What is Neatline?

In the broadest sense, Neatline is an annotation framework that makes it possible to create rich, interactive editions of visual objects. In the past, the project has focused on maps, but Neatline can also be used to annotate anything that has some sort of visual instantiation - the same set of vector-drawing and content management tools can be used to create interpretive views of paintings, drawings, photographs, documents, diagrams, and anything else that can be captured as an image.

Here are some examples of the kinds of projects that could be built (or have been built!) with Neatline:

What makes it different?

How does Neatline fit into the existing ecosystem of geospatial and annotation tools? Neatline sits in the space between consumer-grade mapping applications like the Google custom map-maker and heavyweight, analytical GIS tools like ArcGIS. It’s designed to be simple enough that college undergraduates can easily use it for class assignments, but also sufficiently flexible, scalable, and feature-rich that it can be used for professional scholarship, journalism, and art. Neatline keeps things simple and provides sensible defaults, but it’s careful never to make intellectual or aesthetic decisions on your behalf.

Getting Started

Working with Exhibits

Working with Neatline Plugins

Working with Neatline Stylesheets

Working with the Neatline Editor


Text Tab

Map Tab

Style Tab

  • Editing Groups
  • Editing Colors
  • Editing Opacities
  • Editing Dimensions
  • Editing Dates
  • Editing Imagery
  • Editing Visibility