You would be surprised at the diversity of opinions among our customers on whether or not a store locator map should start with all the pins loaded on the map, or start with a blank map, and then show map markers after a search is completed.

Some of our customers prefer to load all the pins and give their site visitors and overview of all their retail locations, others prefer not to make their whole distribution list available to their competitors. Trying to strike a balance Stormeapper has a few built in rules around this.

1. By default Storemapper will show map pins on load

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 8.13.49 AM

2. You can set the map to hide map pins initially and only show them AFTER a search

In Settings you can set Show Locations to “No” if you prefer to hide your map pins and won’t show them on load. Instead the map will be blank and a limited number of map pins will load AFTER the search.

StoreMapper show pins

3. No matter what, if you have more than 1,500 locations, no pins on load. (Unless you override this)

There is a well known issue with the maps API that if you try to load too many markers on a map it can crash the user’s browser, especially on mobile devices. We tried dozens of workarounds for this but in the end the most reliable solution to avoid a browser crash was to just set a hard limit. If your account has more than this number of locations there is currently no way to load map pins on the initial maps.

If this behavior is a deal breaker for you it is possible to override this in the Advanced Settings.

4. The map may behave differently for you vs. first-time visitors to your site

If you have already visited your store locator and allowed the app to “use your location” the app will immediately execute a search based on your GPS coordinates. First time visitors will still see the nice map pin overview though. This article shows how that works in more detail.