Master Custom Routes With Google Maps

Tania Dzibuk


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Google Maps is much more than general area maps and predetermined paths. With their help, you can generate your own routes and plan trips to avoid missing anything interesting. What is convenient, it is available even offline if you are somewhere where there is no stable connection. Read this post to learn all about creating custom routes on different devices.

Google Maps on PC (macOS and Windows)

Before you start, open the program on your computer and sign in to your Google profile (if you haven’t already done so). Next, do the following:

  1. Find the icon with three stripes in the upper left corner, located at the beginning of the search string.
  2. In the drop-down menu, hit the option “Your places.”
  3. The window that opens gives you access to all the locations you have saved. You need to move to the “Maps” tab.
  4. Click the “Create a map” option and start building a route:
  • enter the name of this item, give it a description, and save the changes;
  • customize the view of the layer;
  • click the double arrow icon to set the start, intermediate, and finish points;
  • select the type of transport, and the system will plot your route on the map.

If desired, you can set additional markers along the route. To do it, in the list of tools, find “Add marker” (an icon with a pop-up cloud), enter the name of the point and its description, and set up an individual style. Also, on the selected map layer, you can add shapes and lines to help you better navigate the terrain.

Among other useful tools, it is worth noting the feature for measuring distance. Open your custom map and select the ruler icon from the list of instruments. Click on your starting point, click where you plan to turn (do as many repetitions as needed), and double-click where your route ends. The system will show you the distance from start to finish.

Besides, you can share the map you created with other users. There is a corresponding icon in the map settings, after clicking on which you will be provided with a link (similar to Google Docs), which you can publish anywhere.

Google Maps on Portable Devices (Android and iOS)

The opportunity to create custom routes with multiple layers is currently unavailable on portable devices. However, you can create a map on a computer, and if your devices are synced, it will appear in your account on your smartphone or tablet. So it will definitely come in handy when you travel.

At the same time, other convenient tools are available on mobile devices that you can use on a map created on a PC:

  • Adding markers. Launch Google Maps, open your saved locations and go to maps. At the bottom of the screen, pick the icon with “+” and tap on where you want to put the marker.
  • Adding lines and shapes. Being on the same custom map, press “+” and select the option to add a line. Set X to where you want the form to start. Repeat the steps above to connect multiple points with a straight or polygonal line.
  • Adding photos. You can attach an image from the collection of your device to any place you like or take a photo right on the spot. Please note that media posted in this way will be available to other Google Maps users.
  • Sharing your map. If you are traveling with friends, you can share your trail with them. You need to select the “Share” icon and one of the proposed methods in the information menu.

Go on a Journey With Google Maps

Google Maps provides extensive opportunities for planning trips to any distance and location. You can build your own itinerary by including all the places you want to visit. Share the map with your friends so they, too, can follow the road and add their spots. Do you find this feature useful for travel? If you have experience using it, what do you find most and least comfortable about it?


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