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The secret diamond of Google

May 17, 2022

The image above is a portion of Debbie Mayo-Smith’s newsletter database using My Maps. Each pin represents a   subscriber, and contains unique information.

By Debbie Mayo-Smith

You can do more with Google Maps than asking how to get from A to B. 

You can add layers (great for engineers, builders, farmers etc). You can add your business. However, there’s a different way you can use Google Maps with My Maps.

My Maps are private (or public) maps you’ve created by uploading spreadsheet data. It's free and it's easy.

It’s like a visual database. Each row of data creates a pin. When you click the pin, it shows the uploaded information. If you have, say, six columns, you’ll have six pieces of information about that pin. If your spreadsheet has 15 columns, you’ll have 15 pieces of information for each pin. Of course, the only given criterium is one column must be a location. It can be exact (number and street) through to just the city. Having the country will avoid mistakes between similarly named locations.

When created, your map has a unique URL (web address). This can remain private to you, or you can share it with others or even embed it on a company website.

How you can use this for business, or personally? Your imagination is the limit.

You’ve heard a picture is worth 1000 words. An image highlighting what you’re talking about can make you more persuasive. 

For example, how much better is it:

to show school fundraising sponsors a map of their peers already sponsoring 

in a meeting about church membership showing the actual map of members 

dare I say it – mapping who has Covid-19?

More ideas


The location of offices or staff. The Retirement Villages Association has a map on its website showing member villages. They use different coloured pins to represent different organisations. When you click on a single pin it will detail all the information about that one village – phone, address, email, number of units and so on.

Mail-drop advertising success with new business picked up.

Location of clients, members, students, employees, volunteers. 

Different coloured pins to differentiate between clients, or groups of clients.

Location of prospects.

Sales team appointments.

Conference or exhibition attendees.


School, sport or church fundraising, membership.

Places you’ve travelled or are going to in the future. You can pin places of interest and upload scanned images of their descriptions. 

Places you visited in your lifetime.

Make it interesting and unique.

You can colour pins of different layers to distinguish and categorise. You can upload images to a pin. You even have a significant number of icons to choose from.

The image at top right shows the formatting options for your pins. The second image shows the colour and icon options. Clicking More icons opens up screens of them.

Convinced My Maps might be useful to you? Or at least a clever bit of dinner table conversation?

How to access My Maps. 

Two ways, but you must have a Google account.

  1. Open Google Maps. Click the top left corner menu button. Select Your Places > Maps > Create Map.
  2. Second, and easiest is if you have a Google Drive account. Click New > More > My Maps. See the image at right.

Once you have My Maps open and selected New Map: 

  1. An Untitled Map will open. Give it a name to help differentiate in the future.
  1. Select Import under Untitled Layer. You can import an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file. 
  2. Once your layer is uploaded, you can change icons and colours, and add images.

A map can have up to 10,000 lines, shapes, or places. Each layer you upload can have 2000 lines, shapes, or places.

Reproduced with permission from Debbie Mayo-Smith’s Quick Tip newsletter –

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