Have a question about MapsAlive?
Find answers to frequently asked questions about MapsAlive below. For more in-depth information please see MapsAlive User Guide or if you still have questions feel free to contact us.
Pricing is based on the total number of hotspots you are using among all of your tours. See the Pricing page for details.
You pay online with a credit card on our secure checkout page. Your card is charged only when you make a purchase. There are no monthly or recurring charges.
No. We do not keep any credit card information and we only charge your card when you make a purchase.
Yes. You can upgrade to a plan with more hotspots at any time. The cost to upgrade is prorated based on the amount of time remaining before your current plan renews. Thus, there is no cost penalty for starting with one plan and later upgrading to another.
Yes. We offer a 50% educational or nonprofit discount on Plus and Pro plans. Please sign up for the 30-day free trial account and then contact us before making a purchase so we can apply the discount to your MapsAlive account. In return, we ask that you provide a link from your website back to this mapsalive.com website.
The discount only applies to maps used on educational and nonprofit websites.
No. There are no setup fees, monthly subscription, per view or per click costs
You are paying to use the MapsAlive Tour Builder to create and update your tours, and for MapsAlive to automatically host your interactive maps for you.
Yes. When you sign up for the 30 day free trial you get all the features of the Pro plan except for the ability to download and archive tours. Maps created with the trial display Created with MapsAlive Trial at the bottom — this message is removed with all paid plans. When you purchase a plan you can continue to work with all the interactive maps you created with the free trial.
You need a MapsAlive account in order to access the Tour Builder to create and update your interactive maps. You only need to provide an email address and password. No credit card information is required to sign up for the free trial.
Yes. With any paid plan you can download your tours and host them on your own server. They will continue to work even if you let your MapsAlive plan expire, but you must download your tours while your plan is still active.
However, you do need an active MapsAlive account to edit your tours and make changes.
Toward the end of your plan year, MapsAlive displays a reminder when you are logged in so that you’ll know that you need to make a purchase. We will also send you email reminders when it is time to renew.
If your plan runs out altogether, your tours will become deactivated, meaning that they stay in our database, but you cannot edit them. Anyone visiting those tours will see a message that the tour is not active. You can reactivate your tours instantly by making a purchase.
If you never make another purchase, your tours will eventually be removed from our database.
Only one person can login to an account at a time. You can choose to share your email and password so others can use your account, but again, only one person can use it at a time.
Maps & Images
A MapsAlive map is an image of anything that you want to explore. For example, it could be a floor plan, a city map, an organization chart, or even a diagram of the human body. You place markers on maps that let you interactively see text, images, or other media associated with each marker.
You can have as many maps as you want in one tour. Each map has its own set of hotspots and only one map in each tour is active at any one time.
The cost of MapsAlive is based on the total number of hotspots you are using among all of your tours. You can allocate your hotspots among your tours any way you want. For example, if you purchase a Pro Plan with 300 hotspots, you could create three maps with 100 hotspots each, ten maps with 30 hotspots each, or any other combination, up to your total number of hotspots.
You upload the images and text for the hotspots in your tour from your computer. You can upload these one at a time, or import a zip file with your images.
You can display many different kinds of content in your interactive tours, including:
- Web pages
- Google Maps
Yes. You can display video or other media by pasting the HTML embed code for the video into the Multimedia field on the Edit Hotspot Content screen.
Note: Your video must already be hosted on a server somewhere such as YouTube or your own server. You cannot upload a video directly to MapsAlive.
No. MapsAlive supports jpeg, png, and gif files only.
No. MapsAlive is an online web application that runs in a browser. You don’t have to download anything onto your computer to use MapsAlive. Just sign up for the free trial and you can begin creating tours.
No. Anyone with basic computer skills can create a tour with MapsAlive.
Yes. Tours that you create with MapsAlive are not dependent on the MapsAlive web application or database.
