Google Maps is a navigation tool that provides accurate data about geographical regions and locations worldwide. Interestingly, Google keeps evolving and creating new features to increase the visual presentation of maps. With the default Google Map stylers, users can customize and add personal touches to their maps for a more friendly experience.
Google has enhanced the concept of map customization. The Google Maps platform has APIs that enable users to create custom map styles. With the advanced Google Map stylers, developers can embed maps on web pages and mobile apps and retrieve data from Google Maps. Keep reading to learn more about these map stylers, their types, and everything they entail.
Google Map Stylers and Their Different Classifications
Google Map stylers are formatting options you can use to create, edit, and customize map features. They have two classifications, namely:
- Default stylers
- Cloud-based map stylers
Default map stylers are built-in map add-ons to create a custom map on Google Maps. You can add features (routes, landmarks, and locations) and draw shapes onto the existing map to add more details. While you may view a custom map via the Google Maps app for Android and iOS, you can only create it on your PC using the web version of Google Maps.
On the other hand, cloud-based map stylers are a set of formatting options associated with a map ID referenced in an app code to display a customized map. They allow you to create, customize, edit, and adjust map styles for any Google Maps app without changing your code once the map ID is in place. With basic coding knowledge, you can make all style changes through the Cloud Console.
Via this type of Google map stylers, you can change the visual presentation of map features like roads, transit routes, business locations, buildings, etc.
How To Create a Custom Map With Default Google Map Stylers
Default map stylers are map customizing add-ons that everyone has access to. Here is how to create a custom map with default Google map stylers:
Step 1: Visit the Google Maps website and log in with your Google account. After logging in, click on the 3-line icon at the top left of your screen.
Step 2: Click “Saved” in the drop-down menu and select “Maps”
Step 3: Click “Untitled map” and give it a name and description in the “Edit map title and description” menu. Then click “Save” to save it.
Step 4: To customize the appearance of the “Base map” layer, click on the arrow beside the “Base Map.” There are various map themes you can choose from.
When you build a new custom map in Google Maps, an “Untitled Layer” will be added automatically. By clicking the “Add layer” button, you can add as many layers as you like to your map. You can now add default Google map stylers: marker points, lines, and directions directly on the map. To add a marker point to your map;
Step 5: Select the “Add marker” icon in the menu below the search bar on the map editor. It is the second icon from the left.
Step 6: Click any area on the map with your mouse. This will open the marker editor. Enter a suitable name and description, then click “Save” to save it to your map.
To add shapes and lines to your custom map to highlight specific regions;
Step 7: Click the “Draw a Line” option in the menu below the search bar
Step 8: Select “Add a line or shape.” Draw a line with your mouse/trackpad in a suitable area and use many lines to construct a joined-up shape.
How To Create a Custom Map With Cloud-based Map Stylers
Google Maps platform provides Cloud-based map stylers that allow you to easily style, customize, and manage your maps using the Google Cloud Console. Google Map stylers indicate the feature’s visibility, color, and weight. With this tool, you can create a personalized map experience for clients without updating the code of your apps each time you make a style change. Here are seven steps to creating a custom map with cloud-based map stylers:
Step 1: Create a map.
Step 2: Click “Show Advanced Options.”
Step 3: When setting the map option, tap “Set Custom Map style.”
Step 4: Click on the custom map.
Step 5: Go to Google Map Style Wizard to create your desired style.
Step 6: Copy the JSON/HTML/CSS you created in Step 5 and paste it into the “Map Style” area.
Step 7: Save your style and wait till Google validates it.
However, you don’t necessarily have to code to create your custom map style. Some mapping software gives you access to predefined map styles to generate interactive maps without codes.
Tips To Note Before Using Cloud-based Google Map Stylers
There are some important tips to note before using Cloud-based Google Map stylers. For instance, you should ensure the following:
- Create a map ID (a unique identifier connected to a map style or feature)
- Migrate from hard-coded stylings, such as URL query parameters, to avoid conflict with future functionality.
- Update “MyStyleOptions” on Android
- Update “GMSMapStyle” class on iOS
- Remove the “Style” Parameter on Maps Static.
