How to create a Google Map and publish it online.

Google has recently made changes to Google Map that affect how you create a Google Map. Be aware that any Classic Google Map you create at this point will in the coming months automatically be upgraded to the new My Maps platform under this mandate and you will need to make adjustments to the converted map. 

Assuming you have never made a Google Map before you should consider creating a Google My Map instead.

How to make a Google My Map of historic or scientific events :

  • Open this link to My Maps
  • Select "Create a new map"
  • If you follow Google's My Map instructions you will note that the instructions don't match the product or provide a practical application for a custom map of historic or scientific events. So I made the following silent video that needs no translation for an international audience.

 My Maps Basics for making custom
maps of historic and scientific events.

WARNING: One of the down sides of using layers is that when you want to export your map as a KML file to walk your map in 3D.  My Map may export either only one layer at a time, or export all the layers at once. The one layered map I had, The Battles of the War of 1812-1815, required exporting all four layers, one at a time, each only named by year, and placing all four files in a folder. A second time I tried making this KML file I got all four layers, but I have no idea of what I did differently to make it work the way I wanted. Thus, depending on how you export your My Map Google Map it may not be seen with all its layers in Google Earth unless all the KML layer files are exported and loaded into Google Earth and turned on simultaneously.  

WARNING: Unfortunately, when making KML files from My Map, My Map uses the first layer name as the KML file name unless another layer is selected. When I made back up KML files of all my single layer My Maps, I discovered that the files I made all were named "Untitled" even though all 150 maps had names that show up at the top of embedded maps. So if you have a single layer map you must name the Untitled layer to match the name of your map if you expect the KML file to be named properly.   

Setting up layers in a Google My Map:

  • Decide how many layers you will need to plot your map. You can add four layers in order to plot your placemakers by year, by type or any other reason you may want to segment placemarkers into categories that you can turn on and off. 
  • Name whatever layers you added.
  • Select the base map you prefer for your map in order to see how well the style and color contrast with the map prefer.

Two ways to add placemarkers to your map:

What you need to know about setting up a spreadsheet to make a map.

  • Properly labeling your columns will make a big difference in your success.
  • Assign column names for the following map content:
    • Placemark Name, Title, Latitude, Longitude, Address (if appropriate), Icon, Icon Color # (if available), Photo URL, Paragraph 1, Paragraph 2, Paragraph 3, Paragraph 4, and Photo Credit.
    • What surprises me is that Google does not provide a template with the required column structure and data needed. So I made one you can adopt. I based the information off instructions I found for importing a spreadsheet into Google Earth.
  • Getting the coordinate accurate enough to hit an exact ruin requires that you actually zoom all the way in and right-click to select "What is here?" Copy each half of the coordinate and paste it in the appropriate cell in your spreadsheet
  • When you have entered all the data into your spreadsheet, save a duplicate in the appropriate format instructed by Google. (CSV, TSV, KML, XLSX or a sheet from Google Drive)
  • To import your Layer spreadsheet, select the proper layer and choose Import.
  • At this point My Map will prompt you to assign the columns in your spreadsheet to various criteria the map needs to plot your map.

Other custom map making articles: