April 8, 2014

A simple way to share maps on your blog

This post tells you how to put maps on your blog and also how to share maps elsewhere to help people [e.g. visitors] relate to a location.

Thanks to Google Maps, you can easily put your own markings to Google maps and share these with your blog viewers by following the steps given below. But before going to the steps, let’s set your imagination on a roll about the ways in which maps can be used on blogs and elsewhere.

The possibilities are many. Some could be like these:


This map was made in Google 'mapsengine' and its screenshot pasted here.
Did not remove edit/delete guides just to show how it looks on mapsengine.
  • You may want your invitees to know the driving route to your wedding or your daughter’s birthday function or a seminar in which you are to speak.
  • You may want to guide a visitor to a city, giving him routes and glimpses of what to see.
  • You might want to tell your visitor how to plan his trip to your area, depending upon the likely traffic.
  • You can also use maps on presentations, slide-shows, videos, etc.
  • You can use these all to suit your blog. You can use maps on almost all types of blogs including personal blogs, blogs on history / geography / geology / culture / photography, even research blogs. You might tell people on your blog which all places you visited during your recent excursion. Or you might plan an excursion and seek others’ views on it. As a travel blogger, you can ‘illustrate’ the location, settings, nearby landmarks, driving route etc of a destination. As a blogger providing tour facilities or travel advisories, you can use Google maps imaginatively to provide value to your visitors.  

EMBEDDING A MAP ON THE BLOG


You can embed a map on a post itself if you have the facility to add html code, as on Blogger, premium Wordpress plans, and self-hosted blogs. You can always embed a map on an html widget in sidebar or elsewhere. You don’t need any knowledge of html for either of these actions.

The steps are as follows:



  • Go to New Google maps  (If this link does not work, you can reach there through http://maps.google.com and then opting for new maps if that is not the default type. The old [=classic] map too has facility for embedding and sharing maps but it does not have good markings relating to traffic etc. You can sign in with your Google account or you may like NOT to sign in. [When you sign in, Google will be able to save your map in that account.]
  • Go to the location either by moving the hand sign on the map or typing the location on the search box. Add features to the map as guided in the next para on adding value to the map.
  • After you have finished the map, click on the 'Settings' icon in the bottom right corner of the map screen. Click on ‘Share and embed map’ and then click on ‘Embed’ tab. (You can see the 'Settings' icon on the image above.) On the old map [=classic style], you have a ‘chain’ icon as shown in the image below. It has options to share the map. 
  • It will give you an option to input the size of the map and then give a code.
  • Copy the code and paste it either on the blog post or an html widget. The map will show up on your blog. Please note that while pasting the code on the post, use the html editing option on the post-editor.
Now some ways to add value to the map:

This map shows traffic on different roads at noon time on Mondays.
You can reach the 'traffic' utility by clicking on the search box in the left top corner.
  • Instead of plain map view, you can use the satellite view.
  • You can display route(s) from one place to the other using the ‘directions’ utility. (See image above.)
  • You can display dynamic traffic situation in different parts of a city or the traffic pattern at a particular time on a particular week day, by using the ‘traffic’ utility. This may, however, not be available/ reliable for smaller cities and rural areas. (See image above.)
  • You can place pins to highlight main locations on the map.
  • If you want further adventure, you can save the map as an image and place photographs etc on top of the map. You can use many more features of Google maps, including making your own customised maps through Google mapsengine.
This is the old [=classic] Google map style. Notice the sharing button to share / embed.

SHARING A MAP

You can share maps on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, email etc. by sharing the URL of your map. For doing this,

  • Click on the 'Settings' icon.
  • Click on ‘Share and embed map’ and then click on ‘Share’ tab. It gives you the URL of the map you created. If you want to have a short URL, click on ‘Short URL’. Similar functions are available on the old Google map on clicking the link shown in the image above.