by Moritz Zajonz 0 Comments

Create interactive, customizable maps right in your web browser.


Unfortunately, Carto, as they call themselves now, has terminated the ability of a free account. If you are a student, you might be eligible for a free plan, everyone else can try it out for free.


This map service, formerly known as CartoDB, offers a wide range of features:

  • Choose from free base maps
  • Connect your cloud storage
  • Customize the map interface & legends
  • Write your own CSS rules for your map
  • Pick between several types of map layers
  • Create filters for your data
  • Preview on Desktop & Mobile
  • Plus: It’s free!

Well, only the basic package is free, but it provides all the features you need to get started.
If you don’t have the data, but would like to play around a little, CARTO provides several dozen datasets in their “Data Library”.

You could also, for example, create an empty map, search for your hometown and draw the outline of a building using the polygon tool. The result is a filled area that you can further describe and add data to.
You can also map temporal data to show progression over time, for example of volcanic eruptions, or a local hotspot of traffic accidents. This is just one tiny example of the possibilities this platform offers.

However, there are some aspects in which CARTO falls short: You have to rely on their servers. So if they fail, your beautiful, hand-crafted map will not be visible. Plus, if you don’t know how to work with their Carto.js javascript library, you can only embed a map on your website as an iframe, which creates some problems of its own.

You can find the dataset used in the screenshot here.

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