ALDC exists to provide the Advice, Resources and Templates you need to get elected and make a difference for your area. Below is our advice article on how to create online casework maps using Google maps. You can find all sorts of advice on our advice microsite.
Why should I create an online map?
‘Record of Action’ maps have been making great additions to Lib Dem leaflets for years, but creating online versions is still an underused tool.
When used properly (and when you’ve done enough work!), maps can give local residents an effective snapshot of the work that you have done in their local area, allowing them to picture a fuller range of your activities and achievements than they can by simply reading about it in your FOCUS.
An online casework map is easy to create and will help drive extra traffic to your website when the link is included on your leaflets. Online maps also have the advantage of feeling interactive and engaging in a way that their printed counterparts are not, and they are far easier to keep regularly updated.
How do I create an online map?
The following is a step by step instruction on creating an online casework map in Google Maps. It uses the new (2017) version of Google Maps. Please note, it is necessary to have a Google account in order to create and save your own maps.
Firstly, find the Google Maps page. If you are not already signed into your Google account in the same browser, you will need to click on the blue ‘Sign In’ button in the top-right of the screen.
Once logged in, left-click the three line icon to the left of the the search bar (top-left of the map screen). Left click ‘Your Places’ and then left click ‘Maps’. At the bottom of this menu you’ll see ‘Create Map’ click this to get started.
Once you have hit ‘Create Map’, a map will open. Zoom into your local area to start. You will see two boxes on the map screen itself; a large square with the words ‘Untitled Map’ at the top, and the familiar Google-style rectangular search bar with a range of icons beneath. Click on the words ‘Untitled Map’ to change your map name and save it. You may also want to add a short description in the box that appears, such as “My Record of Action in xxx Town/Community”.
To add your first marker, move the map to wherever you have done a piece of local casework recently (or to the location of a community group or asset that you’ve worked with/for). In the row of icons beneath the Search Bar, you will see an icon that looks like a pin. When you mouse over it, the words “Add Marker” will appear (pictured, below).
Select ‘Add Marker’ and then click on the area you want to highlight on your map. A white box with three sections appears. The first section allows you to give a title for the pin, the second will allow you to link an image or video from a MyCouncillor website, Flickr site or other online source, and the third allows for a fuller description to be entered.
Once you have added all of your markers, you will want to ‘embed’ the map onto your website. To do this using a MyCouncillor website simply contact ALDC on 0161 212 1012 and we’ll embed the map for you.
If you have any further questions on using maps on your websites, please contact ALDC for further advice.