Thursday, 28 August 2014

Creating your own Google Map using the Mapalist utility

Earlier this year Jill Ball wrote about where our forebears come from.  She included a map of where her forebears came from.

An excellent utility for preparing Google maps highlighting specific places is Mapalist.

I have written about Mapalist previously on my own blog (Mapping the birthplaces of the children of John Way and Sarah née Daw).

First you create a spreadsheet in Google Drive. You enter the place names you want and the utility uses those names to mark the places on a Google map.

It was very quick to enter the data and generate a map. I used a separate column to enter the Australian state to ensure correct disambiguation of the place names.

Birthplaces of children of John Way and Sarah DawState
AdelaideSouth Australia
BinalongNew south wales
Collingwood Victoria
MurrumburrahNew South Wales
GrenfellNew South Wales
ParkesNew South Wales

You then go to You do need to register for an account if you haven't already got one. You will need to allow Mapalist access to your Google account details.

Go to the tab Maps then choose create. Choose the source type of Google spreadsheet. Choose the worksheet you entered the data into.
Creating a map in Mapalist
You get a preview of the data being used.
After clicking next you assign fields to the columns. It did this automatically - I didn't need to change anything.
stage 2 of creating your map using Mapalist

I used a separate column to enter the Australian state to ensure correct disambiguation of the place names.

I clicked apply and then next

stage 3 of creating your map using Mapalist
In my case it had no problem in working out the places I meant.  If you have trouble then you might need to tweak your spreadsheet with extra fields to help locate the place you are meaning.

At the next stage you configure your map by choosing the pin you want.
stage 4 of creating a map using Mapalist
You can play around with the settings and preview your map

options in stage 4
Finally you save your map, having configured it as to whether you want it private or public ...

stage 5 save your map
You can preview

Immediately below the map are some buttons to click. The second one, a rectangle with an arrow emerging from it, is for sharing by email but clicking that also gives you the code to embed your map on any web page including your blog.

Et voila!

Good luck with mapping your family history.


  1. I love this Anne! I really need to do something like this. Thank you for sharing :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love how I am learning so many new things on this blog. Will definitely have to have a go at this!

  3. Excellent tutorial! Thanks so much - love all the things we can do with Google and various add-ons.

  4. I love mapping my ancestors but find Google maps tedious when plotting all the places one person lived. This is great and I'd never heard of it. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  5. Thanks for the step by step guide. I've already done a quick trial & hope to use it to map the war service of my ancestors.

    1. Sounds a really good idea Alison. Might be a little tricky to identify the places of 100 years ago with modern place names as used by Google but I am sure it can be done.

  6. Interesting. I have done a similiar thing in Google Maps to create a plan of places to visit in UK with the names of those to research at relevant place but will also give this a try to see what works best for me. Thank you.

  7. Thanks for a great tip Anne! must give it a whirl....I usually use Google Earth maps with pins.


Hello, thanks for leaving a comment on the World Wide Genealogy Blog. All comments are moderated because of pesky spammers!

Best wishes
World Wide Genealogy Team