MapShare is the site to come to for help planning your next trip. We will be posting maps of all sorts of interesting places around the world. You can copy any of our maps to your own account and then add or delete items as you like. Use our maps as a base for your travel planning and finish up with a custom map that you’ve catered to your own interests.
We encourage you to travel to new places, meet new and different people and try out all sorts of food and experiences.
How to create your own custom map:
I’m a big fan of Google My Maps, which is where all the maps on this blog come from. You can create your own map by going here: https://www.google.com/mymaps. If you’d like to share your map on this blog, you can leave a comment to this post with a link to your map and I will add it in. When setting up your map, make sure to go to the Legend on the left, click on “Share” and set it to “Anyone on the internet can find and view.” Otherwise nobody will able to see your map except you. If you want to set up a map with certain items that you don’t want made public, create a public map first, make a copy of it, set the copy to “Private” and then add in your private items (address of a friend’s house where you’ll be staying, for example).
You can also add new places to your map while traveling. In my experience, editing a Google Map on a mobile device is very awkward. An easier way is to save the location within the Google Maps app by pulling down the legend on the left side, going to “Your Places”, then “Saved” and then saving the location there either under “Favorites” or create a new category such as “Miami Beach”. When you get home you can add these locations to your map and then they’ll be there for when you go back.
How to use these maps offline:
The maps I am posting here can be copied and saved to your own Google account and then you can work on them there. I highly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for this and not a smart phone. Once you have your map set up just the way you want it, the last thing you will want to do before heading off on your voyage is to download an offline version of your map to your phone or other portable device.
Here’s how to do this:
- Download to your phone an offline mapping app. If you have an Android phone get the app called Locus and if you have an iPhone the app you want is called Galileo.
- Then once you have this app, zoom in to the area where you will be traveling and download the street map for that area. You may need to download several maps depending on how much terrain you will be covering. Make sure you have all the maps you need before going away.
- Then access the online version of the map in your phone’s web browser (not in the Google Maps app). Open the map legend (the button to do this is on the left, near the top). In the upper right corner of the map legend, there are three vertical dots that open up to a menu. Open this menu and one of the selections is “export to KML/KMZ file”. Do that and then your phone will ask you if you want to open the file in Galileo/Locus. Yes, you do. It should load all the points on your custom map into your offline map. This is great because then the map will work even if you don’t have wifi, will use less battery power, will load faster and you won’t need to use your cellular data/international roaming data.
- Now you’re ready to travel with a custom map that has just the points of interest that actually interest you and will work anywhere (assuming your smart phone is GPS enabled, which most are).
Help with Mapping and Travel Planning:
Do you need help with your travel planning or creating a map? Send us an email to info(at)mapshare(dot)us and we’ll do our best to help you out. We’re particularly knowledgeable about traveling in France and in Quebec, but we can help you out with mapping any trip.
A Note About Sources:
I’ve compiled information on these maps from various sources, including, especially, my own experiences. Other sources of information include the New York Times, Michelin Guides, The Rough Guide, DK Eyewitness guides, Rick Steves, Let’s Go and various publications issued by regional tourism bureaus.
The phrase “Found on Map”, which you’ll see on various map entries, indicates a point that caught my interest while I was zooming in and looking around on the map and I have no further information about it at this time.
I have made every effort to give credit where credit is due. In many cases I use abbreviations to indicate where I first learned of a point of interest. If you have a question about where certain information comes from please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.