To create a custom place marker:
1. Scroll and zoom in on the map to locate the point of interest.
2. Click the button labeled "Click here."
3. Click on the map to place the marker where it belongs. (If you don't get
it in the right spot, you can drag it to the correct position. Make sure
your marker is near a road if you want to create an automatically generated route
to it. If it is not on a point that Google recognizes as an address, the utility
will not be able to draw a route to it.)
1. Type an address in the
"Address" field and click "Find on map". (Note: This uses
Google's mapping data, and may produce unexpected results if the
address is not exact. However, Google's geocoding is usually excellent.)
2. Fill in the fields in the popup info window with the name of the map and a description. Click "Save."
To create a simple route using the automatic route utility:
1. Enter the start address.
2. Enter the end address.
3. Click "Find route from addresses."
A blue line will appear on the map. The start point will be identified
by a green marker. Fill in the name of the route in the popup info window and save.
To create a route with waypoints:
1. Waypoints use existing Custom Place markers, so if you haven't already created any Custom Place mrkers,
add a Custom Place marker for each waypoint you want along your route.
2. Click on "Add Waypoint" and then on a Custom Place marker to add a route waypoint.
The waypoint's name will now appear in the list of "Current waypoints."
3. Repeat step 2 to add as many waypoints as you wish -- up to a limit of 23 plus the start and ending locations. Waypoints must be selected in the order you want them to appear along the route, or you can choose to optimize -- see "To optimize a route with waypoints" below.
4. Follow steps 1 and 2 above in "automatic route" to enter your beginning and ending addresses. Click "Find route from addresses." Your route should appear as a blue line, and the start of the route will be identified by a green marker.
To optimize a route with waypoints:
1. Follow the steps above to create a route with waypoints. After you have entered two waypoints, the "Optimize Route" box will appear next to the waypoints.
2. After you've entered all of your waypoints (in any order), click to put a check in the box next to "Optimize Route."
3. Click "Find route from addresses." The resulting route will connect the starting location, the ending location, and all the waypoints in the most efficient way.
(If you do not wish to optimize your route, leave the check box blank. Your route will then follow a path to your waypoints in the order you entered them.)
To add places from RTA's library to a map:
Use the search functions to search by radius or along a route. You can also use keywords to search the RTA library for activities (categories) and types of places. You can further define a search by applying either the categories or places to a vicinity search or to a saved route search. For more explanation about how this works, click here.
To view, edit and save RTA Custom Library maps: The RTA Library maps are part of a collection of routes and attractions found in North America and developed by RoadTrip America Contributing Writers. Every route and attraction in this Maps Library has been personally selected and curated as being of extra special interest to road trippers. By no means do they reflect every possible lodging, dining or road trip attraction available, just the ones chosen by the RTA writers based on their personal taste and expertise.
To Find an RTA Library Map that you can use and/or customize for planning your trip:
1. Look at the left-hand side of this page. You will see a box labeled "RTA Maps Library." Scroll through the list until you find one that interests you. Hint: The first word in the map name is a geographic designation that makes it easier to browse the list. An example is the word "West," as in "West AZ-NM SST 1 Van Horn to Las Cruces."
2. Use the Keyword search box. A search term must be at least three letters long. You can use state names or towns or whatever you wish. If an RTA Library Map exists that includes that keyword, it will appear in the "RTA Maps" list in the box directly below the RTA Maps Library. (Note: When the map pane first loads, only the attractions appear on the map. But if you click on the map link in the "RTA Maps" list, the map (blue line and attractions) will load in the map pane.
3. There is another button "Narrow Search" that can be used to refine the keyword search. Once the Keyword Search has run, you will see a list of maps and attractions, you can narrow the search results to find what you are looking for. As an example: A keyword search for California returns lots attractions and maps -- So enter lodging and click Narrow Search -- this could be further refined by entering desert in keyword search box and so forth.
