Google My Maps

1.Google My Maps

Google MyMaps is a great tool to create custom maps. It can be used for personal projects, as well as personal use. This tutorial will walk you through how to create your own custom map.

Before You Begin

  • Google Account: You will need to have a Google account before you begin because your work will be saved in Google Drive.
  • Know Your Data: We recommend preparing your data  before you start working on your map. The MyMaps workflow is much easier if you go into it knowing all the data you need to input into the map. Once all your information is complete, you may move on to the next step of creating your map!

Making the Map

    1. Go to maps.google.com. Make sure you are logged in to your Google account. If not, you can do so by clicking the blue Sign In button on the upper right-hand corner of the map.
    2. Once you are signed in, click the menu in the upper left hand corner. 
    3. Click My Maps.
    4.  Click create. If you have created other maps previously, they will also appear here.
    5. A new tab will open. This will be your workspace for the map.

2.Naming the Map

  1. The first thing you will want to do is give the map a name. This will also serve as the maps’s file name in your Google Drive. To rename the map, click Untitled map.
  2. Type in your desired map name and description. Only the map name is required.
  3. Then click save.
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3.Base Map

The base map is the map on which your points are displayed. There are a variety of options for you to choose from.
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To change the base map, scroll to the bottom of the layers bar on the left-hand side of the screen. You will see an arrow icon next to base map.
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Click the arrow and you will see nine different options in base maps.
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Map
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Satellite
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Terrain
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Light Political
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Mono City
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Simple Atlas
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Light Landmass
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Dark Landmass
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Whitewater
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Map is a perfectly fine option for base map, unless your assignment has specific requirements. Satellite is useful to switch to if you are having trouble finding a structure or geographical feature that doesn’t appear on the Map view.

4.Layers

Layers work much like folders in that they are a way of grouping and viewing data on the map. Whatever layer is selected when a location point is created, that will be the layer that the location point is categorized under.
To rename a layer, click on the three vertical dots to the right of untitled layer.
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A drop-down box will appear and you will select rename layer.
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A window will appear and you will rename the layer and then select save.
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To add more layers, select add layer.
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5.Layer Appearance

Below the name of each layer is a blue paint roller next to blue words that say individual settings.16238961305_3bdc3c72ae_z.jpg
This allows you to adjust how places are grouped as well as the labels for each location point. By clicking on the blue individual settings, you will see two drop-down menus.
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By clicking on individual styles, you will get a window that allows you to adjust how the places are grouped.
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By clicking on no labels, you will get a window that allows you to adjust the location points
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to show no labels,
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show their name,
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or show their description.
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6.Location Points

To add a location point onto the map, first make sure you have the correct layer selected. There should be a blue line on the left-hand side of the layer category to show that it is the current layer selected. If you do not have the correct layer selected when you add a location point, you will NOT be able to move the location point to the correct layer. You will have to DELETE the location point and start over.
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Since you are starting out with a full view of the U.S., you will want to use the search bar to get you closer the point you want to mark.
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To drop a pin, select the pin icon from below the search bar.
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Then click the location you would like to be marked to drop a pin. A red pin will appear along with a window. Give your location point a name and a description (if desired) and then select save.
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Now you will see the name of the location point under the layer it is categorized in.
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7.Images and Videos

One way to provide more information about your location point on a map is to add images and video. You can have multiple images and video for each location point, but you can only add them one at a time.
To edit the data (name, description, images, videos, etc.) of a location point, click on the pin on the map that marks the location point.
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A window will appear. Select the pen icon in the bottom right corner of the window.
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The window will switch so that you can edit the name and description. To add an image or video, select the camera icon in the bottom right corner of the window.
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A large window will appear. Across the top there will be four options: Google Image Search, Image URL,Video search, and YouTube URL. There will be a blue line under the option that is currently selected for use.
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8.Image URL

