Tuesday, 22 June 2010


I can why see the organisers haven't included Google Maps in the Cam23 Things programme; its relevance to libraries is probably quite limited. But I'm dying for an excuse to try embedding a map into something, so here goes:

View a larger map

Old fashioned British pint glassThis is the only reason I'd used any Google application before starting 23 Things: to make a note of pubs I like. Pretty sad huh? But it's so easy to put together, and useful, too, with locations and notes all in one place and all accessible from any online computer/phone/gadget. I could add links to pub websites, and tasting notes, and pictures, too, if I had the time. I must say that the clarity of Google mapping isn't what I'd always like (give me an OS or a Geographer's AtoZ any day), and I wish there was a proper pint glass icon to use without having to upload my own, but being able to draw all over a map like this is too good not to use on aesthetic grounds alone.

For those keen to make their own (and make the most of having a Google account), here's a brief how-to guide:

1) Go to the Google Maps homepage and sign in with your Google account details.

2) On the left-hand side, click 'My Maps', and then 'Create new map'.

3) Fill in some details of your map's title and description, and choose whether you want it to be public or not.  You can always change the privacy setting later.  Click the save button.

4) Now add things to the map!  Click on the little pointer icon at the top of the map to place a pointer on the map, or search for something using the search box at the top of the page.  Click on a search result pointer and then on 'save to' to add it to your map.  You can drag any pointer around to move it to where you want it to go, and click on it to add information, or change the icon shape.

5) To share the link to your map, click on 'link' at the top right of the map and copy the text.  To embed it in a different website, click on the 'customize and preview embedded map' under the 'link' link.

Happy mapping!

If you're really clever, maybe you'll create something as mesmerizing and useful as this (link from Phil Bradley on Twitter).


  1. love love love the cocktail glass pin! have only just mastered the ordinary pin to mark the spot. much impressed.
    also love google maps - for the fact that I made a very simple one just to show the location of the medical library in relation to the UL for some posters for the University open day. and that my boss was able (on his first trip to Japan) to find his way from Tokyo train station to his hotel because he used street view before he went! amazing!!!! (cough, privacy, cough, mapping of home wireless networks, cough, cough...)

  2. To change the icon, go to your map, click edit, click on the pin to bring up the little info box about it, then click on the pin icon in the top right corner. Then choose the icon you want.

    Totally agree about the conflict between usefulness of street view and the privacy issues - it makes a dreadful hypocrite out of me.