Picture of Make a Map Book Using Google Maps
The other day I was looking at the bookstore for a Street Guide for DuPage County, IL since my girlfriend is living there and needs a detailed street map.  Unfortunately, the only one that they had that was close was one for Cook County (like this one), which doesn't include any of DuPage County.  Being the computer savvy person I am, I decided I could just as easily make one using Google Maps and a couple other computer programs.

Note: this project makes use of Google Maps content and I believe I have given directions that still allow this project to fall under the umbrella of "fair use."  I'm no lawyer but assuming you don't go selling these I think this should be legal.

Step 1: Necessary Programs

Picture of Necessary Programs
I used the following programs to complete this task.  Some of these aren't open source programs, unfortunately, and may not be accessible for many so I have included an open source alternative if applicable.

- Firefox internet browser (needed to use an Addon)
- Adobe Photoshop (or the GIMP)
- PDFCreator
- Microsoft Word (or OpenOffice)

- Microsoft Excel (OpenOffice has an alternative as well)
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Timmah3 months ago

The Firefox Addon Screengrab is EOL and no longer downloadable.

vincent75204 months ago

Perfect !

Now that you have perfected the technique, do it for every county of the good old USA !!!


fabiobcm3 years ago
Great job! Do you know if I can print the maps with the markers? I want to print a guide for bookstores...

UOS4 years ago
Like it!
Creativeman UOS4 years ago
Awesome....however, way too much work for a damn map! Recently, I needed a map of Airizona...just went on line at my friends house, took a picture, or 2 or 3, and presto, I had my map...if I got stuck, all I had to do was review on the camera.
Most if not all States will send you a road map of their State for free. All it takes is looking up the web page for their tourism department, and making a request.
frazeeg (author)  Creativeman4 years ago
That's one way to do it, yes :-)

What if your camera breaks though? Or if the battery dies? Just saying...
static4 years ago
A note on Google Map Buddy. Before downloading it I visited the software's web page Evidently Google doesn't like it it, claiming it violates Google's ToS. The software is still available for down load from several resources, so interested persons should get it while they still can. Although it isn't necessary, just looks to simply things.
A lot of time could have been saved in the creation of Index page step if done in Word.

Insert the Index image in Word, set its text wrapping attribute to 'behind text'. Now Insert a table over this image with required number of rows and columns, adjust the table height and width from table properties menu to match with the image size and select 'distribute rows and columns evenly'. Put the numbers in each cell.

To easily align and move the image and the table, both can be put inside rectangle boxes and their shading and border set to none.


Another crazy idea to create map pages quickly.

Insert the entire Map image (not cropped into pages) into MS-Excel, set the page size and margins as required, insert the scale image inside header/footer and align it as needed, print the whole file to pdf or directly to printer. Excel automatically slices the image into individual pages. Play with the print options before printing and use Print Preview option generously.
reptilehead4 years ago
being a truck driver, i can COMPLETELY understand map books, however GPS is a wonderful thing as well, and i dont have to keep looking at it.
zoom out to find where i am, zoom in to get my next turn. the map book has been relegated to the duty of "having an idea of where im going" before i leave. in the 90's it was common for every truck to have at least ONE map book, now the company i work for has a few laying around for quick reference as we take off.
this is a GREAT idea for the "tech challenged" or as a backup when the GPS fails. (and they do, take a gps into the loop sometime) I trust you have a compass as well in the car somewhere to orientate the map? map reading is an art that seems to be slowly being forgotten.
The word you want is "orient". There's no "orientate" !
(Ok, Ok, I start attending Fusspots Anonymous next week.)
Dictionary Police Alert!
um, Orientate is English, not American. Google before you post. Try "define orientate British"
unless you are English... but if you are american I forgive you as you don't speak real english.
English doesn’t borrow words from other languages, English follows other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new grammar.
I am English English in England. Provoked by your responses, I just checked the Oxford online dictionary. I was horrified to find they say "-tate" is valid !

Please will someone write an instructable on
"How To Get Words You Don't Like Universally Banished From World English".
But.... I am also English English currently living in the USA... but I still speak English nevertheless.

Are you also uncomfortable with orientation? Do you prefer oriention.....? I grew up saying "orientate" and my mother was one great stickler for the correct grammar etc.
Don't worry , English will soon be unrecognizable to us old folk as it is daily mutilated in the US. Sorry to get so off track!
frazeeg (author)  sarawelder4 years ago
Enough of the American English/British English banter. Argue about it somewhere else.
I don't like the word, it's a waste of syllables (compared to orient), but, Miriam (Merriam?? ;-) seems to think it's a word: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orientate
frazeeg (author)  reptilehead4 years ago
GPS is nice until it stops working and you're lost in the middle of nowhere. It's happened to me and it is NOT a good feeling. Too many people rely on technology instead of their own memory and reasoning.

And your comment about the Chicago Loop couldn't be more accurate. Good luck using a GPS in that rat's nest.
i might add, thankfully most cars have a built in compass, which helps out a ton.

btw... you can see my house from here! (sticks of dupage here too)
Since when do most cars have built-in compasses? This is news to me.
i havent owned a car since 94 without one... so ... almost 20 years?
frazeeg (author)  reptilehead4 years ago
My parents haven't had a car with one since I've been born and that's been 23 years. It all depends on the options you get. And manufacturer.
I LOVE my GPS. but I never go somewhere "unknown" without a hard map with me even if its just a print of the destination from google maps.


Don't need a compass. the point of maps (in this scenario) is to find streets. once you find 2 you can orient the map easily.
ewolf4 years ago
You could use OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps. The CC-by-SA license for OSM not only allows you to make map books (or a cake) but also allows you sell them as long you attribute the source.
rashoot ewolf4 years ago
Seems to only work in europe not america especially canada I would have love to have seen it work here
frazeeg (author)  ewolf4 years ago
That you could. I'm more familiar with Google Maps so that's why I used it. I'll have to play around with OpenStreetMap some more.

Also, OpenStreetMap seems to be in need of updates in some places (the subdivision with my parents' house is missing, as one example) so that's something to keep in mind. Of course, any map is outdated as soon as it's published so I guess it's really a moot point.
ewolf frazeeg4 years ago
Um.. Yeah. OpenStreetMap needs some updates. Click edit and make them! That's sort of the idea behind it!
kguest ewolf4 years ago
That's the great thing about OpenStreetMap (and http://maposmatic.org/ and other such services like openstreetbrowser.org which use that map data) - in that you can update that map data yourself.

All it takes is something with a gps (android phone/iphone anyone?) or http://walking-papers.org/ if you prefer to draw things on paper.

The estate where I'm living still - after 2-3 years isn't on google maps; within a week of me moving in it's been on openstreetmap and I have to say I've not had to give directions too often!

Seriously useful.
Seriously free!
frazeeg (author)  kguest4 years ago
Unfortunately, for those of us without a smartphone, editing a map the old fashioned way is still the way to do it. Which not too many people have the time for. It does look like an interesting project though. Definitely worth pursuing.
rashoot4 years ago
You don't need screen grab! You can use the Prt Scn key on your keyboard and paste it into Word or any paint program like Paintbrush and print from there or edit it in a more advanced paint program
rashoot rashoot4 years ago
I just realized that not everyone has a screen size like mine at 1980 x 1080 When I do a print screen I only need to do it once then I crop out the navigation junk and I end up with a very large single HD image.Maybe everyone else has to go through this every time. The best part about prt scn is that It can be done with any program anywhere and any time on your computer. Whether it is my desktop or sites that do not allow you to copy data.I bet you cant do that with Google poodle
frazeeg (author)  rashoot4 years ago
Might I direct you to the first sentence of Step 3.
SlimDan224 years ago

Great instructable!

I would love to be able to make this map
but i don't have a gigantic printer =P
mjh444 years ago
Are you people loco? Just stop and ask somebody for directions if all else fails(camera, batteries etc.). Much cheaper.
Kylie_C mjh444 years ago
I can't tell you the number of times (too many to count) we've stopped for directions (or overheard someone else asking for directions) and the locals had no idea how to find whatever we were looking for, or had 2 or 3 people arguing for 5 minutes where it is. But give me a map and I can usually find any given street in less than a minute and find a route to it in just a few seconds more.
kaheidt4 years ago
I'm surprised at your list of required programs given that you're starting out with google maps. Why not use google docs for your word, excel, and pdf creation? It probably has something to replace the need for gimp/ps as well.
frazeeg (author)  kaheidt4 years ago
I use what I know how to use, plain and simple. While I recognize that there are plenty of ways to skin the cat, the programs I've listed are what I would use.

Far as I know Google hasn't developed a GIMP/Photoshop alternative.
kaheidt4 years ago
Also, what would be cool is adding some thumbnails of street level views around the margins to act as visual landmarks. The street view has a compass displayed on it, so that takes care of all this orientation talk.
Timmah4 years ago
Pretty darn cool!
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