Blogging with Google Maps

Sunset Directions found at: am a big fan of Google Maps and use it regularly for finding directions, finding addresses for places and just for fun. I also like to add Google Maps to websites. There are so many uses for them from showing people the location of a business to highlighting your trip and photos. Perhaps that is why Google Maps are seen in so many mashups all around the web. The only problem with them is unless you are a hard core Javascript programmer Google Maps can be hard to create a custom Google Map with. Here are two ways I have found that are easy to add Google Maps to your blog.

Google Maps My Maps The Google My Maps feature let’s people create their own maps. You can add placemarks, create lines and shapes over top of the map. They have alos made it easy to embed the maps now using an iframe. Simply click the “Link to the page” link and you are given a link to the page and an embed code. Below is a simple map I made with some placemarks of the Town of Rosthern where I live.

View Larger Map

Google Maps Plugin for WordPress As great as the Google Maps My Maps features are, I still like to get under the hood a little bit. The Google Maps Plugin for WordPress lets you do just that. While you can use it to create simple maps and with one point, or use it to add a Google Maps My Map into your blog, the real benefit of using the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress is the ability to map blog. The content for the map is not stored in an inline frame on some other server, it is stored right on your blog post so it is able to be indexed by the search engines as content.

To use the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress you need to install in like most other WordPress plugins by uploading it to your plugins folder. You will also need a Google Maps API key for your domain. I entered to get the API key for Epiblogger. Once you have the plugin installed and the API key entered you can start creating maps from simple single marker maps to complex multi-marker maps. You can also use the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress to add your own custom Google My Maps that you made above instead of using the Google inline frame embed code.

Here is the same map I embedded above except I embedded it using the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress. It is a simple link. The default is to add a marker at the center of the map with the content of the link showing on that marker. You can easily turn that off with some of the parameters that are available to customize the map.

This is the same map I added above but it is added using the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress. This content shows in the center marker, but it is also indexable by the search engines.

I would encourage you to read through the great documentation that is available for the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress. It can walk you through how to create all types of maps to add to your blog with easy to follow instructions.

Conclusion There are other mapping solutions you can use to add maps to your blog, but these are the two I prefer to use because they are easy for anyone to use. For the most basic maps the Google My Maps feature you can have a map embedded on your blog in under five minutes. If you want more control and are concerned about the content of the maps being indexed by search engines then the Google Maps Plugin for WordPress offers you several options to add maps to your blog.

Just think of the possibilities that are open to you now. You could map and blog about your last vacation and add photos/videos to each point. You can create a contact page with your exact location for customers to find you, along with a form to get directions to your office. You can create a custom map to your next blog meet up so no one gets lost. What are some ways you could use maps on your blog?

Categories: blogging