Creating a custom map can be applicable to a wide variety of different purposes. In marketing, we can use custom maps to do market research and plan for various marketing campaigns. We can also use it to plot data points and analyze current or previous marketing campaigns. Other businesses can use it for tracking purposes, or even just for fun!
Google Maps is more than just a tool to get directions to the new restaurant you’re trying out tonight, or to print directions for your grandma who used to use MapQuest! Google Maps has some great features for business and personal use!
Creating a Custom Google Map
To get started creating a custom Google Map, you have to go to maps.google.com. It should look something like this:
Once you are here, you’ll want to click the hamburger menu on the top left to open the menu. This may come as a surprise for some people. Most users will just go to the search bar, hit their destination, and continue on with getting their directions, but this menu is where you can unlock the “hidden in plain sight” features to Google Maps.
Once you click on the Hamburger Menu you should see the following options:
Now, this is where it starts to get fun! You’ll see that there are many great features like:
- Custom “Places”
- Location Sharing
- Map Embedding
If you don’t know where to start, you can “Take a Tour” or visit the “Tips and Tricks” portion to find out everything Google Maps has to offer!
This article is going to dive into a few great features that can be used for many different things. When you click on “Your Places” you’ll see a screen that looks like this:
Lists will allow you to bundle up multiple locations and put them in one place for your convenience. There are three preset lists shown in the image above, but you can create an unlimited number of these lists. They can be “Restaurants I Want to Visit” or “Great Hiking Trails In the Area.”
The Labeled section allows you to identify frequently visited places. For instance, you can set your home, work, parents’ house, barber, doggy daycare, etc. This is a great convenient way to plan around having to stop at your most visited locations.
You can mark places you have visited under the… you guessed it “Visited” section. This can be a handy way to ensure you don’t forget all of the great places you have been to whether it’s restaurants, parks, entertainment venues, or anything else you can imagine.
Now we get to the fun part. The Maps feature allows you to create custom maps that have so many different uses. As a marketing agency, we use it to plot multiple locations to analyze data for different purposes. We have maps that track where our clients are geographically. We have maps that allow us to track different locations we have to send our photographer to capture still images for our clients. We have maps that plot where our client’s customers are so we can better place media for them. The uses are endless.
Time to Have Some Fun
Google Maps also allows you to do more than just plot locations. I challenge you to hop into Google Maps and play around. You will find out how great of a tool Google Maps can be!