The maps on your platform within a project will have a simple and clear style derived from Open Street Map. This is suitable for most situations and there is often no need to add more information.

If you have a location-based project, would like to collect participant input or show different options or scenarios for participants to comment and/or vote on, you can do this using our map feature.

Every input collection and participatory budgeting project has the option to be shown on a map, where participants can add their ideas, comments and other inputs. This option is available for both Standard and Premium plans.

You can set the map to be shown by default when a participant views the project, or if you are in the list view, you can toggle between the list view and the map view.

The map view shows all inputs that have a location attached to it, and if a participant adds an input to a map, the address will automatically be saved to their post.

Customise your map with a few options

  1. Import your own spatial files and display them on the map.

  2. Style the features of the map

  3. Set the map center (longitude and latitude)

  4. Set the default zoom level of the map

  5. Upload active and/or passive pins

These options are available when editing the Project in the Admin Panel, under the "Map" tab.

1. Import your own spatial files:

We currently support uploading GeoJSON files with point, line and polygon features.

We recommend importing one GeoJSON file for each set of features you would like to display together. For instance, one file for community centers, a different file for neighborhoods, etc.

⚠️ The file should be in the WGS 1984 coordinate system. Other coordinate systems may not display.

Once you’ve uploaded the GeoJSON file,

  • you can edit it by giving the layer a name, and

  • you can also set a tooltip that will display when hovering above that feature on the map.

2. Style the features of the map

You can style the layer with a colour, and if the layer has point features in it, you can also add an icon to be displayed on the point marker.

⚠️ Note that you can only style the entire layer - that means, every feature in the layer will be given the same colour and icon.

If you would like the features in the layer to be styled differently, you may

  • style the GeoJSON file before uploading it to the map. The map will display pre-existing styling in the GeoJSON file. OR

  • create a separate GeoJSON file for each feature that you would like to style differently.

3. Set the map center (longitude and latitude)

You can set the map center (e.g., where the map will be focused on) by adding the latitude and longitude coordinates. An online search for the latitude and longitude of the city or address that you’d like to center the map on should give you the results you need to input into these fields.

The format of the latitude and longitude should be using decimal numbers (e.g., 50.84778).

4. Set the default zoom level of the map

Similarly, you can set the zoom level you wish your map to display. You can choose from a range of 0 (very zoomed out) to 17 (zoomed in to see streets and buildings).

Good to know! You can also scroll around the map to find exactly where you would like to center and zoom in on, and use the save button on the map to set those as your map center and zoom level.

5. Upload active and/or passive pins 📌

If you want to show certain items on a map (such as locations, ideas, contributions, questions, projects, options or issues), you can choose to pre-populate the map with one or more passive or active pins.

  • Passive pins can be created in our new "Map" tab, and they simply show the location, the icon you chose, and the name you've given it. They are not clickable.

  • Active pins can be added by uploading or creating input or ideas with your admin account, while assigning a location to them. This means that those ideas or input will be shown on the map as pins with much more information attached to them. They are clickable and link to a separate input or idea page that includes a title, image, description, topic(s), status(es), author, date, and they have the ability to collect comments and/or votes. If you have a large batch of ideas or input you'd like to add, you can upload them in bulk.

If your spatial files are not in a GeoJSON format

There are several online tools that can help convert your files from a different spatial format into a GeoJSON format. This includes mapshaper and, both of which allow you to upload a different file type and export it as a GeoJSON file.

If you don’t yet have a spatial file but would like to create your own to add to your map

Online tools such as Geoman allow you to simply create your own GeoJSON files from scratch. You can draw polygons, add points, and create lines on a map, download these features as a GeoJSON file, and upload them to your CitizenLab platform.

We highly recommend that you create one GeoJSON file for each category that you would like to display on a map. For instance, you might create one file for your project boundaries; and a second file that contains Points of Interest. You can then upload these two files separately - this will allow you to also style the layers with their own colour and show them as separate items on the map legend.

This functionality is for Standart and Premium platforms only

Need help or support? Don’t hesitate to get in touch via

Did this answer your question?