More than ever, the internet has enabled us to work in global and distributed teams. Whether as part of our jobs, voluntary ventures, or joint blogs, working with people around the world has become part of life for many of us. Sometimes, it is so easy that we don’t even know where the people we’re working with are located. Shared, collaborative Google Maps can help solve that issue and improve the perception of proximity by creating a visualization of all the team members’ location.
For a great example of Google Maps in action, visit the MakeUseOf Team Members map. In this particular shared, collaborative Google map, you’ll find details about the whole team, along with the location of each of us. It is the first time the map is publicly revealed – so feel free to visit it and get to know the MakeUseOf team better.
Now, let’s see how to create a shared Google Map where each of the team members can locate himself.
Set up a collaborative Google map
- Go to Google Maps and sign in. Click ‘My Maps‘ on the upper left side of the page.
- Just below ‘My Maps‘, click ‘Create new map‘.
Add the title and the description of the map, and choose whether it should be Public (shared with everyone and will be published in search results and user profiles) or Unlisted (shared only with selected people who have its URL).
Still in the same screen, above the ‘Title‘ filed click ‘Collaborate‘.
Fill in the mail address of your team members and set their permissions (you can allow collaborators to invite others and allow anyone to edit the map).
Finally, add a message explaining the team members what this map is all about and how to add themselves to it.
Use these pre-made instructions!
To make the process easier, I’ve created generic instructions for you to use in the last part, where you explain to the team members about the map.
Copy the section below, customize the part surrounded by angle brackets and paste it into the message box (shown in the 6th step above).
I’ve created a custom Google map for all of us to put our location on. Please click the above URL and follow these steps to add yourself to the map:
- Use the search box to locate your city, state, and country.
- On the marker that appears, you’ll see a link that says ‘Save to My Maps‘ within the bubble.
- Click the link and select the <write here the name of the shared map>.
- Put your name as the title for the marker, and within the bubble provide whatever info you’d like.
Share and embed
Once everybody has finished putting themselves on the map, you can embed it into a website or share it via email with people who are working with the team. To get the embed code or direct link to the map, click ‘Links‘ in the upper right side of the map.
Thanks to Jorge Sierra for his help in writing the post and for the great idea.
Get started with Google Maps.