Choosing different pins when creating Google Maps

I am not sure quite how (as I am sure it worked when I originally wrote this post) but the method that I describe below doesn’t work completely as described. I am trying to work out how to get round this, as I think this would be a really useful technique. If I can solve this, then I will re-post to this blog and will update this post accordingly.

Sorry for any confusion caused.

I have in the past blogged a couple of times about Google Maps – for example gives instructions on how to create a Google Map from a Spreadsheet of data, and explains how you can create a radius diagram from a pin of either road distances or travel times.

With the first of the above techniques – one problem with this is that you often end up with the pins that are plotted being invisible at first – meaning that you have to then edit each one in turn to choose the desired colour pin, but it is possible to add data to the original spreadsheet to automatically plot pins of your choosing.

To do this add a column and title it something like ‘image’ or ‘icon’. Then you need to add against each entry the URL of an image that you want to act as the marker for the point – you could use anything (e.g. your own company logo) as long as it is small in size. Or you can use the pins that Google provide – all we need to do is find out the URL of each of the pins, that you may want, which I have done for you here so



has a URL of:



Red pushpin

Red pushpin

(so all you need to do is copy the URL and change the ending to either red.png, red-dot.png or red-pushpin.png to get the desired shape.

You can then replace the colour ‘red’ with yellow, green, purple, pink, or blue to get different colour pins

We can also have letter markers such as



which has the code of (and you can change the letter A for any other letter of the alphabet)

If we are creating our starting list in the spreadsheet it is possible to automatically create a different letter for each entry – by using a simple formula in the spreadsheet

And whilst researching for this post, I discovered which has a few other icon URLS in its list.

So having created our spreadsheet of data, and added an image URL against each URL – if we then go to the site mentioned in my first blog post) – When you get to Step 2 – there is a button for ‘Advanced Options’ – if you choose this, then against ‘Image URL’ choose whatever column header you had in your spreadsheet.

With some clever understanding of Excel and the use of formulas, this could be a very powerful technique for creating maps.

6 Responses

  1. […] Choosing different pins when creating Google Maps (2010) […]

  2. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

    • I hope that you find my posts interesting. In case you haven’t found it, there is an email subscription option on this blog (top left corner) so you can receive an email each time that I make a new post, if you prefer that method of notification.

  3. Hey this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting
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