Maps are useful for visualizing and sharing information about places around the world. For enterprises, Google Maps Engine has been providing businesses with professional tools to help them organize large datasets, make decisions, and give their customers important details about their locations and services.
Of course, experts aren’t the only ones who love to make maps. Today we’re launching Google Maps Engine Lite (Beta), so any mapping enthusiast can now create and share robust custom maps using this powerful, easy-to-use tool. You can import small spreadsheets of locations onto a comprehensive map, visualize those places through a variety of styling and drawing options, and organize and compare up to three different data sets for your non-business purposes.
Here are a few examples of maps that’ve been created with the new lite edition of Google Maps Engine.
The MAPA Project, a nonprofit dedicated to African conservation, used Maps Engine Lite to map the locations of “shark spotters” — trained observers who watch the water for sharks — along the False Bay coastline in South Africa. Spreadsheets of Shark Spotters locations and recent white shark sightings were both imported to create the map below. Learn more about how to recreate this map through this tutorial.
Here’s another close-to-home use of this advanced custom mapping tool. I enjoy checking out local hikes with my dog, Amos, so I created a map using trail heads from San Francisco Bay Area Hiker and information about the different pet requirements on each route. The resulting map also denotes which hikes require a leash, and is great for sharing with my friends and other dog-loving hikers in my community.
If you have already created My Maps, you can import your existing My Maps, layering them with still more information to make them more detailed and helpful than ever before. These My Maps will continue to be available for people who want to create simple custom maps, and will eventually be incorporated into Google Maps Engine Lite.
While there is plenty to play with today, Maps Engine Lite is still in beta and available in English only, and we are eager to learn more about how people use it as we continue to build out more capabilities for the Maps Engine products.
To try Google Maps Engine Lite for your own custom mapping needs, visit mapsengine.google.com/map.