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Tutorials + Resources

Intro to Google My Maps

By: Mei Lin Lee-Stahr | Last Updated: Fall Quarter 2023

My Maps is an interactive map feature made by Google. You can use it to create your own custom maps to embed in projects. 

Tutorial Contents

Getting Started

Getting Started:

  • Find My Maps HERE
  • Once on the site, it will look like this →
  • To create a map, click on the button that says, “Create a New Map” in the upper left corner

Once your map is created, it will look like this ↴

Feel free to rename your map by clicking on where it says “Untitled Map.” It will bring up this window:

You have the option change what your map looks like, this called the “Base Map.” Click on “Base Map” to view a dropdown menu of the options.

How to Add Elements to Your Map

Look at the toolbar under the search bar to add elements to your map. To see what each icon does, hover your mouse over the icon.

  • The pin icon is one of the most important tools. 
  • In order from left to right, the icons are: undo, redo, move/grab, place a pin, draw a line, directions and measure



Once you know where you would like to place a pin, type the location into the search bar and press enter.

My Maps will automatically take you to that location on the map:

To drop a pin on the location, click on the icon to the right of the hand and click the point that you want to add a pin for. Title this pin whatever you want.

Repeat step 6-7 to drop another pin. Do this for as many points as you like. 

More Tools

You have a few options from here: 

  • You can add a line connecting the points using the line tool to the right of the marker tool. Additionally, you can add a custom walking, driving, or biking route using the same tool.

You can also add directions using the next icon to the right. This streamlines the “Add driving route” to the best route, similar to Google Maps.

You can measure the distance between the two points:

Or you can simply leave the points as is. 
NOTE: You can put more than two points on a map, and connect all of them, just follow the above steps to add more points.

How to Import Data

First, make sure your file is one of these readable types:

  • CSV
  • TSV
  • KML
  • KMZ
  • GPX
  • XLSX
  • Google Sheet

Once your file is in the correct format, you may begin to import them. If you already have layers added to your map, click on “Add layer.” If you are starting from scratch, then you may skip this step.

Once you have an empty layer, click on “Import”

Once you import your data set, it should appear on your map

With these data points you can add directions, lines and measure the distance between the same way as you can if you added the points manually.