Use Google "My Maps" on iPhone and Smartphone with POI Markers (pictures)

August 4, 2010 | 10 Comments

Summary: How to display custom Google maps with POI pushpins on your iPhone or Smartphone, even though Google My Maps on the iPhone isn't supported. How to edit custom Google maps with pushpins on your iPhone or Smartphone. How to share Google MyMaps with pushpins on iPhone, iPad and smartphones.  POI is “Points of Interest”

If you carry an iPhone or Smartphone, you know how handy online maps can be while you travel.    Google Maps with push-pins really fit into the paperless life I'm trying to achieve.   iPhones have GPS, as do most smartphones, so it's easy to get driving directions, walking directions, even bus schedules, if you're carrying a web connected iPhone or smart phone.   I don't think anyone really likes having to carry around a paper map.  Besides being cumbersome, paper maps are bad for the environment and maps make you look like a tourist!

Google Maps' “My Maps” feature (instructions at this link) allows you to create your own custom maps, with personalized markers that you can keep private or share with others.   Google's “My Maps” isn't available though the Safari web browser.  Google's “My Maps” also isn't available though Google iPhone App.   However, a third-party developer has created a website that looks like an iPhone app and it can display your custom Google “My Maps” on your iPhone or smartphone with your custom points of interest.  It is called “MyMapsMobile.com”

Reasons to use Google “My Maps” on your iPhone iPad or smartphone:

  • Walking: Use Google “My Maps” on your iPhone or smartphone so you don't have to carry maps or a GPS.   A traveling dot shows where you're going and the direction you're moving.
  • Interactive Bus Schedules: Use Google “My Maps” on your iPhone or smartphone for live current bus schedules in many cities.
  • Share by Phone: New points of interest in Google's “My Maps” can be instantly shared with others you may be traveling with
  • Live Traffic, Current Maps: Google “My Maps” is better than most GPS' because the maps and traffic reports are current and live.

Related Article:  How to use Google “My Maps” to create and share your own custom maps


I don't like carrying maps.  I don't like carrying paper.  After using Google “My Maps” on your iPhone or smart phone, I think you'll agree that there's no better way to get around an unfamiliar place.   Read further to learn how to access Google's “My Maps” on your iPhone, iPad or smartphone:

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone, iPad or smartphone, (preferably with GPS)
  • Google Account.  Visit  http://www.google.com  then click the “Create an Account now” link

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Using Google “My Maps” on your iPhone, iPad or Smartphone with Points of Interest (POI) markers.

Important warning:  “MyMapsMobile.com” is NOT a Google product, but it requires a Google ID and password to access your maps.  If you are concerned about account security,  then you  should create a completely separate Google account for your maps that is not associated with Gmail and your other Google accounts!

Step 1:

You must have an Internet co  nnection to use Google's MyMaps feature. Using your Safari browser on your iPhone, iPad or smartphone,

Go to http://www.MyMapsMobile.com

then tap the “Go” button.

Step 2:

After MyMapsMobile.com loads to your browser, complete the Google Account fields to log into your Google Maps account and tap the “Sign In” button.

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Step 3

Note the “+” symbol at the bottom of the screen in Step 2.   Tap the “+” symbol to activate the dialog to save the link.
You can add the “MyMapsMobile” link as a browser bookmark.  Or you can mail the link to someone else, or you can add the link to your home screen.    If you plan to frequently use MyMapsMobile then the best choice is probably to Add “MyMaps Mobile” to your Home screen.

Step 4

The top left button in the image to the right is the home screen button that was added by Step 3.    On my iPhone and iPad, I've categorized my icons so that the applications related to travel are all on the same screen.

Step 5

Tap the “MyMaps” button on your iPhone home page to activate MyMapsMobile.    Your iPhone / iPad will display a list of the custom maps you've created.    Tap the map you wish to view.

Step 6

The name of the map you've selected will appear at the top.   You can tap “View this map” to see all the locations (push-pins) on the selected map.  Or, you can scroll through the list of locations on the map and tap any one of them to show the specific location you've tapped.

You can tap “Get Directions” to get specific directions from your current location to any other location on the map or to get directions from one location to another.

Step 7

In the example to the right, “Boulder Farmers' Market” was tapped in step 6, so it's the title you see.   You can tap on any of the other pins to see their labels.   If you tap the blue circle containing the right arrow you can share the location by e-mail or add it as a bookmark.

Note that, when the map is displayed, you can tap the “directions” button to get directions from location to location or tap the “search” button to find a location not marked on the map.

Step 7
Step 8
The iPhone image to the right shows  if you've requested directions by tapping the “directions” button (at the bottom of the screen) or the “Get Directions” bar, (in the MyMaps) screen.
Step 8
Step 9

If you tap the “bus” button in step 8, and if you tap the small “clock” icon in the banner below the bus, you'll  see the upcoming departure schedule for that public transit stop.

Step 9

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Photo Credit

Image captures and photographs by Chuck Eglinton

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10 people are talking about “Use Google "My Maps" on iPhone and Smartphone with POI Markers (pictures)

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  4. WOW!
    I have been waiting for this so looooooooong!!!
    This make a big different in using iPhone as a real GPS.

    Many many thanks!

  5. @chuckegg Your instructions to get Google “My Maps” onto my iPod 3G are clear and helpful. I’ve also discover the Maps Enhancer (available on Cydia), which preserves the cache of previous maps when I go offline.

  6. Hello – shameless self-promotion, I know, but I think this classifies as a genuine contribution: We’re releasing a native My Maps-based app in a couple of days, called The Cartographer, which I think has a smoother workflow, and works without always requiring Internet access; You can edit maps on the device, with placemark dragging, etc, auto-sync changes from Google, there’s offline mapping, and a rather pretty interface (if I do say so myself) and we’ve got some big plans for more stuff soon. It lives at cartographer-app.com

    Cheers =)
    Michael

  7. I just started using the “app” below, which is very similar in concept but has a few more little bells & whistles, such as support for custom icons. It works great and is definitely worth a look:

    http://my-maps.appspot.com

    One notable difference: when you tap a specific location from the list view, MyMapsMobile will show the entire map with all pushpins, and the pushpin corresponding to the location you tapped is highlighted. With my-maps, the opened map has just the one location pinned. I don’t think one way is better than the other, just a matter of personal preference.

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