Ready, Set, Go: Add a Google map to your website

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:45 AM


Katie's Challenge - As part of an event planning team, Katie needs to build a simple map and display it on a webpage. The map should be simple, only 10 markers plotting event locations, but needs to be created quickly and added to a page in time for an event that will be happening tomorrow. What are Katie's options and what Google Maps tool should she use?

Allen's Challenge - Allen's boss has read about new web mapping and wants to start visualizing information on a map which today sits in large text tables on the company website. Allen leads a team that is capable of developing a complex mapping application, but he'd like to learn what options are available to the company.

With both Katie and Allen in mind we have created one place to learn all ways you can add a Google map to your website. From plotting only a few locations or embedding driving directions to more advanced custom mapping options, the URL for this site is conveniently titled:

http://maps.google.com/getmaps



Once you select the appropriate level, you'll get another set of options to pick which best describes your use case.

When Katie arrives at this site she follows the easy steps to create a My Map. She selects the size of the map she wants to embed and copies the auto-generated HTML and adds it to the event website. She even customizes a slightly smaller version for the event blog which she decides to embed in a post to let attendees know about the map. She sends a quick email to her team with a link to the map.

Meanwhile, Allen arrives and chooses "Advanced" since the mapping needs for his company are more complex. First he compares the features of the two Google Maps APIs available to his company and even finds out that Google provides a way for him to reach out to a certified Google Maps developer. He has faith in his own team and decides to read on, learning what platforms the Google Maps API is available to be developed on. After exploring the example maps presented on the site, Allan concludes that the Flash-based maps interface will provide the user experience he's looking for.

Mapping Success! Katie's team thinks she's a mapping whiz and the developers in Allen's group are impressed that he knows the difference between an interactive JavaScript and Flash-based map! We truly hope this page helps you to navigate the many options before you to add a map to your own website!

Mike Pegg, Product Marketing manager