How to make Google Maps with Custom Maps

For my project, I will need to make use of a custom Google map in which communities and landmarks will be highlighted uniquely (examples can be seen here: http://www.google.ca/earth/outreach/tutorials/custommaps.html).

Is there a way to make the Google Map plugin use my custom map instead of the default one Google provides? I looked in the Add-Ons section for the plugin, but nothing really jumped out at me.

  • Philipp Stracker

    Hi goobs,

    I have good news for you: You actually can do this with the current plugin! Yay :slight_smile:

    Short info: What you call "custom map" is called "overlay" by google. An overlay is a collection of objects that are displayed on a map. Our plugin is already prepared to display your own overlays.

    That's how to do it:

    1. Go to the Settings > Google Maps > Add-Ons section and activate the "KML Overlay" Add-On.

    2. Open the page/post that contains your map and click the Map-Icon above the editor. Preview your demo map. In the Preview you have the button "Map Options" - click it. In the options popup you will (possibly in the very bottom) see the line "KML file URL"

    As a test you can now copy-paste the following demo URL as KML URL: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&dg=feature&authuser=0&msa=0&output=kml&msid=214465773309803803847.000468b7c86a1937d6c9f

    3. Geting the KML file of your map is quite easy too: Open up your map in google maps (e.g. this is the above demo map). In the top/left section you find a small link called "KML" --> right click and say "Copy link address". Then paste this address in the KML URL field in the google map plugin, as described above :wink:

    -> I add a screenshot of the KML link, as it is quite small and when you don't know it it is easy to miss it.

    When you do this, then you can still edit the overlay in google maps and your website will always show the latest version of the overlay!

    As an alternative you can additionally activate the "KML Uploader" and then upload your KML file to WordPress. This is useful when you want to make sure that the overlay never changes, even when you edit it in google maps.

    If you need help with that step or anything else then please let us know!

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