Questionnaire backgrounds and layout

You can currently use four different types of backgrounds in questionnaires:

  Interactive images

You can use the same background on all pages of the questionnaire or have different backgrounds for different pages. In the main questionnaire settings (pictured in the image below), you decide which images, interactive images and maps you want to use in the questionnaire and choose which type of background will be used by default. You can then decide which background to use on which page in the page settings.

When you first start drafting a questionnaire, we will automatically add a map (Mapbox Streets) as the background. If you don't want to use it, you can delete it in the Maps tab.


Set up a background map

There are three different types of maps in Maptionnaire:

System maps

Maptionnaire comes with a number of pre-uploaded map options provided by Mapbox and MapTiler. You can use as many of them in your questionnaire as you want or combine them with your own maps. Mapbox Streets is included in every questionnaire by default, but you can switch off its use here.


If you want to use another background map than those provided by Maptionnaire by default, you can choose it here. You can also browse all the maps already filed to your team's Materials.

Map overlays

Map overlays are map layers that contain only certain features (such as roads or houses) and that are layered on top of a basemap. Map overlays include ESRI shapefiles and GeoJSONs. To add map overlays to your questionnaire, you can upload the map file here or use the maps already uploaded to your Materials. Then, add the map overlay in the same way as the basemap but to the Map overlays section. 

Note that you can also create your own GeoJSON overlays directly in Maptionnaire with the Hand-drawn layer function.



  1. Upload the map(s) you want to use in the editor or choose a map from your existing Materials or the default system maps.
  2. Go to the Questionnaire settings. Under the General tab, choose Interactive map as the questionnaire background style.
  3. Under Maps, find the type of map you want to use and click the field next to Add layer a drop-down menu with all your available map options. Choose the map you want to use.
  4. The name of the map should appear above the field with a series of boxes behind it. The boxes represent the pages in your questionnaire. Tick the ones where you want to make the map available for use.
  5. If you want to set a default location/zoom level for the map, you can do this in the page settings. You can choose to use just one default location (in which case you need to set the map on the first questionnaire page and the other pages will copy it) or you can set different default locations on different pages (see instructions in Set up different backgrounds on different pages on this page).

Set up an interactive image background


Interactive images do not contain any georeferenced information, but are images that you may want the respondents to comment on by placing map points or drawing on top of the image. These could be for example building blueprints (such as in the example image) or area plans. The recommended dimensions for the image are max. 1920×1080 (the most common laptop screen size), min. 1280×800 (budget laptop screen size). The recommended max. size for the image file is 1MB.

  1. As with the basemaps and the map overlays, you can either add the image file directly to the questionnaire editor, or choose one of the image files already available in Materials (under the Images tab).
  2. Go to the questionnaire settings. Under the General, choose Interactive image as the questionnaire background.
  3. You can choose the image(s) under the Maps tab. The last section of the tab is for interactive images. Follow the above instructions for maps to set up an interactive image. Please note that the Images section under the Style tab is only for static background images, not for interactive images.

Set up a background image (non-interactive)

These are static background images used primarily to create the visual appearance of the questionnaire. The recommended dimensions for the image are max. 1920×1080 (the most common laptop screen size), min. 1280×800 (budget laptop screen size). The recommended max. size for the image file is 1MB.

  1. If you want to use a background image, you can add the image file directly to the questionnaire settings or choose an existing image file from Materials
  2. Go to the questionnaire settings and choose the General tab. In Questionnaire backgrounds, choose Background image.
  3. Choose the Style tab. In Background images, click the box next to Add image. A drop-down menu with your images should appear, allowing you to choose the image you want to use.
  4. The chosen image will be shown above the Add image box, with a series of checkboxes following it. These signify questionnaire pages; you can set the image to be a background option on all pages or only on some. If you want to use more than one image background in your questionnaire, select all of them here. The image that is listed first will be used as default background if Background image is chosen as the style of the questionnaire. You can change the order of the images by dragging and dropping.

Set up a color background

To set up a block color background, go to Questionnaire settings and the tab General. In Questionnaire background, choose Color background. Then, go to the Style tab and simply click Set and choose the color from the color selector or by using a hex code.


Set up different backgrounds on different pages
  1. Choose all the maps and images that you want to use in the questionnaire as outlined in the instructions above. Under the  General tab, choose the background style that you want to use on the first page of the survey. Any choices made in page settings will automatically override the background settings made in the questionnaire settings, and this is how you can set different backgrounds on different pages.
  2. Go to the questionnaire page and access the Settings tab. Choose which type of background should be used on this page.
  3. Once you have chosen the type of background that you want to use, you can select the specific image, color, or map and set its default view for this page. If you want to use a static background image or a color, you can do this in the Page settings. If you want to set up a map or a different map location, or an interactive image, you can do this under the Maps tab.

Tip! You can set different map layers and default locations on different questionnaire pages. Go to Page settings, and select the Maps tab. All the map options you want to be available on a page must first be chosen in the general questionnaire settings before they appear in the page settings. Here you can choose the map you want to use on this page and set its default view.

Layout and alignment

You can choose between two widths for the area or 'question box' contains the questionnaire elements. Regardless of the width you choose, it won't affect the way that the questionnaire is presented on a mobile phone. You can set the layout in the Style tab.

You can also decide on the alignment of the 'question box' on pages where a non-interactive image background or a color background is used. With maps and interactive images, the box is always on the left side of the screen. 

When the questionnaire is accessed with a mobile phone, we automatically use a different, mobile-friendly layout.


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  • Greetings,

    When using an interactive background image, how do you set the color background that will appear behind the interactive background image when zooming out?


  • Hi Hans!


    Unfortunately, it is not possible to use an interactive image and a color background on the same page at the moment. We will however keep this idea in mind when further developing our service!

    Best regards,

    Maptionnaire Support


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