4. Use the vicinity search. Identify a search radius in miles and then click the map pane and you will find any RTA Library Maps within that radius. Look for "Search for RTA Library Maps within".
To modify a RTA Library Map and Save it as one of your Personal Maps:
Click on the number link. At this point, you can add your personal Custom Places and then save whatever is on your screen as a map. Just click the "Save Map" button. The map's name will now appear in the "My Maps" box in the left-hand column.
To create a new map based on the original RTA Library Map + your new Custom Places using the "Waypoint" system described above:
The resulting blue line route might not follow the exact route of the RTA Library Maps because there is a limitation on the number of waypoints available (23 waypoints plus the beginning and ending locations) but you can use the RTA flags and your new Custom Places markers as those waypoints and choose your new starting and ending locations. The resulting map will be very similar to the original RTA Library Map. (For more information about using the "Waypoint" system, see post #1 in this thread.)
To save a map:
Whenever you want to, you can save whatever's on your screen as a map. Usually, this is a route with selected place markers. When you want to save a map, type in a map name and keyword tags (if desired). Click the "Save Map" button. The map's name will now appear in the "My Maps" box in the left-hand column.
To delete a map:
To delete a saved map, first click on the "Delete a Map" button at the bottom of the map controls, and then click on the number of a map saved in "My Maps" in the upper left corner of the page.
Once an automatic route is drawn, the "Elevation" button (at the bottom of the controls) will become active. Clicking on the "Elevation" button will display an elevation chart below the map. The elevation chart can be closed by clicking on the "Close Chart" button that appears. Moving the cursor on the chart will display an icon on the map corresponding to the position of the elevation that the cursor is on.
If knowing the elevation of the road is important to you, there are certain limitations you should be aware of. First: if the route is long, the elevation points sampled might not follow the road exactly. For most accurate results, pick a short section of the road of interest (ten miles should be short enough) and display the elevation of that section. Second: if the road goes through a tunnel, the displayed elevation will instead show the above-ground elevation. The elevation of a tunnel through a mountain can be approximated by observing the elevations at the entrance and exit of the tunnel. You might have to zoom in on the map to see the entrance and exit.
Tips for Printing Maps and Trip Info:
You can choose how you want your map to look when it's printed, and you can choose what other information you'd like to print below the map.
To get started, display the saved map that you want to print on your monitor. Find the "Print saved map" among the buttons below the map and click it. This will take you to the "Print Options" page. Your map will appear above a list of print options.
Check your map. Can you clearly see your route with all of the markers displayed legibly? If not, there are two ways to fix this.
Double click (or use the scroll bar) in the map pane to zoom in until you can see all the markers clearly. You can also click and drag the map canvas to position it. If your route is too long, or if you have too many markers overlapping, you can go back to the main map center page and delete some. (If you delete or add markers to your saved map, you'll need to resave your map before printing.)
Once the map displays the way you want it on the "Print Options" page, choose what features you want to print by checking the corresponding boxes in the list below the map canvas. You can click "Check All" if you'd like to print all the information available. (Note that if you have numerous markers on your map, and you choose to print lots of information, you could be printing many pages.)
Once you have selected your print options, click the "Print Setup" button at the bottom of the list. This will take you to a page displaying what will print. If you're satisfied, click on the "Print" icon at the upper left.
(Note: Different browsers handle print functions in different ways. If you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer, navigate to File > Page Setup and make sure the "Print Background Colors and Images" box is checked. Also, you can use your browser's "Print Preview" feature to get a more precise look at how your printed document will look. If you are unable to get the "print setup" page to display, check to make sure your browser isn't blocking "popups." You may need to try different settings to get your desired results with your equipment. Please let us know if you have problems, and we'll do our best to help!)
If you are using a Mac and are having troubles sharing or printing a saved map,
please click here for assistance.
Note: This is a beta release, and we appreciate comments and suggestions. If you'd like to comment or need help, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the map discussion on the Great American RoadTrip Forum.