Map Channels v4 Tutorial
This tutorial covers the steps to (1) Create a map using Google's My Maps service and (2) Embed that map on your website using Map Channels v4.
Other v4 Tutorials:
Edit Enabled Maps Tutorial
Importing and Geocoding Data Tutorial
1. Create a 'My Map'
Watch this video for instructions on creating a Google My Map. This My Maps Guide is also useful.
Visit Google Maps to get started. A Google account is required to create a My Map.
Once you have created a map, right-click on the link labelled 'View in Google Earth' to copy the link location
2. Create a Map Channel
Return to the Map Channels website, click on the Map Channels version 4 link and then click on Create New Map Channel.
Enter a meaningful map identifier and title, then paste the link location from your Google My Map into the 'Data Feed URL' section (to paste: right click then select paste from the menu, or press control+V on the keyboard).
Keep the Data Feed Type set to 'Google My Map'.
Check the terms and conditions box then click the 'Create' button to create your Map Channel. Then click the 'Edit Settings' Link to visit the Edit page.
2.1. Edit Settings
The Edit Page displays a preview of the map and a number of settings divided into sections. Most of these settings are self-explanatory or have notes which explain how the settings work.
Click the 'Update' button to apply changes made in all sections and view the updated map.
2.2. Embed The Map
Once the settings are complete click on the 'Embed' link then copy and paste the HTML code into your web page to embed the map.
2.3. Feed Update
In the feed section you can choose to update your feed data daily. When this option is selected your map data will automatically be refreshed so changes made to the My Map will be reflected in the Map Channel within one day.
If you want a change to be displayed immediately check the 'Refresh Feed Now' box and then click 'Update'. You may need to clear your browser cache to view the new data.
Categories are useful where you have markers with different marker icons and you want to let the user filter markers by category.
Select 'Category Filter' in the sidebar section, then view the category section. Enter a title for each marker icon (duplicates are ok).
Use the up and down buttons to adjust the order of categories within the list.
Click 'update' then you will see a drop down list in the sidebar beside the new map. This list lets you filter markers by the categories you have defined.
The dictionary section allows you to change all text displayed in the control and set the language used for map controls.
The CSS feature lets you customize the appearance of many map features such as the sidebar and info windows.
Google ads help to fund development of Map Channels. By default one Map Channels ad unit is shown in the sidebar. You can enter your own Adsense Publisher ID and Channel to display two ad units, one using the Map Channels ID and another using your ID.
3. Other Feed Types
Map Channels supports KML, Geo RSS 2.0 and Tab-delimited Text feeds.
Not all features of KML are supported, it is recommended to use KMLs which have the same format as Google My Maps.
Google Spreadsheets are supported, enter the spreadsheet URL and this will be automatically converted to a tab-delimited text URL.
4. Feed Size
The load and response times of a map is determined partly by the number of markers contained in the feed.
As a general guideline feeds should contain 500 places or less.
It is possible to display more markers but there is a performance trade-off involved. An additional factor is the overall size of the feed.
Try to avoid a large number of markers with lengthy description.
A brief description with a link to a more in-depth profile page is often the better option.
5. More Information
More features and documentation for Map Channels v4 will be added over time. If you have any questions please Contact Us.