Your image might be too big. Check what size image you can upload based on your guild membership here.  

How to add and edit pins on a map

Once you have uploaded a map, drag the example pin into the location you would like the pin to be, or input the longitude and latitude in the boxes below. You can adjust these later if it's not quite in the right place.   Select what type of pin, label or other you would like to add to the map and fill in any extra details.  

Visual example of all of the map pins

 

How to add map layers

To add a layer to a map, edit the map and click the Layers tab. Upload the layer image and that's it! It might be a good idea to make sure that the image is the same size if you are showing a comparison between the same image. Check the sidebar of this guide for ideas on alternative uses!   The layers will appear in the very top right of your map view, where you can switch between the layers.  

How to embed a map

Edit a map, and find the BBCode beneath the View Map button, it should look something like this:
[map:d359e84b-f549-4fd4-8999-a8566e491c41]   Copy & paste it anywhere in your article to insert the fully interactive map!   You can also specify the zoom level and coordinates of the embed —do so with the syntax [map:ID|X coordinate|Y coordinate|zoom]. For example: [noparse][map:d359e84b-f549-4fd4-8999-a8566e491c41|726|255].   To quickly center the embed on a specific marker, click on the button next to its coordinates on the marker list, as shown in this screenshot:  

embed map centered on marker.png

 

Embedding maps with specific centerpoint and zoom level

In addition to the above you can also define for each embed the centerpoint of your map in order to do this you need to use the | character to separate the ID of your map with the X, Y and Zoom parameters
for example
[map:d359e84b-f549-4fd4-8999-a8566e491c41|300|200|2]   Note: You will not be able to embed a map within another map's description legend or the description of its markers. You can always link to the map though.  

How to use direct linking pins

When creating or editing a pin, marker or label you can make it so that it directly links to something - rather than having a pop up message.   Under the Functionality tab, check the Direct Link box and then choose a related map, location or organization.  

Guild-only features

 
rank-journeyman
 

How to use CSS on map features

For more CSS guides read the Guide to CSS Formatting.   Click the examples on the map for the code to copy!
These are a work in progress, want to contribute? Contact TJ or Ademal !
 

Pin CSS

Edit a pin.
Add a CSS class to the pin e.g.
mypin-redbg
make sure to leave out the .
In your world CSS (configuration page) add your custom css to affect that pin, e.g.
.mypin-redbg {
background-color: #b51c1c;
}
 
rank-master
 

How to add a map line

Click the line tab and make use of the same features as the polygon tool to draw lines on your map. Again, if you check the helper box, you can drag the initial pin into place on your map and draw out your line by clicking, dragging and releasing for each point of the path.   You can also set the line thickness, and if it is dashed.   The line tool can be used to show trade routes, roads, rivers, constellations in the night sky, borders, military tactics and pretty much anything you can think of!  
rank-master
 

How to use marker groups

Marker groups allow you to toggle pins, labels and shapes on and off. It displays in the same place as the layers, in the top right of the map.   To add a marker group, select the tab when editing a map. Create a group, and then add your pins to it (edit the pin and select the group to put it in).   This means that you can assign specific pins, markers or labels to only display on a certain layer (if the layer is added to the same group). When you toggle the layer, the correct pins will show for that layer!   You can also set a marker group to be visible on load. This means that all items in this group will be visible when you load the map.  
rank-grandmaster
 

How to add a polygon or circle

To add a polygon to the map, use the default example pin to move to the first point of your polygon shape. Note down the longitude and latitude in the box, separated by a comma. Before saving, move the pin again to get the coordinates for the next point of your shape and add this to the details.   Coordinates should be separated with commas, and points should be separated by spaces. Here is an example used on the showcase map:
polygonpoints
  If you check the helper box, you can drag the initial pin into place on your map and draw out your shape by clicking, dragging and releasing for each point of the polygon.  
rank-grandmaster
 

How to add a custom pin

To add your own custom pin to the map, you will first need to upload your pin image (and a separate image for it's shadow, if you wish) to your image gallery. This must be on a world that you own, not a co-author's world.   Next, go to STUDIO on the top menu of World Anvil, and select your pin image. Create a memorable name for it, fill in the details and then you will be able to add your pin to a map!   Important note: currently, using a custom pin in a world that you don't own (but you can edit as an Editor) might cause issues with your whole map. We suggest you leave custom pins for the world owner.  

Adding HTML pins

You can completely customize your pins with HTML. Click on the Add special HTML Marker option under the choose your ping type drop-down and type your HTML code in the box that will appear.  
html pin.png
  Its contents will be wrapped in a 51x51 px area which can be styled with CSS. For example, the following HTML code will generate a tree icon from FontAwesome:
<i class="fas fa-tree"></i>
While this code a sword icon from RPG-Awesome:
<i class="ra ra-sword"></i>
  You can also style the icons with inline CSS with 'style'. For example, if we want to make the tree icon from FontAwesome green:
<i class="fas fa-tree" style="color:green"></i>
  Check out the list of FontAwesome icons and the list of RPG-Awesome icons.   Here's an example of the HTML pins in use.

