Using My Maps for your summer sublet

[Cross-posted from the Google Student Blog]

Today’s guest author is Katie Corner, an Electrical and Computer Engineering student at University of Colorado, Boulder and a Google Student Ambassador. Check out more tips from students on the Google Student Blog, or submit your own to share.

The spring semester ends, and the frenzy begins: Quick, everyone find someone to sublet your apartment for the summer!

Hundreds of students in your university town will be simultaneously advertising their apartments to potential summer subletters. How can you help your apartment stand out among the crowd? Bring in Google Maps to save the day. Google Maps has a feature known as My Maps, which enables you to quickly and easily build a personalized map highlighting the locations you care about — all on one map! Simply share the map link with your family or friends to let them see it too.

Everyone knows that when looking for a summer sublet, it’s all about location, location, location. Where are the closest grocery stores? What’s fun to do nearby? There’s a running path along the creek just two blocks away? And the local bus picks up on the corner? Nothing sells these points better than an easy, personalized map.

It only takes minutes to create your own My Map. To start, sign in to your Google account and go to Click on the link in the upper-left corner labeled “My Maps.” By clicking the “Create new map” link, you can pick a title and get to building your housing map.

To start finding locations of interest and placing them on your new My Map, search for those places in Google Maps, for example “park in boulder co.” After finding the location you are interested in, simply click on the red pin on the map, followed by the “Save to…” link. From here you can easily select the new My Map you created.

After adding a number of specific locations to your map, you can also customize and edit the map to fit your style preferences. To access your map thus far, click on the “My Maps” link in the top left corner of the page, and select the map you are interested in editing. By clicking the “Edit” button, you are now in editing mode on the map and can easily make changes to the names of locations or the style of icon. To make a change to a specific place, just click on that location. On the map, an editable box appears where you can easily make changes, such adding as some notes about the place.

The end product is a unique map showcasing why your sublet is the right option to pick. Here’s an example I used for an apartment in Boulder, Colorado.

Stand out in your next apartment rental posting with My Maps today!

New Google Maps widget!

When we launched Google Maps, we had one layer — the map. Since then, we’ve added more than ten different ways to explore the world around you, including photos, transit and traffic information, as well as satellite and terrain views. We’ve now updated the design so that you can more easily see and switch between the various viewing options that are available.
Suppose you’re planning to meet your friend for a concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, and you want driving directions to plan your trip from your apartment in San Francisco. When accessing Google Maps, you’ll see a new widget in the upper right corner that allows you to easily select from either the Maps, satellite or Earth view. In addition, the single widget icon showcases all the different layers available to you, enabling you to quickly see more detailed information just by mousing over the ones you want.
Since it’s nearly rush hour and traffic information would be useful, you select that layer by clicking on it in the widget:
Unfortunately, the traffic layer shows that there are heavy delays along your route. You wonder if taking public transit is a better option, so you turn off the traffic layer by clicking on it again, and turn on the transit layer instead:
Ah, it looks like there’s a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station near your apartment and one near the Greek Theatre. Public transit it is! If you also want to find a local spot to grab dinner after the show, you could search for [restaurants] in the same Google Maps window. Your recently viewed searches will appear in the new widget, enabling you to easily see both your destination and search results at the same time. This makes it easy to find a place nearby.
We hope this new all-inclusive widget for accessing map types, layers and recently viewed searches improves your experience exploring and navigating to the places you want to go!