23 Things for Archivists

Thing 34: Google Maps and Mashups

Based on Minnesota’s More Things on a Stick library learning program, with updates by Kathryn Otto

Google Maps is a map service from Google that allows a user to view basic or custom maps (depending on your location) for a given address or location, get driving directions, see satellite images of an address or location, and even get local business information, such as location and contact information. To get an introduction to Google Maps, watch this the video below, or watch it on YouTube.

Mashups, as defined by Wikipedia, are “web applications that combine data from more than one source into a single integrated tool.”  While not exclusive to maps, one of the most common mashup applications includes using data from Google Maps in combination with other sources, such as real estate listings, photo sites, and so on.  

Other map programs you might want to look at:


  1. Create a map in Google Maps by using the “My Maps” function. 
  2. Link or embed your map to your blog.

 Here is a tutorial to help you get started, or watch it on YouTube:

Blog Prompts

  • Did you find any mashups that interested you?
  • Describe the type of mashup you created.
  • Can you see a use for mashups at your archives?   


  1.  Try out some of the map building tools listed on the Google Maps:  100+ Best Tools and Mashups list.
  2. Another option is to try is GeoCommons Maker!, which allows you to use your own data or use GeoCommons public data.
  3. If you use Google Analytics to track your website’s visitors, you can use that information and mash it up with a Google Map. For directions, read “Visualise Your Web Site’s Visitors on Google Maps Using Fusion Tables,” by Sean McColgan on The Digital Strategy Blog.


  1. […] Thing 31: Online Meeting Schedulers Thing 32: Customized Home Pages Thing 33: More Photo Sharing Thing 34: Google Maps/Mashups Thing 35: Screencasting Thing 36: Online Scrapbooks Thing 37: Clipmarks Thing […]

  2. […] Maps and Google Earth are not included on the library list and are Thing 34 on the archives […]

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