Creating Custom Google Maps

Obviously the idea that you can create your own custom Google map is not new. I’ve read several articles describing how to do it in the past, and always thought, “what a great idea.” Despite thinking I should do it, I never actually created one, which is surprising given how much I love to plan and research before I travel somewhere (especially somewhere new).

As I was researching where to find the best spots for blue dome pictures in Santorini, I quickly realized that these spots were actually quite hard to find. I finally found a photographer who gave a good description and the GPS coordinates. I knew I wanted to make sure I could access that info while in Santorini, and that’s when it dawned on me -- this was the perfect occasion to make my first custom Google map!

The process is super easy. You simple log into your Google account and go to maps. You create a new map, name it, and start adding by address, GPS coordinates, business name, street name, or by dropping a pin or line on the map. You can then automize the colors and pin icons (You can find more thorough, step-by-step instructions here). Before I departed for Santorini I added just handful of places to my map and then downloaded it on my phone (I just used the google maps app, but you can also download into other map apps). It was a lifesaver.

But the real value of the custom Google map came when I returned home and wanted to record and share my favorite places and best photo spots. I had several people who were traveling to Santorini or planning a trip in the future who wanted some recommendations. I realized that the easiest and most useful thing for them was for me to add everything to my Google map and then share it. That way they too could access it on their phones while traveling (remember having a working phone in Europe is cheaper and easier than you think).

So here it is, my Google map for Santorini, Greece that you can view and save - just click here!

I am hoping to make one for all of the places I visit, and, of course, I want to make one definitive one for Florence.

So what do you think? Is this a useful addition to the travel section of this blog?

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