How to plan a trip with Google My Maps

If you're about to embark on a road trip, and want to make viewing saved maps even easier, here is a quick tip to make this as efficient as possible.

Now that summer is in full swing, you're probably ready for that long-anticipated vacation. Or maybe you're still stuck in the mire of work and are about ready to head out for an extended business trip. Either way, Google has made it even easier to manage your Google Maps from within Google Drive (Desktop only).

If you open up Google Drive and click New | More, you'll see an entry for Google My Maps (Figure A). Click on that entry to open up Google Maps and be ready to create a custom map for whatever purpose you need.

Figure A

Gaining access to Google My Maps from within Google Drive.
Image: Jack Wallen

Once you've created those maps, how to get to them? You won't find them in the Google Drive navigation. You will, however, find them in the root directory of your Google Drive account (Figure B).

Figure B

A saved Google Drive Map.
Image: Jack Wallen

Once the map has been saved within your Google Drive, you can then access that map from Google Drive on your Android or iOS devices (Figure C).

Figure C

Accessing a saved Google Map from a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.
Image: Jack Wallen

Tap the saved map and you will be prompted to open the map with Google My Maps. Do so and you'll have all of your saved map data at your fingertips. NOTE: Depending on how complicated (and how many layers the map has), it may take some time to load on a mobile device. Oddly enough, this doesn't actually open the saved map in the Google Maps app. Instead it will eventually open the map in the Chrome browser (which also means you have full access to editing the saved map). If you find opening the map from within Google Drive takes too long, you'll have better luck doing the following:

  • Open Google Maps
  • Open the sidebar by tapping the overflow button in the top left corner (three horizontal lines)
  • Tap Your places (Figure D)
  • Tap the map you want to view
  • Wait for the map to open
  • Enjoy

Figure D

Image: Jack Wallen

This will open the map in the official Google Maps app where you cannot edit the map as you can in the desktop version. Even though you cannot edit the map in the Google Maps app, all its crucial data will be there for you to view on the go with a single tap from within Google Drive.

How do you map your vacations or business trips?

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