As someone who pays careful attention to design, I have long complained about some of the in-flexibilities of using Google Maps as a visualization tool for dashboards. One of the main points of contention from designers is the visual interference caused by Google Maps at various zoom levels. For example, highways and various feature definitions (man made vs natural) are not important for consuming quantitative information within a map. While these attributes are important for consumer purposes or specific business apps, they may not impact business analysis.
I made custom map styling a top priority for the next version of GMaps Plugin V3 which is coming in the beginning of February. With my 15 Days of GMaps Plugin blog series, I chose the GMaps Plugin 3.0 map style designer as the first exciting new feature to share. Now we can simplify our map designs to only include the most important map features for the task at hand.
Some of the cool designs I have come up with look nothing like Google Maps. Hopefully those of you who take advantage of GMaps Plugin will find this just as important.