How to Draw on Google Maps

Create custom routes with the My Maps App

What to Know

  • Users can create custom maps to include the small details Google Maps may miss.
  • On desktop: My Maps > Create a new map > Select Draw a line tool > Click on starting point > Drag a line over to destination > Double-click destination to finish.
  • On Android: Create a new map > Tap the blue plus > Add new line > Drag line to destination > Tap the check mark to finish.

This guide will show you how to draw on Google Maps for desktop and Android to create maps with custom information personalized to suit your needs.

How to Create a Route on Desktop

For this example, we'll use the city of Los Angeles, but this will work anywhere Google Maps has mapped.

  1. Go to My Maps in your browser.

  2. Sign in to your Google account by clicking the Sign In button in the upper-right corner.

  3. Click +CREATE A NEW MAP in the upper-left corner to get started.

    Create a New Map button in Google Maps
  4. In the upper-left corner, you will see the map layers and the tools for drawing to the right. You can change the map's name and layer by clicking on the name and typing in the new one.

    The app gives a layer where you can import drawings and data from other maps.

    Add Layer in Google Maps

    Note

    If you plan on creating a map with different routes markers, draw each aspect on its own layer to keep everything organized.

  5. Create a new layer and name it Markers.

  6. Select the Add marker tool and place the marker on your starting point.

    Add marker in Google Maps
  7. Select the Draw a line tool from the right-hand menu and and select a mode of transportation. This guide will choose Add driving route.

    Draw a Line tool in Google Maps
  8. Click on the starting point. A new driving layer will automatically appear to serve as your route.

    Starting driving route in Google Maps
  9. Drag the tool over to your destination.

  10. Double click your destination when you’re done to complete the route.

    Destination point on Google Map
  11. You can add lines and shapes onto your map to further customize your map and add details.

    Click the Draw a line tool again and select Add a line or shape.

  12. Use the tool to draw lines to signify paths that are not observable on Google Maps or shapes to highlight a specific portion.

  13. Once created, you can add a note to the line or shape.

    Add a note to custom shape in Google Maps

Note

Your Map is automatically saved on your Google Drive so there's no need to manually save it.

How to Draw on Google Maps on Android

The following instructions will detail how to draw on Google Maps on your Android device.

Note

My Maps is not available on iOS devices so you can't create custom maps on your iPhone. However, you can create custom maps on your desktop system (or Android device) and view them on your iPhone.

  1. Download and open the My Maps app on the Google Play Store.

  2. Tap the green plus at bottom right of your screen to create a new map. Enter in the name of the map and an optional description. Tap OK.

  3. To set up the starting point, use the search bar on the top of your screen to zero in on your location. Then tap ADD TO MAP.

    Plus button, map name, and Add to Map on Google Maps app
  4. Tap the screen once to take you back to the map and tap the blue plus.

  5. Select Add a new point and place the second marker over the destination. You can then rename the point and add an optional description.

  6. Select the check mark in the upper-right corner to save the point.

    Add a new point > destination > check mark in Google Maps app
  7. Tap the screen once to take you back to the map and tap the blue plus again, but this time, select Add a new line.

  8. Hover the X that appears over your location and tap the blue plus to set the starting point.

    Note

    Tap the magnifying glass to help you search for your starting point if you have difficulty finding it.

    Blue + sign > Add a new line > Starting point in Google Maps app
  9. Drag the X over to your destination. If you tap the blue plus while you're creating a route, it'll create a marker.

  10. Tap Done in the upper-right corner to complete the route. You can name it on the next screen.

    Drag the x, tap the blue + button, and enter a name in the Google Maps app

How Do I Mark My Current Location?

On desktop, type in your address in the search bar at the top of the page. My Maps place a green marker over your location.

On an Android device, you can tap the twin circle symbol above the plus sign to have the app go to your location.

FAQ
  • Can you draw a radius on Google Maps?

    Google Maps does not support radius functionality. However, you can use a third-party tool. For instance, if you go to the Draw a Circle tool from Map Developers, you can create a circle on a Google map using a point and a radius.

  • Can you draw a grid on Google Maps?

    It is not possible to show the latitude and longitude lines on Google Maps, but you can do that on Google Earth. In a web browser or on the Google Earth app, go to Settings > Map Style > Enable Gridlines.

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