Sunday, September 7, 2014

Create Custom Maps with Google Maps Engine Lite

After receiving several requests about how I created my custom "Where Are We Reading?" map, I have put together this how to tutorial to guide those interested in creating their own.

Creating Custom Maps with Google Maps Engine Lite

To create and save custom maps, you will need to have a Google account. Navigate to . Choose 'create a new map.' (At this point, you will be asked to sign into your Google account if you are not already signed in.)

You will be presented with a blank map. Options to customize the map are presented on the left-hand side. You can use the plus and minus symbols in the lower right-hand corner to zoom in or out on the map view. Click on the 'Untitled map' to add your own title and map description.

You can add data to a layer by importing or by manually adding pins. Click the pin icon underneath the search bar, and then click where on the map you want to place the pin. (You might want to navigate to the right place on the map before clicking the pin icon. Click the hand to go back to moving around the map.) You can add a title, description, and image to any pin. You can find images to add through Google search or through the image's URL. If you want to include an image from your own web site, you can right-click on the image to copy its URL.

The example above is from my "Where Are We Reading?" map. During the school year, we will keep adding each of our read aloud books to the map. The green pins highlight our four major units of study, to give students an idea of where we will be learning about next.

You can share your map in several different ways. First, you can invite others to collaborate with you on your map. Click the green Share button in the upper right-hand corner, and you can add email addresses who can also edit the map. Here is where you can adjust your privacy settings if you do not want your map to be public. (You can choose to make your map public, available only to people with the link, or visible only to specific email addresses.)

You can also embed your map in your own web site. Click on the little folder icon and choose 'Embed on my site.' Simply copy and paste the provided html code into your site (in Blogger, be sure you are in html view, not compose view). You can adjust the size of the embedded map by changing the width and height sizes. You cannot control the default scale the map is presented; Google will choose a field of view that accommodates all the pins that you have added. (This is another reason I added the pins to each continent, as I wanted viewers to see the whole world map.)

Your embedded map is not simply a static image, as it will change and update as you add or edit your map. I embedded a smaller version of our reading map in the sidebar as well so that any visitors to The Logonauts will be able to see where we have been reading.

When viewing an embedded map, you can click on pins to see their information, and you can click on the four corners icon to view a full screen version of the map. You can also use the plus and minus icons to change your zoom and map view, and you can click and drag to move around the map within the frame.

How are you using Google maps to share or collaborate with others? I look forward to hearing your ideas below!

Create Custom Maps with Google Maps Engine Lite | The Logonauts


  1. Ok, so can I make a make and insert it into a blog post on wordpress of our travels this summer?

    I was looking for something like this to start my summer vacation blogging, and this looks like just what I was looking for????



    1. Hi Ray,

      Yes, you can make your own map, put pins wherever you choose, and also upload a picture to include with the pins. Definitely sounds like it would work to share a geographically-linked version of your vacation.

      Best, Katie


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...