As we know, telling stories of our ancestors is much enhanced by the use of photographs. Oftentimes a map can make a story clear in a way that words cannot. My Maps at Google will allow you to make annotated, customized maps that can be shared in a variety of ways and what could be better than that?
If you go to Google Maps, there’s a small link to My Maps at the top of the page.
In order to use this feature you need to have a Google account. It’s easy to sign up for one. Your same username and password are used for any of Google’s many useful options. (GMail, Notebook, Alerts, etc.)
Have a look through the Google Maps User Guide. It’s simple and informative. There’s also an excellent video tutorial there. They put the tools at your disposal, you add imagination.
The Maps can be public or privately shared with only those you choose.
Once you create a map, you have various options for sharing. For our purposes, the most useful ones would be:
- View in Google Earth
If you use My Maps to create a map using the street view, you can also see the map in various other views in Google Earth, such as the satellite view which includes the terrain. All added text, images and video are viewable directly on the map. This can be for your own pleasure or you can email a Google Earth map file to anyone able to open it with their own installation of Google Earth.
- Send link by email
- Link to or embed in website
- embed in TiddlyWiki (see JLiki, creating your own genealogy wiki)
If you’re going to embed this type of map in TiddlyWiki, just copy and paste the html Link code into a tiddler. Then surround it with. You can change the default width and height dimensions.
You can invite other people to add to your map. Just click the Collaborate button and email them the invitation. They will be taken directly to your map with editing permission.