In Maptionnaire surveys, you can use:

  • Maps that we offer as part of each subscription, called System maps.
  • Maps that you create yourself in Maptionnaire with the Create a map feature
  • Maps that you bring to Maptionnaire. Upload your own map files (shapefiles, geoJSONs) or connect to a WMS/WMTS/WFS server. The maps should be in the coordinate system WGS84 – EPSG:4326 or 3857 (unless they are shapefiles or WMTS). You can also use Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF files on Maptionnaire – if this is something you'd be interested in, please contact


  1. Upload any maps of your own to Materials. If you only want to use the maps we offer (system maps), you can skip this step.
  2. Go to the first page of your survey. Select Settings on top of the page.
  3. Choose Map as the Page type. If you want to use the same map on all survey
    pages, click Make default.
  4. Select the map(s) that you want to use on this page. You do this by clicking or typing into the field that says Type to search.

    Screenshot 2023-12-22 at 1.21.48 PM.png

    A drop-down menu will open with all the maps available to you. Click the one you want to add.  It is important to add the map under the correct map category. There are three different map categories in Maptionnaire:

    System maps

    The maps Maptionnaire offers for you to use, free of charge.


    Maps you upload to Materials. If the map contains a limited number of features (e.g. a shapefile), then it is a Map overlay.

    Map overlays

    Map overlays contain a limited number of features (such as roads or houses) and need to be presented with a system or basemap as their background. Map overlays are maps you either upload to Materials (e.g. shapefiles) or create in Maptionnaire with the Create a map function.

    If you want to use a shapefile or similar layer with a limited number of features, you need to select both a system map/basemap and a map overlay.

  5. Choose whether to use metric (km) or imperial (miles) as the map scale measurements. 

    Finally, set the starting/default view of the map from the window on the right and click Set to save it.


    Optional settings:

    Screenshot 2023-12-22 at 1.39.12 PM.png

    You can set a map overlay to be initially hidden from view and only shown on the map if the respondent chooses it from the map layer menu. 

    You can set the same map to be used on all pages from Actions.

Can I use multiple different maps in the same survey?

Each survey page can have a different map background. You do not need to set anything up differently. If you want to set different starting locations for the map(s), you can do that on each survey page under the Maps tab.

Can I use several maps on each survey page?

Technically, yes. However, when it comes to system and base maps, we strongly recommend using only one per page. Multiple maps can make the survey less easy to load. You can have multiple map overlays (e.g. shapefiles), but with those it's recommended to keep their size max. 500 kb in total. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can I use my own shapefiles?

Yes, you can! For more information on the specific requirements for the shapefile, please see this article.

Can I use maps from our city's map service?

Most likely yes, you can provided your city's maps are publicly available and you know the URL address of the service. For WMS and WFS, we support maps in WGS84 – EPSG:4326 or 3857. For WMTS, any coordinate system is usually possible, but please contact us at first.

Why is my WMS layer not working?

This could be due to several reasons. Here are some of the most common:

  • Check that the server URL is correct. 
  • Check that the WMS is in or supports the coordinate system WGS84:4326 or 3857.
  • Choose a map layer(s) that you want to show. You can do this under Layers in the map editing window in Materials.
  • Check that you are zoomed in close enough. Sometimes WMS servers only produce map tiles when you zoom in closer to the location on the map.
  • Check with the person(s) responsible for that WMS server that the server allows web-based platforms such as Maptionnaire to use its maps. What they should be looking at are CORS settings and specifically the 'Access-Allow-Control-Origin' setting, which should be set to "*".
How many map layers can you have?

Technically, yes. However, when it comes to system and base maps, we strongly recommend using only one per page. Multiple maps can make the survey less easy to load. You can have multiple map overlays (e.g. shapefiles), but with those it's recommended to keep their size under 500 kb altogether. 

Is it possible to use raster maps like GeoTIFFs? 

Since October 2023, it has been possible to use cloud optimized GeoTIFFs on Maptionnaire. Contact for more information.

I would like to add features on the map that respondents can click for more information and questions. Is this possible?

Yes it is, with the Pop-up map element.