Yes, you can embed the interactive maps you create with MapsAlive on your WordPress pages so long as you are using the WordPress.org software. This is the version of WordPress that you download and host on your server. This MapsAlive website is done in WordPress.
If your site is hosted by WordPress.com, you might not be allowed to paste-in the MapsAlive embed code unless you use a plugin that provides that capability.
Here are some ways to differentiate between MapsAlive and Google Maps to decide which is right for you.
Do you need a geographic map (a place on earth) or is your map something else like a diagram or floor plan?
MapsAlive lets you use any image as a map whereas. Google Map are geographic.
Do you need a stylized geographic map, or a map with less detail, or a map that is not to scale?
Google Maps are attractive, detailed, and have no boundaries. This style of map works well for many applications, but if you need a map with less detail, or with a stylized appearance, you can use MapsAlive.
Do you need GIS capabilities?
Markers on a Google Map are placed by their GIS coordinates (latitude and longitude). MapsAlive does not support GIS coordinates – you manually place markers onto your map by dragging them with your mouse. If your map solution depends on GIS, then Google Maps is probably a better choice.
How interactive do you want your map to be?
Google Maps are great (we love them), but they don’t do much when you move your mouse around (unless you do custom programming). Just look at the samples on this MapsAlive website to see how much more interactive a MapsAlive map can be.
Both Google Maps and MapsAlive are powerful tools with a lot of features. While they have some overlapping functionality, Google Maps really shine for conventional geographic maps that always look the same. For styled geographic maps, or any other kind of diagram or image, MapsAlive is a great solution
Yes. The interactive maps you create with MapsAlive will work on touch screens on both mobile devices like phones and tablets, and also and PC or Mac laptop computers that have a touch screen.
Tours you create with MapsAlive are hosted on the MapsAlive server at tour.mapsalive.com, though you can host them on your own server if you like.
There are two ways you can use your own URL. The first is to host your tours on your own server. The second is to purchase a domain name from a web hosting company such as godaddy.com and have it automatically forwarded to your tour’s URL (this is called Domain Forwarding). It’s inexpensive, quick to set up, and you don’t need your own website because your tour is hosted on the MapsAlive server. For example, with domain forwarding you could use a URL like www.mydomain.com and it would automatically be forwarded to your MapsAlive tour such as tour.mapsalive.com/12345.
Your tours are hosted for as long as you have an active MapsAlive plan. MapsAlive plans are good for one year. When your plan is close to expiring, we will send you an email message reminding you to renew. If your plan expires, your tours will remain on our server for some time, but will eventually be deleted.
There is no limit on how many tours you can create. So long as you have not used the total number of hotspots available in your plan, you can create more tours or add hotspots to existing tours.
Simple tours only take minutes to create. More complex tours might take a few hours depending on the number of maps and hotspots, and how much time you spend writing descriptive text.
You must login to your account to edit a tour. Unless you share your email and password, no one else can access your tours.
Yes. As long as your MapsAlive account is active, you can delete tours and/or hotspots to free them up for new tours or hotspots. You can also update your content as often as you like.
With a Pro plan you can archive your tours and then delete them from your account. If you need to make changes to an archived tour, you can import it back into MapsAlive. This is a great way to keep the cost down.
A hotspot is a location on an interactive map that typically displays some content when you mouse over or click its marker. Learn about hotspots and markers.
You can add as many hotspots as you want to the maps in your tour so long as you have enough available hotspots in your account.
The number of hotspots in a plan is the total number of hotspots available for all your maps. You can allocate your hotspots among all your maps any way you want. For example, if you purchase a Pro plan with 300 hotspots you could create three maps with 100 hotspots each, ten maps with 30 hotspots each, or any other combination so long as the total does not exceed 300 hotspots. You can also purchase additional hotspots at any time.
Yes, you can import several kinds of content in one operation to save time creating and updating your tours. Learn more about content management.
No. A data sheets does not have a map or hotspots. You can add as many data sheets as you want to your tour.