General Questions:

Q: What is MapFling?
Q: How can MapFling help me?
Q: How is MapFling different from other services?
Q: Does MapFling cost money?
Q: How do I share my MapFling map with others?
Q: For how long can I use my MapFling URL? Does it expire?

Coverage Area Questions:

Q: For which countries/states/areas can I get maps?
Q: Can I use MapFling if there are no street maps for my area?
Q: How is MapFling related to Google Maps?

Using MapFling Questions:

Q: How do I begin?
Q: How do I copy and paste the MapFling URL?
Q: My MapFling URL didn't work. Why?
Q: Can I enter latitude/longitude (GPS coordinates) directly?
Q: How can I print the map I made with with MapFling?
Q: How can I print the markers I made with with MapFling?
Q: How can I have more than 26 markers?
Q: Can I import/export GIS/GPS data files with MapFling?
Q: Can you add a certain feature to MapFling?

Business/Advertising Questions:

Q: How can I advertise on MapFling?
Q: Can I get an integrated/custom-branded MapFling for my website?

Privacy Questions:

Q: Does MapFling collect my personal information?
Q: Are my maps private? Can other people see my maps?
Q: Can other people change my MapFling map?

Corporate Information Questions:

Q: Who is MapFling exactly?
Q: Does Google own MapFling?

General Questions and Answers:
 
Q: What is MapFling?
A: MapFling is a free online service which lets you:
  • bring up a map of nearly anywhere in the world,
  • add one or more markers ("push-pins") to the map, with your own custom descriptions, like this:

  • easily share that marked-up map with anyone, via email, IM, blogs—anything!

Each time you create a map, we give you a short MapFling URL (link) for that map, which you paste into an e-mail, IM, or blog post. People who click on your MapFling URL will see your map, complete with the markers that you created. Here is a sample MapFling URL:

http://mapfling.com/q38zxw9
To use MapFling, you don't have to log in or provide any personal information whatsoever—try it now!.

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Q: How can MapFling help me?
A: Throwing a party? Add a MapFling URL to your invite and everyone can see where it's at with a single click!

Customers flying in to visit your office? Impress them with a MapFling map that shows your office, their hotel, and maybe a few of your favorite restaurants too! Label each location with whatever description you want to include ("Excellent sushi here!").

Meeting a friend at Central Park? It's a big place: with a MapFling satellite image, you can pinpoint the exact park bench where you'll be waiting for her!

Got a house or apartment for sale or rent? Include a MapFling URL in your online ads to get an edge over the other listers. With one click, your renters will know where you are. If you're a real estate agent, blow away your customer with a custom MapFling map showing multiple properties with your customized comments.

Any time you would hunt around for a paper map to mark up and fax/scan/snail-mail to people, you can fling it instead! They will receive your map instantly, complete with your markers and comments. They will be able to zoom in and out on the map, explore the area, and print if they like.

What's more, they can even create their own custom version of your map, adding more markers and adjusting existing ones, and send it back to you! Collaborate on real estate searches, travel plans, party arrangement, or even scavenger hunts! The possibilities are endless!

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Q: How is MapFling different from other services?
A: Unlike other services, MapFling:
  • Lets you add multiple markers to your maps: each marker can be at an address you provide, or you can just click on the map to add a marker wherever you like!

  • Lets you provide custom descriptions for each marker. Say anything you like!

  • Lets you share your map using a short MapFling URL that you can easily and confidently send to others without any fear of it being chopped off or damaged by e-mail or IM programs. Just try that with a 300-character Google Maps URL!

  • Is easy to use: while there are other services for creating annotated maps, many of them force you to create login accounts, and most of them present you with many complex options for technical tasks such as GPS or GIS data import. MapFling is for people who don't know or care what GIS is and just want an easy way to send someone a map!

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Q: Does MapFling cost money?
A: No! MapFling is a completely free Web 2.0 service, supported by the advertising that you see next to the maps.

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Q: How do I share my MapFling map with others?
A: When you have finished choosing and marking a map, our service gives you a MapFling URL, which looks something like this:

http://mapfling.com/q38zxw9
To send your map to others, you copy and paste this URL into an e-mail message, IM (Instant Messaging / Chat) message, a blog message, or pretty much anywhere.