I would like to use a shapefile that contains several public transport routes. I would like these routes to be in different colors. Is this possible?

Yes it is, if you have included each route as a separate feature within the shapefile. You can then choose the color for each route when you upload the shapefile to Maptionnaire.

Why do you not offer Google Maps by default anymore?

The previous version of Maptionnaire had some of Google's maps as default system maps. Unfortunately, due to Google's terms of service, we can no longer offer this option, as it would mean that you could use only Google Maps in Maptionnaire. For more information, please see Google Maps' Terms of Service (see in particular #3 License).

I'm trying to add a shapefile but it doesn't seem to be working?

First, check that the shapefile contains all the correct files and is in a compressed .ZIP format. If these are correct, then the problem may be caused by a z-dimension in the shapefile. To fix this, simply remove it from the file. On QGIS, you can do this by saving the features again, and in the section called Geometry choosing the feature type (point, line or polygon) instead of Automatic. Finally, uncheck the z-dimension.

I would like to create a map with points (or lines or areas), but don't know how to use a GIS programme. What can I do?

Not to worry, for this purpose we have created the Create a map functionality. It allows you to place features on a map and thus create a map layer (in GeoJSON format) that you can add to your surveys.

Can I show labels on a shapefile/GeoJSON map?

Yes you can, simply define the Label key (the name of the column in the file that contains the names of the different features) in the file's settings when you upload it to Maptionnaire.

Can I show symbols on a shapefile/geoJSON map?

Unfortunately no, not at the moment.

How do I add a legend?

Instead of a more traditional legend, respondents can always open a menu with all map layer options from the upper right corner of the map. You can also add a legend as an image file to the question field.

What coordinate system (CRS) does Maptionnaire use?

We use WGS84 (EPSG:4326/3857), but it's possible to use WMTS maps and shapefiles with other coordinate systems. If your map is not in WGS84, contact us at

I've clicked the compass/arrowhead icon on the map to locate myself. However, the location is off by several hundred meters. How accurate is this geolocation function?

The accuracy of the location depends on both the location and the device. If you are using a laptop/desktop computer (i.e. devices that do not have GPS), geolocation is done through Wi-Fi network data. Essentially, the companies that provide the location search (Google, Apple etc.) record all Wi-Fi networks within for example a city, and where they are located there. When you search for a location, the system (a third-party provider with access to the Google/Apple data) locates your approximate position by looking at what Wi-Fi networks are the nearest to you and where their data tells these networks are located. By finding a matching 'network cluster', the service is then able to tell your approximate (never the absolutely exact) location, with a certain error margin (this is the see-through 'halo' around the location point).

In urban areas where there's a dense concentration of Wi-Fi networks, the location is usually fairly accurate. In rural areas it may not be as accurate due to those areas being more sparsely populated and hence having a lower density of Wi-Fi networks. The error margin in rural locations is therefore usually always bigger.

Finding your location is usually more accurate on mobile phones, as they use GPS. In the case that the location isn't accurate, the address search (magnifying glass symbol) can help. Respondents can use it to find different places if they know the address.  

I'm worried that my stakeholders will have problems reading the maps. What can I do?

There are a couple of function within the maps that can help stakeholders with this. First, they can click the compass/arrowhead symbol to locate themselves on the map. They can also search for specific addresses using the address search (the magnifying glass symbol).

Locating yourself within the map and locating places through their addresses can be helpful in navigating the map, but of course there will always be individual differences with how people read / understand maps, as they always represent space in a two-dimensional mode that is very different from our every-day spatial experience. If you are worried about respondents having a difficulty finding places on the map, perhaps featuring images of the location in the instructions and/or in pop-ups on the map (e.g. respondent clicks a building and a photo of it opens up) could help? You can also always include follow-up questions in a pop-up after each map marking that the respondent has made, so to ensure that they have marked the correct spot on the map you could always ask them to provide some further details.

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  • Hi,

    Can the respondents also locate themselves on the background map of the survey using their device's GPS?

  • Hi,

    Yes, they can by clicking the compass needle symbol on the map:


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