How to create a Google Map and publish it online.

First we have to establish why you are creating a map
in order to show you how to do it.

  • You want to create your own map from scratch, or…
  • You want to copy one or more of the location markers in one of my interactive Google Maps and place it in a map of your own.

To understand the issues involved in researching map locations, see "How I found ambiguous locations in Google Maps."

Next, you have to decide which version of
Google Map is best for your project:

(The descriptions below are from a custom mapmakers point of view)

Unfortunately, the newer variations of Google Map offer new capabilities while eliminating features us custom mapmakers used in the old version.
  • Google Map Classic: The original version of Google Map enables you to place images and links in the location pop up windows and format text.
  • Google Map Engine Lite: Allows the importing spreadsheets of large volumes of locations, and the ability to add layers, but appears to have no ability to add photos to the pop up windows.  And any links you add show up as complete URL addresses rather than the description you want to display.
  • The NEW Google Map: Added features for social networking. However, it replaced the standard satellite mode with a slower limited variation of Google Earth. Plus, I was not able to load my existing custom maps into the New Google Map. And, when using the GeoHack coordinates from Wikipedia, sometimes the New Google Map would show a placemark that could saved to my map and sometimes it wouldn't.
(For now, MyReadingMapped is sticking with the old Google Map Classic until the Google Map Engine Lite and the NEW Google Map can handle links and photos like the old Google Map. So if you want to make maps like mine, stick with the old Google Map.)

To create your own map from scratch:

(The following instructions were written for the old Google Map Classic, the other versions may not work the same because they may not offer these features.)


  1. Go to Google Maps.
  2. Select the button called “My Places.”
  3. Select “Edit.”
  4. Either drag the map to the location you desire and zoom in close, or enter the location in Google Maps’ search window.
  5. When you have the location, drag a location marker of your choice on to your map where you desire it.
  6. You can then edit the location’s pop up window and save it.
  7. Add more markers as needed.
  8. Add a title to your map and save it so that you can come back to it; and so that you can save locations from other maps to this map.

To copy one or more of the location markers
in one of my interactive Google Maps, and place it
in a map of your own:


  1. Open the Google Map you want to obtain a location from.
  2. Select the location marker you want to copy and add to your own map.
  3. When the location pop up window appears, select “Save to Map” at the bottom of the location window.
  4. A scrolling list of your maps will appear listing any existing maps of your own that you created, along with “Create New Map”
  5. If you are creating a new map, select “Create New Map,” otherwise select the appropriate map you want to edit.

Editing the Location Pop UP Windows in Google Map Classic:
  1. Double-click the symbol you just placed. A new window will appear for this location. At the upper right of this window, there is a symbol within a box. Select it and choose the type and color symbol you desire for the specific location. Note: Color and symbol type can be used to determine a group of similar or related travel, etc.
  2. Then in this location window, type the description you want to display for this location, click the rich text link in order to format the type, add a link to Wikipedia or other sources of information, and add any photos, etc.
  3. Be sure to keep the legend at the left of your screen in the proper date order if you are creating a timeline. Your visitors will be able to see and click these symbols. To reorder the items, simply drag the item to its proper position in the timeline. Move any of these symbols that are not meant to be read by the user, such a lines that indicate travel or movement, to the end of the legend to avoid confusing your visitor.

The many ways to publish your map:
  • Select “Public” if you want everyone to view your map, have your map appear in search engines as a listing, as well as appear in search engines as part of any page you embedded or linked your map to.
  • Click “Unlisted” if you do NOT want everyone to see it as a listing, in search engines, but rather prefer to have anyone who you sent the link address to, or any links you added to posts, links and embeds in your own blog.

Other custom map making articles: