Usage Hints for site locator maps

Temporary notes

2006/03/20 - Beginning today, locator maps for new and revised sites are being provided via the Google and MapQuest online mapping services.  This page has not yet been updated to provide tailored advice for using those services; in the interim, you can find more information on the Map Use Hints page on the GCNA Website.

2005/09/10 - Last month, all links to MapsOnUs locator maps for sites and areas in the USA became useless, as abandoned their own mapping service and contracted to use Microsoft's MapPoint mapping service.  The new version of MapsOnUs no longer offers any capability to link to a map for a predetermined location, only the capability to produce maps on request through their forms page.  Therefore, ALL of our MapsOnUs usage hints below are now irrelevant.  If you try to use any of our previous MapsOnUs links, you will get a confusing error message such as "URL too long" or "Page not found" - evidence that Switchboard failed to consider any transition for users of its previous map-link service.

If you came here from a USA site data page with two map link icons (illustrated just below), here is the quick comparison:
Map 1 is dynamically adjustable, but it has minimal labelling and doesn't offer driving directions.
Map 2 has the best labelling, but it can't be adjusted and so it may not show all nearby sites. It offers the option of getting driving directions from your point of origin to any of the sites shown on the map.

Usage Hints for MapsOnUs (USA only)

For maps obtained from this icon: Large MapsOnUs icon or this icon: Small MapsOnUs icon
see our Map Use Hints for MapsOnUs.

Usage Hints - general

Need help? Want advice? Pick a question . . .

Just curious? Read all the answers in order . . .

Why are these usage hints important?

The online help which is provided directly by the various online mapping services is aimed at the general user and explains all (or most) aspects of each service.  This page which you are now reading explains common aspects of how we use those services.  The corresponding pages for the specific services (see links above) also emphasize what dynamic map controls are especially useful in each context, and warn about what you should not do while viewing a locator map which we have customized.  In a few instances, those pages expand on the service's own online help.

The location marker (icon) on the map is in the wrong place; how can I help fix it for future visitors?

If you really do know more than we do about where the marker should be, please use the map controls to adjust the location of the marker to your satisfaction; then "Email" the result to us. (See the vendor-specific Map Use Hints, linked above, for more detail.)

I tinkered with the map controls too much, and now I'm lost. How do I get back to the original version?

If you are on a Google Map, use the "Reload" feature of your Web browser. (This may be a menu selection or a toolbar button.) 

Otherwise, use the "Back" feature of your Web browser to back up one or more screens at a time.  (This may be a menu selection or a toolbar button.)  Or use its "History" feature to jump directly back to the site data page or the initial map.  The second alternative is quicker, but then you might be unable to use "Back" to work your way further up your history tree, depending on how your browser handles its history function.

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This page was rewritten for TowerBells on 2004/08/10 and last revised 2006/09/29. Valid HTML 2.0!

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