Perhaps you’ll be touring a city, or you just moved into a new neighborhood, or you’re going on a cross-country road trip; a GPS navigation app is always handy, sure. But the map you can access through this app is typically cluttered with a lot of location data that you don’t really need, and which can even make navigation even more confusing than helpful.
Fortunately, you can easily map multiple locations — that is, only locations you’re interested in, including important landmarks — through ShowMyMap’s map-generation tool. For whatever purpose you need a customized map, you can map multiple locations using location data organized in a spreadsheet.
ShowMyMap makes the process pretty straightforward:
- Input your location data into a spreadsheet.
- Copy and paste the data into ShowMyMap’s map-creation tool.
- Create your map and customize all important multiple locations according to your preferences.
Your customized map of multiple locations will look something like this:
How Does ShowMyMap Work?
ShowMyMap uses Google Map’s geocoding API — or, in simple terms, its mapping technology — to generate maps based on a user’s location data. The geocoding API automatically converts addresses, cities, states, zip codes, and even landmarks into coordinates and then plots these coordinates onto a map.
ShowMyMap makes the whole process as simple and easy as copying and pasting location data into our map-creation tool. ShowMyMap also offers additional features so you can customize your map according to your needs, i.e., mapping multiple locations.
How To Start Mapping Multiple Locations Using ShowMyMap
Create A Spreadsheet
First things first, organize your location data using a spreadsheet, such as Excel or Google Sheets. If you’re using ShowMyMap’s free offer, you can input up to 150 locations into your spreadsheet, or up to 17,500 or 35,000 if using Pro or Pro+ accounts, respectively.
Your spreadsheet should have at least two columns. If you only have addresses, for example, one column can include a name for each address while the second will be for the addresses. If you have more location data, such as addresses, cities, and zip codes, then you can separate these and put them in different columns.
Using just addresses and names assigned to them, you’ll generate a map similar to this one:
It’s best to already assign groups to your location data in the spreadsheet. If you only have addresses, you can use the column for names to assign letter groups to the addresses, i.e. A for all addresses within a specific block radius, and so on; alternatively, you can use a third column for the groupings. If you have more location data, you can assign groups according to type of business or business names.
Copy And Paste Into ShowMyMap
ShowMyMap’s mapping tool allows you to simply copy and paste the spreadsheet data you created into the map-creation box. ShowMyMap offers two ways to do this: the first is by dragging and dropping your spreadsheet file; the second is by copying and pasting the spreadsheet data.
Once you have pasted your location data into the appropriate box, just click “Create Map.” You will then be taken to the Geo Decoding section and prompted to set your fields. Choose all the applicable fields for your map, e.g., address, city, and/or zip code, or all the fields that are represented in your location data. This section is also where you’ll choose how you want your data to be grouped.
ShowMyMap automatically sets the appropriate fields for spreadsheet data that are well organized, but you may still double-check. If you only have one type of data, you can skip this step. Depending on the type of ShowMyMap account you have, you may also be able to further customize your map, such as choosing the default map to show and colors for your markers.
When you’re done, just click “Make Map.” ShowMyMap will initiate the geocoding process and, when it’s done, you’ll be given options on how you want it to be saved and prompted to give your map a title and description and to provide your email address. Click “Save Map” to generate your customized map and get access to your map’s direct URL.
Once you have created your map, you can customize it by only displaying certain groups. With map grouping, you’ll be able to limit the location data shown on the map and hide the other groups so that your map will not be “cluttered” by information you don’t need.
ShowMyMap can also automatically group your map data according to numerical ranges, such as markers with the same zip codes or area codes, or non-numerical values that show commonalities, such as type of business. These automatic map groupings can also make it easier for you to navigate your map by allowing you only to focus on groups you’re interested in. If you only want to see all branches of a fast food place within a given area, then you can customize your map to only show this group.
Other Customization Options
As mentioned above, you can further customize your map’s appearance according to:
- Map Preview. You can choose how the data on your map will appear, such as by name, address, or group; select marker descriptions; country field; URL; image URL; email; or phone number. You can also add a custom field to identify your markers if the additional information was also included in your spreadsheet.
- Customize Map. This section allows you to choose a default map view, e.g., road map, satellite, hybrid, or terrain; select custom colors for your markers; select icons for your markers; and choose a map style.
Once you have created your map, there additional ways that you can customize how your map data is shown: via Heat Map or Cluster, and via kilometers or miles.
Share Your Map
There are a number of ways to share your map. You can simply share your map’s direct URL with others via email, instant messaging, or your social media page. Or you can directly embed your map into your website. You can learn more about the different sharing options here.