Help visitors find you
Are you running an event soon? Make sure you have information about it on your website. And make sure that information includes a map.
Did you know that you can embed Google Maps on your own website for free? It’s easy to do. Here’s how.
Look up the address
Go to http://maps.google.com and look up the address for your event.
1 The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand.
The Google Map displays what it thinks is the correct address.
Choose Map or Satellite view
Use the Map and Satellite buttons at the top of the displayed map to find the view that best suits your purpose.
In some places, such as Wellington, New Zealand satellite view gives a real-world view showing buildings, gardens, streets, cars. It’s an actual photo, taken by a satellite within the last few years.
In other places a Map view, showing lines for streets may be more suitable.
Centre and zoom the map
Make sure the address is in the centre of the map. You can do this by dragging round on the map and double-clicking to zoom in.
Copy a URL
At the top right-hand corner of the Google map is a link labelled ‘Link’.
- Click on the Link. A small window pops up and offers two types of link that you can copy. The top one is labelled ‘Paste link in e-mail or IM’.
- Click anywhere in that email URL, to select the whole address.
- Choose Copy from the edit menu, then you can go ahead and paste the URL into an e-mail message or any other communication. When someone clicks that link, they will go to a Google Map displaying the location you’d centred.
In my example I copied this code:
It’s long, but it works, and all you have to do is paste it into an email for another person to click on.
Note: putting such a long ‘word’ on a web page causes display problems. I’ve broken it up over several lines so you can still see what it looks like without it messing up the web page. Normally things this long are hidden away behind the scenes.
Copy an embed code
The second link that Google Maps gives you is called ‘Paste HTML to embed in website’. It provides code you can just copy and paste into the HTML that makes a web page. When the web page is displayed it will include an interactive map.
Visitors will be able to click on the map, zoom in, scroll around, call up Street View, if it’s available, and generally work with the map.
- Click anywhere inside the ‘Paste HTML to embed in website’ code. It will all be selected.
- Copy the selected code.
- Edit one of your web pages. Make sure you are using the HTML view and paste in the code you copied in the previous step.
- Save your web page and view it as a visitor would see it. Check that the map is displaying the right location.
In my example, I was given a long chunk of code.
An example embedded map
You can see an example of this kind of map embedded in a web page at runspotrun.info/australasia/2009/lyall-bay-beach.
That web page talks about Lyall Bay beach in Wellington. At the end of the page is a map that shows you where the beach is. A visitor to the web page can zoom in and out, and switch between different views of the location.
Google Maps handle that side of things. All I had to do was put the code they gave me into my web page.
A map can make all the difference
Copy and Paste is so easy to do and the map is so useful for people who may be attending your event that really there’s no reason not to do it.
The easier you can make it for people to attend events, and the more information you can give them beforehand, the better attended your events should be.
And don’t just think that everybody knows where your location is — they may be new to the district, or perhaps English is not their first language. It only takes a minute to find and use a Google Map location. Just do it.
Written by Miraz Jordan for, and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, December 2009. This article has been modified for publication here.