A common service that law firms perform is to compile multijurisdictional surveys of laws, regulations or other legal data. But an equally common problem is presenting that data in a way that is visually informative and compelling.

A new product called Map Engine aims to solve that problem by making it easy and economical for law firms to create attractive and interactive maps to visualize multijurisdictional data.

Released yesterday, Map Engine was developed as a partnership between Theory and Principle, a legal technology product design and development company, and Sente Advisors, a legal tech innovation consultancy.

Designed to be easy to use, the tool allows a law firm to create a map simply by uploading a spreadsheet containing the survey data. The resulting map can be viewed and shared both as a web page or embedded on websites or blogs using iFrame. Maps can be public or secured with a passcode.

Ryan McClead, CEO of Sente, said he saw the need for such a tool after several law firm clients came to him looking for a way to generate maps from voluminous survey data they had collected. When he researched options, they were all too expensive or too complicated or both.

One of his clients ended up spending several thousand dollars to build a single map, and if it wanted to create another, it would cost another several thousand dollars.

Believing there should be a better way, he approached Nicole Bradick, CEO of Theory and Principle, which has developed a reputation in the industry for designing products that are attractive and intuitive.

Upload A Spreadsheet

The product they created employs a fully responsive design so that maps can be viewed on any device. A user enters the data into a spreadsheet template that Map Engine provides, with columns corresponding to areas of the map. HTML hex codes can be added to the spreadsheet to specify colors on the map. Upload the spreadsheet and the map is generated.

Map Engine is being sold to law firms at a subscription price of $749 a month, billed annually, and includes an unlimited number of maps.

It launched with just one map template, of U.S. states and territories, but the plan is to add templates for the Canadian provinces and territories, U.S. federal district courts, the European Union, and other geographic areas.

The basic subscription includes the U.S. map and other map templates will cost an additional subscription price of $249 per month, billed annually.

While Theory and Principle has developed a number of products for others, this is the first time that it has developed one that it is directly taking to market. The product is owned as a partnership between Theory and Principle and Sente, and Sente will provide product support.

Here are examples of maps created using dummy data, with both the web page version and the embedded version.

McClead also created a map showing the U.S. adoption of the duty of technology competence, using the data he pulled from the more rudimentary map I created and have maintained here for several years.

Here are other examples McClead created, showing first the source of the data and then the Map Engine version:

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.