How To Scribble And Share Customized Google Maps

Adam DuVander
Jan. 27 2010, 05:27AM EST

Do you know anyone with a car glovebox full of inked-up road maps? What a waste of paper (and ink!). Using Google Maps is, of course, the preferred method to mark up maps. One tool that makes it especially easy is Scribble Maps. And now it's testing "pro" features, a fee-based service with even more features.

Scribbe Maps

The basic account lets you draw straight lines, curvy lines and several shapes: circles, rectangles and polygons. In all cases, you choose the color and line thickness. You can also add text or images over the map, as well as markers similar to those in the standard Google Maps.

The biggest additions to pro account are support for several external file types. Most notably, Shapefiles (a format used for much of the GIS data available) can be imported and rendered. Scribble Maps Pro also supports KML, the more open format popularized by Google Earth.

Scribble's interface gets a facelift in the Pro version, as well. Photoshop-like layers help you make sense of the elements on your map. And you can style the lines in several ways, making for a better showcase of your work when you finally embed it on a webpage--perhaps the most important feature, which is available in all versions of Scribble Maps.

Lead Developer Jonathan Wagner explains the Pro features in this video (embedded below):

Google also has a product for annotating and sharing maps called My Maps (see our initial coverage from 2007), though it is not nearly as fully-featured as Scribble. Other tools we list in the same vein are the story-sharing Platial and UMapper, which even lets you use its interface for non-maps.

Hat tip: Directions Mag

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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