GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE'S "MY MAPS"
©2019 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2019-11-21. Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page
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ABSTRACT: Google has built-in maps, called Google Maps,
and the ability to make your own maps, called
Google My Maps. Possibilities of maps to make are of all the places you have lived, the
neighborhood where you grew up, an ancestor's
migration, a trip you are planning, where an
organization's members live, and important
locations in a city. The maps you make are free and can be public or private. Many such public maps are posted on Google.
We will discuss how to find these on Google Maps and how you make your own on Google's
My Maps. T The
notes for this class and related articles, all
with active Internet links, are posted on my
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
- Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( firstname.lastname@example.org
) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
- The notes for this class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are posted on my website http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html
- Tips: (1) To put an icon on your desktop for the URL
for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon in front of the
address in your browser to your desktop. (2) To open a
link while keeping your place in the original page, hold down the
Control key while clicking the link, so it opens in a new tab.
- The problem for today: What are Google Maps and Google "My Maps" and how do you find them and make your own?
ABOUT GOOGLE MAPS AND GOOGLE "MY MAPS"
- Google Maps and Google My Maps are different -- Maps is where you find maps and directions you need; My Maps is where you make and edit your own maps
- Ways to get to Google Maps: (1) https://www.google.com/maps/ and (2) Go to Google > "Tic-Tac-Toe board" (upper right corner) > Maps (may have to click on More first)
- Ways to get to Google My Maps: (1) https://www.google.com/maps/d/ and (2) Go To Google > Maps > Menu (3 horizontal bars in upper left corner) > Your Places > Maps -- this brings in all the maps you've worked on
- Can put icons for each on your bookmarks bar or desktop by dragging the icons from in front of the addresses in the browser
- Maps Menu (3 bars in upper left corner) -- different menu fthan for My Maps (see below)
- Many items including Satellite, Traffic, Terrain, Your Places, Your Contributions, Take a
Tour, and Tips and Tricks
- See Take a Tour for a good overall understanding of Google Maps; also many good helps in Tips and Tricks
- Satellite view shows aerial photograph of same area as map you are viewing; Terrain shows the main geographical features in that area
- Your Places has four subheadings: Labeled, Saved, Visited, and Maps
- Labeled -- shows places you have entered into the system, e.g. your home, your children's or ancestors' homes,
important family history locations for your ancestors, places you plan to go, libraries, etc.
- Saved -- shows locations you have entered and described
- Visited -- show where you have actuallytraveled day-by-day, if the Google app is turned on in your smartphone
- Maps -- shows maps you have produced and saved, whether public or private
MY MAPS MENU
- My Maps Menu (3 horizontal bars in upper left) -- headings: Create A New Map, All, Owned, Not Owned, Shared, Recent, and Explore
- Create A Map -- where you can create a new map
- All -- shows all the maps you have made, both private and public
- Owned -- shows only those you have made that are private and not available to anyone else
- Not Owned -- shows all the maps you have made and allowed to be public
- Shared -- shows the maps shared with you by others
- Recent -- shows what you worked on recently
- Explore -- shows a few prominent public maps, e.g. US Civil War Map and New York City Attractions
- Hover cursor over name to see full name; Sort your maps in various ways by clicking on A|Z (upper right corner of page); Give them names so tyou can see what they are and they sort so you can find them easily; You can edit a map you've already created or copy one to begin editing it; click on image menu ("3 Vertical Dots" in upper right corner of small image) to copy, remove, etc.
FINDING AND USING GOOGLE MAPS
- The Explore option in Google My Maps has several prominent maps that were created and made public; clicking on one will put it into your map collection
- Do Google searches with "google my maps" and key words, e.g. ' "google my maps" "donald r. snow" ' (without the outside quotes) will find some that I have made
STEPS IN MAKING AND EDITING A GOOGLE MAP
- Good tutorials in Map Menu > Help > All Articles
- You must be in My Maps to create or edit a map
- If you started in Maps, go to Your Places and click on the option to open it in My Maps
- Or go to My Maps > Create A Map
- Or go to Maps > Main Menu > Your Places > Maps > Create Map (bottom of menu)
- While making a map, it's a good idea to make a copy periodically, so you don't inadvertently delete everything; can sometimes find deleted maps in https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive
- Layers -- start by putting everything in one layer; can later add other layers and drag-and-drop items to a different layer; layers can be turned on or off; examples of layers could be things like addresses of where you lived, locations of schools you attended, locations of where you worked, locations of things important to you such as churches, playgrounds, etc.
- Several ways to add locations
- Do a search by the name or address of the place and then click "Add to Map"
- Click on "tear drop" in the editing panel at top and move it to where you want it
- Enter the GPS coordinates
- Upload a file such as a spreadsheet with the addresses
- Click on the name to edit it and add description; can also move the point, if needed
- To edit a point click the Edit (pencil) in the window; when done editing click Save to save it with the changes
- Data for every point is saved in a Data Table for each layer; to get to a layer's Data Table click on the 3 dots by the layer title, then Data Table; can edit data for points in that layer right there; easy to make them more uniform there than on the map itself
- Can add lines joining locations to indicate travel and can check distances and even area enclosed by a closed line
- Can add text, pictures, or videos at any point by clicking on the camera icon on the pop-up window for the point
- If desired, add new layers and drag points to them from the old layer; can then turn on or off that entire layer so the map shows only the items on the layers you want
- Click Preview (at top) to see how the finished map will look; on preview you can turn on or off the various layers
REFERENCES, HELPS, AND TUTORIALS FOR MAKING A GOOGLE MAP
- Google Maps Support -- https://support.google.com/mymaps/?hl=en#topic=3188329
- Many helpful YouTube videos -- Search YouTube for "using google maps" (no quotes)
- 8-minute video on Google Maps -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQUaQpoF8xE
- 9-minutes video on Google Maps -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeXUKs3FrgM
- 15-minute video on Google My Maps -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLhyr5MGi2g
- How to make a map of an LDS Ward -- https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22598 and http://ldstechie.blogspot.com/2015/08/create-google-my-maps-from-your-ward-or.html
- Mapping Your Ancestry With Google Maps -- https://www.thoughtco.com/map-adventures-with-google-1421977
- Lifewire article -- https://www.lifewire.com/things-you-can-do-with-google-maps-1616687
- Wikipedia article -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_My_Maps
IDEAS FOR MAPS YOU CAN DO
- Maps about yourself or ancestors, homes, work, travel, missions
- Migration map of where your ancestors came from and when they moved
- A family history research trip or any trip -- include all the places you plan to go, addresses and information
about the archives, libraries, and museums, phone numbers, costs; plane or bus stations, etc. -- can find photos online ; then, as you travel, add your own information and photos so relatives or friends can experience it virtually
- Maps of where members of an organization live -- can enter the data into a spreadsheet and import all addresses at once and let Google place the icons
- Can add videos or descriptions to any places on your maps
- There are many good Google maps already online.
- Making your own maps is interesting and fun, but start by makng a simple map to get the idea.