Creating a custom Google Map is a great way to enhance itineraries, attraction and hotel listings, special events and so much more. Plus Google made it very easy to create and embed these maps.
Go to the “My Maps” tab and create a title and description for your new map. All you have to do now is find, drop or drag placemarks and draw lines. You can customize the icon for the placemark as well as adding live links and images via html.
Flickr is always a great resource for images. Search within the Creative Commons to find images that can be used commercially. You can find the html under the “Share This” tab for each photo.
Here’s an example of a very basic Google Map I created using flickr images:
View Lake Michigan Lighthouses in a larger map
Note that the images link directly to flickr, therefore providing the required photo credit.
An example with links and custom icons:
View Lighthouses of Michigan in a larger map
You can add lines to highlight driving and walking routes. Use different colored flags or icons for placemarks, or even upload your own icons. Consider using these maps in layers so that people select specific criteria (show hotels and museums but not restaurants). The options are endless!
What types of maps have you created?