If you have traveled or are interested in keeping track of geographic locations, you might be interested in Google Maps. Whether you have an address or latitude and longitude coordinates, you may want to visualize them or receive custom directions. You may know you can create a custom Google map and pin multiple locations, but how? You came to the right place. Here is your how-to guide to building your own powerful maps online.
How To Create a Custom Google Map
You might already know how to save multiple locations on Google Maps using pins or how to enter latitude and longitude into Google Maps. But did you know you have more options to create custom maps online? Here is how to create a custom Google map in three different ways. Depending on your knowledge and the purpose of creating your customized map, one map-creation method may be more ideal than the others.
- Use the My Maps feature from Google
- Create your own mapping application using Google Maps API
- Use a map-making platform to make a map online
Let’s go through each method step by step.
Create a Custom Map Free using Google My Maps
You can use Google My Maps to create a custom map for free. This method is a good choice if you have zero coding skills and a limited budget.
- Go to Google Maps and find the Menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
- Click on Saved and find the “Maps” tab in the upper right corner of the pop-out menu; click on this.
- In the Maps menu and click on “Open My Maps.” This may open in a new browser tab.
- Click the “+ Create a New Map” button on the map creation page.
- Place the marker where you want to put it on the map. Once the marker has been positioned, a box will pop up. Input details about the marker, such as a name, description, and/or other attributes that identify the marker. You can also search for a location and add it by clicking “+ Add to Map” in the pop-up box.
- Repeat steps 4-6 to keep adding markers.
- Refer to the image above for the final steps. Click on (1) to name your map instead of using “Untitled map.” Click on (2) to name your layer (the layer containing the markers added). Click on (3) to customize the look, and click on (4) to view sharing options.
Remember that because Google’s My Maps is free, the map-making tool offers limited options for map customization. Besides using this tool, there are two other ways we recommend for you to create a custom Google map.
Create a Custom Google Map Using Google Maps API
If you know how to write code, you can create a custom Google map from scratch using the Google Maps API. This method requires knowledge of programming languages, such as HTML, and it takes a lot of time. The advantage is that you can customize your map the way you want. However, using this API is limited due to its ever-increasing platform price point. Are you primarily looking for free options without the time investment? You may want to skip this method and look for Google Maps alternatives.
Create a Custom Google Map Using Google Maps Website Alternatives
If you want to create a custom map but aren’t interested in using the Google Maps website or Google My Maps, then it’s time to check alternatives. Google Maps alternatives abound these days — including alternatives to Google Maps API if you are still pondering developing your own software.
But before sharing a few alternatives, you might be asking yourself why? Why would I need alternatives to create maps online? The answer is due to privacy, or lack thereof. In 2018, Google announced that users could control their location history. However, this meant that Google could track the location of its users at any time, even when they told the system not to do this. This caused confusion, and people lost trust in the tech giant. If this was the case for you, you might also be looking for alternatives to create custom Google maps.
Besides using the Apple Maps app on iOS devices, we recommend checking out either Waze or Maps.me for navigation or Mapize to build custom maps. By understanding your goals for your intended custom Google map, you can choose the right option to get the job done.
What’s The Best Option To Create Custom Google Maps?
After learning these three options, which is your best bet? In order to know the best option to create custom Google maps, you need to identify a few factors. You need to understand what you need the map for, how you want it customized, your budget, and your skill level.
Google My Maps may be sufficient if you can make a custom map quickly and only require limited functionality. If you want more options for customization and other features, your best bet is an alternative like Mapize.
Use Mapize to Create a Custom Google Map With Multiple Locations
Mapize is an intelligent and easy-to-use map-making tool powered by Google Maps API. It has free and paid versions, and you can enjoy more options for customization, editing, security, and data manipulation and analysis, depending on your needs. Map using latitude and longitude coordinates, or use addresses to create a map with multiple locations.
All you’ll need to get started is your location data organized in a spreadsheet. Just follow these 8 steps to create a custom Google map with multiple locations:
- Select and copy your spreadsheet location data and paste it into Mapize’s map-making tool on the right side. Alternatively, drag and drop your spreadsheet file into the appropriate box on the left or click the “Select A File” Button.
- Click “Create Map.”
- You’ll be taken to the Geo Decoding section. Here you can edit and set your data fields depending on the location data you provided, such as addresses, city, state/province, zip code/postcode, latitude or longitude coordinates, etc. Select all the appropriate fields.
- Simply click “Make Map,” then “Save Map + Continue.”
- Select how you want to save your map and input your map name, your email, and any notes or description you want to add.
- Click “Save Map.”
- You’ll be provided with your map’s URL, which you can use to share your map with others. Click “View Saved Map” to be directed to your map page.
With Mapize Pro and Pro+, you can customize your map markers and do much more. Build unlimited maps, use tens of thousands of pins, and enjoy different export options, including password-enabled maps. Print Google Maps or export your custom map as either an image, a PDF or KML file. Take advantage of embedded maps by featuring your map on your website.
Final Thoughts on Creating Custom Maps
No matter the map style or map theme you are looking for, you can create custom Google maps in various ways. Deciding which option works best for you depends on time and budget. Create a basic map using My Maps, build your own map styles by coding maps yourself, or opt for a Google website alternative like Mapize. Mapize offers greater customization than My Maps, and it’s easy to use when you already have a spreadsheet of data you want to visualize as a map. See for yourself! Try Mapize for free and create your first map.