Google added a new feature this week: My Maps that lets you create, save and share custom maps. If you’re planning a trip, wedding, family gathering or other activity that involves getting from Point A to Point B, you’ll want to check this out.
How to Create a Google My Map
Head to drive.google.com and click on the red New button at the top of the left menu. A pop-up menu will appear. Click More at the bottom and another pop-up menu will appear. Click on Google My Maps to create your map.
A map of the world will appear. Type in an address to begin creating your map.
Click the location marker on the map and a small window will appear with an option to Add to Map. Public places may also have additional information such as ratings and links to a Google Plus page.
You can customize My Maps by adding directions, points of interest and location markers in different colors and shapes (pin, star, square or circle). Add lines to show custom routes or add Google’s step-by-step directions.
Saving and Sharing Google My Maps
When you’ve completed My Map, click the green Share button in the upper right corner of the map. You can give a title and description to your map which is automatically saved to your Google Drive account.
You’re given options to share your Map with others via:
- Google Plus
Google also gives you a link to share your Map.
From this box you can also set the privacy rights of your Map. The default is that your Map can only be seen by the specific people you share the link with but you can also choose to share your Map with Anyone with the Link or the Public.
Accessing My Maps
You can access My Maps on Google Drive on your computer and mobile devices. My Maps are available both online and when you’re offline without an Internet connection.
Organizing My Maps
You can organize My Maps into folders in Google Drive. Create a My Maps folder and then create sub-folders for different destinations or types of trips.
Uses for Google My Maps
You’ll probably find loads of uses for Google Maps. For example, let’s say a friend is willing to share her super-secret shortcut that will cut your commute time in half. She can create a Google My Map, draw her route, and share it with you privately so you can follow her directions on your way to work (without letting the rest of the world know about the Map).
Perhaps you’re meeting friends who are flying into Philadelphia for a Day of Fun! You can create a My Map with directions from the airport to the Liberty Bell, then to the Kimmel Center for a Philadelphia Orchestra concert, then to Lincoln Financial Field where they can root for the Philadelphia Eagles!
If you’re planning a wedding, you can create a My Map to send to guests, complete with locations and directions for the wedding and reception locations as well as places of interest in the area.
Plan for a vacation by creating a My Map for your destinations. After you return from your trip add favorite restaurants, museums, shops and other treasures you discovered while there. When a friend wants to visit the same place you can share your My Map to share the fun!
Heading out on a college tour trip? Create a My Map to organize your campus visits, hotels and sightseeing spots. Share your College My Maps with other families who want to visit the same schools.
Do you have access to Google My Maps yet? Have you created any Maps? How will you use Google My Maps? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Game of Thrones Compendium
Winter is coming…
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ve probably been craving a fix before the next season debuts on HBO. Good news, a Game of Thrones Compendium is in the works from HBO. Filled with fan contributions, the Compendium will offer fan-created works in these categories:
From HBO: “Through this unifying gateway, fans can contribute original Game of Thrones® themed creative content that showcases their knowledge and expertise of the series giving fans the opportunity to literally ‘write the book’ about the world of Westeros. Artists, craftsman, musicians, foodies, writers and more will have their work displayed in a fully searchable, fluid gallery experience.”
Submissions begin on December 19 and will continue until March 28, 2015. A panel of judges will review submissions for inclusion into a printed Game of Thrones Compendium which will be available in December of 2015. If your submission is chosen for inclusion in the printed compendium you’ll receive a free copy and an author credit.
You can find out more information at Game of Thrones Compendium website.
* Road image (edited) courtesy of Tom Haynes via Flickr and Creative Commons