After completing these activities, you can create a custom map with cloud-based Google Map stylers by following the steps in the previous section.
Types of Google Maps Style Generator
Google Maps style generators enable users to generate codes to create map stylers. They also help to embed and display maps on web pages and mobile apps. There are four types of Google maps style generators. They include the following:
- Java Script Object Notation (JSON)
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). CSS specifies how HTML-style elements should appear on screen, paper, or other viewing mediums. CSS is a style generator that controls numerous web page layouts simultaneously, saving time. A significant advantage of CSS files is that it contains external stylesheets.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a standard language for generating Google Map stylers and web pages. It enables the developing and structuring sections, features, and connections through HTML elements.
Developers use HTML code to define how browsers display web page elements such as text, hyperlinks, and media files. Since HTML is widely used to embed hyperlinks, businesses can simply navigate and use it to embed maps on their business pages and websites.
TypeScript is an extension of JSON that enhances the developer experience. It allows developers to generate type safety in their projects. TypeScript also includes interfaces, type aliases, abstract classes, function overloading, tuples, generics, etc., which are helpful when generating map stylers.
3 Google Map Styles Examples
Google Map stylers range from default stylers to cloud-based stylers. Here are three Google Map styles examples you can find under both classifications:
Labels are the most common example of Google Maps styles you can use to customize your map. They help identify features, establish the visual hierarchy of essential elements, and focus users’ attention on the point of interest. They also allow you to customize your app using numerous typefaces to differentiate elements and make your map easy to understand.
- Marker Points
Marker points are map styles you can use to mark locations on Google Maps. With markers, you can add as many locations as you want and save them to lists on Google Maps. These markers use standard symbol types to display custom images (icons), which you can personalize.
- Lines and Shapes
Lines and shapes are basic map styles on Google Maps. You can draw different shapes on the map and link them to a desired latitude and longitude. You can also refer to line and shape elements as overlays.
Importance of the Google Map API Stylers to Developers and Marketers
The Google Map API stylers are essential components of Google that provide programmatic access to Google Cloud platform services.
API Google map stylers allow developers to add the power of computing, networking, and machine-learning-based data analysis to their apps. Developers creating and incorporating these APIs can augment their apps with cutting-edge technology.
They don’t need to fully know machine learning (ML) algorithms to use them. The Google Maps platform has APIs for everything you need to integrate the actual world into your software.
Google APIs allow businesses to integrate with popular consumer applications such as Maps and Hangouts. Businesses can leverage Google’s sophisticated vision, video, and natural language AI capabilities. With API styles, transportation and logistics industries can receive directions with route optimizations based on real-time traffic data.
They also allow businesses to embed maps or street view images into web and mobile applications. These apps can also obtain locations and points of interest using search, autocomplete, and comprehensive location information.
Advanced Google map stylers allow maps to be tailored to specific business and user requirements, providing a differentiated user experience and elevating your brand.
Why Do You Need Google Map Stylers?
Google Maps can become very clustered for users with many data features. Trying to fit in labels, roads, rivers, points of interest, and other features can make it harder for users to understand. As such, Google Map stylers are beneficial because they help with the following:
- Hiding irrelevant features to free up space on your map
- Changing the color scheme of the map to fit the color design of your app
- Highlighting routes on the map
- Reducing the map’s complexity by removing landscapes
- Modifying the map’s style depending on the time of day
- Hide specific map components you don’t want to display
- Creating a more engaging, branded user experience
Discover the Power of Mapize: Transform Your Data Into Stunning Custom Maps
Google Map stylers allow you to create a custom map that looks and works exactly how you want it to. Customizing maps with cloud-based Google Map stylers is easy and free up to certain limits set by Google. However, building all the features and styles requires programming knowledge which can take time and effort for new web developers and businesses.
Interestingly, Mapize is a cloud-based mapping software built on Google Maps with more advanced customization features. Anyone can create a custom map without coding knowledge via Mapize’s extensive stylistic options.
You can use a single map style to customize many maps and duplicate map styles across multiple platforms for your business needs. Try us out today and create your own customized map style. A free trial will certainly convince you.