Map with HTML Pins

Map of Nonogawa by Amy Winters-Voss

 

Feature Access

  If you're thinking of becoming a guild member and want more information on what other cool features are available, check here!  
Available to all Journeyman Master Grandmaster+
Max 3.5MB upload for Maps   2 Map Layers   Standard Pins Set   Generic Pins Set   Inject yours maps into any Article BBCode   Set Initial Zoom Level & Location   Set Max/Min Zoom   Direct Link Pins   Max 25MB upload for Maps   9 Map Layers   All free features, PLUS:   Fantasy Pins Set   Science Fiction Pins Set   Geography Pins Set   Map CSS Styling Access Max 25MB upload for Maps   15 Map Layers   All Journeyman features PLUS:   Marker Groups   Map Labels   Map Compass Image   Invisible Marker Max 25MB upload for Maps   UNLIMITED Map Layers   All Master features PLUS:   Circular Markers   Polygon Markers   Creator's Studio: Pin Designer

Click here for the advanced video tutorial  

Quick Navigation

FAQ

I need more storage space for my maps! Free accounts have a 100 MB storage capacity and a 3.5 MB upload limit. If it's not enough, you can either upgrade to Guild membership (up to 5 GB of storage and 25 MB of upload limit) or use compression tools to make your maps smaller.
 
How big can a map be?! Apart from the size limitations imposed you should always consider that World Anvil is relying on your browser to render your maps. Browsers are not able to render massive files, both the actual pixel size and file size of your map can contribute to how your browser will render and perform. It is suggested that your maps should not be over 10000 px wide or long in any case and generally, for good performance about the 6000px mark.
 

Tips & Tricks

  You can embed maps pretty much anywhere! Try it in your world introduction (under world configuration), in an article or even in the sidebar (such as the example here).  
 

Alternative Uses

Here are some great ideas from our Discord community for interesting ways you can use the maps feature!
  • Treasure maps (using layers)
  • Labelling the anatomy of a species
  • Showing the x-ray or heatmap of something (with layers)
  • Creating a custom, interactive timeline or tree
  • Floors of a building (using layers)
  • Creating an interactive adventure (using direct links)
  • Showing the change of a landscape after an event (using layers)
  • Showing how a person has aged (using layers)
  • Describing an item or vehicle with labels
  • Sharing secret locations with your subscriber groups
  • Showing the scene of a battle

Comments

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31 May, 2019 01:57

Is there any way to change the center point of a map when embedded in a page? For example, is it possible to have the map automatically center on a settlement when that map is embedded in that settlement's page?

2 Nov, 2019 16:16

+! can we do this?

11 Dec, 2019 14:11

I was just looking for a way to do this and that would be a nice feature to have added.

Forgemaster Dimitris
Dimitris Havlidis
20 Feb, 2020 11:41

You can do it now :) You can get the bbcode from the list of pins but the format is This article will be updated to show this and I will be putting a blog post up about it as well :)

5 Aug, 2019 20:55

I'm really interested in the custom label for my maps, but I can't seem to get the CSS code for those to work. Any tips or help on these?

2 Dec, 2019 16:12

I was looking for the same information as well and finally figured it out: the code given here on the custom label popup needs to be added to your world CSS (under Configuration > Styling). To set the label to your custom style, when editing the label, click on "Show advanced options" near the bottom, scroll down to "Unique CSS class" and enter the name of the CSS class created. In the example given here, this would be "custom-label" (not ".custom-label", and without the quotes).

Dheran
Horatio Hornblower
17 Aug, 2019 21:53

I understand that without Guild Membership, all my maps are also visible on the main page, it's fine that way. However, is it possible for those maps not to start with Map? I mean I give the title to the map so that it is displayed there, but then the system seems to add Map to the start of the title for some unknown reason. Is there a way to get rid of that functionality?

21 Aug, 2019 10:15

how do I delete a map that I don't want anymore?

22 Aug, 2019 05:54

Edit the map, go to Map Settings, Other Actions, Hit de button.

25 Aug, 2019 14:19

thank you

18 Apr, 2020 22:34

Thanks!

31 Aug, 2019 16:13

I have my campaign set to private, but my invited PC's can see any articles marked as public. However, while they can see the first map I've created as a thumbnail under "Maps" they cannot click on it and get to the map, even though it's public. I can embed the map into an article, but then the view is much more constrained than I'd like, and the pins have weird translucent boxes around them.

31 Aug, 2019 16:13

Meant to actually ask my question: how can my players see the full screen map?

