Create a Custom Google Map

There are 3 basic ways to create a customized map using Google Maps.

  1. Create a Map using the My Maps feature on Google Maps website.
  2. Use mapping software like Maptive or BatchGeo that use the Google Maps API
  3. Create your own application using the Google Maps API

Below are instructions on how to create a map using each of these methods.

Method 1. How to create a map on Google Maps website

Google Maps allows you to create custom maps using the steps below. These instructions show how you can add markers manually, however they can also be added as a group by uploading a spreadsheet. This method has the advantage of being easy and free, but is limited in the number of markers you can add and features that are available.

  1. Go to the Google Maps Page
  2. Click on the Menu icon in the upper left hand corner.
  3. Click on the “Your Places” Option.
  4. Click on the Maps Tab
  5. Click on the Create Map Button
  6. Once you are on the map creation page click the marker icon
  7. Find the place on the map you want to add a marker and click.
  8. This will place a marker and bring up a box where you can add a name description and other attributes to the marker.
    Popup box that lets you add a name and description to your marker
  9. Repeat the previous 3 steps as many times as needed
  10. Once you are finished you can click on location 1 in the image below to name your map, 2 to name your layer, and 3 to share your maps with others.

Method 2. Use Mapping Software like Maptive.

Maptive is one of many companies that offers mapping software. We think that our product has the best user experience and offers the widest assortment of features. However there may be others out there that fit your needs better. Just be aware that most do not use Google Maps so compare before you buy. This methods has the advantage of being fast, easy and in some cases free for the basic version. The full set of features with Maptive and other companies will usually require you to pay. The instructions below explain how to create a map with Maptive.

    1. Go to the Maptive login Page and either signup or login
    2. Once on your Maptive home page click on the Create New Map button.
    3. In the “Create a New Map” popup, name your map, and click Continue
    4. You can then select your data source. You can choose to upload a spreadsheet, copy and paste data, use Google Sheets, or in this example add markers manually.
    5. Then click on “Place a marker on the Map” Button.
    6. Then move the map and click on the location you want to place a marker.
    7. To add more markers click on the “Add a marker to you map” icon and repeat the previous 2 steps.
    8. Once completed, your map might look like the one below. The arrow points to where you can go to share this map, but as you can see there are too many options within Maptive to show in one page. Feel free to play around with a map or visit our features page to read about each individual feature.

Method 3. How to create a map with the Google Maps API.

Google Maps API gives you the ability to create a truly custom map that works exactly how you want it to. However to create more then just a basic map you will need some considerable programming skill. This Method has the advantage of being the most flexible and is free up to certain limits set by Google. The disadvantage is that it can be time consuming and complicated to build all the features you want. You can find a tutorial on how to create a simple map with a marker using the Google Maps Javascript API here.

What is the Best method to create a custom Google Map

The Best way to create a custom Google Map will depend on your needs. If you just need a quick map with limited functionality you can use the Google Maps website. If you need to customize you map quickly with a wide array of built in functionality you will probably do best using prepackaged mapping software like Maptive. However if your organization cannot afford mapping software, or you need a completely custom map that is not available in other software you should look at creating a map using the Google Maps API.

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New Feature: Hi-res printing

Check the ‘Enable hi-res printing box in your settings menu.  Then click the printing icon on your published map to select the map area you would like to print and choose SAVE AS PDF or SAVE AS PNG (image file) for a 2048 x 2048 pixel resolution.

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