Making Google Maps your own

How to make Google maps work for your Web pages

Mail others directions to your facility.


  • Go to maps.google.com. In the location search box, type in the visitor's location and your location, separated by the word 'to.'
  • When directions are provided on the subsequent page, click on the 'e-mail' link, which will call your e-mail program and generate a new e-mail with a link to the directions embedded in the message.

Provide a link on your Web site to a map of your facility.


  • Type in the location at Google Maps Location Search box.
  • When location is rendered on the map, right-click on 'copy link location.' In your Web page editor, paste the link onto your Web page.

Embed a Google Map into your own Web page.


  • Sign up for a Google account (https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount).
  • Get a key to the Google Maps Application Programming Interface, or API (http://www.google.com/ apis/maps/signup.html). The Google Maps API is a set of keywords that your Web server can use to download and annotate a Google Map. Google offers this service for free, handling up to 50,000 requests per day. Once you check the agreeing to the licensing terms, the Google site generates a unique key. Post that key in the head of any Web page on your site that will call Google maps.
  • When Google posts your key, it also offers the markup for a complete Web page with an embedded map. Copy the code into a text editor, save it as an HTML file, and upload it to your Web site. Or, copy the header and body code from the sample into an existing Web page in which you want to embed Google maps.
  • Go to a site, such as http://www.geocoder.us, that can return a latitude and longitude for a given address. Type in the address you want in the map and paste the resulting coordinates in the 'mapcenter' designation in the Google Map code.
  • Check out the documentation for the Google Map API for more features, at http://www.google.com/apis/maps/
    documentation/. With a bit of Javascript hacking, you can easily add an overlay icon to pinpoint your location on the map, an information window, a control to zoom in a particular location, or a control to switch between map and satellite views.

Create a personalized map on the Google Web site


  • Sign up for a Google account.
  • Go to the Google Maps page (http://maps.google.com). Click on "My Maps" tab. Click on "Create a new map" button.
  • Fill in title, description, and indicate if you want the map to be publicly accessible.
  • Type in the location of the place or general area you want to map. On the upper left portion of the screen, you will see a set of icons for functions that can be used to annotate your map. You can place pointers, draw lines among multiple points, add descriptions, photos and videos to pointers. For further instructions, see the My Map instruction page (GCN.com/755).
  • To share the map with others, click "Link to this page" in the top right corner page. Copy the Web address in the browser navigation bar and relay the link to others.


Source: 'Google Maps Hacks' by Schuyler Erle and Rich Gibson (O'Reilly); Google API Documentation page.

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