If you aren't familiar with what "copy and paste" means, then you can simply type the MapFling URL into your message by hand (it's not that long!)—just make sure you get all the letters and numbers right. Or, you can learn about how to get the computer to "copy and paste" automatically for you by reading the answer to this question.

When others read your message, your MapFling URL will look something like this:

http://mapfling.com/q38zxw9
They will be able to click on your MapFling URL. When they do, they will see your MapFling map, complete with the markers and descriptions you created (try the sample link above!).

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Q: For how long can I use my MapFling URL? Does it expire?
A: Here's how it works:
  • When you first create a MapFling map, its MapFling URL is good for 3 months.
  • When someone (including you) looks at your map by clicking on its MapFling URL, we extend its expiration date to 3 months after that time.
So that means if somebody (including you) looks at your map at least once every 3 months, it will never expire.

If nobody has looked at a particular MapFling map for 3 months, then it will expire, and all information in it (map position, markers, descriptions) will be lost.

Note on policy changes: In the unlikely event that we decide to change our policy in a way that might make your old map expire sooner, we will a. guarantee that your map stays valid for 3 months after the policy change, and b. make it so that when you view your map, you see a warning that the expiration policy has changed, along with the new information. So, as long as you view your maps at least once every 3 months, you are guaranteed to be notified of the policy change and you can take any steps you need to save your data.

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Coverage Area Questions and Answers:
 
Q: For which countries/states/areas can I get maps?
A: There are two types of maps:

For most cities in the United States, Canada, China, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, you can get a detailed, traditional street map showing you roads, airports, parks, and other landmarks along with their names. In most of these areas, you can use MapFling to pinpoint any street address that you provide.

But MapFling also has satellite images (photographs taken from very far up) for many more areas of the world. In some areas, the maps are so detailed that you can zoom in and see individual streets, buildings, statues, ponds, and other landmarks! This is great for creating a detailed map showing where you want to meet someone.

It's easy to switch between the various types of map. Look at the upper-right corner of the map. If you click "Map," you will get the street map. If you click "Satellite," you will get the satellite images. If you click "Hybrid," you will get the street map superimposed on top of the satellite image.

When you create a MapFling map, you choose whether to show the street map, the satellite image, or both. When people click on your MapFling URL, they will see the same type of map that you have chosen.

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Q: Can I use MapFling if there are no street maps for my area?
A: Yes! Many areas of the world for which we do not yet have street maps currently have very detailed satellite images (for example, the major cities of Asia). So you can find the city by typing in its name (say, "Bangkok, Thailand"). Then, click the "Satellite" button at the top right of the map. Now you can zoom in on a precise point in the city and place one or more markers.

You can also just start with the world map at step 1 and zoom in on the map yourself to choose locations for markers, rather than having us find an address for you. To do that, click the GO button and then click the link that says "skip straight to step 2."

One of the big advantages of MapFling is that you can place your own markers by just clicking on the map, even if Google doesn't know the street name or address there.

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Q: How is MapFling related to Google Maps?
A: The MapFling service is "Powered by Google," meaning that you get full access to the enormous collection of street and satellite maps present in Google Maps.

However, MapFling goes beyond Google Maps by allowing you to create multiple markers with your own custom descriptions and making it easy for you to share your annotated map with others using a short MapFling URL.

MapFling Incorporated is not affiliated with Google in any way.

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Using MapFling Questions and Answers:
 
Q: How do I begin?
A: To begin, visit MapFling.com, type an address in the box under step 1, and then click the GO button.

In the address, you should provide at least the city, as in these examples:

new york, ny
san francisco, ca, usa
bonn, germany
bangkok, thailand
However, for many countries, including the US, Canada, and much of Europe, if you provide a specific street address with street numbers and ideally postal codes, like this:
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
101 main, sf, ca
then we can pinpoint the exact location of your address and mark it on the map for you. That's usually the best way to start.

Many areas of the world for which we do not yet have street maps currently have very detailed satellite images (for example, the major cities of Asia). So you can find the city by typing in its name (say, "Bangkok, Thailand"). Then, click the "Satellite" button at the top right of the map. Now you can zoom in on a precise point in the city and place one or more markers.

You can also just start with the world map at step 1 and zoom in on the map yourself to choose locations for markers, rather than having us find an address for you. To do that, click the GO button and then click the link that says "skip straight to step 2."

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Q: How do I copy and paste the MapFling URL?
A: When you have finished creating your MapFling map and you get to step 3, MapFling gives you a MapFling URL, which looks something like this:

http://mapfling.com/q38zxw9
Now your goal is to send that MapFling URL in an e-mail (or other type of) message to others.

"Copy and Paste" is a common, useful thing you can do with text on your computer. It allows you to copy text from one place to another without having to type the text yourself. So you can use "copy and paste" to copy your MapFling URL into the program you use to send e-mail messages.

In general, to learn how to copy and paste, you should consult the manuals and help that comes with your computer.

But here is a procedure, which works on most computers, that should help you get started. This assumes that you have already created your MapFling map and you are at step 3, where MapFling has just given you your MapFling URL:

  • Move the mouse to the left end of the MapFling URL on the screen.
  • Press and hold the mouse button (if you have two mouse buttons, use the left one).
  • Drag the mouse across the MapFling URL. Notice how the text gets highlighted as you drag. This is called "selecting" text. Select the whole MapFling URL by dragging the mouse all the way to the right of the MapFling URL.
  • Release the mouse button. Now you have selected the MapFling URL.
  • Use your mouse to (left) click on the "Edit" menu at the top of the window.
  • Use your mouse to (left) click on the "Copy" option on the "Edit" menu.
  • Now, switch over to your e-mail program or whatever program you wish to use to send your MapFling map to others. Begin a new message.
  • Use your mouse to (left) click on the "Edit" menu at the top of that program.
  • Use your mouse to (left) click on the "Paste" option on the "Edit" menu. Now you should see your MapFling URL appear in your e-mail message. You're done!

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Q: My MapFling URL didn't work. Why?
A: If you are reading this, it probably means that you clicked on, or typed in, a MapFling URL and you were directed here instead of seeing your map.

There could be several reasons why your MapFling URL might not have worked:

  • It might have expired. If nobody views a MapFling map for 3 months, then it expires and its MapFling URL will no longer work. See this question for more detail.

  • Mistyped? Although MapFling URLs are short, it is still possible to accidentally mistype them or accidentally chop off a letter or two. Currently, all MapFling URLs have this form:

    http://mapfling.com/XXXXXXX
    They begin with http://mapfling.com/, followed by 8 letters and numbers (which we've written above as XXXXXX). For example, here is a sample MapFling URL:
    http://mapfling.com/q38zxw9
    Upper and lower case are not significant (you can type the same MapFling URL in upper or lower case and it will work either way). If there's any extra stuff after the 8 letters of the MapFling URL, we will ignore it and the MapFling URL will still work.

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Q: Can I enter latitude/longitude (GPS coordinates) directly?
A: Yes. In the field where you would normally type a street address to add a new marker, just type the latitude, a comma, and then the longitude. For example,

37.4419, -122.1419
Then just click on whatever place is shown in the resulting list (it might just say 'USA' or something vague like that). You will get a marker at your precise latitude and longitude.

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Q: How can I print the map I made with with MapFling?
A: MapFling itself doesn't have a specific button for printing, but you can print the map nicely using your web browser. Generally, you will want to fit the map on one printed page, and for that you need a modern browser (not the inferior Internet Explorer 6 browser that comes with Windows XP) that supports a "zoom" function when printing. For example, in the Firefox web browser, before you print, go to "File...Page Setup" and in the "Format and Page Options tab" try different values of "Scale" until it looks right on the printed page (or, if available, try "Shrink to fit Page Width"). In many browsers there is a "File...Print Preview" option that you can use to check your settings before you waste any paper.

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Q: How can I print the markers I made with with MapFling?
A: MapFling itself doesn't have a specific button for printing the map markers, but we are considering adding such a button for maps that have a large number of markers.

In the meantime, here are some hints that may get you close enough if you have a lot of markers:

  • Click "Hide Help" in "Help:" section on the left to give yourself a bit more room.

  • Use your browser's "Text Size" or "Zoom" function to shrink the text size relative to the map. In most browsers, this can be done by holding down "Control" or "Alt" and pressing the keypad "+" or "-" keys, but in some browsers you may find it under "View...Zoom" or "View...Text Size." Then more markers will fit on the same printed map.

  • Finally, use the same hints found in the FAQ item above to print the whole map on one printed page.

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Q: How can I have more than 26 markers?
A: Currently MapFling supports only 26 markers. We are considering adding support for more markers in the future.

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Q: Can I import/export GIS/GPS data files with MapFling?
A: No. MapFling is designed to be simple and easy-to-use for the average non-technical person. There are several excellent applications, and a few recent web services, that allow creation of maps from GPS/GIS data files. Try Google searches for "GPS/GIS annotated maps."

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Q: Can you add a certain feature to MapFling?
A: We always love to hear how people are using MapFling and to hear your suggestions for new features. You can send feature requests to feature@mapfling.com. We'll implement the features that are most requested.

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Business/Advertising Questions and Answers:
 
Q: How can I advertise on MapFling?
A: Currently, we use Google for our advertising. To place your ad on our website, click here.

If there is a good business case, we might also consider ad exchanges with high-profile sites and quantity advertising deals that do not involve Google. If you are interested in this, contact advertising@mapfling.com.

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Q: Can I get an integrated/custom-branded MapFling for my website?
A: Yes! Imagine having the easy-to-use interface and all the functionality of MapFling integrated directly into your site or online service with your own site's branding. Leap ahead of your competition with technology like this:

  • In your party, invitation, wedding, concert, or social networking site, users can create and share custom maps associated with their identity in your site. Maps can be part of their personal profile or part of messages they send—the only limit is your imagination!

  • Your real estate, classified, sightseeing, tourism/travel, or relocation site can generate and deliver interactive maps of interesting properties or landmarks to your impressed customers, branded with your own corporate image.

  • Your corporate site can welcome customers, business partners, and interview candidates visiting your office with an interactive map of your location and relevant sites in the area such as their hotel, restaurants, and field offices. The maps retain your own corporate look.

  • If you are in charge of deploying or dispatching salespeople, repair crews, drivers, inspectors, or other connected mobile professionals, imagine being able to send them their assignments with a customized, interactive map. Integration with route-finding services (for driving directions) is also a possibility.

There are many ways to profit from integration between MapFling and your service, ranging from a branded, hosted service to code integration with your website's internals. Contact integration@mapfling.com for more information.

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Privacy Questions and Answers:
 
Q: Does MapFling collect my personal information?
A: MapFling does not collect any personal information about you whatsoever. When you visit our site, you immediately use our service without the need to log in, provide your name, email address, or any other information. We then give you a MapFling URL which you share with others by your own means (for example, by emailing the MapFling URL to them).

MapFling has the same information about you as all general sites on the internet, such as your IP address.

MapFling does not store or read any cookies on your system.

Some advertising systems that MapFling uses may attempt to store or read cookies on your system, but you always have the option to disable cookies in your web browser software.

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Q: Are my maps private? Can other people see my maps?
A: Viewing

Once you have created a map, anyone can look at your map if they have (or can guess) your MapFling URL. Although it is not particularly easy to guess a MapFling URL (it's about like guessing someone's telephone number), you must understand that MapFling is designed as an open system for non-secret data. For example, if you guess at a random MapFling URL and type it in, you can look at someone else's map, in the same way that if you dial some random digits on your telephone, you will reach someone else's phone.

None of the information in your map (such as the map position, marker positions, marker descriptions, etc.) is protected from viewing in any way. For example, there is no password for the map. Do not use MapFling to store any type of sensitive data; we take no responsibility for any exposure of your data to anyone. Furthermore, you are explicitly forbidden from using MapFling for any illegal purpose.

Modification

Nobody, not even you, can modify a MapFling map once it has been created. So, while people can see your map, they cannot change it. See this question.

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Q: Can other people change my MapFling map?
A: Once a MapFling map is created with its associated MapFling URL, nobody (not even you) can change it. You and others can create other maps starting with the information on your map, but those "customized" maps will have a different MapFling URL from your original map.

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Corporate Information Questions and Answers:
 
Q: Who is MapFling exactly?
A: MapFling Incorporated is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, USA. We develop a number of interactive web services. Email us at info@mapfling.com for more information.

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Q: Does Google own MapFling?
A: Nope. Although we use Google's excellent map service, MapFling is in no way affiliated with Google.

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