How to add map labels

In symbol and choropleth maps, you can add labels that help your readers orientate themselves. To do so, go to step 3: Visualize and then to the Annotate tab. You'll find the option Map labels right below the description fields. Turn on Show labels

There are two label types: places and labels you can add by column. This article explains both types:

Place labels

You can add up to 30 places with a slider and search for them by name. You can also paste a Google Maps link of a place in the search bar.

For each of the added places, you can

  • hide them with a click on the eye next to the place name
  • change the label text, e.g. from Uluru to Uluru / Ayers Rock
  • change the style of your label to point, capital, region, or country
  • change the position of your point/capital labels around the symbol, to top right, bottom right, top left, or bottom left.
  • invert the label from white to black and the other way round. We added some shadows around our labels, so both colors will work on both bright and dark backgrounds. But higher-contrast labels will draw more attention than e.g. a white label on a bright green background.

You can also select multiple labels by holding down the Shift key, and then make changes for all of the labels.

How to change which labels show up

There are a few ways to control which labels show up and which ones won't:

  • Drag a place up in the list to give it a higher priority in our algorithm – and down to give it a lower one. The top place label(s) will always be shown, no matter how small the screen.
  • Hide places you don't want to show at all with a click on the eye symbol in the label list.
  • Add places yourself with the search box below the list after setting the slider to zero.
  • Change the position of a place (e.g. from top left to top right) to show another one that's close by.

How to show map labels on own maps you upload

This will work without any extra work from your side. Upload your GeoJSON or TopoJSON to the choropleth/symbol map editor, go to the Annotate tab, and use the Map labels option as described above. This will work for every map with the correct coordinates.

What happens to place labels on mobile screens

Only places that fit will show up. On small screens, labels first try to change their positioning (e.g. from top right to bottom right) to not overlap with other ones. If that doesn't work, they simply disappear.

As you can see, that's different from our annotations – they always show up, either on the map if it's big enough, or as a key on smaller screens.

Labels by column

You can choose any column you uploaded and display the text/number from that column on your regions. This option is only available in choropleth maps and not in symbol maps. Select the type by column to see and use this option: 

If you select a number column, you can choose a number format. Learn more about our number formats here.

👉 To learn how to display not just the value or the region name but both on your maps, visit our article "How to display both label and value on choropleth maps"

If you have zoom enabled, you can also select a minimum zoom for your labels. If you choose a zoom level greater 1, the labels will only show up if your readers zoom in.  

To show the most important county names (even before readers zoom to the min. zoom for labels) , you can use the Highlight regions option. Use the dropdown menu to select the regions you want to see labeled.