Why maps?Edit

Sometimes it is very convenient to be able to add a link to Google Maps.

Suppose you're creating (or updating) a Directory listing for a petanque club that is located in a small town. Most people won't know where that town is located. What is the best way to tell them?

One strategy is to find the Wikipedia page for the town (assuming that it has one) and add a link to the Wikipedia page in the Directory listing.

But a more straight-forward way would be to add a link that would enable a reader of the Directory quickly to pull up a map showing him exactly where the town is located.

And if you want to direct people to (say) a public park in a big city, a map showing the location of the park would be a great help.

So let's look at how you can add a link to Google Maps in a Directory listing.

How to add a Google Maps link to a Directory listingEdit

Start editing the wiki pageEdit

Suppose you have just added an entry for a nice terrain in a public park —say Harold Bell Wright Park, in Tucson, Arizona. Now you'd like to add a link to Google Maps, to make it easier for someone to find it. Here's how to do it. Of course you start by going into EDIT mode for the wiki page that you want to update.

On that page, add the text that you want to see displayed. It might look like this.

  • See Harold Bell Wright Park on Google Maps

Create your map in Google MapsEdit

Now, open a second window in your browser.

  • In most browsers, you can do this using Ctrl+N.

In the new browser window, navigate to Google Maps. Its URL is

Enter the name of the place that you are looking for.

How to use google maps 01

When you finish entering what you are looking for, press the ENTER key on your keyboard.

Google Maps will make you a map showing the place you were looking for.

  • Usually the map is pretty good -- at a reasonable zoom and with the location you want right in the middle of the map. But you can adjust it to your own needs by zooming in our out, panning north, south, east, or west, and so on.

Copy the URL of your Google Map into your computer's clipboardEdit

When you've got the map the way you want it, look just to the left of the upper left-hand corner of the map. You will see an icon that is supposed to look like two chain links... for a "link" to the map that you've just requested. Click on it.

How to use google maps 02

When you click on the "link" icon, it will pop up a little sub-window called Paste links. It contains two links. These are links to the map that you have just created.

  • A link is also known as a web address, or a URL.

Conveniently, Google has already highlighted (selected) the first URL, which is the one we want.

How to use google maps 03

Since the URL that we want is already selected, all we need to do is to copy it to the clipboard. So press Crtl+C to copy the URL to the clipboard.

  • Ctrl+C means: the control key and the "C" at the same time.
  • To get it, press down and hold down the Crtl key; press the "C" key, then release the Ctrl key.

Create a wiki link using the URL in the clipboardEdit

Now return to the window in which you are editing the wiki entry.

If you are editing in Video mode, highlight (select) the text that you want to turn into a link. Then click on the Add link icon at the top of the editing page.

How to use google maps 04
When you click on the "Add link" icon, it will open a little window where you can specify information about the link. The URL field will already be highlighted (selected), so all you need to do is to press Ctrl+V (clipboard "insert") to replace the highlighted text with the URL in the clipboard. Then click on OK, and you're finished.

How to use google maps 05b

Now click on the wiki Publish button to publish your changes, and your link to Google Maps is ready to go. It should look like this.

Test your linkEdit

Once you're created your link to Google Maps, you should definitely test it.

When you are quickly editing, cutting, and pasting, it is easy to forget that the URL that you want is not the one in the address bar of your browser when you are looking at the map, but the one generated by Google Maps Link button. If you do forget, and copy the wrong URL, your map link won't work. So you definitely need to test your map links!

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