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Tablet showing the TechSPARK cluster map designed by Rocketmakers


techspark cluster map logo

The Situation

TechSPARK needed a new interactive map for the South West tech cluster 

TechSPARK, a not-for-profit network dedicated to connecting, educating and strengthening the digi-tech cluster in the West, has long maintained an online map listing the region's many technology companies. 

Now outdated, the previous map lacked functionality and was hard to update.

Laptop and phone showing the TechSPARK cluster map designed by Rocketmakers

The Task

Finding a solution that was super easy for both users and admins

After speaking to the TechSPARK team, creating a map with controls which could be administered without technical expertise was identified as a priority. The South West tech cluster is growing quickly, and being able to provide up-to-date information to the rest of the world would make the interactive map much more useful.

For users, the goal was to provide information about the region’s tech companies in an easy to digest format that can be navigated intuitively.

Laptop showing the TechSPARK cluster map designed by Rocketmakers

Our Approach

An experienced map-design team thinking outside the box

The Rocketmakers design team has a surprising amount of experience designing interactive maps of the South West, having previously designed a tech cluster map with AR-functionality for the Engine Shed, and a Tech4Good interactive map for Bristol and Bath.

After experimenting with several possible different formats and features, the design team came up with two display options to cater to the widest possible range of users.

Instead of building a complex database backend, the designers took the innovative step of deciding to host the website’s data on a Google Sheets document. This lowers the running cost dramatically, and makes an extremely simple interface for admins to work with.

Laptop showing the TechSPARK cluster map designed by Rocketmakers

The Result

The best tech cluster map in the west!

The new TechSPARK interactive map presents users with two options. They can search for tech companies geographically, by clicking on map pins in the area they are searching. Alternatively, they can also locate tech firms by sifting through a series of “cards” with company information. 

An important innovation was allowing companies to list themselves by investment level, which allows outside investors to quickly identify the opportunities in their particular bracket.

Thanks to an intuitively designed admin system, the TechSPARK team now have total control over the data presented on the map, and can quickly update or add new company information in seconds.

Laptop showing the TechSPARK cluster map designed by Rocketmakers

The Impact

Tech companies in the South West are getting noticed!

Thanks to the new interactive map, TechSPARK has had more interest than ever from local companies who want to take part.

After relaunching the map with 500 entries, it had grown to over 1,100 entries within a few months.

Thanks to the ability to sift by investment bracket, startups and scaleups, TechSPARK is able to match more investors to startups and scaleups than ever before!

Photograph of Ben Shorrock

Rocketmakers exceeded our expectations with the new interactive map for the South West. Considering how quickly the region’s tech cluster is growing, it’s really important to have a resource which is easy for us to update, and easy for users to find the information they need. 

We were also really wowed by the design. It really helps us show off our fantastic tech companies to the rest of the world!

Ben ShorrockManaging Director

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