> SlowTrav > Google Maps
Google Maps: How to Use
Pauline Kenny, December 2005, updated September 2006
Use our Slow Travel Google Map Pointer to find coordinates for Google Maps.
When you click on the link to a Slow Travel Google Map you are taken to
a page with a Google Map and a list of markers on the right side. A Slow
Traveler has defined the markers and the way you see the map, but you can
use the standard Google Map controls to control the map: move the map, scale the map,
switch between regular map and satellite version.
Use Google Maps to explore an area you will be traveling to. Slow
Travelers create these maps to annotate trip reports or travel notes. Use
them to learn more about an area you plan to travel to.
Slow Travel Google Map Controls
Location and Scale
Use the arrow buttons to move the map. The center button brings the
map back to its original place. You can also move the map with your mouse
by clicking and dragging anywhere on the map.
Use the scale buttons to zoom in ("+") and out ("-"). Google has most
of the world in the map version at all scales, but satellite is not always
available. For example, in England you can zoom right into the town of
Avebury so that you see the standing stones, but for Bath you do not get
the same level of detail. Google Maps is currently in Beta so we can expect
more detail in the future.
Use these buttons to switch between map and satellite view. Note that
satellite view is not always available to the same zoom in level as the
The small map in the lower right shows where you are positioned relative
to the larger map. This is good to help you understand the map location.
Small colored markers show towns, places or points of interest. A key
beside the map shows the meaning of the different markers and lists them.
Hover on the marker to see the town/place name. Click on the marker
to see the Information Window (see below).
List of Markers
The list of markers on the map is displayed in the right sidebar, by type of marker.
Click on the marker name and the map moves to that marker and displays
the Information Window (see below). For example, if you see that
is listed, but you don't know where it is on the map, click on
"Stow-on-the-Wold" in the sidebar
and you will find the town on the map.
When a map is first displayed, all marker types are listed. You can choose which groups of markers you want displayed.
Click the checkbox beside the type of marker to control the display of
these markers. For example, if you only want to see the main towns in
the Cotswolds, uncheck all marker types except "Large Towns".
"(SV)" beside the marker name indicates a Slow View for that marker
- a zoomed in satellite view. A link to this is in the Information
A fun trick when looking at Google Maps is to zoom into a detailed
satellite view, then click on each marker in the side bar to move to
the view of that marker.
There are two ways to see the Information Window for a marker:
click the marker or click the marker name in the right sidebar.
The Information Window gives you information about the marker and
may have a link for further information on the SlowTrav site or
another website. There may be a small photo in the Information Window.
If you see "SV" beside the marker name, this indicates that there
is a Slow View available. Click the SV and you will see a Google Map
showing a zoomed in satellite view. On this example, you would see a
detailed satellite view of Stow-on-the-Wold.
Close the Information Window by clicking the "X"
in the upper right. You can only have one Information Window open at one
Note: If you hover over the marker, the marker name is displayed.
You can create a simple Google Map on your own website to show the location
Note: See Resources below. There are some websites that have a friendly
interface for generating Google Maps. These may be easier to use than coding
Get API key: Sign up with Google for an API key (free): www.google.com/apis/maps/.
You need this put the Google Map code on your web page.
Make a page for your site: Find the code you need to display a
map on the Google Map documentation site: www.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/. If you want a simple map showing
one location, you can copy my code from this example
page. Do a "View Source" and copy the styles and script code from the
HEAD and the special map DIV in the BODY.
- Find marker coordinates: To show a marker for a location, you
need the exact longitude and latitude coordinates for the place you want
to map. Use our Slow Travel Google Map Pointer to find coordinates for Google Maps. This page shows you a Google map starting
at the world level. Zoom into different countries using the pulldown list
on the sidebar. Drag to your country and use the scale on the upper left
to zoom in to find your town or house, then click to place a marker. The
coordinates (longitude and latitude) are displayed below the map. Copy this.
Resources for Creating Google Maps
GPS Visualizer. Enter longitude and latitude coordinates and find the distance
in miles and kilometers between them (the great circle distance). Also converts
to degrees, minutes. Creates maps with your coordinates.
create Google Maps with markers and text.
Resources for Learning how to Put Maps on Your Website
Google Maps, get API key and documentation.
Slow Travel Google Map Pointer:
Get the exact longitude and latitude coordinates and zoom level for the place you want to
mark on a Google Map.
www.econym.demon.co.uk/googlemaps/: Google Maps API Tutorial by Mike Williams.
Google Maps Mania blog.
Google Sightseeing, blog using Google Maps to show travel destinations.
paulstamatiou.com: Paul Stamatiou, How to: Embedded Google Maps. I did
not use his method for doing this, but instead followed the Google API documentation.
Example Google Map Code
Example Google Map: Simple map centered
on a village in Switzerland. If you want
a simple map on your website, showing one location, copy my code from this page. Do
a "View Source" and copy the script code from the HEAD and the special map
DIV in the BODY.
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