"The Atlas. It speaks to me again."
As we head into the second half of 2017 and towards its first birthday, we're pleased to be levelling up the UK Games Map with the second in a series of improvements to the look, layout and functionality.
As you can see from the image above, there's been quite a few changes with this waking titan, but before we get on to them, let's take a quick look at the latest numbers:
2,153 active games companies in the map
This represents an increase of 204 active games companies mapped since we launched in September 2016.
As before, the quickest way to get to grips with the map functionality is via the in-built tutorial. It's a good place to start if you're a newbie!
All three Map Marker types are now shown by default (games companies, universities and service companies). To make it easier to understand what you're looking at, we've also added a summary of the total numbers of markers shown on the map in the left-hand sidebar.
The map is now automatically set to show active games companies only, when the map is first loaded. This can be easily changed via the map's filters.
You can easily filter the map by clicking either the small "filter" symbol or larger "Refine the Results" buttons:
Clicking either button opens a modal containing the filter options. Along the top of the modal are three tabs to show the different filter options available for the three map marker types.
In the Developers & publishers tab, you can see the "Active" companies filter is already set. The rest of the filters function as before, along with a new option for filtering to show Ukie members (also available for service companies).
When you've chosen your filter options, clicking apply will set the filters and return you to an updated map, with the new company counts shown in the left-hand summary. This change is quite important, as previously it was often not clear if your filters had been applied, as the map took a few seconds to refresh.
As we mentioned filters for Ukie members, we should also say that you're now also able to see which companies are Ukie members by viewing their profiles. What other associations would you like to see us add here?
To create a bit more room on the map, we've reduced the size of the bottom bar containing the region comparison information. The basic functionality here is the same as before - you can click the map to select an area and its name and number of games companies (blue), universities (purple), games (green) and service companies (red) will be displayed here. Hovering over any of the counts will pop up some further information.
As before, clicking on any of the count boxes will open the full list of companies, which you can either export (to csv etc) or click through to the individual company profiles.
If you want to compare a second region with your primary selection, clicking the map marker icon in the second half of the toolbar (which then turns pink to show it's selected) means you can select a second area on the map. Clicking the map marker on the left-hand side again changes back to selecting a primary region.
As well as saving space with the bottom bar, we've also trimmed the "compare companies" function down to a simpler interface. You still add companies to your compare list in the same way (see here), but now you can view the list by clicking the new button just below the filters:
Clicking the "compare companies" button now pops up a new modal containing all the familiar functionality to compare companies, where you can view each profile, see some top level information and remove companie sfrom your list.
And last but by no means least:
The UK Games Map is a shared, open resource and directory for the industry, by the industry. As well as an essential dataset in Ukie's policy and economic work, it increases networking opportunities for games businesses, helps job seekers find local businesses and provides a window on the industry for investors, journalists, academics and policy makers.
To help raise the profile of the UK Games Map, spread its messsage and help it grow, we've created a new Supporters page to show the industry, creative and tech organisations who support the map's mission. We're just starting things out with this list, but if your organisation recognises the value the map brings and you'd like to be listed as a supporter, please contact Luke.
As ever, we welcome any feedback and suggestions for improving the map and would love to hear more about some of things you're using the map to uncover or how it's helping your business. Please let us know any thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope this will pave the way towards new experiences in version 1.3 of a familiar universe.