Google Maps Engine lite

Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I had a client recently ask me to map a ton of location for them on google map.  A friend recommended using their maps engine tool.
Here are some notes I have on how to use it.  I will be going over the free tool Google Maps Engine Lite.

For a quick comparison of features between Lite, Pro and just plain Maps Engine check out this page [1]

I made the mistake of looking at Maps Engine Lite Tutorials but signing up for Maps Engine (The very advanced tool).  Which seems very powerful, but the set up tools are a little advanced when you are just starting out.

Before you get into this tutorial there is a nice video which is, in my opinion, better than this tutorial, you can view it at [2]

Create a csv file or xlsx spreadsheet

First create a spreadsheet file to upload to the maps engine.  This file must contain columns that show location and can contain several informational columns.    The Lite version limits you to 100 rows per spreadsheet.

Here is a simple one I created that has a few sites around the Denver Metro Area.   It has the Name, Visits per year (A made up number) and the long and latitude.

Visits per year
Mile High Stadium
Cherry Creek Reservoir
Aurora Mall
Denver Inertnational Airport
CU Wolf Law Building
Flatirons Crossings Mall
Louisville Public Library
Park Meadows Mall
CU Denver Tivoli Center

Here is a csv version if that is more convenient to copy.

Name,Visits per year,Longitude,Latitude
Mile High Stadium,"1,000,000",-105.020031,39.743923
Cherry Creek Reservoir,"480,000",-104.852836,39.642181
Aurora Mall,"412,000",-104.823525,39.707979
Denver Inertnational Airport,"52,556,359",-104.673971,39.859287
CU Wolf Law Building,"74,000",-105.262124,40.001238
Flatirons Crossings Mall,"1,800,000",-105.132479,39.932578
Louisville Public Library,"245,000",-105.131114,39.978078
Park Meadows Mall,"3,250,000",-104.87636,39.562228
CU Denver Tivoli Center,"341,000",-105.005963,39.745293

Go to

Click Create a new Map

Click Import

Drag and drop your file to upload it

This screen asks you to checkbox the columns that should show your location.  In my case since I named mine Longitude and Latitude it automatically marked them correctly.

Make sure your checkboxes are correct and click continue.

Select a column you want to title the pins as.  In my case I chose Name.

Click Finish

Now you have a map

If you click on any point the information from the spreadsheet will be displayed.

Share the map

Click Share in the upper right hand corner

I am going to make this a public map.

Click Change

Select Public on the web and click Save

Now anyone can open

And view my map

Other things

The YouTube video shows a lot of cool things you can do with these maps I recommend you watch it.

But I will show a few things I have figured out thus far.

Click on Labels and select Name

Now all the map pins have their name show up next to them.

Click on a pin.

I don’t really want to show longitude and latitude so I will remove them from this pop up view.

Click Edit

Uncheck latitude and longitude and click Save


Now the latitude and longitude are gone…. But so is the Visits per year label.

I am guessing the label is removed if there is only one piece of data to show.

You can style the pins by a column value….

Click on Style then Individual Styles

 Select Visits per year

Select range and choose the white to red

Now you will see the pins get darker the more visits per year they have.

[1]  What is Maps Engine Pro?
       Visited 4/2014
[2]  Introduction to Google Maps Engine Lite
       Visited 4/2014

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