Sharing Maps just got a lot more powerful

Now, when you share a link to any live map tool on randymajors.org, the recipient will be taken to exactly the same view you were seeing when you shared it.  The link you share will remember: the map tool you were using (County Lines on Google Maps, ZIP Codes on Google Maps, Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps, Section Township Range on Google Maps, etc.) the zoom level of the map the center point of the map the location of the blue map marker (determined by the spot you had last clicked on the map) the other layers you had made … Read more

Create a custom Color-Coded map from a spreadsheet containing Counties or ZIP Codes

The Custom Areas on Google Maps tool is being used by hundreds of people per day to create and view custom delivery area maps, service area maps and sales territory maps — helping many small businesses during challenging times. But dozens of people have asked if they could color-code multiple areas on the same map.  For example, people wanted to create a color-coded map to show delivery zones, real estate demand, all of their company’s sales territories, tax incentive zones, incident case rates, climate/environmental classifications and more.  Now you can! Just go to the new Custom Color-Coded Maps tool and use the … Read more

Auto-checking of location facts in Ancestry Family Trees now available, plus new LifeMap!

While searching on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch, the FREE Historical U.S. Counties Auto-Checker extension for Chrome* automatically checks that the county existed in the year you are searching, checks for valid places, warns of boundary changes, and links to historical county lines on Google Maps for the place and years you are searching. NEW! SEE A LifeMap OF YOUR ANCESTORS:  If you are a randymajors.org Research Hub Contributor, you can link to a LifeMap showing all of the U.S. locations for each fact on any person profile page on Ancestry!  It will show the Historical U.S. Counties as they existed as of … Read more

Where It’s At: Walking the perimeter of this city = Walking from Philadelphia to Denver

If you were to walk the perimeter of this U.S. city’s city limits, you would cover 1,562 miles (2,513 km), which is roughly the same distance as walking from Philadelphia to Denver.* Here’s what that distance looks like: And the answer is: Well, of course, Houston.  Isn’t everything big in Texas?  The city covers an area of 672 square miles (1,739 sq km), and all those little (big) tendrils shown by the dark blue lines above make its perimeter add up to this whopping 1,562 miles!  Want to zoom in and see the details?  Explore the city limits of Houston here. So, … Read more

NEW: Share your map with one click

Now available on most map tools on randymajors.org, use the “Share Map…” button to create a shareable link that remembers all of the following: which map tool you are using (e.g. City Limits on Google Maps, Elevation on Google Maps) what point you had clicked on the map (or had searched for using the “Search places” box above the map) how far zoomed in or out you want the map to display optionally, a title for your map Here’s an example, sharing a map from the City Limits on Google Maps tool, centered on Ocala, Florida: In this example, I … Read more

Where It’s At: Drop nearly 15,000 feet in just over 85 miles in the Contiguous U.S.

Where It’s At is an occasional feature that uses maps to show interesting stuff about our world.  At least interesting to map geeks like me :) For this inaugural post:  Where can you can drop nearly 15,000 feet of elevation in just over 85 miles in the contiguous United States? A clue:  these two points also happen to be the highest elevation point and the lowest elevation point in the contiguous U.S. Answer:  Mount Whitney, California to Badwater Basin in Death Valley, California: And here’s the elevation profile along that line: Note that it’s not a nice easy descent along … Read more

Create a custom area map based on a list of States or ZIP Codes

The Custom Areas using ZIP Codes tool has been enhanced so you can also use U.S. States to define your custom area map. This can be useful to show: service area maps sales territory maps delivery area maps other custom area map of any topic defined by States or ZIP Codes To build a map based on states, create a URL like the following: https://www.randymajors.org/customgmap?mapbuilder=true&states=CO,NM,TX,UT,WY,NE,KS,MO,OK,IL,IN,NY,VT,OH,AR&title=My%20Business%20Coverage%20Area Copy/paste the above URL and edit the list of state abbreviations, the title and the color to use. UPDATE:  This has been improved in August 2021 so that a long list of states will draw … Read more

Option to show businesses, attractions and other points of interest on all map tools

The map tools on randymajors.org start with a clean map, such as this from the What City Am I In? map tool, where city names and neighborhood names appear: Now you can choose to show points of interest, businesses, attractions and more by clicking the POI button in the upper right corner of the map.  When you click the button, Google’s default place listings appear, with attractions typically showing first, as shown below. As you zoom in further, more points of interest, businesses and more will appear.  Current place information (such as temporary closures, etc.) appears with the label.  Click the … Read more

Historical US Counties on Google Maps enhanced to match Census dates, adds townships

With Census season upon us, I’ve made a little update to the Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tool. Now, when you search for a year that was also a U.S. Federal Census year (e.g. 1790-2020) , the date will automatically set to the day of the Census that year. Per the Census Bureau, “From 1790 to 1820, the censuses were conducted as of the first Monday in August (August 2, 1790; August 4, 1800; August 6, 1810; August 7, 1820); the 1830-1880 and 1900 censuses were as of June 1; the 1890 census was as of June 2; April … Read more

Have a small business? Quickly create a DELIVERY AREA MAP for free on Google Maps

During this challenging time for small businesses, here’s an easy way to quickly create a DELIVERY AREA MAP for free on Google Maps. Tool just updated:  Now it’s easier than ever to create your custom delivery area map based on ZIP Codes by using this simple form found here: Custom Delivery Areas on Google Maps Hope this can help a few more small businesses through this time. Snapshot of the form and map: