Google Maps Lets Users Embed Free Maps in Their Sites or Blogs

Google Maps is providing an easy way for users to embed Google Maps images in their own Websites or blog posts.

Google Maps

Website owners and bloggers who want to incorporate a quality map image in their online posts can now take advantage of a new Google Maps service that will let them embed and use maps images for free.

The new capability was unveiled recently by Ken Hoetmer, the product manager for the Google Maps API, in a post on the Google Geo Developers Blog. To embed a Google Map, a user can copy and paste an HTML snippet into the code for their Website or blog, wrote Hoetmer. "Make sure you're opted in, and then head over to Google Maps, click on the gear icon on the lower right, and give it a go."

Users can create and use embedded maps by signing in to their Google accounts, where they can view or select relevant content, such as their saved places from Google Maps, according to Hoetmer. "Conversely, they can also save a location from your embedded map for viewing on Google Maps for desktop or mobile. To top it off, embedded maps are free of usage limits, so you don't have to worry about quotas."

In connection to the new embedded maps capabilities, Google Maps is also introducing an on-map advertising design that will allow relevant local businesses to connect with a site's users, "similar to the ads you currently see in the new Google Maps and Google Maps for Mobile," wrote Hoetmer. As part of this release, Google has also updated the Google Maps/Earth APIs Terms of Service to allow the company to incorporate the new APIs with the advertising, he wrote. "Existing APIs and new APIs launched without advertising retain the requirement for Google to provide 90 days notice prior to including ads."

Earlier in December, Google Maps announced that it is gaining some spectacular map imagery from the National Geographic Society, which is contributing some 500 of its maps to Google Map's new public data program. Under the newly launched Google Maps Engine public data program, organizations can now distribute their map content to consumers using Google's cloud infrastructure, according to Google. And that's where National Geographic's contribution comes in, bringing digital images of many of the long-popular printed maps that are often tucked inside the latest issues of the magazine.

To do that, National Geographic will also use Google Maps Engine to overlay the maps with interactive editorial content so the maps can tell stories and raise awareness about environmental issues and historic events, according to Google.

The Google Maps Engine public data program provides advanced tools that allow map producers to publish their public mapping content to the world, according to Google. Organizations that produce maps, such as public data providers and governments who have content in the public good, can apply to participate in the program, according to Google.

In October, Google released Google Maps Engine Pro to make it easier for businesses to use online maps to attract customers and new revenue. The new professional mapping tool lets businesses visualize their huge amounts of critical data on maps so they can take advantage of the new resources the data provides, according to Google. Google Maps Engine Pro was built as an application on top of the Google Maps Engine platform, which provides businesses with cloud-based technology to help them organize large data sets and create more complex maps.

In July, Google Maps unveiled a new maps layer for developers so that they can better integrate their data with images in Google Maps. The innovative DynamicMapsEngineLayer gives developers the abilities to perform client-side rendering of vector data, allowing developers to dynamically restyle the vector layer in response to user interactions like hover and click, according to the company. The new maps layer makes it easier for developers to visualize and interact with data hosted in Google Maps Engine.

In June, Google for the first time released its Google Maps Engine API to developers so they can build consumer and business applications that incorporate the features and flexibility of Google Maps. With the Maps API, developers can now use Google's cloud infrastructure to add their data on top of a Google Map and share that custom mash-up with consumers, employees or other users. The API provides direct access to Maps Engine for reading and editing spatial data hosted in the cloud, according to Google.