There are a number of websites that allow users to add their own information to a map. This is a review of the ones that we found most applicable to what we are attempting to accomplish with the community directory some time in the hopefully not too distant future.
Here are examples of the free maps they offer. For each site a test map is attempted. The test map places a marker at Piedra Bola and defines the route from Las Rosas to that site. It also attempts to include a link to the article on the Jaltemba Jalapeno.com about Piedra Bola and at least one photo. Only about 8 hours was spent on all of the maps so no spit and polish here but the quality of the maps is an indication of how difficult the user interface was to use.
Most of the sites have some form of payment to eliminate advertising and remove the limitation on number of maps and number of features that can be added.
Map-Mapa.com aspires to provide similar functionality so here are some of the sites that would be the competition if we ever get that far. They are in order of popularity based on Compete.com unique visits in the month of April, 2012.
Maps.Google.com (69,560,000 visits, up 96 percent from a year ago)
Payment policy: complicated but lots of functionality that appears completely free, at least until the next policy change.
Comments: Most other sites use Google maps as a basis for their offering.
View Hike to Piedra Bola from La Peñita in a larger map
Open Street Map.org – using Josm editor (90,520 visits up 178% from a year ago)
Payment policy – completely free without limitation except that you must respect the open source licensing.
Comments: Thousands of people are collaborating around the world to create a map that is totally free. JOSM has complete editing capability but is a bit too complicated for the casual user that just wants a map with some added features. Map-Mapa is based on the open street map (OSM) functionality but has options to use Google maps where the maps are better than those in OSM. Free forever is a good reason but the other main reason for using OSM is that remote areas of the world are not particularly correct on Google maps and very difficult to correct.
CommunityWalk.com (58,000 visits, down 13% from a year ago)
MapBuilder.net (16,070 visits, down 28% from a year ago)
Payment policy: seems directed at real estate business
Comments: Nice interface, fairly intuitive but no paths available.
This button is supposed to directs the user to your maps and allows the counting of the visits to your map but all I see is a list of maps created in the last week or 24 hours. I must be missing something.
Zeemaps.com (12,000 visits, down 46% from a year ago)
Payment policy: Basic features are free but more advanced features like bulk editing cost.
Comments: Very nice user interface but no track capability. Especially nice you can feed visits to your own google analytics.
Click2Map.com ( 4,414 visits, down 26% from a year ago)
Nice user interface but it does not have free hosting of the map on their site. There is a download capability that is supposed to display the map generated but I could not get it to work in less than an hour of working with it. When I returned to try again I could not get to the login.