The USGenWeb Project, Free Genealogy Online
Home About Us States Projects Researchers Volunteers

Project Spotlight
- Barry Co., MO

News
- Project News
- Other News

Tutorial
- Creating County Maps with Google Maps API

Links of Interest

Featured Article
- Where to Draw the Line

 

Newsletter Staff

Acting Managing Editor
Linda Haas Davenport

Contributing Editor
Christine Sweet-Hart, CG

Records Research
Anne J Mitchell

 

The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and newsletter staff, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the USGenWeb Project.

 

© 2008. Permission to reprint articles from the USGenWeb Newsletter is granted unless specifically stated otherwise and provided that a copy of the citing newsletter or publication is forwarded to the Managing Editor at EditorUSGenWebNL@gmail.com, the name of the author of such article is stated, followed by the statement: Previously published in the USGenWeb Newsletter, January 2008, Volume 5, Number 1.

The USGenWeb Project News
Volume 5, Number 1
January 2008

Creating County Maps with Google Maps API
by Joy Fisher

I created my first Google map from scratch: http://www.sdgenweb.com/union/cemeterymap/countymap.html

I started out by going to the Geonames Server and collecting a list of all the cemeteries in their database for Union Co., SD. I carefully converted all the latitude and longitude from degrees, minutes and seconds to decimal degrees. I created a template for adding a map marker for each cemetery, including a link to my cemetery file for that cemetery. Lastly I created a boundary file with the latitude and longitude of all the points that make up the county boundary. The boundary file was generated by going to Topozone and clicking on the boundary on their maps and noting the latitude and longitude, moving a short distance and clicking again. For a nice rectangle, you only need the coordinates of the 4 corners, but Union Co. has 2 rivers as boundaries and lots of points were needed on those two sides.

I shared my code with some of my friends including David Crosby, resident computer guru for the USGenWeb Archives. He created a program that automatically generated much of what it took me several days to do manually. Like most computer gurus, David worked on the program until it worked to his satisfaction and then moved on to other projects. Using what David has created and with his permission, I created a user friendly interface for the program.

The final result is made available to USGenWeb volunteers. You choose the state and county to generate a Google map and a geographic feature you want to have map markers placed on the map. After clicking the "Create Map" button, the results page is a little confusing. Some temporary files are generated so the final ready to use files can be generated. Ignore the stuff at the top of the file and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Right click on the three files at the bottom and save them to your computer. These files will only work if you upload them to your RootsWeb account. Upload all 3 into the same folder on RootsWeb and then open you browser to http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~youraccount/yourfolder/countymap.html.

To use the files at any other site, you will need to get an API key from Google. Edit the countymap.html file and replace the RootsWeb API key with the one you get for your domain. Note you do not need separate APIs for each county at that domain.

For information regarding adding links to files about the locations, adding other locations, and editing the xml file, see the help file.

My thanks to David for doing all the hard work on this utility. I have used it for many of my counties and I hope you find it useful too.

Search Newsletters

2008 Newsletters
- January

2007 Newsletters
- October
- July
- June
- May
- April
- March
- February

2006 Newsletters
- October
- September
- August
- July
- June
- May
- April
- March

2005 Newsletters
- December
- October
- September
- May
- April
- February
- January

2004 Newsletters
- Nov/Dec
- October
- September
- August
- June/July
- May
- April
- March
- February