I think that Google Maps are a really useful tool, and everytime that I need to visit somewhere new, the first thing I do is put the postcode into Google Maps, and save the location. This way if I visit that town or city again, but to a different location I can see where the new location is in relation to the previous one, which helps me with my navigating. I recognise that many will use their in car sat nav systems, but because I mainly use the train I still use paper maps for these purposes.
One thing though that I have found hard in the past, is uploading lots of points to a map – which done manually takes an age, so I was relieved when I found a technique that does this for me.
We start of by using http://www.batchgeocode.com/ which looks a bit scary on first inspection, but is OK once you have used it a few times. Here are the steps to follow
- Create a spreadsheet with your table of information in – it can have whatever you want in there, as long as the postcode is in its own column, and the top row are column headings
- Copy the contents of your table (highlight and Ctrl-C) – including the column headings – Go back to http://www.batchgeocode.com/ and paste into the ‘table’ in step 2
- Validate the code by clicking the button
- In step 4 you tell it, what information to include and where – so for example next to ‘PostCode’ choose the post code column from your table – and for ‘Title’ Choose whatever you want the point on the map to be called. It may take a few attempts to get these settings right, but after a few goes makes sense.
- Run the geocoder by pressing the button – this will create a table similar to above, but with 2 extra columns giving longitudinal and latitudinal GPS co-ordinates
- At the bottom of Step 6, you should see your map, and below it a button to ‘Download to Google Earth (KML) file’ – click on this
- Save the KML file somewhere (e.g. desktop)
- Go to Google Maps
- if you don’t have a Google Account you may need to create 1, if you already have one, then go to My Maps
- Create a New Map
- Choose the mport option at the top left of the screen
- Browse to find the KML file that you found earlier
- And as if by magic, your map appears.
This I find very useful.