Forget about drawing, there are lots of cool online and standalone tools and apps for creating maps. Whether you need to want to edit an existing map, create indoor maps, or come up with your own fantasy maps there’s an app that supports it.
Editing an existing map
In case you look for a way to edit an existing map, like ones available at Google Maps, there are lots of online apps capable of doing just that. Most of those require some form of payment but limited free versions are available for most tools.
We gathered three apps, all available online, offering different features and different ways to edit existing digital maps. Each one has its strengths and all three are relatively easy to use.
Scribble Maps is a free online tool that also includes a paid version with advanced features but for simply work of modifying existing maps free version is just fine. The app opens a Google Maps layer with a location pinned to your current IP address so don’t be surprised in case you use VPN software. The layer contains all regular Google Maps markings for various points of interest and there’s the option to select terrain, satellite, or road view.
Scribble Maps in its free version allows simple edits such as drawing lines and objects on top of the map layer, adding various icons and markers, using color to fill encircled areas, even removing parts of the map with the eraser tool. The app is extremely simple to use and can be learned in just a few minutes, which is always a plus. You can add images (only available via adding links and not uploading your own images) and edit each object added to the map via a handy side window.
The free version is great for creating event maps, for festivals, sports events (like marathons), open-air concerts, and other events. In case you need to create an event map, Scribble Maps is a great free choice. The app can also be used for simple tourist guides (marking points of interest and coupling them with images), creating routes for hiking trips and other events that require one, and more.
The paid version comes with advanced features like editing overlays, importing data via spreadsheet and other documents, adding filters, performing analysis per region, and more. Overall, Scribble Maps is a great, simple, and straightforward tool for creating all kinds of maps based on Google Maps layer. Most people will be satisfied with the free offer, especially those looking for a tool for creating event maps.
Maptive is a tool similar to Scribble Maps, used to create maps based on existing Google Maps. It is basically a Scribble Maps with a pretty user interface and no free version. There’s a free trial though, which allows using the app for 10 days. The interface is extremely simple and even better than Scribble Maps. Tabs are clearly labeled and most options are just one or two clicks away. The interface doesn’t feel overstuffed, which is the case with Scribble Maps, and is much easier to use.
When it comes to features Maptive offers a plethora of options that go from the simple stuff like adding POIs, creating objects on top of the map layer and adding custom markers to more serious stuff that can be interesting for businesses and researchers. Stuff like importing your own location data can be used for various analyses, studies, or simply for instantly creating maps based on data points.
Since there’s only the option for limited usage of the app, with the individual license sporting a price of $1250 per year Maptive is obviously aimed at businesses and organizations. If you look for free and relatively powerful software for editing existing maps our pick is Scribble Maps.
MapMe is a tool for creating interactive custom maps based on Google Maps. It’s powerful and features lots of specialized featured needed for creating these kinds of maps. You can add multiple locations and create detailed info bars for each one (including name, description, location, etc.) and there are plenty of themes to choose for information windows as well as for maps. Users can add images and videos, divide objects into different categories, share their maps on social networks, use various filters so map users can quickly find POIs, and much more.
MapMe comes with a robust map editor that is perfect for real estate businesses, tour guides, nonprofit organizations, and other businesses and organizations that want to create interactive guides, exhibits, real estate listings, and other maps based on digital interactive experiences. While not really suited for individual use MapMe does have a free version that can be used for creating your own interactive map that can be accessed online and shared via social networks. A great tool that contains just enough features in the free version for individual users to create their own interactive digital maps based on Google Maps.
Tools for drawing indoor maps
And what about drawing indoor maps? Maybe you want to create a map of your hostel so that clients can find their room from your mobile app, maybe you need to map a venue when organizing a convention, or just want to create a map for of the campus for new students? Well, there are a couple of solid choices for creating indoor maps. We found two that can be used either by individual users or businesses and organizations.
MazeMap is a professional platform for creating all kinds of indoor maps. The solution is targeted towards organizations and is best used for mapping large objects such as hospitals, universities, museums, etc. Maze map supports digital maps that are available from its mobile app (it supports search of all available indoor location) and users can also print maps they create. There are lots of tools on map creators’ disposal and those who use maps can also filter them by various POIs and even use route navigation to reach their destination.
