Make a map of where the military has taken you

Maps are great visualizing tools that help you tell a story. Google Custom Maps lets you create and share personalized, annotated maps of your world. Show your family where you served during your career.

Go to Google Maps

  1. Create a Google custom map
  2. Add places to your map
  3. Share your custom map
  4. Additional resources
  1. Create a Google custom map

    1. Visit and sign in to your Google Account.
    2. Click the My places button in the upper left corner of the page.

    3. Click the CREATE MAP button.
    4. Enter a title for your map and choose whether you'd like your map to be private or public.

    5. Click Done.
  2. Add places to your map

    In order to add areas, roads or points of interest to your map, use the icons in the upper right corner of the map. Note that these tools do not appear until you create or edit a map. Here are some of the tools you can use:

    • Selection tool. Use this to drag the map and select placemarks, lines and shapes.
    • Placemark tool. Use this to add placemarks.
    • Line tool. Click this button to select a tool to draw lines and shapes and draw lines that automatically snap to roads.

    You can choose from a range of markers to represent your location or upload your own personalized markers. Click the Add an icon link, enter the URL in to the gray window, and your personal icon appears.

  3. Share your custom map

    When you're done creating and editing your custom map, you can share your map with other people. If you choose your map to be Unlisted, only people you invite can view your map. If your custom map is Public, anybody can see it. See our privacy page for more information.

    In order to share your map, click the letter icon in the top right corner of the map. In the window that opens, enter the email addresses of the people with whom you want to share your map.

    Then click the Send button to invite your friends or loved ones to view your map.

  1. Additional resources

    Here are two more tips about custom maps:

    Invite your friends to collaborate with you on your map

    1. Open your map and click Collaborate in the top left corner of the map view.
    2. In the open window, add the email addresses of those people that you want to invite as collaborators. You can also write a message for them if you want.
    3. Click Send invitations and the invitations will be sent to your friends.

    Learn more about collaborating on a custom map.

    View your custom map in Google Earth

    1. Open your map and click Edit.
    2. Click the link icon in the top right of your map and copy the first link.
    3. Paste the link into your browser bar and add &output=kml to the URL. This will trigger your custom map to be downloaded as a .kml file.
    4. Click on the file you just downloaded and choose Open.
    5. Google Earth opens and displays your file.

    Note that you will need to download Google Earth to view your custom map in Google Earth.

    Google Maps Help Center

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