Create Google interactive map – a basic know-how for multimedia reporters

Use of Google Maps is what a multimedia reporter must know and know well.

There are different tools for creating advanced or fancy interactive Google map. It’s just that these tools (software programs) need to be downloaded and installed on the computer; some of the tools are free, some are not; and some have a learning curve to it.

Google Maps provides for a basic but free feature in creating an interactive map. It’s free and there’s nothing to download and install – this is important when the reporter needs to create a map but doesn’t have his or her own computer around. After going over a short tutorial, one can create a map in minutes. The map can incorporate text, image and video.

There’s one catch to Google Maps – it doesn’t host images or videos, which means if you want to show an image on the map, you need to upload the image to some other online hosting sites and link to that image; whereas video is relatively easy – the map works well with Youtube video.

I created a simple map showing the places I went for college and places I worked at. The images shown on the map are linked from my Picasa Web account, a free service I have been using for years. The video is a Youtube video, also a free service.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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