You can embed Mapme, and you can embed My Maps, but how are they different? And which one is ‘better’?
So many people are enjoying the maps they created, but what could be so different between two tools that enable a highly similar opportunity?
Google My Maps
Google My Maps has features that optimize your personal travel experience so that your journey from place to place is as clear and accessible as possible.
On the whole, Google My Maps is great for planning trips to first-time destinations. Let’s say you’re flying to Rome for winter break to see if you’d want to spend your semester abroad in college there during the upcoming Fall semester.
Instead of making your own pocket dictionary with all the potential Italian words you would need to ask the locals for directions, you can build a Google My Maps (that you can use offline, even without cellphone data).
Hold up, how can Google My Maps help you find your way around a foreign country?
My Maps lets you add ‘layers’ to your maps, which are the segments of your overall itinerary/chosen activities.
Each layer means going from point A to point B, and you choose all the details that you want to include:
- travel method
- route options from point A to point B
- dropped pins at all the locations you want to save
- different labeling symbols, colored signs, stars, pins, etc.
You also have the option to choose a ‘base map’ — the type of map that will be your backdrop.
Scene: for Monday morning, you’ve planned to go for an 11am Brunch at a highly recommended cafe, and afterwards will head to the famed Pantheon.
Follow the blue path on the map.
After the Pantheon, you want to give yourself the option of getting some awesome gelato. Pretty easy when you can mark all the best gelato spots in advance, to see which are definitely open, have shorter lines, and obviously are most enticing.
So, you get it. Using Google My Maps to plan your trip can really save you tons of extra hassle like asking for directions in broken Italian, or staring blankly at a subway map to try and figure out how to find your hotel for the fourth time.
Don’t forget, all of your Google My Maps are saved to your Google
If Google My Maps has tackled stress-free travel planning, what does Mapme do and how is it different?
Mapme allows your map-building experience to embrace crowdsourcing, among other features.
Mapme collects all the addresses you enter on the Google Maps base layer and lets you organize them by category, and signify them with icons and personalization (URLs, contact info, images, logos, and so on).
So many map makers have created Mapme maps and put together maps that focus on a certain idea or topic, like, “Discovering Coffee” (shown above), which tells you about all the best coffee places in many countries.
The map locations are divided by types of coffee places, aka coffee roasters, cafes, coffee chains, and work spaces (that serve coffee). As you can see, each address on the map has an icon that matches its category in the list of places. Cool, no?
Back to Rome
Let’s say that in addition to checking out options for your semester abroad, you want to take advantage of all the legendary coffee spots in the Eternal City.
You know Mapme has a ‘Discovering Coffee’ map in its database, but it doesn’t show any coffee spots in Rome.
Instead of creating a separate coffee map, you can add to the pre-existing one, thanks to the map owner of Discovering Coffee, who was enabled their map as crowdsource accessible.
After adding a handful of places taken from CNN’s ‘Best Coffee Bars in Rome’ piece, the Discovering Coffee map now looks like this:
Now, we can drink our coffee in peace. We’ve added the Rome coffee spots to the Discovering Coffee map, and once their map owner confirms what we’ve added, all coffee enthusiasts have access to the knowledge we’ve shared.
So now the difference(s) between Google MyMaps and Mapme is pretty clear. They’re both great products, and the global community is already seeing great benefits from the ability to create our own maps. But, like any invention, each tool serves different purposes for different settings.
Mapme thrives on crowdsourcing because there’s a marvelous element of contributing and learning knowledge from the community. Even if you don’t know all the coffee enthusiasts in the world, you have enough in common with them that you care enough to look deeply for great coffee.
So why not share the wealth?