Interactive Tourist Map

This is a high quality, multi-purpose, comprehensive tourism map with both
an interactive digital and printed versions. The map making process passed
through series of technical and design steps. I served as the project leader
and product designer.



Despite the increasing popularity of tourist destinations and the number of tourists in Tigrai, a region in northern Ethiopia with amazing attractions and destinations, there are limited resources available on the internet or printed about what to see, how to get there, where to stay and the like. A tourism promotion company by the name Hadgi Tourism, decided to create a tourist map both interactive and printed.


  • Create an informative, multi-purposetourist map of Tigrai.
  • Design a user-interface for an interactive app version of the map.
  • Design a printable version for the map.


Tools Used




Undestanding the type and elements of a tourist map users need.

Reviewing previous maps

Only one tourist map was produced previously for Tigrai. Another older one was a small scale map prepared for the whole of Ethiopia. The older one had less details as it was covering a large portion of land, and had no specific information. The one prepared for Tigrai relatively had much better details, but still lacks important details as it was printed 15 years ago at the time of review. The two had no digital version.

(1) Interview

Eighteen individuals from diverse backgrounds and professions participated in a user assessment research to determine their preferences for how a tourist map should be presented. The participants included 9 tour operators, 4 students, 2 instructors, 2 from a government tourism agency, and 1 random individual.

Seven of them, mostly students, were interviewed in-person. Important insights were taken from each. Each participant was asked 10 questions. Below are some of the questions.

  1. When using a tourist map, what features are most important to you?
  2. Do you prefer a digital or a printed tourist map when exploring a new destination?
  3. How useful do you think are interactive features, such as clickable icons or augmented reality, on a digital tourist map? (Rate 1 to 5, 5 being very useful)
  4. How important is it for a tourist map to have multilingual support?
  5. How important is it for a tourist map to include navigation features, such as GPS location tracking?
  6. Do you have any specific suggestions or features you would like to see in a tourist map?
(2) Questionaire

Eleven of the participants were given a questionaire. Most of them were 18 and above, both men and women. Similar questions with slight changes in presentation. Regardless of their profession, and age group their responses were closely related.



Putting all the information together and defining the need.

<< Insights
Research Analysis

After analyzing and summarizing the data we get from the interview and questionaire, we were able to get insights on what type of map, and features the audience prefers.

Accordingly, the needs indicated a map both in digital and printed formats, bilingual (Tigringa & English), and an interactive one with navigational fuctionalities.

Communicating Stakeholders

Having these analytical findings, on behalf of my team, I communicated the results to stakeholders. Important decisions were made. It was decided to prepare the map in two languagesTigrigna and English – both in digital and printed versions. It was also decided to have interactive features, such as clickable icons.

Given the poor telecom infrastructure in the region, and the challenging topography of the area, however, it was decided to design an offline app, and hence  no fuctionality for navigation.


How to come up with the best design to address the user expectations.

The team sat down, and discussed ideas on how to come up with the best solution that exceed user expectations. The map is expected in two separate output media.

(1) Printed and (3) interactive digital version with more details.

It should be handy, and informative for tourists, as well as attractive for students, affordable for everyone. It was agreed to categorize the map elements into the following broad category in the first version.

  • Destinations (Cities, towns, tourist centers, etc)
  • Attractions (Museums, palaces, parks, churches/monasteries, mosques, archaeological sites, volcanic, cemeteries, battlefields, rivers, mountains, etc)
  • Roads and boundaries
  • Tourist information (Map details, emergency numbers, accommodations, distances, accessibilities, etc)


Putting the data into visual elements.

A little market research was made to decide the type of paper used so as to aligh the design with it. The print would be on an A2 paper size, on a 120gm glossy paper. This was found to be affordable, handy and attractive. Initially, it was planned to be laminated, but the cost went high affecting affordability.

It should be multi-folded to make it so handy for travelers and students. The appropriate size was decided to be 6 by 3 folds.