Trends and ideas for interactive maps in 2021 – part 3

Let’s get back to basics and take a look at some outdoor and nature maps. This is a very common use of an interactive map, but all of these five examples bring a twist of their own to the table.

The purpose of a map isn’t just to guide you from point A to point B. It can also be a tool to help you plan your trip, communicate with like-minded people and share your insight afterward.

This collection features some awesome designs, important information and beautiful 3D-maps. Without further ado, let’s get started.


Two-dimensional maps are easy to read, but they have their limitations in certain situations. Areas with mountains or other complicated terrain are much more intuitive to explore with one extra dimension.

FATMAP is a great 3D map platform, that provides invaluable information for free riders, bikers and hikers.

Explore the map:

A 3D map of a skiing trail between mountains

Global Forest Watch

This data-driven map provides some incredibly detailed information and analysis of the forests around the world. And it is all for a great cause: Global Forest Watch offers the latest data, technology and tools that empower people everywhere to better protect forests.

Explore the map:

A map of tree cover loss in Finland

The Appalachian Trail in 3D

If you are a serious hiker, you probably know the Appalachian Trail at least by name. The 3500 km route across the USA is one of the most famous thru-hikes in the world.

Can you imagine mapping such a massive route – and doing it in 3D? Well, you can stop imaging and take a look at this massive project. The map is a bit slow at times, but we’ll forgive the minor inconveniences.

Explore the map:

A 3D map of the Appalachian Trail, that goes through the USA

Map of Life

First of all – what a name! But the Map of Life manages to live up to the expectations. This massive project covers the whole globe and provides interesting information about thousands of different species.

Explore the map:

A map displaying the natural habitat of Swan Goose in Asia


Of course, we have to mention one of our own creations. Retkikompassi engages hikers to help develop and preserve the nature in Finnish National Parks using a PPGIS approach.

Retkikompassi has already yielded concrete results through improved interaction and the fire safety campaign, but the effects are even longer-lasting. Hikers use the nature areas throughout the year and can provide massive amounts of valuable information, that would have been impossible to acquire otherwise.

Explore the map:

A green map of Nuuksio National Park in Finland made by Zoneatlas


As the year 2020 is (finally) coming to its end, we are starting to see more versatility in maps both in terms of looks and functionality. Complex 3D-maps are becoming more popular, but there’s also an increasing demand for a more simplistic design. So when it comes to maps, forget about one-size-fits-all. There’s virtually an endless amount of possibilities and each map serves a different purpose.

We are also working on some very interesting new projects. Stay tuned for the exciting announcements and grab our newsletter to get notified when they are published.