Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Google Maps and Carnival Posts

Over at Small-leaved Shamrock, the 11th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture has been posted. With the theme "My Key to Ireland," many if not all of the posts listed place names in Ireland as well as the surname of ancestors.

Lisa emailed me early on Monday morning and asked if there was a way in which she could display a map of Ireland with links to the various posts - the idea being to give better idea of where ancestors lived. Always up for a "techie" challenge, I did some research and thought while it was possible to have image tags on a photo of the map of Ireland, that Google Maps was a much easier method.

Here is how you can create and customize your own Google Map and use push pins as well as other features to indicate where your ancestors lived:

1. Go to Google Maps.

2. Click My Maps and then click Create New Map. The New Map panel will appear in the left sidebar of your web browser.

3. In the Title field enter a name for the map. In the Description field enter a brief description of what the map depicts. In the Privacy and sharing settings, make the map public.

4. Next, you are ready to search for your first location. Using my post over at Destination: Austin Family (My Key to Ireland: Unlocking Family Mysteries), I search for County Monaghan, Ireland which is where my McEntee and MacEntee ancestors lived.

5. Click Search Maps. The map will display the location in the right panel.

6. If the location is correct, click Save To My Maps. Select the map to which the destination is to be saved and click Save.

7. Next, enter descriptive information including hyperlinks, images, etc. for the location. Click Rich Text to access the same formatting features found in Blogger or Wordpress when creating posts.

8. Click OK. A push pin will appear on the map for the location. Clicking the push pin will display the description. In addition, a list of locations appears in the left sidebar.

9. Continue adding destinations in this manner. When the map is complete, make sure you hit Save in the left sidebar.

10. Use the Send and Link options above the map to send the map to another person, or to retrieve the HTML code to embed the map in a blog post or website.

Several other geneabloggers have had some great Google Maps posts listing similar ways to creatively put the maps to work:

New Feature on Google Maps - Julie Cahill Tarr, GenBlog


Geniaus said...

Thanks, Thomas, for this great and easy to follow tutorial. I'm just going to have to try this.

Jill @ Geniaus

Gayle Gresham said...

Thank you! I can't wait to try this on my blog. My imagination is off and running!

JoLyn said...

Thanks for this how-to. I've been trying to figure this out! And thanks also for your on-the-spot research of Baby Thomas on my GYR post yesterday!

Mavis said...

Thanks for posting this. I acutally thought I knew all there was to know about google maps until I read this.