Sunday, November 1, 2009

How to Use Google Maps

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Suppose we want to meet up with a friend at a coffee shop.
The old fashioned way was to photocopy a map page, and mark a location onto it. This is what I have done to the above image using Photoshop. I could now email that image to my friend, or print it out and send it to them.

But what about using something more modern, like "Google Maps" to mark the location of the coffee shop instead ?

In Australia, we go to this address: http://maps.google.com.au/

Here is a YouTube video about how to make your own Google map, using "My Maps".




There is also written information about How to Create a "My Map" at this link:
http://maps.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=68480

Here is a map for the Coffee Shop that we created using Google Maps
(We have also included the big hotel across the road as a reference point).


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The really nice thing about a Google Map is that we can click to enter satellite view, to obtain an aerial photograph of our map like this:

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We can also click on the orange colored man symbol on the map, to take us into Google Street View.

Click and drag the orange man away from the plus sign to get into Google Street View. When we mouse release our Orange guy, we get a street view photo. We can even point our guy to look directly at the Vogue House Cafe:

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Here is our actual Google map, from the embed HTML that they provided us with:

The only problem is that we included two items on our map: the big hotel, and the cafe, and the hotel symbol is on top. It does not matter, once we zoom in a few times the two symbols will separate. Also in the embedded map, we do not get streetview available. To use streetview, we need to click the link further below.



View Vogue House Cafe in a larger map

And here is a link to open our map in a new browser window:
Link to Map for Vogue House Cafe with Street View

The other nice thing about the map is that our friend can get directions from wherever they are, to reach destinations we have marked on our map. In the directions lists, it even gives camera icons we can click and then see street view annotated photo scenes of the main road intersections we have to make turns at during our journey.

Finally, here is a PDF document, all about how we made our own Google map:




If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then
simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.



Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:




So making a Google Map, and sending the link to someone by email definitely gives them the full picture. They can zoom in and out, and then also use street view to get right in on those areas of interest that we have marked especially onto the map.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

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