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New Google My Maps Guide

Google My Maps were first launched in 2007. Google introduced a new map editing system called Maps Engine in 2013. In September 2014 the Google Map Engine was renamed to My Maps. Initially this version was called the 'New' My Maps and the original version was renamed 'Classic' My Maps. In November 2014 Classic My Maps disappeared and all maps are now managed and edited through the New My Maps.

The New My Maps do add a number of new features. They are available in two forms, the free Lite and the subscription-based Pro. View more information on My Maps Pro here.

Issues with Upgrading From Classic My Maps

1. Some markers are replaced by generic white markers. Many markers with My Maps icons have been replaced with these white markers. The best option to fix this is to go into the My Map and edit the data to change the markers.

2. Additional objects have been added to polylines. If you have any polylines on your map you may notice an additional blue polyline over the top of the exisiting line and two markers labelled 'A' and 'B' at the start and finish of the line.

3. Inability to edit some maps without upgrading to My Maps Pro. The new My Maps are supposed to allow 2,500 features per map. However on one map I tested which contains only 40 features I received the message 'Thats a big map! This map is too big to edit in My Maps. Upgrade to My Maps Pro to edit this and other complex maps.' This may be a bug but for now it is possible that you will be unable to add any new places to some of your maps.

I believe the reason for this problem is that there is a limit of 5 layers per map and that each polyline has been ported over to the new My Maps as a separate layer. As a result the layer limit has been exceeding and editing has been locked. If someone from Google is reading this the map in question is located at:
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=z-dXm_vf41vc.ku2T4d46tyzY

4. No KML link. Data portability was a great feature of the original My Maps. There was a KML link displayed beside each map which allowed you to download the data and easily view the data in other applications. This has now been replaced by an export function which is located within the menu.
The export function now provides a KMZ instead of a KML. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because a KMZ is simply a zip file containing a KML and other assets and is faster to download. KMZ support has recently been added to Map Channels v4. The problem is that within the KML marker URLs are relive paths rather than an absolute web address. As a result the marker images were not being displayed correctly on Map Channels. The new options in Map Channels v4.11 provide a workaround for this problem.

For reference, to get the KMZ file for any My Map without going through the menu use url = "http://mapsengine.google.com/map/kml?mid=" + mid;

Changes To Map Channels Version 4

Find the new options on the v4 Edit Page, section 9 (Categories). The four new options (bordered in red) can fix most of the problems caused by the My Maps transition.

1. Always Apply Default Styles - Use this option only if you want all the markers on your map to be displayed using the default styles as defined further on in section 9.

2. Remove Places With Short Names - The setting for this option is the minimum number of characters that a place name must contain for it to be displayed. The default value is '2'. This setting can be used to remove the 'A' and 'B' placemarks that have been added to polylines in the new My Maps.

3. Remove Duplicate Polylines and Polygons - This setting will remove polylines and polygons which have the same name as one already defined. This option can be used to remove the duplicate polylines added to the new My Maps.

4. Base Marker URL - set this option to the base URL where you store the images that are contained within the KMZ feed of your map.

Store Your Marker Set On Your Website

Since some markers are only provided with relative URLs you need to store these markers on your own server (or another server that you have access to). If you do not have access to the FTP service of your website you can create a free Google Sites to host the markers.

Next set the Base Marker URL value in section 9 of the Map Channels Edit Page.

Click 'Update' to store the Base Marker URL.

Return to section 9. In the sub-section titled 'Category List' click the 'Update Categories' buttons. This will now combine the Base Marker URL with the image paths in the KML data. Your hosted markers should display in the list below.

If the markers do not display first time check the displayed Marker Image URLs and compare to the URL of the images that you created. You may need to repeat the two steps above if these URLs are not the same.

When the marker list is displaying correctly in the Categories section click 'Update' and your map should display correctly with all the correct markers.

Retrieving A Backup Of Your Feed

If you need access to a copy of your old data please contact us and we can restore an older copy of your KML data including the old markers from a backup. This service is not yet automated so there may be a delay in performing the restore. Priority will be given to site supporters who have donated. If you use this option you should disable the daily feed refresh option for your map (in section 3, Feeds).

Additional Help

If you need any additional help displaying feed data from the New My Maps please contact us.







 

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