Just the other day one of our regular readers asked me if I could explain how we made our Motorhome Stopover Map using Google Maps. I learnt how to do it a while back, but I can still remember that the learning involved a fair bit of “Oh for goodness sake!!!”, “Grrr…!!”, “I hate computers!!” and various other tantrums of toddleresque proportions!
Of course by the end of finding all the information I needed it turned out to be a pretty simple process. In fact it’s fair to say it’s easy peasy and I could probably have got by quite nicely with only half the hair pulling and agonised moans that I used!
So with no further ado, ( But with a lot of pictures!) , here’s my straightforward, step by step guide to making your own Google Map.
- Go to Google Maps and click on the three horizontal bars in the top left hand corner.
- On the menu that drops down click on “Your Places”.
- Now click on “Maps“.
- Now click ” Create Map“.
- You’ll now see a map like this.
- To start adding your places simply type an address or GPS coordinates into the address bar.
You will see I’ve used coordinates.
- Now press the Enter button on your computer or the blue search icon on the address bar.
The map will change to the location you entered.
Find the coordinates in the left hand Menu and click the + sign next to them.
Your coordinates will not be saved to the map until you click the + sign.
- Okay great! You’ve added your first place! Now to make everything look just the way you want it!
You will now have a screen that looks like this…
Now click on that Edit button that looks like a pencil.
- Now click in the Boxes to give a Title ( the name of the place maybe) and a description.
Then click Save.
- Awesome! Next you might want to change the placemarker to a different symbol and colour. Something that best suits your map.
To do this click on the little paint bucket symbol. Then click the colour you want in the pallette that appears.
After you’ve picked your colour click on “more icons” to see all the different map pins you can choose from.
- Click on the icon you want to use and then click OK.
- Almost done! Now you just want to give your map a name…
Click on “Untitled Map” over in the left hand Menu.
Then fill in the Title & Description boxes in the pop up box and click Save.
- Finally let’s look at the Layers bit.
Layers are like different pages on your map with different information.
You can look at them all at once. Or turn some off to look at one at a time.
For instance… You could have a different layer for every trip you do.
Or… A different layer for every country you’ve been to.
Our Motorhome Stopover Map has a different Layer for every tour we do.
So we want to call our first Layer “Spring Tour 2017”.
To name the Layer we click on “Untitled Layer” in the left hand Menu.
Then we fill in our title in the pop up box and click Save.
- Now our Map looks like this.
We add in more places using the address bar.
Then we add another layer using the add layer icon in the left hand menu.
We call it “Autumn Tour 2017”
To add places to our new layer we uncheck the box next to our 1st Layer “Spring Tour 2017”.
When you have more than one layer to add to it you have to make sure that ONLY the layer you want to add places to is checked.
Now our map is starting to grow!
All we need to do is add more places!
Time for a tour someplace nice guys?
So there you have it. You’ll find it gets pretty easy with practice as you get used to where everything is. Make sure when you’ve finished working on your map to have all the layers checked that you want to be able to see. If they’re not checked then the information won’t be visible on your map.
You can play around with the features and menus to find out what else you can do with your map. For instance clicking on “Base Map” in the left hand menu let’s you choose between different looks for your map.
Finally I’ll leave you with my Top Tip for finding GPS coordinates. Using a touchscreen device go to Google Maps and just zoom right in on the spot you want coordinates for. Then hold your finger down on that spot on the screen. The GPS coordinates will appear in the address bar.
I hope this has been useful for you and is clear and easy to understand. Till next time!