CANR CLEAR
CLEAR Research

Maps on the Web

Simple Mashups: Google Maps My Maps


Let's Break it Down:
Pros/Cons Pros: The free Google Maps "My Maps" allows users to visually edit and save points of interest on their own personalized map. Collaboration is a simple button-click, as is sharing through printing, linking, embedding and viewing the points in Google Earth as a KML. Mapplets, imagery, and Google searches are all freely accessible to the map as well. Further customization, photo imports, and Google Docs database connections allow users to further personalize the map for their needs. The interface has options for the more experienced programmer, should the creator wish to push the limit!

Cons: Creator and collaborators need a Google account so as to save and access the "My Maps". There is a limit on the number of points of interest that can be stored in one "My Maps" (200 points if connected to a Google Docs database). The information is also made semi-public; the "My Map" does not appear in searches, but the information is saved to the Google Maps server.
Required in order to Create Google Map "My Maps" is freely accessible through a browser. The creator and any subsequent collaborators need to create a Google account to access and save the map. There are a lot of online sources to help the creator further customize and utilize Google Map "My Maps" services.
Know-how Necessary My Maps requires very, very basic familiarity with Google Maps and some creativity for using the My Maps tools available for customization. Familiarity with spreadsheets will help if you are creating a mashup.
Cost Free (you will need an internet connection)
Requires to Use (besides the internet and a broswer) Familiarity with Google Maps is all that is required (pan, zoom, click) but it's so easy even Grandma can do it!
CT Example UConn GTP Training Webpage

Google Map "My Maps" provides a quick, easy start to putting your data in a map online, collaborating with others, and sharing it with a target audience. The map can be as simple or complex as the creator is comfortable with, as the interface provides easy-to-follow editing tools that also allow for customization. Collaborators only need permission to access the map, a Google account, and a web browser. Sharing is as simple as copy-pasting the provided link in an email or even on your own website.

"My Maps" editing capabilities include adding points, lines and polygons, editing symbology and the balloon information.
MyMap Edits MyMap Balloon
To take "My Maps" to the next level of sophistication, a creator may follow Google's tutorials on customizing points or other shapes as well as the balloons, embedding photos or interactive links, and even linking to a KML, GeoRSS or a database. Google Docs Spreadsheet Mapper v2.0, for example, is set up like a wizard to help the user create, edit and link an Excel-like database of points of interest to their "My Maps".

Examples:

Middlesex County Agricultural Land Loss - View Map

Low Impact Development examples nation-wide map created through a partnership between NEMO and CWLU - View Map

Do It Yourself!

Activity Link This My Maps activity is a comprehensive review of how to create, edit and share a map, creating a Google Maps mashup with your own data!