Map point, line and area questions

All Maptionnaire subscriptions allow you to ask three different types of map questions:

  • Map point
  • Map line
  • Map area (polygon)

The type of map marking that the respondent draws is different in each of these elements but their functioning logic is the same. View our demo questionnaire to see how these elements can be used.


  1. Set up a background map

    To use the map question elements, you must first set up a system or a basemap in Survey settings. For instructions on how to do this, please see Questionnaire backgrounds 

  2. Add the map question element to the survey page

    After you have set up your background map, go to the page where you want to place the map question. Add any of the three map questions from the element library. 

  3. Write the question.

    Give the drawbutton a title. A drawbutton is button that the respondent clicks to start drawing on the map. Drawbuttons look like this (see the arrow in orange):


    It is recommended that the text on the drawbutton is unique and linked to the question you want to ask, as the drawbutton name is used to categorize answers in the analysis tool. Make sure that you don't make the drawbutton text too long! You can always add any further questions or text in the Question label.

    You can also choose a color for the drawbutton and the map marker. Additionally, in the Map point element, you can choose an icon from our icon library to display on the drawbutton and on the map point. You can browse the available icons at Font Awesome.


  4. Customize the element in Extra settings (optional)

    The Extra settings tab contains the following additional settings:
    • Layer title: The name of the map layer that will contain the responses to this question.
    • Hide the layer from the layer menu switch
    • Help text: A text box that is visible when the respondent is placing their answer on the map. It can contain for example additional instructions.
    • Marker color (for Map point): If you want to use different colors in the map markings and the drawbutton.
    • Line color and width (for Map line and Map area): You can make the line that respondents draw thicker or thinner and choose a color for it.
    • Minimum and maximum numbers of responses: Choose how many map markings respondents can make. 
    • Freehand drawing (in Map line and Map area elements): Allows the respondent to draw 'freely' on the map as opposed to drawing only straight lines. 
    • Minimum zoom level allows you to set a zoom level for map responses. Responses will not be accepted until respondent has met required zoom requirements. Detailed information about zoom levels can be found here

    Under the Dataname you can change the unique dataname generated for this question. However, please familiarize yourself with the ground rules for altering datanames first.

Want to get more information on the places respondents mark? Add a pop-up with questions (optional)


If you want to ask follow-up questions (see example above) on a map marking that the respondent draws, go to the drop-down menu that opens from the three dots on the upper right corner of the element. Click Create pop-up. Then simply add the elements you want to use in the follow-up questions. For more detailed instructions on creating and editing pop-up windows, please see this article.


Alternative ways to answer map questions

It's always a good idea to feature an Open question element on the same page as mapping questions. Not everyone likes to answer on a map, and screen readers cannot read maps. Providing alternative ways of answering ensures that you can gather information from as many respondents as possible!


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