25 Oct, 2019 14:56

How do you delete a map? I made a mistake with my first map and now I'm having trouble removing it.

24 Dec, 2019 15:07

Edit the map, then go to map settings. In Other Actions there is a delete option. It would help to have the instructions in the Codex.

“Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” – John Adams
24 Dec, 2019 17:26

Thanks for the info, it worked without any difficulties.

1 Nov, 2019 17:35

Like to see pins visibility by zoom level. Might of missed it some where?

15 Nov, 2019 18:16

One basic instruction missing is how to delete a map if you upload the wrong image file (as I have done).

24 Dec, 2019 15:08

Took me some time to find it. Edit the map, then go to map settings. In Other Actions there is a delete option. It would help to have the instructions in the Codex.

“Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” – John Adams
1 Dec, 2019 17:50

What size can the map be in terms of pixels? Every time I upload a map all I can do is zoom out and a lot of details that I want to zoom in on are lost.

5 Dec, 2019 12:59

There is no way to delete a map, how do you do that?

24 Dec, 2019 15:09

Edit the map, then go to map settings. In Other Actions there is a delete option. It would help to have the instructions in the Codex.

“Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.” – John Adams
30 Dec, 2019 22:47

I uploaded a map, but it's been rotated 90 degrees to the left (counterclockwise) How do I turn it back to vertical?   Thanks

4 Jan, 2020 02:46

i accidentally uploaded the same map twice, and i can't find a delete option, so how do i get rid of one of them?

1 Feb, 2020 18:23

I've been trying to delete a map, but it gives me a 404 page when i click on delete.

2 Mar, 2020 18:22

Wouldn't it be cool to have spherical world maps? Planets are round after all, and many 2D maps look cool when flat but strange and distorted when projected onto a sphere. Other projections such as the Mercator, Mollwiede, Robinson and Winkel Trippel would be cool too.   Another thing that would be awesome is animated maps. It could be used for showing plate tectonics, weather, climate change, winds, currents, migration... the list could go on! It could probably work by either uploading a finished video file, or a series of stills. Things such as framerate could be set after.   tl;dr A more artistic form of Gplates

3 Mar, 2020 16:59

Is it possible to set dynamic map boundaries? Say for example i wanted my player to only be able to explore the world map in a given area, would it be possible to create boundary closing off all of the map except the selection?

12 Apr, 2020 10:09

How do I delete a map picture after uploading?

17 Apr, 2020 14:21

Can’t we just make maps here on world anvil, then we would not have to upload files

2 May, 2020 19:15

How do you delete a map?

2 May, 2020 22:43

Hi! You can delete a map from map settings -> other actions. Remember that deleting a map (or anything else, for that matter) is irreversible!   (ps: there were three identical comments from you here so I deleted two of them)

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
4 May, 2020 16:05

Hello guys, my players can't see the maps i created... how can I change that?

4 May, 2020 17:58

We had a question on Discord about that, but in case that wasn't you: keep in mind that your players don't automatically see everything in a campaign word if the world is private. Make sure that the map is set as public (and the world too if you want it public). Alternatively, use subscribers (check out the codex guide!) so that only your players can see the content.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
7 May, 2020 04:20

Is there a way to update maps? I made a small change to my map and I dont want to lose all the placed pins by deleting and re-uploading.

7 May, 2020 10:51

You can replace the base map image (map settings). However, if the map does not have the same exact size, you will have to adjust all pins.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
7 May, 2020 23:09

Ok thanks! I missed that option in the menu!

25 May, 2020 23:23

Is it possible to hide markers at certain zoom levels? I'd like markers for less important/smaller things to only pop up when you zoom in more, otherwise the map can start getting cluttered in some areas.

26 May, 2020 11:25

As a Grandmaster, you can probably do that with CSS! If you are not fluent in CSS, I suggest the guide to CSS formatting and especially the #guild-css-help channel on our Discord server.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
2 Jun, 2020 01:29

I have a new version of a map. If I delete the old version, do I loose the pins that are already defined on the old version? Or upload the new version, transfer the pins to the new version, before I delete the old version?

3 Jun, 2020 09:21

You won't lose the pins, but they will stay in the exact same place, which means that it will be kind of a mess if the new version has a different size than the old one.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
3 Jun, 2020 12:07

Got it. Thanks!

6 Jun, 2020 13:38

how do i delete my map

6 Jun, 2020 20:51

Go to map settings -> other actions -> big red button

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
16 Jun, 2020 12:38

I have one map and no layers but every time I try to add layers, i keep getting told that i've reached the maximum number of layers.

17 Jun, 2020 08:56

The layer limit includes all layers created by you in any map, so you probably have another map with layers.

Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
23 Jun, 2020 22:18

how can i save my map to my computer