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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Creating Road Trip Planning Maps on your Posts.

    Using Maps on the Great American RoadTrip Forum {Revised February 19th, 2010}

    Overview: When replying to a post or starting a new thread, there is a built-in option for displaying a map that you can use for planning a road trip. Actually, you might be able to use any of the popular mapping programs, but this built-in tool has been tested on since it's free mapping tool and it's the one that I'm most familiar with.

    There are two kinds of maps that you can use here:
    A.) Maps generated by's "Driving Directions" (these are time-consuming to create, and I'm not fond of them) but if you already know how to use that utility, after you create and save your map on"MyMaps" on, you can proceed directly to step #13 and you can post your maps on the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    B.) "Custom Maps", which are also saved on, but they offer more flexibility in creating your routes and they're much faster to build and update. Once your maps is saved, YOU can add it to your post (see step #13).

    We are actually working on a custom application for creating maps on the RTA site and once that is completed, these two other methods will only be necessary as a back-up.

    Ready to get started?

    Here's a tutorial for creating a custom road trip planning map:

    1. Go to Click on “my maps” tab. Click on “create new map.” (Note: you will need to have a Google account to create a map – setting up an account is easy and free)

    2. Click on U.S. map or use zoom bar on left of map until map is enlarged to where you need it. Generally zoom in so that the viewing screen only includes the area of your intended map. Placing your starting city in the center of the map. (do this by right-clicking the city)

    3. On the left of page click on “title” box and type in title. In “description box” type in description. The title should be a description of that route. (e.g.: “Las Vegas to Valley of Fire State Park”). The description text should provide the total mileage (Google Maps keeps track of this for you) and some short text about what can be seen on the route. There is a privacy setting option: Public or Private. Set this for Public.

    4. On the map to the right of the zoom bar are four icons. Click on third icon - “draw a line.” (This will generate an “X” icon.)

    5. Move “X” to starting destination. Click to draw line, double click to finish line. A “description” window will pop up. HINT: You can create this line with a series of mini-stops to trace the line along the highway – Google Maps keeps track of the total line mileage and you can use it for your total distance for each leg of the map routes.

    6. Type a “title” in title box and “description” in description box.

    7. Double click on blue line located in top right. “Edit line style” appears. Enter the title and the description and then Click on “line” color and color pallet appears. Pick the color for your line, then click OK.

    8. Click “placemark” icon. Move to proper location on map and click to add placemark to map. Again “description” box pops up. Follow same directions as above.

    9. To change the placemark with different shape or color, click the placemark icon in box at top right. Several colored placemarks and other icons will appear. Click on the one you want, then click OK.

    10. If you want to change line colors or placemarks, go to left of map and clink on line or placemark. The description box for that item will pop up and allow you to make changes.

    11. We suggest that you save your work as you go.

    12. When map is complete, click “done.” We find it easier to build the map in “Map” style than in the satellite or terrain modes.

    *If you're using the "Driving Directions" map or your own Custom Map -- you can post your own map by starting here!

    **13. After making a Google map, click the LINK icon in the upper right corner of the map. Copy the LOWER link entitled "Paste HTML to embed in website" and....

    **14. On the Forum Reply menu – you’ll see a series of editing tools. The one you want for the Mapping program looks like a globe with a red target.

    **15. Click on that globe.

    **16. You’ll see that the program loads a BB code that looks like this:
    "{GMAP}" X"{/GMAP}" (where {} is actually [] and there are no quotes and no X)

    **17. Place your cursor between those two BB Code attributes and click Ctrl+V or Paste (in the spot of the "X")

    **18. The required Mapping code will now be loaded.

    **19. Finish your post – Click “Submit Reply”

    21. Once the map is loaded, you can move it around and zoom in and out.

    22. Anytime you return to your “My Maps” on the web site, and edit your road trip planning map, it will be automatically updated here on the Forum.

    Here's an example of just such a map created with Google's Driving Directions Tool-- being used to plan a trip!

    You can also post maps with no routing information (routes drawn) and just have locations, like the map below, we created for vintage neighborhoods in Las Vegas, NV Be sure to click on one of the push pins to see an example of what you can add to your maps,

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-26-2010 at 07:45 PM. Reason: new techniques

  2. Default Here's an other example of another map

    As a reminder, you create the map and then copy the second link.

    Click that globe-like link just above this field entering box

    and then paste your new map in between the "{GMAP}"X"{/GMAP}" attributes (where X is where you put your cursor) and {} will actually be []

    If you've added a lot of content to your map (like driving directions) you might want to add the URL link to your map, so we can see what you've got -- and make additional suggestions. To do that, you copy the upper link on the Google Map page (where it reads IM and e-mail link) and click on the Forum Link adding tool -- it looks like a blue globe -- and past the copied URL into the pop-up box and it creates a link like this one:

    Last edited by Road Wirer; 02-21-2010 at 01:19 PM.

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