Adding an Image using Image URL requires you to have a URL to an already uploaded image. You cannot upload an image file from your computer; it must already be available online. If you have some photos saved on your computer that you would like to use, you can upload them to Imgur or Flickr and then add them to your location point information via Image URL.
Starting from the location point information window, select the camera icon in the bottom right-hand corner if this is your first image or video for the location point.
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Or select + icon in the bottom right-hand corner if this is not your first image or video for the location point.
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A window will appear with four options. Make sure the blue line is under Image URL to indicate that it is selected. You should see Paste an image URL here: with a bar highlighted in blue and a cursor blinking in it to the right of it.15609099584_7e211e3796_z.jpg
Paste the image URL into the bar. A checkmark should appear on the right side of the bar and your image should also appear. Then click the blue select button in the bottom left-hand side of the window.
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You should see the image in the information window for your location point. If this is the second image or video you’ve added for the location point, you will also see that there is now an arrow for you to flip through the media.
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To add another image or video, select the + button in the bottom right-hand corner of the black image box.
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To delete the image, select the trash can icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the black image box.
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9.YouTube URL

Adding a video using YouTube requires you to have a URL to an already uploaded YouTube video. You cannot upload an video file from your computer; it must already be available online. If you have a video saved on your computer that you would like to use, you can upload them to YouTube and then add it to your location point information via YouTube URL.
Starting from the location point information window, select the camera icon in the bottom right-hand corner if this is your first image or video for the location point
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or select + icon in the bottom right-hand corner if this is not your first image or video for the location point.
A window will appear with four options. Make sure the blue line is under YouTube URL to indicate that it is selected. You should see Paste an YouTube URL here: with a bar highlighted in blue and a cursor blinking in it to the right of it.
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Paste the YouTube URL into the bar. Your video should appear. Then click the blue select button in the bottom left-hand side of the window.
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You should see that the video has been added to the information box for your location point. If this is the second image or video you’ve added for the location point, you will also see that there is now an arrow for you to flip through the media.
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11.Adding and Deleting Content

To add another image or video, select the + button in the bottom right-hand corner of the black image box.
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To delete the video, select the trash can icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the black image box.
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12.Default View

The default view is how the map will appear when someone looks at it on the site you’ve embedded it.
To set the default view, first adjust your map to how you would like it to be viewed using the mouse to drag the map around and the plus and minus buttons in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to zoom in and out. Make sure that you are using the cursor and not the pin when you attempt to drag the map.
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Once you have the map set, click the three vertical dots next to where it says add layer and share in the white column on the left-hand side of the screen.15619098723_5c30e1f300_z.jpg
A window will appear and you will click on set default view. Once you have clicked on it, the default view is set.
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13.Sharing Your Map

To share your map, press the share button in the left-hand column.
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A window will appear asking you to give the map a name and description. All you need is a name, so once you have that, you can press the skip button at the bottom of the window.
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You will then be brought to the window you see whenever you share something in Google Drive. In order for someone else to be able to work on this map, you must set the map to PUBLIC. To do this, click onchange.
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The link sharing window will then appear where you will select public. Even if you plan to only share via link, you must change it to PUBLIC in order for someone else to be able to edit it.
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Once you choose public on the web, you will have the option to adjust the access from can view to can edit. Then click save.
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You will then be brought back to the sharing settings page where you can either enter the email addresses of the people you want to share it with or you can copy the link for the document and share it that way. When you have adjusted the sharing settings to your preference, click done.
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14.How to Embed Your Map

To embed your map into a blog post or blog page, first select the three dots next to the add layer and share buttons.
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Click embed on my site from the drop down menu. This option is only able to be clicked if you have first set the share settings to public.
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A window will appear with a link for you to copy. Copy the link and then click done.
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Next you will need to sign into WordPress on your blog and either create a new blog post or page, depending on where you want to embed your map. Once you have opened a new page or post, make sure you are working in the text editor, which can be selected by clicking the tab in the right hand corner above the toolbar that says text. Then past the link you copied from Google Maps into the text box and press publish if this is a new page or post or update if the page or post has been previously saved.
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You can then see how the map looks by clicking preview.
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Here is how the map appears as a blog post.
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You can always go back and edit the page or post to add some background information about the map or what other required information your professor requires.
To see the published version of the map made in this tutorial, click here.

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