How to make a map of your travels – free and easy

How to make a map of your travels – free and easy

by Chris Guld, GeeksOnTour.com

My husband and I have been traveling the country by RV since 2003. There’s no way I can remember where all we went this year, let alone answer questions like when were we last in Wyoming. So, I’ve made a map of our travels for each year. I love being able to see my maps and so easily answer those questions. I’ve made our maps public on our blog page so you can see what I mean.

Here is our map for 2017. Our home base is in South Florida. The yellow markers show our route out west, the blue is how we traveled back east, then you can see our flights to Europe and lots of stops over there, the green is our summer travels and the orange is how we ended the year.

2017 Map

Google My Maps

I made this map using Google My Maps – it’s a free tool for anyone with a Google account. There are several ways to get there, but my favorite is starting at the regular Google Maps.

  1. Using a computer and a browser, preferably the Chrome browser, go to Maps.Google.com
  2. Make sure you are signed in to your Google account. Look in the upper right corner: you’ll either see your image, or a link to Sign in.
  3. Click the 3-line menu in the upper left and scroll down until you see Your Places, click that, and then the Maps tab:
    maps
  4. You should now see a “Create Map” link at the bottom, click that and you should see an Untitled map. Click where it says Untitled and give your map a name
  5. Now you can start adding markers
    1. Search for the first place you visited by typing in the search box and clicking the magnifying glass
    2. You should see the official marker for that place appear on your map, you could click that marker and then the + Add to map, but I think it is better to make your own marker
    3. Click the marker tool and drop off your marker at your stop – basically right on top of the official marker
      image
    4. As soon as you click your marker at the correct place on the map (you can even zoom in to get to an exact spot) you will be presented with an info box you can fill in with your details
      image
    5. . Click Save to finish adding your marker
  6. Add as many markers as you like, notice they are all being added to a “Layer” as seen in the left sidebar. If you want to make another group of markers with different colors, click “Add Layer”

That’s it! Your map is being automatically saved in your Google account. You can get back there any time by going to Maps.Google.com, menu, Your Places, Maps. You can also click the Share button in the left sidebar and copy the link to put anywhere – Facebook, email, Blog, etc. – so that you and others can see the map by clicking the link.

There’s lots more you can do with your map. If you click on my map above, it will take you to the live, interactive map and then click on any marker to see photos I’ve added and more descriptions.

See Geeks on Tour tutorials for more learning.

##RVT826

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4 thoughts on “How to make a map of your travels – free and easy

  1. Kevin

    I’m not finding this iOS friendly at all, when I try to share it that person has to have a Google account and when they receive it they have to login to Google, seems like a lot of fuss and undo needed typing. I truly wish to Google and Apple would just be More friendly and compatible with each other

  2. Al & Sharon

    However, only 10 destinations per map layer are allowed. Additionally I am only allowed 2 destinations on a 2nd map layer in the same map. Still trying to figure out this 2nd layer issue.

    1. Al and Sharon – the 10 destination limit per layer is only for a directions type of layer. You can add as many place markers as you want. Do you really need directions on a map of your places? I don’t. Check out this video which is part of the Google Maps lessons at Geeks on Tour: https://youtu.be/Iu0ELqF-M3I

  3. PennyPA

    Sounds neat; I think I’ll give it at try. Another way to save those trips (and a map thereof) is via the rvtripwizard.com website. I use that extensively to plan my journeys.

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