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How to create a Google Map in about 30 minutes

I was driving around Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon and had some time to kill, so I made a detour to the UCLA campus with the intention of driving home soon after. I quickly realized I was near the westernmost part of world-famous Sunset Boulevard. I decided to travel the entire length of the winding road and take a photograph every time I stopped at a red light. Always a multimedia journalist, I decided I would later create a Google Map of the resulting photos and locations.

So in an unintentional finale to College Week at 10,000 words, here is my road trip from UCLA to Olvera Street near Downtown L.A.:


View Larger Map

And now creating the map…

I wrote previously about quick ways to create a Google Map but now I will break down the process for a quick tutorial and demonstrate how easy it really is.

I take the images out of the iPhone, crop them for focus and upload them to the web. Because I did not geotag any of the 26 photos, I have to retrace my steps and catalog unfamiliar intersections. Once I have a handwritten list of locations that correspond to my photos, I am ready to start building.

I choose Google My Maps because it is easy to use and simple to draw lines on a map.


I give the map a title and a description. I decide to make it public so everyone can check it out.

I begin drawing lines to represent my trip down Sunset Blvd. The street is very curvy in parts so it takes a little more effort than I expected.

I place my first marker on the map at Cesar Chavez & Lyon in East L.A. and add a photo. It was the last stop on my trip and because I ended up listing the points in reverse order, I will work backwards to create the map.


As I’m placing the points I realize some of the lines are not exactly on Sunset, so I fix them along the way using the handles that appear when I rollover them.

28 points later, I’m done!

I click “Link to this page” to embed the map. I change the default size settings and set the zoom.


I copy the resulting code and place it into a new Blogger post. Voila! New Google Map!


Also on 10,000 Words

5 Ways to create a Google Map in minutes
10 Mind-blowing maps (and 3 ways to create them)
8 Beautifully Designed Maps

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