There have been many startup services out there that introduced the concept of creating your own mashups using Google Maps. One of those mashups that we’ve written about is called “Wayfaring” which was a great way to plan trips, or create a journal of a trip that you already took. You could add photos and videos to your maps just like Google’s new offering, and draw out travel routes. Google has decided to take creating custom map mashups into their own hands with a new addition called My Maps.
My Maps has been described as a quick way to create your own custom Google Maps. In fact,it’s so easy, a caveman could do it. By going to Google Maps you’ll notice the My Maps section. Using My Maps you’ll be able to mark all of your favorite places on the map, draw lines and shapes to highlight paths and areas, and add text, photos, and videos as you see fit. Below is an example that the Google Blog mentioned of the Googleplex.
After you’re done with it, you can publish it so that your map will be included with the Google Maps search results, and the map will even get its own URL so that you can share it with others.
Google has put together a great help section that will guide you through anything you’d ever want to do from start to finish. You can find that here. However, to get started, you’ll want to go to Google Maps, click on “My Maps”, and then “Create new map.” From there you’ll add a description and decide whether you want it public or unlisted. Then you’ll use the icons in the corner of the map to create your custom map.
From my experience this morning trying it out, it’s very intuitive and easy to use. With the capability to just drag and drop marker icons, this really is something that anyone would be able to do. I’m sure it’s not a good day for all of those startups who have put a lot of work and effort into their own Google mashup services only to have Google turn around and offer the same thing.