Do you want to document or plan your travels or track navigational coordinates for your business? Then you could benefit from learning how to create custom Google Maps. While the initial idea may sound overwhelming, with a quick rundown, it’s rather straightforward. Keep reading to learn how to create custom maps using Mapize.
Why Make a Custom Google Map?
Custom Google Maps help visualize location data relevant to you and your business. As mentioned, if you want to log your travel locations or plan a new trip, consider making a custom map. If your business needs to plan the best route on Google Maps, track store locations, or visualize regions, a custom map solves it. This saves you time from having to constantly enter new or adjust locations into the Google Maps search bar.
Besides performing as sales mapping software and a search and real estate mapping tool, custom maps provide visuals for presentations and websites. When you have location data, turning that spreadsheet into a map can further your analysis and provide a visual aid.
You can add marker points to stops along a route or as a sign for important regions of interest. This will drive home your point and help your audience follow along, even if you’re using a basic map. Now that you know why Google Maps are worth customizing, let’s show you how the process works.
How to Create a Custom Google Map
With Mapize, you have greater control over your new map regarding the overall look and feel. Mapize uses Google Maps API to provide a reliable and customizable way to build custom maps. This website alternative provides a convenient way to create interactive maps from data.
Do you have programming knowledge? Then you can build your own Google Map to look exactly how you want it using Google Maps API. However, it is time-consuming and complex. While you can add all of the features you want, there are set pricing limits by Google.
Creating Custom Google Maps with Mapize
Here is a tutorial on how to generate a customized Google Map using Mapize’s advanced techniques, algorithms and Google Maps API. Once you create your map online using Mapize, you can personalize it depending on your liking and need. Mapize offers various options to make your map visually pleasing and match your website’s design.
1. Turning Your Location Data Into Custom Maps
The first step in creating custom Google Maps is to input your location data. Copy and paste data columns from your spreadsheet (including column titles) into the right-side box of the Mapize map-making tool. You can also select your XLS, XLSX, or CSV file after clicking the “Select a File” button or drag and drop your spreadsheet into the left-side box.
Click “Create Map,” and voila, you have an untitled map. Then, it’s time to edit the configuration of your map. We’ll go over the three main sections of the configuration process:
- Geo Decoding
- Map Preview
- Customize Map
Please note that you can start customizing the map in the “Customize Map” menu icon. However, you can only see the changes made after clicking “Make Map.” Don’t worry; you can still add or remove customizations after making your map and edit it anytime.
2. Custom Map Creator: Mapize Geo Decoding
The Configuration tab on the right of the map creation window allows you to personalize the look of your map. The image above highlights the Geo Decoding fields. This is where you ensure the selected information matches the correct columns from your datasheet.
If your spreadsheet includes multiple locations using addresses, ensure you’ve selected the corresponding data fields correctly. If creating a custom Google Map using zip codes, change the “Location/Address” field to a relative option from the drop-down. Then, apply the zip code in the corresponding “Zip / Postcode / Country” field.
Also, change the “Location/Address” field to your choice from the drop-down options for mapping coordinates. You can plot latitude and longitude from data using the same column, with each lat/long separated by a comma. Or, you can utilize separate columns for these when you input your spreadsheet. Select the correct Geo Decoding fields based on how you’ve structured coordinates in your spreadsheet.
Regardless of the data type you plot, note that once you click the “Make Map” button, you will see how many points were successfully plotted on your map. If points are missing, check the formatting in your spreadsheet for the missing lines of data. Then, correct the issues before starting over by re-submitting it in the map tool.
Also, after clicking “Make Map,” you will see an initial example of your custom Google maps. Feel free to make any adjustments after clicking on the Configuration tab. Change the fields to revise your map’s final shape and look. You will only see your changes after clicking “Update Map.”
3. Map Preview Fields: Customize Map Labels
The Map Preview fields allow visibility to additional information within your spreadsheets and allow you to customize map labels. This includes the ability to add marker titles, descriptions, URLs, email addresses and phone numbers. Check this area to ensure the information you want visible on each map point is accurate. Or hide information by selecting “Not applicable.” This section also allows you to add custom fields to match what you have listed on your spreadsheet. Choose how to label each marker with a number, letter or no label.
Marker titles default to “Not applicable” or any column in your spreadsheet labeled “Name.” Double-check this field to ensure each pin label has the correct title, description or heading as intended.
For example, the image of the above map features data on Texas private schools. The Title section in the Map Preview field was automatically set to “Not applicable.” The person creating the map adjusted this by choosing “School Name” as the Title. As mentioned, you will only see your changes after clicking the “Update Map” button.
4. Customize Your Google Map
The Customize Map section is where you are able to make changes to how your custom Google map look. This includes the map view, marker color and icons, and overall style.
You have four options for the default view of your base map: roadmap, satellite, hybrid or terrain. Mapize gives eight options to tailor the markers in your maps. You can even change the colors of the marker by clicking on “Select Custom Color.” You also have an array of map style options to choose from Use these to make your map more dynamic and fit the design of your website.
This section also allows you to create a heat map version of your map or a cluster map. Toggle either of these features to “Yes” to set it as the default view for the map. You can also keep the standard map pin style and view your map with either feature once you save it. What’s one way to ensure either feature saves as the default view of your map? Turn on the toggle at this stage or return to this edit view after saving your map.
After finalizing your custom map, you can share your map with others. Do this by sending your map’s URL or embedding your map into your website.
Use Mapize to Build Custom Google Maps
In summary, creating custom Google Maps benefits your business by allowing you to analyze your spreadsheets in new ways. Several ways to build your own Google Maps exist, depending on budget and knowledge level.