We talk a lot about showing the impact of your work, but physically showing where your work is being done is even more compelling. Using Maps, for either an organization or a business can add a new element of engagement with your customers and supporters. Google Maps Engine and newly released Google Maps Gallery provide the tools you need to show your work visually and provide real-time updates.
What Is Google Maps Engine?
Google Maps Engine allows organizations, government agencies, and retail companies (among other industries) to show location data on a custom Google Map, including project locations, sales territories, or commercial locations. All you have to do is upload your data from a spreadsheet into Google Maps Engine and all your locations are instantly plotted.
There are a variety of products available, including:
Maps API: This lets you overlay your own data on a Google Map, embed them on your website, and perform geo-related computations
Maps Engine: This allows you to create customized maps and publish them for public search and viewing
Map Coordinate: This is an automation tool that helps assign and manage jobs for your mobile workforce
Earth Pro: This is a 3D map tool for businesses that want to visualize, interact, and analyze data.
Earth Enterprise: This is an advanced version of Earth Pro that allows for more in-depth analysis of data of a particular location.
All these tools allow you to use Google Maps to provide more insight into your business or organization.
What Is Google Maps Gallery?
With Google Maps Gallery, governments, nonprofits, and businesses can use their valuable data to engage the public and show their impact on a variety of different maps on one page. Google Maps Gallery is “like an interactive, digital atlas where anyone can search for and find rich compelling maps.” This information is easily searchable on Google and other major search engines and can be viewed in Google Earth. Your organization also has control over the map’s branding and can manage the data that is hosting in Google's secure cloud.
The Benefits of Using Google Maps Engine and Gallery
Your organization can increase its credibility by showing the real impact you're making on the ground.
Your business can highlight new locations by embedding Maps into your marketing and website.
Anyone on your team can create, manage, and update Maps.
Your product or development team can leverage the open source data and technology to develop new applications.
Organizations Using Google Maps Gallery
National Geographics Society is using Maps Gallery to show different areas of the world and also promote the sale of their print maps produced by their Map Department, which has been producing maps since 1915. All the maps listed in their Google Maps Gallery link to maps you can purchase.
The World Bank uses Maps Gallery to show the issues around the world that need support, specifically around extreme poverty. Its maps show the different countries affected by issues including malnutrition, life expectancy, connectivity of a population, and population growth.
The City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada uses Google Maps Gallery to show all the work being done and resources that are available to make the city better for its residents, including neighborhood boundaries, police stations, recycling directories, and street construction projects.