One of the tools I like to use in preparation for my travels is Google Maps; perhaps you’ve heard of it? Of course you have!
Google maps is a great tool for travelers. There is a feature in Google maps called “My places”. In the past, I’ve created “maps” indicating places I’ve been like this one from our trip to Trinidad and Tobago, and another map for Vancouver. It’s a good reference when recalling details of your travels.
Currently, I am using it to plan my itinerary for Edinburgh and Glasgow. I use it to understand where things are in relation to a reference point. You may be familiar with some of the features on Google maps like “directions”. It’s a useful tool to help plan a route by car, public transportation, and walking. It also provides you an approximate travel time from point “A” to point “B”. I must advise that “directions” especially for car directions are not always 100% correct so always check with alternate sources like a road map, and allow 30 minutes to 1 hour extra in your travel time.
For my Edinburgh and Glasgow maps, I’ve logged in the places that I am interested in visiting. It helps me to see the big picture of my itinerary so I can plan accordingly.This is an easy way for me to see the distance of each destination as well as understand what else is nearby that is of interest.
Creating a map with “My places” is very simple and can be done online from your desktop. The screenshots on this post is taken from the iPhone.
- Go to Google Maps. (It would be best if you signed into your Google account, that way you can save your activities associated to your account.)
- Below “Google Maps”, you’ll see “Get directions” and “My places”; click on “My places”.
- You’ll see four tabs: “All”, “Maps”, “Starred”, and “Rated”. Below these tabs will be a red button, “CREATE NEW MAP”; click this button. There will also be a large map right of the screen.
- Give your map a title and if you like, a description. And don’t forget to select which privacy setting. I keep my maps “Unlisted”. When you’re done, click on the “Save” button. You can always edit it later, which I will explain later.
- To add a destination to your map, enter the name or address into the search bar.
- The results will appear on the map and on the left had side of the screen.
- Select the option that best matches what you are looking for.
- You will see an option “Save to map”; click that.
- It will then ask you where to save it. Since this is your first map, it will only give you the one option. Select it and click the “save” button.
- Repeat with next destination.
- You can also change the marker to something else. You can do this my selecting, “My places”, and select the map you want to edit.
- You will be taken to your map for editing. Before you can edit, you have to click on the “edit” button. This will allow you to edit the title, description and marker icons too.
- To change the marker, select the destination you want to edit.
- A dialog box will open on the destination. Click on the icon in the dialog box and a menu will open with other marker options to choose from.
- Select the marker you want and click the “OK” button. You can do this for all your destinations in your map.
- When you are finished editing, click on the “Done” or “Save” button.