A couple weeks ago I was faced with the challenge of creating an interactive document that we could use to illustrate a few tips for reading plat maps. It needed to point out a various types of property access on a Seattle, King County map. Essentially, we wanted something a little more interactive than just a static graphic so I had my work cut out for me.
in the past I would have probably used flash and embedded it in our site. But because flash is falling further out of favor, I didn't want to go that route. Another alternative would be markers on a google map but overlaying the parcel image sounded like it would take too long to figure out. Plus printing with both these options may be on the tricky side. So on a short time budget, I looked for an interactive PDF solution and discovered a new trick in the process.
Interactive PDF Buttons
I discoverd that Adobe InDesign has an interactive button feature that can add some fun and functionality to pdfs. In the same way that you can roll over an image or hot spot on a website and get movement or an action on the page, you can roll over a portion of a pdf file and make something happen.
So for our purposes, I created a file that looks like a plat map with markers on it. When you roll the mouse over the marker you get a text box that appears nearby explaining the type of access to the property parcel.
Click on the image to the right to open the pdf and check it out on page 2.
What about you? If you had to create a web document that provided a similar level of interactivity, what tool would you use?
Here's more info on interactive PDF Buttons, by the way.