Map Your Site Visit with Google
Planning and executing a site visit can be pretty hectic. Every minute counts when your time is limited and the locations vary. Before leaving for a site visit, you can map out every location including airports, hotels, and venues. The best way to navigate your visit is through Google Maps. Google offers a service called My Maps. This is where you can create private custom maps with the ability to access them on your phone.
Below we will touch on how we use it and what the important features are.
Please note, you will need a GMAIL account to access this feature. To access the map on your phone, you will need to download the Google Maps app as well.
HOW WE USE IT
Before leaving for a site visit, our team works together to gather every location that our planner will visit. We start off with the airport, then the hotel, and finally all of the venues. Depending on what type venue it is, we create custom layers for each category. This keeps it simple and easy for our planner to find the right venue. After the map is created, we share the link with our planner so that they can access the map through their phone or iPad. Using the Google Maps app is essential because it allows our staff to get directions to any of the locations from wherever they’re at.
CUSTOM MAP NAME
The custom map name is really simple, name your map whatever you’d like. Even though it seems pretty basic, this can come in handy when you are trying to find the right map in a collection of maps.
The toolbar is filled with useful features. This is where you’ll search for a location and add it to the map. After finding the correct location, you’ll select the “Add to Map” link and it will add the location to the selected layer. The icons below the search bar are essential. You have the option to add a custom marker, draw lines or shapes, map out routes, and create directions.
Example from the NOLA Experience
As seen in the photo above, we like to create custom layers for the different categories of locations. We always create a separate hotel and airport layer. Every location after that is created based on the site visit. Sometimes we are looking at restaurants, venues, museums, etc. so each site will be different.
Styled pins are a create way to visually separate the different locations on the map. You have the option to use custom icons, different colors, and a sequence of numbers. In the example above, we used a custom color and icon for the airport and hotel but used a sequence of numbers for the Locations. Please note that the colors or number sequence can only be used in that particular layer.