Google Maps Gallery has always been a destination for custom maps created by governments and businesses that showed statistics like tax districts, public nuisance statistics, and crime rates. Odds are, you’ve probably never had a reason to look there for a map before. But now, Google has opened up the Maps Gallery to allow all users to showcase their knowledge of an area. If you blog, you know local content is important. What’s more local than a map of the best takeout places in your city, or the best picnic spots? You can show potential clients you’re the local expert by providing them with practical, helpful information that they can use again and again. Here’s how to make your own maps and start sharing!
Head to the Google My Maps homepage to get started. As with all other Google features, you’ll need a Google account to take advantage of Maps Gallery. If you don’t have one, you’ll be prompted to create one here. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a page like this:
Click “Create a new map” to begin. From this page, this functions much like the Google Maps you use to find directions. You can simply search for a location you’d like to add to your map. For an example, we’ll be making a map of the best lunch spots in Naples, Florida. Click “Untitled map” in the upper left corner of the screen and you will be able to name your map. Each new spot you add to the map will be shown as a new “layer” in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Search for your favorite spot and you’ll see a green point marker come up on the screen.
Click it, then click “Add to map” to add it as a new layer. You’ll want to add captions to each of your places so your readers know your opinions and suggestions for each place. To do this, click the name of the place and you’ll see a pop-up box come up on the map with details. Click the pencil in the lower right corner of this box and you’ll be able to add text commentary. This is what makes it stand out, so be detailed and honest! Add details like this below.
Then, click save and the details will be added to your map. Continue this process until you’ve added all your favorites to your map. Once you’re done, click the green Share button in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Here, you’ll be able to confirm the name of your map and give it a description. Then, click Save. Here you’ll be given a link to share if you would like to e-mail this to a client. Be sure to change where it says “Private – Only you can access” to “Public on the web” so everyone will be able to see your map if you are sharing it publicly. You can share this link via your social media outlets, which is great if you’re composing a blog post on Google+ or writing a quick post on Facebook. After you’re done sharing, click “Done”.
One of the most useful features of these maps is the ability to embed them into your blog posts, like this:
To do this, click the Folder icon underneath your map name and description in the upper left corner. Then, select “Embed this map”. You’ll then be given some code that you can copy and paste into your blog post. If you’re writing about shops, day trip locations, picture-taking spots, or any other local content in your real estate blog, this will give you an interactive element that your readers will love. Google My Maps is also currently available in app form, for Android only. Check out our video to see the how-to in real time.
Love this feature? We’d love to see your awesome maps! Tweet them at us @PipelineROI