We did a lot of RV traveling this summer. We take a lot of photos, and I keep a blog, but there’s nothing like a map to bring it all together. It’s the perfect souvenir of your travels.
Here’s the map of our summer – with just a glance you can see where we went, but wait … there’s more. The image here is just a screenshot image. If you click on it, you will be taken to the full-size, interactive map. You can zoom in and out. You can also click on the markers to see photos of that place and maybe even a link to a blog post.
How did I make this map? Using Google My Maps. It’s based on Google Maps, but it stores all of your places in your Google Account. All of the information is private, for your eyes only, unless you choose to share it like I did.
If you want to make a map of your travels, here’s what you do.
Go to Google My Maps
There are a few ways to get there. The simplest is to browse to the website MyMaps.Google.com and be sure that you are signed in with your Google account. You can also get there from any Google Maps screen. If you’re signed in, you can click the 3-line menu in the upper left, choose Your Places, then Maps. Either way you get there, you should now see a button for Create New Map.
The easiest way to add markers for the places you visited is to search for them first. Once the location is found on the map, you will have the choice to “Add to Map.” This means to add a marker on your custom map for this place. However, you can also use the tool for adding a marker and place it at that location. I recommend the latter because you want the marker to be yours, and yours alone. You will be adding your photos to this marker. If you use the marker for the official location there will be public photos displayed as well as any you add. The add a marker tool is the 4th button:
Add photos to markers
See episode 111 of our YouTube show to see demonstrations. I love this part, and if you use Google Photos for your pictures, it’s really easy. Click on any marker, and click the little pencil icon to edit the contents. You should see a camera icon. Clicking that takes you to where you can Upload photos, or select them from your Google Photos Albums. Add as many as you like.
Add descriptions and links to markers
Just like adding photos, you click on a marker, then click on the edit pencil. You should see a text box where you can type whatever you like. There is no specific tool for adding links, but you can copy a complete link, e.g., to a blog post, and then paste the entire link into the text box.
Adding route lines
Do you really need lines like in the image above? I usually don’t add them – the markers are all I need to see where I’ve been. If you want to add lines along roads, you’ll need to understand layers. Click the tool for Draw a Line (the 5th button) and choose Add Driving Route. It will create a new layer. You can only have 10 destinations per layer, and you can have up to 10 layers per map. Isn’t this cleaner without the lines?
Check out all of the Geeks on Tour annual maps on our Blog. Once you have a map you like, you can share it by simply copying a link. Then you can email that link to family and friends, or you can post it in Facebook or some other social media like RVillage.
Let us see your travels! Post a link to your map in the comments below.