Use Overlays to layer your content on the map

Check out the video on how to use GPS overlays on Map Maker.


You can use overlays to add your own maps and images on top of the regular map to help make mapping easier. Orient yourself while looking at the world from above to understand what additional landmarks or places may be worth improving on the map.

Step 1: Enable Overlays

  1. Click the gear icon  at the top right corner on the viewport.
  2. Click Labs from the dropdown.
  3. Scroll down to “Overlays” and click the button next to “Enable.”
  4. Click Save. You will now see the Overlays button at the top right of viewport.

Step 2: Add Overlays

  1. Click Manage Overlays on the “Overlays” button at the top right.
  2. Add an overlay:
    • To add KML file, copy the KML URL.
    • To add an image, copy the map image URL.
  3. Click Add.
  4. When you are finished managing your overlays, click OK.

If you refresh your browser tab, you will need to re-add the URLs to Overlays.

Collect data for overlays:

  • Smartphone apps like My Tracks will let you turn your phone into a GPS Device.
  • Turn data collected by GPS into KML using Google Earth.
  • Photos taken with your smart phone often contain location information and can be used to help you map. If not, check your phone's camera settings to enable location capture.
  • Then, host your content on Google:

Note: there are size and complexity restrictions for KMLs to be displayed on Google Maps.

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