Tag Archives: Google My Maps

Google’s My Maps and Custom POI Files

I’ve written about Google’s My Maps in this blog before. As much as possible I am now using Google’s My Maps for planning, and recording, our travels. Something I like to see when working on a plan is the location of all our Thousands Trails membership parks.
Below is a screenshot of what it looks like on my phone. Each brown square has a TT for Thousand Trails. This is stored in a ‘layer’ on my map and I can turn it on or off at any time.


I got this data from the Discovery owners website. I used the Google earth format.
You can also create your own data set using Excel. For example, here’s a list I made of all the presidential museums – we’ve visited every one of them! Notice I did not even enter a complete address. Since this information is being imported to Google Maps, it can find the place based on the name and the city. Of course, the more detail you provide, the more accurate the markers will be.


Once the data is imported to your map, you can even personalize the icons and make the labels visible.

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To make a new map and import a data file in My Maps:

  1. Go to Maps.Google.com on a computer browser – preferably Chrome.
  2. Click the 3-line menu at the left of the empty search field and you should see My Maps link appear. Click on that and then Create.
  3. Under a new Untitled Layer, you will see a link to Import. Click that and navigate to the file of data you want to import.
  4. Depending on the file format, it will ask you which column(s) contain the information for the location of the marker. In the Presidential Museums example above, that would be both columns. Next, you will be asked which column contains the name or label for the marker. In this example it would be the first column with the name of the President.

There is a lot to learn about using Google My Maps. If you are a member of Geeks on Tour, there are several tutorial videos on My Maps.

Travel Blogs and Travel Maps

by Chris Guld, www.GeeksOnTour.com

A map from George's Blog: Vagabonders Supreme
A map from George’s Blog: Vagabonders Supreme

A travel blog without a map is like cake without icing!  It’s good, but not as good as it should be.  And, sometimes don’t you just want the icing!  A travel map can give your readers everything they want to know.  Then, if they want more, they can click on a marker and follow the links to your blog posts!

I wrote about making a custom map in this past post: Custom Maps with Google Maps

I was recently reminded of just how effective this can be when I received an email from my friend George, of the famous 🙂 Vagabonders-Supreme.net travel blog.  He sent me the email to show me what he learned from our videos. And, what a great job he did!

Maps as a Blog Navigation Tool

George has been keeping his travel blog since 2003 and has recently added a map of each year’s journey so you can get an overview.  Then, for each marker he links to an appropriate Blog post. The map at the beginning of this page is his 2004 travels, the one below is 2005.  2006 is almost done and, if I know him, he won’t stop until he’s current right thru 2010!



You can see all of his maps on his ‘Archives’ page.

The tutorials referred to can be found at the Geeks on Tour Google Earth and Maps page.  Some are free, some require a membership.

Windows Live Writer

If you want to put a map into a particular blog post, I find Windows Live Writer even easier.  Since I started using Live Writer for all my blog post writing (even this one at RV.net) I spend about half the time I used to when I used the native blogging software (Blogger or WordPress.)  Here’s a free video showing you how it works: