2019 Alaska STRP

Website URL: CynthiaAnnett.org

There are three hands-on activities for this workshop; the first uses either Apple or Android mobile devices, the second uses Android devices and the third activity uses a laptop computer.

All activities will be demonstrated; participants are encouraged to use the instructions on this page to follow along on their own devices whenever possible.

google My Maps mobile - phones and tablets

Mobile Maps - Android

Hands-on Activity #1

View a Google My Maps on your mobile device

1. Use this QR code to open the My Maps (below) on your phone. To do this you will need a QR code scanner app on your phone (there are many free apps available from the Apple or Play Store).

2. The map below will open in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.). This is a Google My Maps that was created from the files that are available in Activity #3.

3. Use the + and - buttons to zoom in and out, use the search bar to navigate to an area you are interested in.

4. Tap on the icons to see the information window.

Google My Maps Example

Hands-on Activity #2

Create a Google My Maps Mobile using an Android phone or tablet

Find a partner - you will be interviewing your partner while you create your map


1. Now we will create a My Maps using an Android phone or tablet (this app is not available for iPhones or iPads). To begin, you will need to have a Google Account and be signed in on your device.

If you do not have a Google Account you can create one by clicking on this link in your browser https://bit.ly/2LcR9Hs or scan the QR code to the right. This will take you to the Google website so you can create a new account if you do not already have one.


2. To create your own map on your Android device you will need the Google My Maps Mobile app. You can download the Google My Maps app from the Play Store. Once you have downloaded the My Maps Mobile app open it.

3. Create a map by tapping on the + sign in the lower right corner. Give your map a title and a description, then tap OK.

4. Search for a location of interest using the search bar at the top.

5. Change the base map to Satellite by tapping on the three lines (menu icon) on the left side of the search bar, then tap Base map>Satellite>Ok.

4. Add points by tapping on the + icon in the lower right corner, then tap Add a new point. Move the map under the map marker until it is in the right location, then tap Select this location on the bottom of the screen. Git the layer a name and give your point a name and description. Tap the check mark in the upper right corner to return to a full screen view of your map. You can then edit the point by tapping on the pencil icon in the lower right corner. When you are finished, use the back arrow on your Android device to get out of edit mode.

5. Add a line by tapping the plus icon in the lower right corner, then tap Add a new line. Move the map to your first location, tap the + icon to drop a way point, move the map to your second location, tap the + to add a way point, and continue to the end of your line. You can use the delete icon at the bottom to remove a way point. When you finish your line tap the check mark in the upper right corner; give the layer a title, give the line a title and description. Tap the check box in the upper right corner. Again, if you want to edit it tap the pencil icon in the lower right corner. When you are finished, use the back arrow on your Android device to exit edit mode.

6. You can use My Maps Mobile offline as long as you have cached the imagery beforehand (zoom in and out to your locations) and you then reconnect to cell service or wifi to synch your map online. The map you create with your mobile device can be viewed and edited on your laptop; it can be shared with colleagues; and it can be embedded in your website.

Google my maps - laptop computers

2019 AK My Maps

Support and resources

Hands-on Activity #3

Choose a partner - you will interview your partner to create a My Maps


1.Open a new tab and go to Google Drive (you may have to sign into your account). http://drive.google.com/

2. Once you are in Google Drive, create a folder by clicking on the +New button on the upper left side. Name your folder. You will put all your work in this folder (the files you download, the My Maps you create, any additional materials associated with your project).

3. In your Google Drive folder create a new My Maps by clicking +New>More>My Maps. Give your map a name.

4. Ask your partner a series of questions that are place based (where do you work, where were you born, where does your family live, where did you go to school). For each question, drop a pin, a line or a polygon. Write information in the map icon balloon, add photos, add videos.

5. Share the map with your partner. Switch roles.

Files for Activity #4

Create a Google My Maps Mobile using a laptop computer

For this activity we will create a map from data files using two different file types: spreadsheet CSV files and KML map files (note: KML files can be exported from Esri ArcGIS, or you can convert Esri SHP files to KML using Google Earth Pro).

1. Open a new tab in your browser (leave this website open) and go to Google Drive (you may have to sign into your account). http://drive.google.com/

2. Once you are in Google Drive, create a folder by clicking on the +New button on the upper left side. Name your folder. You will put all your work in this folder (the files you download, the My Maps you create, any additional materials associated with your project).

3. Go back to the tab with these instructions and scroll down to the section titled Files For Activity #4. Click on the icon for the spreadsheet called AK Communities. Download it to your laptop, then upload it to your Google Drive folder. Make sure you open it as a Google Sheet (not as an Excel file). Take a look at the spreadsheet; you can edit it any way you wish. Now we will add the sheet to a layer in a Google My Maps.

4. In your Google Drive folder create a new My Maps by clicking +New>More>My Maps. Give your map a name.

5. Import the spreadsheet from your Google Drive folder. Use the latitude and longitude columns to place your markers.

6. Change the base map by clicking on the Base map dropdown at the bottom of the panel on the left side. Zoom in or use the search bar to locate communities. Click on the icons to open the information pop-ups.

7. Go to the Files For Activity #4 section on this website and download the over files. Upload them to your Google Drive folder.

8. Now create a new layer and import one of the KML files from your Google Drive folder to your My Maps. Remember to create a new layer for each file import.

9. Click on the Preview icon, this will open a new window and you will see what your map will look like to the public. Click on and off the two layers that you created.


Google My Maps Example

Google Sheet Example

AK Communities

Data Sources and resources