If you deal with maps, you’ve probably heard about them. If not, you have this chance. The idea of clusters is to consolidate single markers into one when zooming out. The process is based on their location: the groups are formed from the objects that are close to each other. The more you reduce the scale, the fewer points there are on the map. Well, it can be funny to zoom in and out and see the markers merging, but what’s the purpose of this feature? Let’s see how it can help.
The main reason why map clusters are applied is to improve user experience. Maps should be clear, simple, fast-operating and informative. If they have a lot of objects, for example, more than 100 or 200, these characteristics degrade. Clusters help to prevent it providing:
If there are plenty of markers, they cover the map when you zoom out. Sometimes it’s even hard to see the surface because the whole area is in the pins. Also, it’s almost impossible to distinguish markers since they overlap each other, to say nothing of clicking the one that you need. Apart from that, if there are pop-up windows and you open some of them, they usually cover the rest of the objects.
Map clusters help to arrange the markers into groups. When users zoom out, the pins are no more dispersed but assembled at one point. It allows displaying the rest of the surface and focusing on the area that they need. Navigation becomes easier because you see the names of cities or countries and other big objects.
Higher speed of loading
The more information is processed simultaneously, the more time it takes. A map with a big number of markers will load more slowly than with a few. Map clusters allow working only with the data that is needed and when it is needed. For example, the system won’t have to process the objects in Europe if you are exploring the US. It helps to spare time and improve user experience.
Analysis of the number of objects
You may notice the numerals in the center of every cluster mark. They display how many pins are consolidated in them. This feature may seem unnecessary but you can use it for analysis. For example, if it’s a website that deals with real estate, it will show the number of apartments or houses in every district. If it’s a travel agency, you’ll know how many hotels it works with in every city or what district is rich in amenities. In other words, map clusters show the density of objects in some place. Otherwise, you’d have to count them to see the whole picture.
To have this feature on your website, you’ll have to either embed it yourself inserting the proper code or set up a plugin. We advise choosing the second option for those who are not skilled in development. The WP MAPS PRO plugin allows clustering markers with some extra functions to customize the process.
Pick locations for clustering
Sometimes there are more and less important objects, that’s why not all of them should be consolidated into map clusters. Using our plugin, you’ll be able to choose the places that need to be grouped. You’ll just have to pick them from the list with settings. Other pins will remain single.
Level of clustering
You can set the conditions in which locations should start merging. The zoom level is the scale when the map is overloaded with pins and they need to be grouped. Enter the parameters depending on the density of objects: whether all of them are in one city or around the globe.
To make map clusters comply with the general design, the WP MAPS PRO plugin offers to pick their color. It’s especially useful if Snazzy Maps are applied and the tints shouldn’t be similar. Apart from markers, you can also choose the style of a cursor icon.
For companies that deal with many locations, clustering is a good way to arrange maps on their websites. They allow clear and fast displaying of the information. WP MAPS PRO plugin helps to adjust this feature in a couple of clicks. Read detailed instructions on how to do it here. If you still don’t use our plugin, you can buy it following the link.