Google's My Maps
What are My Maps?
- Google’s Free Map Creator
- Create and view them at http://mymaps.google.com
- Add custom pins, layers, directions, and now distances!
- Maps can then be shared just like Google Docs and edited by multiple users simultaneously
- Maps can even be made “public”, where anyone in the world can have access to it.
- Add images, videos, and/or paragraphs to each placemark or polygon.
- Looking for some ways to use this tool in your classroom? Click here.
- All of the videos below are available on this playlist (click).
Adding Placemarks to a Google My Map
- Placemarks help show where certain events occurred.
- Can be added manually (using the menu at the top of the map) OR by searching for a location and then adding it to your map.
- Placemarks can also contain text, images, and videos (from either Youtube or Google Drive).
- They can also be stylized to help add more meaning to your My Map.
Sharing and Collaborating on a My Map
- My Maps can be collaborated on by students and teachers.
- Press the SHARE button in the top left.
- You can share the map with "Specific people", make it where "Anyone with the link" can view/edit it, or make it "Public on the web."
- Important: to see changes collaborators make, the page must be refreshed.
Drawing Polygons and Lines
- 2D polygons and lines can be drawn on a My Map
- Lines show distance between points as the crow files.
- Polygons show area of a location, state, province, or continent.
- Classroom idea: "Okay class, today we're going to determine the area of our school..."
- Measurements are shown in either kilometers or miles (depending on which country you live).
Adding Images and Videos
- Placemarks and polygons can have multiples images and videos added on to them for a user to interact with.
- Images can be uploaded, taken by the web camera, added from Google Drive or a URL, added from Google Photos, or from a Google Image Search.
- Videos can added from a Youtube search or a Youtube URL.
- Placemarks can be stylized by becoming different icons and colors.
- Edit your Placemark by selecting it, then clicking the pencil.
- The color and image on it can be changed.
- Hundreds of icons to select from; they're searchable, too.
- You can upload your own custom icon, too!
- Need to sort/filter your locations in different groups?
- Add a layer by clicking the "Add a Layer" button in the top left.
- Layers can have uniform, a sequence of numbers or individual styles.
- Layers can have labels for different placemarks and polygons turned on.
- Can export individual layers as KML/KMZ to view in Google Earth.
Changing the Base Map
- There are nine different base maps that can be displayed on a My Map.
- Satellite, Terrain, Political, and Atlas, to name a few.
- Choose a Base map which helps a user understand the information on your map the clearest.
Setting the Default View
- This sets the field of view which appears anytime a user opens your Map.
- In other words, it makes your students see a certain part of the map first.
- Also works for public My Maps in the "View only" mode.
Reorganizing Placemarks and Polygons
- Trying to show information chronologically on your map?
- Any placemarks on the map key can be clicked and dragged around to reorder.
- They can also be dragged between layers.
The Measurement Tool
- Used to measure distances (in kilometers and miles) between multiple points as the crow flies.
- Click the ruler up the top to enable to tool
- Measure perimeter and area by creating polygons.
- Smaller areas are shown in acres, not square miles.
Importing KML/KMZ Files
- KML/KMZ Files can be found online or created and uploaded onto a Google My Map.
- Here's a direct download link to one for you to practice uploading with (click).
- Press the "Import" button which appears below each new layer
- Upload the KML from Google Drive or your computer
Viewing a My Map on Google Earth
- Want to display your My Map in a much more beautiful way?
- Export your My Map as a KML/KMZ file (use a KMZ if you create custom icons)
- Head to earth.google.com (it's the new Google Earth)
- Import your KML/KMZ onto Google Earth.
- Each layer becomes its own folder in the KML file
- Images and videos transfer, too!
- Want to learn more about the new Google Earth? Check out my other page (click).
The Data Set Table
- Large data sets imported from a Google Sheet can be viewed and edited on the Data Set table.
- While it doesn't have the same functionality as a Google Sheet, it still is a quick way to edit/view any data on the My Map.
- Can remove rows/columns in one fell swoop.
Stylizing a Map by a Data Set Column
- Have multiple placemarks displaying data on a layer and want to make the more visual?
- Change to "Style by data column" and sort your data into "Ranges".
- I recommend using single color ranges and not the full spectrum.
A Google Photos My Map
- Want to create a map from images in a Google Photos album?
- Create a new layer and click "Import".
- Click "Photo album" and select the ones you'd like to add onto your My Map.
- Press select, and the images become Placemarks on your My Map.
- Note: this does not work with videos... yet.
Exploring Public My Maps
- At http://mymaps.google.com you can explore vetted My Maps that are approved by Google.
- They're not filterable, but there are about 50 or so that you and your students can view.
- Open them up, press the three dots, an you can copy the map to your Google Drive.
Creating a Map from a Google Sheet
- A My Map can be created from different columns on a Google Sheet.
- Create a new layer, press "Import" and find the Sheet/CSV you want to display on your map.
- Each Google Sheet column header becomes a different section on each Placemark
- Here's a sample Google Sheet you can use to practice uploading your own (click).
- The Data Table is also created from the Google Sheet.
Assigning Maps in Google Classroom
- Make your My Map where "Anyone with the link can view".
- Place instructions for the task/assignment on a Placemark.
- Attach the link to your "My Map" as a Resource onto your Google Classroom assignment.
- Students open up the My Map, press the "Three Dots", and then "Make a Copy"
- Students can then add their My Map from their Drive onto the assignment.
Opening a My Map in Google Maps
- Want to quickly display any maps you've created on Google Maps?
- Press the Google Maps menu button (three lines), select "My Places", and then "Maps".
- Click the My Map you want to open, and it'll appear on your screen (including any polygons and placemarks).
Embedding a Map on a Google Site
- Want your My Map to appear on your Google Site or class blog? There are two ways to do this.
- You can click the three dots on a My Map and select "Embed on my site" to find the HTML code. This code can be pasted on your website/blog.
- If you have a new Google Site, click "Insert", the "Map", the "My Maps" to find the one you want to embed.
- Alter the dimensions to best fit on your Google Site.
Adding Driving Directions
- Going on a Field Trip as a class and want to show your chaperones how to get there?
- Create a My Maps layer with all the different locations your class will be going.
- Press "Driving Directions" from the bar going across the top; this will add a new layer to your My Map.
- You can find directions between Placemarks or any address.