Indoor maps made in MazeMap look great and can be extremely detailed. Every single point of interest can be mapped and shown and the app supports content management, usage of indoor maps for IoT (internet of things) projects, system integrations, live updates and much more. MazeMap is a powerful indoor map creation tool and by far the best we could find. Sadly, the solution does not have a free version but those who look for a powerful indoor map creator will find MazeMap extremely powerful.
Floor Plan Creator
Floor Plan Creator is targeted towards architects, interior designers, and real estate businesses but anyone can try it out. The app creates detailed floor plans so if you want a simple map of your house, apartment building (for utility purposes and for new tenants), or any other object Floor Plan Creator can be a solid choice.
The app supports the usual slew of tools like importing existing plan for editing purposes, exporting floor plans in multiple file extensions, support for extensions used by game engines and 3D rendering programs, support for Bluetooth laser meters, and much more. Mobile devices can be used to calculate room and floor size and the app can be used both on desktop PCs and mobile devices.
Projects created with Floor Plan Creator don’t look as fancy as those lavish indoor maps created with MazeMap but this app comes with a free tier that allows users to create one project and $5 per year unlocks lots of extra features and supports up to 10 projects per year. Great for small design studios and for individuals looking for a free solution for creating indoor maps.
Create your own fantasy map
And what if you want to create your own fantasy map, to use it for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, or any other tabletop game? Or maybe you want to create a cool fantasy map desktop background, or maybe draw a map and then print it to use it as a decoration? Well, there are a few free online tools that can do just that and we found three that are great and relatively simple to use.
Deepnight RPG Map Editor
Deepnight RPG Map Editor is a handy online tool for creating tabletop RPG maps but can be used for drawing indoor maps and for any kind of fantasy map you want to create. The app is completely free and is packed with features. It supports anything from simple, one room maps to creating entire hubs containing indoor and outdoor locations.
There are multiple choices for ground textures and lots of objects users can add to their maps. There’s support for importing map files and exporting maps created by you in multiple formats. The user interface is a bit complex (since the app is used for creating new maps from scratch) but the learning curve isn’t steep and after an hour you will be able to create any map you want.
The app is great for indoor maps that want to have fantasy flair to them such as comic book and game shops, or for simply creating RPG maps. The great thing about Deepnight RPG Map Editor is that it is completely free and even though the tool is still in the alpha version it is stable and mostly bug-free. There aren’t lots of options for walls, objects, and other stuff but still, Deepnight RPG Map Editor is a solid tool for creating simple indoor and fantasy maps.
Inkarnate is an extremely powerful app for creating fantasy maps. It can be used for drawing whole worlds, for large area maps, city maps, indoor maps, and anything in between. The number of features on your disposal is huge but that also means that you’ll need a bit for time to learn how to properly use Inkarnate. Luckily, there are some nice tutorials on YouTube that can be of great help for beginners. The free version of the app is a solid tool for anyone who wants to create their own fantasy map and in case you’re a professional or just have the knowledge and time to draw a detailed map to be used for decoration Inkarnate is the ultimate choice.
The free version is great for getting started and even with it, you can draw some pretty cool maps and the paid version ($5*/month or $25/year) that supports HD exporting of any map you create as well as more than 500 HD assets that can make any world come alive. The best use of Inkarnate is to create world and city maps but the app is powerful enough to be used to create any kind of fantasy map that comes to your mind.
Fantasy Map Generator
This is a an online tool that auto-generates fantasy maps based on user preferences. You can also use the program to create completely random maps and there’s also the option to edit previously created maps. It’s great for generating tabletop campaign maps and for game designers since it also supports drawing maps from scratch. If you’re looking for a tool to create a cool map for wallpaper or for decoration Inkarnate is a better choice. You can use Fantasy Map generator by visiting this link
Drawing maps with GIMP
GIMP is a famous free photo editing program that can be used to draw maps and the app is really powerful map creating tool. But this choice is by far the most complex and the hardest to learn so we recommend GIMP as a map creating tool only for those who already have some knowledge about image editing. But if you have the knowledge or enough time to overcome all obstacles GIMP can become your ultimate tool for creating maps since you can import any assets you want and use them to draw your own unique map.