You don’t need special software to create maps specifically for you or others. Google Maps is all you need, allowing you to add your own pinpoints, shapes and directions to a custom map. This is how you do it.
You must use Google Maps on your desktop to do this. If you have problems with the blank Google Maps screen, you also need to clear your site’s data.
Create Custom Maps on Google Maps
Custom maps on Google Maps don’t allow you to create new landscapes – you’re stuck with planet Earth. What it does allows you to do, is to add your own landmarks, routes and locations.
You can also draw your own shapes to an existing map to add details to an existing map. Although you can view custom maps in the Google Maps app for Android and iOS, you can only create them using the web version of Google Maps on your desktop.
To get started, open the Google Maps website, and sign in using your Google account. After you enter, press the hamburger menu icon at the top left.
Custom Map Layer
Your custom map consists of several layers, with the “Base Map” layer (main Google Maps view) at the bottom.
You can adjust the appearance of the “Base Map” layer by selecting the options arrow next to “Base Map” and choosing a different map theme.
When you create a new custom map on Google Maps, a new “Untitled Layer” is added by default.
You can add as many layers as possible to your custom map, allowing you to separate the various components of your new map from each other, by clicking on the “Add layer” button.
To delete it, select “Delete Layer” instead.
Add Components to Custom Maps on Google Maps
Custom maps on Google Maps can be adapted to various components. You can add marker points, shapes, or lines, and directions directly to the map.
To get started, make sure you are in a custom map editor by going to the Google Maps website and selecting the hamburger menu> Your Places> Maps> Create Map.
Add Marker Point
Special marker points are exact points that appear on the map. You can use this to add additional descriptions to an area, as well as to users point maps to locations or areas not specified in the “Base Map” layer.
To add a new marker point to your map, make sure you are in the appropriate area on the “Base Map” layer. When you are ready, select the “Add Bookmark” button in the menu below the search bar in the custom map editor.
Add Lines or Shapes
You can add special lines and shapes to your custom map to emphasize specific areas.
To do this, click the “Draw a Line” option in the menu below the search bar and then select the “Add a line or shape” option.
Make Custom Directions
Custom maps can also be used to share directions from A to B by creating direction layers.
To do this, click on the “Add Direction” option in the menu below the search bar to create this layer.
The directions layer will appear in the menu on the left. Add your departure point to the “A” text box and arrival point to the “B” text box.
After both the “A” and “B” boxes are filled in, the map will update showing the route between the locations that you specified.
Share Custom Maps on Google Maps
After creating a map, you can access it yourself from within Google Maps (hamburger menu> Your Places> Maps) or from the Google My Maps website.
Only you can see custom maps by default, but you can share them with others. To do this, open the Google My Maps website, sign in, then select the “Owned” tab where your custom map must be registered.
To share it with others, click the “Share Map” button. This will give you the option to share your specific map on various social media platforms, via email, or by embedding it on your website.
Choose one of these options to continue.
On the “Owned” tab on the Google My Maps website, select your map to return to the map editor and then click the “Share” button on the left menu.
This will bring up the “Sharing Link” option menu. Under the “Who Has Access” section, select the “Change” button.
In the “Share Link” option menu, select an access level for your map. You can restrict access to certain Google account users, allow access to anyone who has a shared link or make your map public.
After you choose the sharing level you choose, click “Save” to save the selection.
Your shared settings will be saved at this point, allowing you to invite certain users to view them via email invitations or by sharing a link to your custom map to more users directly.